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Technology US

Bond, Uncharted and Ghostbusters movies all just got delayed

Hollywood has decided tonight’s the night to shove back their slate of films — including James Bond’s latest outing No Time To Die, the Uncharted movie, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. No Time to Die now has a release date of October 8th, Ghostbusters will be pushed back five months to November 11th, and Uncharted now won’t arrive until 2022, Exhibitor Relations reports.

Bond was the big film whose third delay was enough to force theater chains Regal and Cineworld to close all their US and UK locations. It was originally slated for April 2020, then got pushed back to November 2020 and now to April 2021. If you’re counting, this news marks the fourth delay. Instead of releasing the movie on streaming, as other studios have been doing, MGM seems adamant on premiering the movie in theaters — but by the time it’s safe to do so, there may not be as many of them.

AMC has warned investors that it’s about to run out of money, and other theaters also might not survive past the middle of 2021. So the Bond franchise moving to the end of the year is not a good sign.

We can probably expect even more films to be delayed as delay piles on top of delay, since only a certain number of films can successfully premiere at physical theaters in any given span of time.

We haven’t heard from Disney yet, but you can also add delays for Edgar Wright’s Last Night In Soho! (now October 22nd) and Sony’s Cinderella (now July 16th) to the pile.

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Technology US

Super Nintendo World opening delayed due to Osaka state of emergency

Universal Studios Japan has announced that Super Nintendo World will not be opening next month as planned. The Nintendo-themed zone of the Osaka park was supposed to open on February 4th after its launch was delayed from last year, but with Osaka being placed under a state of emergency declaration yesterday until at least February 7th, that’s no longer going to happen. USJ says it will announce a new opening date once the state of emergency has been lifted.

The state of emergency in Japan was initially issued for Tokyo and its surrounding areas, but yesterday the order was expanded to cover a total of 11 prefectures, Osaka included. The countermeasures aren’t particularly strong compared to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions elsewhere — people are discouraged from making non-essential trips outside, and establishments like restaurants and movie theaters are asked to close earlier in the evening — but it obviously still is not the ideal time to open a theme park.

Super Nintendo World is an important project for Nintendo, representing the most ambitious attempt yet to expand its IP into new business opportunities. The park was initially set to open in time for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, which themselves remain in serious doubt. When it does eventually open, it’ll feature attractions like an AR-powered Mario Kart rollercoaster.

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Technology US

Hogwarts Legacy is delayed until 2022

One of the year’s biggest games has been delayed. Today, Warner Bros. announced that Hogwarts Legacy — an open-world, action roleplaying game set in the Harry Potter universe — will be launching next year instead of in 2021. “We are giving the game the time it needs,” the developer said in a tweet. No specific release date was announced.

The game was first revealed last year during a PlayStation 5 event, and it takes place during the 1800s, well before the events of the films and novels. Hogwarts Legacy is being developed by Avalanche Software, the team behind Disney Infinity, and overseen by Portkey Games, a new division created to oversee interactive Harry Potter experiences.

It will be coming to a huge range of platforms when it does eventually launch. That includes PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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Entertainment UK

Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey Apple + TV show ‘delayed until later in 2021’

A TV project involving Prince Harry and talkshow queen Oprah Winfrey on the subject of mental health has been delayed – according to reports.

The 36-year-old Prince and the 66-year-old American chatshow legend had been planning to release a series together via Apple +.

Reports about the project have been circulating for two years, however the project has been repeatedly delayed – with now only vague plans for when it will finally make it to air.

The show was originally supposed to stream on Apple in Autumn 2020, but now the series allegedly isn’t expected to begin filming until later this year.

Prince Harry’s Apple + TV show has been delayed

According to The Sun: “No firm release date has yet been announced”.

While the report goes on to suggest the coronavirus pandemic, Prince Harry ’s decision to quit Royal life and move to the USA have “slowed down” plans.

A show insider has claimed that updates about the series have been kept under wraps because: “delays never look good.”

The Prince is making a series about mental health alongside Oprah Winfrey

The Sun’s report also gave the vague timing of “Spring” for when filming might get underway.

Mirror Online have contacted representatives of Prince Harry and Ms Winfrey for comment.

The series was first revealed in April 2019, with Prince Harry due to: “serve as co-creator and executive producer for the series.”

Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have been keeping busy making video and audio content

A Sussex Royal Instagram post said at the time: “We are excited to announce The Duke of Sussex and Oprah Winfrey are partners, co-creators and executive producers on their forthcoming mental health series launching on Apple in 2020.”

Since then, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, have signed multi million pound deals to make content for streaming service Netflix and music and podcast service Spotify.

The first podcast created by the royal couple was released last week and saw the duo interview Sir Elton John and James Corden as part of the show.

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Headlines UK London

Covid lockdown England: Secondary schools reopening DELAYED

Primary schools in England’s worst-hit coronavirus hotspots will remain shut at the start of term on January 4 as ministers desperately try to slow the spread of the disease. 

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced this afternoon that primary schools in dozens of areas across London, Essex, Kent and beyond will not be allowed to reopen as planned. 

Vulnerable children and the children of key workers will be the only pupils allowed to attend the schools in person, with all of their classmates being forced to switch to online learning. 

Mr Williamson also announced the planned staggered return of secondary schools and colleges is being pushed back by a week to provide more time to roll-out mass Covid-19 testing for pupils and staff. 

Students in years 11 and 13 who are facing exams will physically return on January 11 – a date which had originally been earmarked for the return of all secondary and college pupils in England.

Students in the other year groups will now have to wait an extra week until January 18 to return. 

However, Boris Johnson suggested this evening that even that return date could be changed for some schools as he said the Government’s approach will be shaped by infection rates.

The Government’s original plan was for the majority of secondary school and college pupils to start the term online from January 4 before resuming face-to-face lessons from January 11.     

Which primary schools will be staying shut on January 4?

The Government has published a list of areas where primary schools will be shut to all pupils apart from vulnerable children and children of key workers from January 4. 

The areas are:  

London

Barking and Dagenham

Barnet

Bexley

Brent

Bromley

Croydon

Ealing

Enfield

Hammersmith and Fulham

Havering

Hillingdon

Hounslow

Kensington and Chelsea

Merton

Newham

Richmond-Upon-Thames

Southwark

Sutton

Tower Hamlets

Waltham Forest

Wandsworth

Westminster

Essex

Brentwood

Epping Forest

Castle Point

Basildon

Rochford

Harlow

Chelmsford

Braintree

Maldon

Southend on Sea

Thurrock

Kent

Dartford

Gravesham

Sevenoaks

Medway

Ashford

Maidstone

Tonbridge and Malling

Tunbridge Wells

Swale

East Sussex

Hastings

Rother

Buckinghamshire

Milton Keynes

Hertfordshire

Watford

Broxbourne

Hertsmere

Three Rivers 

Mr Williamson has faced massive pressure in recent weeks over the proposed staggered restart of secondary schools and colleges in the New Year as teachers, unions and scientists all called for a delay.  

However, the decision to keep primary schools in hotspot areas closed went further than many people were expecting. 

The Education Secretary told MPs: ‘We will be opening the majority of primary schools as planned on Monday January 4. 

‘We know how vitally important it is for younger children to be in school for their education, wellbeing and wider development. 

‘In a small number of areas where the infection rates are highest we will implement our existing contingency framework such as only vulnerable children and children of critical workers will attend face-to-face. 

‘We will publish this list of areas today on the gov.uk website.’ 

The full list of the areas subject to primary school closures from January 4 was later published by the Department for Education. 

It includes 22 London boroughs, 11 boroughs in Essex and nine in Kent. 

Mr Williamson stressed the restrictions on primary schools are only being applied to the worst-hit infection hotspots and that the ‘overwhelming majority’ in England will open as planned. 

He also said areas which are subject to the restrictions on face-to-face primary teaching will be regularly reviewed in the hope that schools can reopen as soon as possible. 

On the issue of secondary schools and colleges, the Education Secretary said the coronavirus infection rate is ‘particularly high among this age group’ and as a result ‘we are going to allow more time so that every school and college is able to fully roll-out testing for all of its pupils and staff’. 

He said: ‘All pupils in exam years are to return during the week beginning January 11, with all secondary school and college students returning full time on January 18.

‘During the first week of term on or after January 4, secondary schools and colleges will prepare to test as many staff and students as possible and will only be open to vulnerable children and the children of key workers.’ 

