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Tomorrow's major NASA/SpaceX launch to the ISS, and more tech news today
Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Friday, 13 November 2020. Don’t be spooked!
1. Liftoff tomorrow!
SpaceX and NASA’s Crew-1 astronaut mission to the International Space Station takes off tomorrow, Saturday, Nov 14 at 7:49 PM (EST), barring inclement weather or final hiccups, with the rocket situated on the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
- NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, the most experienced of the four, are set to launch.
- They’ll join three other astronauts orbiting above us now to make seven in the ISS, its maximum capacity
- Static fire tests have been completed this week, and a full dress rehearsal with the unfamiliar SpaceX spacesuits has been completed.
- It’s been a long time coming. The launch was originally scheduled for August 30, but numerous delays on both sides have led to the November mission.
- Following the Crew Dragon Demonstration Mission 2 (the Bob & Doug mission), NASA first pushed the mission to late September.
- Then fixes to the Falcon-9 Merlin 1D rocket engines delayed the missions further to Oct. 23, then Oct. 31, and finally to this mid-November launch.
- The Crew Dragon spacecraft is called Resilience, with the astronauts naming the vehicle (Twitter).
- US Air Force 45th Weather Squadron now predicts a 70% chance of favorable weather conditions — check here for L-1 updates (NASA).
- And you can watch the expected launch during primetime via NASA Live TV on YouTube.
While we’re here, there’s another scheduled launch today: a ULA Atlas V, scheduled for about 5:13 PM EST from Cape Canaveral (ulalaunch.com).
2. It’s time: Google should require two years of updates for every Android phone (Android Authority).
3. PS5 is here: Everything you need to know about Sony’s PlayStation 5 at launch (Android Authority).
4. Apple HomePod Mini reviews are out: newest smart speaker is way more affordable but still chasing Amazon and Google on assistant smarts, too strict Apple tie-ins, and sound quality overall is behind the Nest Audio and newest Amazon Echo (The Verge).
5. 3-D music to your ears: New device puts music in your head — no headphones required. Launches today (AP).
6. Apple swears up and down that touchscreen Macs aren’t happening (Gizmodo). And, uh, well: “why in the mac app store is there a human hand touching macos interface elements” (Twitter). This was later removed!
7. Mac users couldn’t launch apps after Apple verification server issue (The Verge).
8. Judge dismisses Apple’s “theft” claims in Epic Games lawsuit: “You actually have to have facts” (Ars Technica).
9. US government says it won’t enforce TikTok shutdown after court ruling (The Verge).
10. PayPal now lets all US users buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency (Engadget).
11. Pfizer/BioNTech’s announcement shows the promise of gene-based vaccines (The Verge).
12. At the first lab-grown meat restaurant, you can eat a ‘cultured chicken’ sandwich, grown from cells in a bioreactor visible through a glass window in its dining room (FastCompany).
13. SpaceX Starlink has some hiccups as expected, but users are impressed (Ars Technica).
The DGiT Daily delivers a daily email that keeps you ahead of the curve for all tech news, opinions, and links to what’s going down in the planet’s most important field. You get all the context and insight you need, and all with a touch of fun. Plus! Rotating daily fun for each day of the week, like Wednesday Weirdness. Join in!