Mr Williamson said he expected the ‘full return of all pupils in all year groups’ on January 18. 

However, speaking at a Downing Street press conference this evening, Mr Johnson suggested that date could be changed for some schools depending on infection rates. 

He said: ‘I want to stress that depending on the spread of the disease it may be necessary to take further action in their cases as well in the worst affected areas.’

The timing of the announcement of the schools rethink sparked a furious reaction from union leaders. 

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said: ‘This is another last-minute mess which could so easily have been avoided if the Government had listened to school leaders before the holidays.

‘Instead, back then, schools which wanted to shift to remote learning were threatened with legal action. Now we have a situation where the Government is instructing schools to reduce the amount of teaching time available.

‘If we’d had the freedom to take action before the holidays, we might have been in a position to have more schools open for more pupils. School leaders will be baffled, frustrated and justifiably angry tonight.’

Jon Richards, head of education at the union Unison, said: ‘Everyone agrees it’s important for schools and colleges to open but it can’t be at any expense when infections are rising.

‘This delay for secondary schools is a sensible decision, giving more time to organise mass testing effectively to limit the spread. Primary and early years reopening should also be delayed because social distancing isn’t really possible.

‘Ministers should also ensure any moves to extend the vaccine priority list must cover all school staff and not just teachers.’

The Government’s initial plan was for exam year pupils to physically return to secondary schools and colleges from January 4 while the other students took part in online learning before then going back on January 11.  

Mr Williamson’s announcement comes after a number of senior scientists called for schools to remain completely shut in January, arguing that such drastic action is the only way to bring infection rates down. 

Professor Neil Ferguson, a member of the Government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), said there had been a ‘balancing act’ since lockdown was initially eased between keeping control of the virus and maintaining ‘some semblance of normal society’.

But he said the planned reopening of schools from next week may have to be postponed.

He told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme yesterday: ‘Clearly nobody wants to keep schools shut. But if that’s the only alternative to having exponentially growing numbers of hospitalisations, that may be required at least for a period.

‘There are no easy solutions here. My real concern is that even if universities, schools, do have staggered returns or even stay closed, how easy it would be to maintain control of the virus is unclear now, given how much more transmissible this variant is.’

Earlier, Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) members Professor Andrew Hayward and Dr Mike Tildesley had signalled the possibility of a ‘slight delay’ to having pupils back in the classroom. 

Figures published yesterday by NHS England showed a further 365 people who tested positive for Covid-19 had died, taking the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 49,225.

Downing Street said yesterday that it was ‘still planning for a staggered opening of schools’ after Christmas but insisted the plans were being kept under constant review. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman told a Westminster briefing: ‘We’re still planning for a staggered opening of schools and we are working to ensure testing is in place.

‘As we have said throughout the pandemic, we obviously keep all measures under constant review.’

Categories
Canada

COVID-19: Students will be delayed, admits Minister Roberge

The education minister acknowledges that students will be late at the end of the school year this year, another consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Read also: Parents fear school closures will extend into January

• Read also: 40% of Quebec schools struggling with COVID-19

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

“It’s not enough history, there will be delays this year in the teaching conditions and with what happened last spring. You have to be lucid and that’s why you are always ready to adjust if you still have to, ”explained Jean-François Roberge in an interview with Mario Dumont.

The government claims to have made certain changes to avoid dropping out, particularly among high school students.

The minister admits that there is not enough computer equipment for elementary school students and that we will favor the good old method of homework.

Teachers will have to be proactive, make calls, make sure that students make progress.

“It’s not ‘come to terms with this!’ The teachers have planned an educational course. You come back to school on January 11, that’s the goal, ”added Minister Roberge.

Opposition parties are puzzled by the government’s proposed plan. “We will remember, contact with teachers varies,” said Liberal MP Marwah Rizqy.

According to her, it is hard to believe that the children will do well in their ministerial exam on January 14, just three days after the start of the classroom on the 11th.

PQ MP Véronique Hivon believes it is the government’s job to support young people, especially if the forced leave were to be extended. “The support will be there, we will not let go of the students. We will have, for example, mental health squads, psychosocial support, ”she said.

Active cases of COVID-19 have been identified in 1,204 Quebec schools out of a total of nearly 3,000 establishments, according to the latest report dated Monday, December 14.

The school network has 1,503 groups in isolation, a peak since the start of the school year. Thirteen establishments are now closed or partially closed.

Have you beaten COVID-19? The Journal is looking for people who have recovered from the coronavirus and who would like to testify.

Write to us at [email protected]

Categories
Health

Reports: Nursing Home Vaccinations May Be Delayed


Dec. 14, 2020 — The federal government is telling groups that are giving the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to wait until later this month to inoculate people in long-term care facilities, despite a CDC recommendation that they be among the first to get the vaccine, CBS News reported.

CBS News said it obtained two Operation Warp Speed documents telling providers that the “earliest the program can turn on is Dec 21st.” CBS News said the documents were produced by the Department of Health and Human Services with guidance from CVS and Walgreens, the pharmacy chains responsible for vaccinating long-term care facility residents.

About 2.9 million doses of the vaccine shipped from warehouses on Sunday, and the first vaccinations are being given today. That means the vaccine would be available this week for use in nursing homes, where the mortality rate for COVID-19 is high.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar appeared Sunday on Face the Nation and was asked about timing for vaccinations. CBS News said it obtained the documents after the show aired.

In the interview, CBS’s Margaret Brennan said CVS said its workers would not give nursing home vaccinations until Dec. 21, “because the Trump administration told them to wait until that date. Why is the Trump administration asking nursing homes to wait?”

“We’re not actually asking the nursing homes to wait,” Azar replied. “And we were able to have a really good discussion with CVS leadership about this misunderstanding that they had at the president’s vaccine distribution summit. So I think we’ve gotten that all straightened out with them. And we’ll be getting CVS and Walgreens vaccinating our nursing home people. A hundred — almost 100% of our nursing homes have signed up with that program for a turnkey vaccination operation.”

Azar said nursing home vaccinations could start “any day,” and all nursing home residents could be vaccinated by Christmas.

But two sources have confirmed the delay.

Scott Gottlieb, MD, who was FDA commissioner in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019, said the delay was caused by the need for nursing homes to obtain consent from residents or their families.


“It’s a very costly delay,” he said on Face the Nation. “There [are] 50,000 new infections in nursing homes every week right now, probably more than that. And we know 20% of people in the nursing homes who are infected will succumb to the infection. So, there’s a lot of death happening in these nursing homes.”

Gottlieb, who’s on Pfizer’s board of directors, said he estimated it would take about a week to get consent from the patients and about 3 weeks total for CVS and Walgreens to inoculate nursing home residents.

He said he didn’t know why Operation Warp Speed, the public-private program to quickly create and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine, didn’t get consent in advance.

Robert Garrett, the CEO of the New Jersey hospital system Hackensack Meridian Health, told Face the Nation the company was told nursing home vaccinations would start Dec. 21.

“I did hear the secretary’s interview, but the latest information I have from CVS and Walgreens is that they would start on the week of the 21st,” Garrett said.

The states are setting priorities on who gets to receive the vaccine, but the CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) advised that health care workers and residents of nursing homes and other residential care facilities should be first in line.



WebMD Health News


Sources

CBS News: “Trump administration pushing delay in nursing home vaccinations,” “Transcript: Alex Azar on Face the Nation, December 13, 2020,” “Transcript: Scott Gottlieb discusses coronavirus on Face the Nation, December 13, 2020,” “Transcript: Robert Garrett on Face the Nation, December 13, 2020.”

Pfizer: “Board members.”



© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.





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Categories
Health

Reports: Nursing Home Vaccinations May Be Delayed


Dec. 14, 2020 — The federal government is telling groups that are giving the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to wait until later this month to inoculate people in long-term care facilities, despite a CDC recommendation that they be among the first to get the vaccine, CBS News reported.

CBS News said it obtained two Operation Warp Speed documents telling providers that the “earliest the program can turn on is Dec 21st.” CBS News said the documents were produced by the Department of Health and Human Services with guidance from CVS and Walgreens, the pharmacy chains responsible for vaccinating long-term care facility residents.

About 2.9 million doses of the vaccine shipped from warehouses on Sunday, and the first vaccinations are being given today. That means the vaccine would be available this week for use in nursing homes, where the mortality rate for COVID-19 is high.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar appeared Sunday on Face the Nation and was asked about timing for vaccinations. CBS News said it obtained the documents after the show aired.

In the interview, CBS’s Margaret Brennan said CVS said its workers would not give nursing home vaccinations until Dec. 21, “because the Trump administration told them to wait until that date. Why is the Trump administration asking nursing homes to wait?”

“We’re not actually asking the nursing homes to wait,” Azar replied. “And we were able to have a really good discussion with CVS leadership about this misunderstanding that they had at the president’s vaccine distribution summit. So I think we’ve gotten that all straightened out with them. And we’ll be getting CVS and Walgreens vaccinating our nursing home people. A hundred — almost 100% of our nursing homes have signed up with that program for a turnkey vaccination operation.”

Azar said nursing home vaccinations could start “any day,” and all nursing home residents could be vaccinated by Christmas.

But two sources have confirmed the delay.

Scott Gottlieb, MD, who was FDA commissioner in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019, said the delay was caused by the need for nursing homes to obtain consent from residents or their families.


“It’s a very costly delay,” he said on Face the Nation. “There [are] 50,000 new infections in nursing homes every week right now, probably more than that. And we know 20% of people in the nursing homes who are infected will succumb to the infection. So, there’s a lot of death happening in these nursing homes.”

Gottlieb, who’s on Pfizer’s board of directors, said he estimated it would take about a week to get consent from the patients and about 3 weeks total for CVS and Walgreens to inoculate nursing home residents.

He said he didn’t know why Operation Warp Speed, the public-private program to quickly create and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine, didn’t get consent in advance.

Robert Garrett, the CEO of the New Jersey hospital system Hackensack Meridian Health, told Face the Nation the company was told nursing home vaccinations would start Dec. 21.

“I did hear the secretary’s interview, but the latest information I have from CVS and Walgreens is that they would start on the week of the 21st,” Garrett said.

The states are setting priorities on who gets to receive the vaccine, but the CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) advised that health care workers and residents of nursing homes and other residential care facilities should be first in line.



WebMD Health News


Sources

CBS News: “Trump administration pushing delay in nursing home vaccinations,” “Transcript: Alex Azar on Face the Nation, December 13, 2020,” “Transcript: Scott Gottlieb discusses coronavirus on Face the Nation, December 13, 2020,” “Transcript: Robert Garrett on Face the Nation, December 13, 2020.”

Pfizer: “Board members.”



© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.





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Headline USA

Virgin Galactic’s long-delayed test flight to space is aborted midway after engine malfunctions

Virgin Galactic has suffered another setback to its mission to send commercial passengers into space after its rocket unexpectedly turned back before reaching space during its latest test flight. 

The VSS Unity SpaceShipTwo vehicle on Saturday embarked on its third test flight to suborbital space and its first ever to take place from Virgin Galactic’s New Mexico base. 

But the flight was brought to an end prematurely before reaching space when the spacecraft’s computer lost connection and the engine failed to ignite.    

The company’s optimistic CEO brushed off the disappointment and pointed out the positive takeaway that the ‘flight landed beautifully’ back at base.

However it marks the latest blow to Richard Branson’s spaceflight company which has been marred by delays from the get-go.    

Virgin Galactic has suffered another setback to its mission to send commercial passengers into space after its rocket unexpectedly turned back before reaching space during its latest test flight. Pictured the flight

The VSS Unity SpaceShipTwo vehicle on Saturday embarked on its third test flight (above) to suborbital space and its first ever to take place from Virgin Galactic's New Mexico base

The VSS Unity SpaceShipTwo vehicle on Saturday embarked on its third test flight (above) to suborbital space and its first ever to take place from Virgin Galactic’s New Mexico base

But the flight was brought to an end prematurely before reaching space when the spacecraft's computer lost connection and the engine failed to ignite

But the flight was brought to an end prematurely before reaching space when the spacecraft’s computer lost connection and the engine failed to ignite

The VSS Unity took off at about 8:25 a.m. local time from Virgin Galactic’s new desert headquarters at Spaceport America, New Mexico. 

The spaceship was crewed by two veteran pilots, former NASA astronauts CJ Sturckow and David Mackay, and was attached to the carrier aircraft VMS Eve. 

There were no passengers on board the aircraft but it was carrying dummies as well as payload belonging to NASA.

The rocket was then released at an altitude of about 50,000 feet. 

At this point, it should enter a gentle glide and the engine is supposed to ignite moments later, sending the rocket in a near-vertical climb toward space.  

But the spacecraft achieved just one second of powered flight before the motor failed, according to NASASpaceFlight.com.

Virgin Galactic later revealed the spacecraft’s onboard computer lost connection and this triggered a safety function to cut off the engine’s ignition. 

The spacecraft turned back to base, where it made a smooth landing just one hour after take-off.  

The VSS Unity took off at about 8:25 a.m. local time from Virgin Galactic's new desert headquarters at Spaceport America, New Mexico

The VSS Unity took off at about 8:25 a.m. local time from Virgin Galactic’s new desert headquarters at Spaceport America, New Mexico

The spaceship was crewed by two veteran pilots, former NASA astronauts CJ Sturckow and David Mackay, and was attached to the carrier aircraft VMS Eve

The spaceship was crewed by two veteran pilots, former NASA astronauts CJ Sturckow and David Mackay, and was attached to the carrier aircraft VMS Eve

There were no passengers on board the aircraft but it was carrying dummies as well as payload belonging to NASA. The rocket was then released at an altitude of about 50,000 feet

There were no passengers on board the aircraft but it was carrying dummies as well as payload belonging to NASA. The rocket was then released at an altitude of about 50,000 feet

At this point, it should enter a gentle glide and the engine is supposed to ignite moments later, sending the rocket in a near-vertical climb toward space. But the spacecraft achieved just one second of powered flight (pictured in flight above)

At this point, it should enter a gentle glide and the engine is supposed to ignite moments later, sending the rocket in a near-vertical climb toward space. But the spacecraft achieved just one second of powered flight (pictured in flight above)

The company had been chronicling the build-up and start of the flight on its Twitter page before becoming vague after announcing ‘we are go for release’.

‘SpaceShipTwo Unity is headed for home. We will share more information once we have it,’ the company tweeted less than 10 minutes later.

Virgin Galactic chronicled the failed flight on Twitter

Virgin Galactic chronicled the failed flight on Twitter

‘Touch down,’ a follow-up tweet added after just another four minutes.  

Virgin Galactic announced the reason behind the failed flight in a brief statement on Twitter. 

‘The ignition sequence for the rocket motor did not complete. Vehicle and crew are in great shape,’ the company tweeted, adding that it had ‘several motors ready’ and would ‘be back to flight soon’.  

The company tweeted a statement from CEO Michael Colglazier a short time later admitting the flight did not go as planned but praising the ‘picture-perfect landing’ from the pilots which he said was ‘the level of safety’ tourists want. 

‘Today’s flight landed beautifully, with pilots, planes, and spaceship safe, secure, and in excellent shape – the foundation of every successful mission! Our flight today did not reach space as we had been planning,’ he said. 

Colglazier explained that when the computer lost connection, a ‘fail-safe scenario’ was triggered halting the engine’s ignition.

‘After being released from its mothership, SpaceShipTwo Unity’s onboard computer that monitors the rocket motor lost connection. As designed, this triggered a fail-safe scenario that intentionally halted ignition of the rocket motor.’  

The spacecraft's onboard computer lost connection and this triggered a safety function to cut off the engine's ignition, forcing the spacecraft to turn back to base

The spacecraft’s onboard computer lost connection and this triggered a safety function to cut off the engine’s ignition, forcing the spacecraft to turn back to base

The spacecraft made a smooth landing back in New Mexico just one hour after take-off with CEO Michael Colglazier calling it a 'picture-perfect landing'

The spacecraft made a smooth landing back in New Mexico just one hour after take-off with CEO Michael Colglazier calling it a ‘picture-perfect landing’

‘Seeing firsthand how our pilots brought Unity in for a picture-perfect landing after an off-nominal condition confirmed this approach. I am even more confident that this is the level of safety that consumers will want and will be expecting from us.’

Colglazier added that the company would now assess what went wrong and would share its findings in due course.

‘As we do with every test flight, we are evaluating all the data, including the root cause assessment of the computer communication loss,’ he said.

‘We look forward to sharing information on our next flight window in the near future.’

The test flight, the first in two years for the company, had already faced several delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, followed by poor weather conditions this week. 

Virgin Galactic has already done two test flights into space, with the first back in December 2018.  

The company tweeted a statement from CEO Michael Colglazier a short time later admitting the flight did not go as planned but praising the 'picture-perfect landing' from the pilots which he said was 'the level of safety' tourists want

The company tweeted a statement from CEO Michael Colglazier a short time later admitting the flight did not go as planned but praising the ‘picture-perfect landing’ from the pilots which he said was ‘the level of safety’ tourists want

Saturday’s aborted flight marked the third and was supposed to lead in to the next phase of final testing where engineers will fly in the passenger cabin and test the hardware and camera settings – as well as the views. 

This will now be pushed back until another test flight can be carried out.

The space tourism company – much like its rivals – has faced issues from the start.

Concerns about its safety grew when, in 2014, the fourth test flight of one of the company’s SpaceShipTwo crafts broke apart mid-air, killing one pilot and seriously injuring the other. 

The schedule has also been marred by numerous delays and the company is yet to confirm when tourists can embark on the first commercial flight into space. 

The race to get off the ground has been hotting up with Branson competing with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to become the first to send tourists into space. 

Branson’s company has over 600 reservations for seats and $80 million in deposits for 90 minute flights, with famous faces Ashton Kutcher, Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber all signing up.

The flights cost $250,000 a ticket, with the craft seating six passengers in total, and include several minutes of weightlessness.  

Branson (pictured) is competing with Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin to become the first to send tourists into space

Branson (pictured) is competing with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to become the first to send tourists into space

HOW DOES RICHARD BRANSON’S VIRGIN GALACTIC CONDUCT ITS SPACE FLIGHTS?

Unlike other commercial spaceflight companies, such as Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic initiates its flights without using a traditional rocket launch.

Instead, the firm launches its passenger-laden SpaceShipTwo and other craft from a carrier plane, dubbed WhiteKnightTwo.

WhiteKnightTwo is a custom-built, four-engine, dual-fuselage jet aircraft, designed to carry SpaceShipTwo up to an altitude of around 50,000 feet (15,240 metres).

The first WhiteKnightTwo, VMS Eve – which Virgin Galactic has used on all of its test flights – was rolled-out in 2008 and has a high-altitude, heavy payload capacity.

Unlike other commercial spaceflight companies, such as Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic initiates its flights without using a traditional rocket launch. Instead, the firm launches its passenger-laden SpaceShipTwo and other craft from a carrier plane, dubbed WhiteKnightTwo. Once SpaceShipTwo has propelled itself into space its engines shut off for a period of weightlessness before returning home

Unlike other commercial spaceflight companies, such as Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic initiates its flights without using a traditional rocket launch. Instead, the firm launches its passenger-laden SpaceShipTwo and other craft from a carrier plane, dubbed WhiteKnightTwo. Once SpaceShipTwo has propelled itself into space its engines shut off for a period of weightlessness before returning home

Once it reaches 50,000 feet (15,240 metres) the carrier plane releases SpaceShipTwo, a reusable, winged spacecraft designed to carry six passengers and two pilots into space.

Virgin Galactic has named its first SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity – the craft that the company has used in all of its test flights – though the firm is expected to build more in future.

Once released from WhiteKnightTwo, SpaceShipTwo’s rocket motor engages ‘within seconds’, according to Virgin Galactic.

The craft will then fly approximately three and a half times the speed of sound (2,600mph/4,300kph) into suborbital space, reaching up to 360,890ft (110,000 metres) above the Earth’s surface.

WhiteKnightTwo (artist's impression) is a custom-built, four-engine, dual-fuselage jet aircraft, designed to carry SpaceShipTwo up to an altitude of around 50,000 feet (15,240 metres)

WhiteKnightTwo (artist’s impression) is a custom-built, four-engine, dual-fuselage jet aircraft, designed to carry SpaceShipTwo up to an altitude of around 50,000 feet (15,240 metres)

This altitude is defined as beyond the edge of outer space by Nasa.

After the rocket motor has fired for around a minute, the pilots will shut it down, and passengers can then take off their seatbelts to experience weightlessness for several minutes.

The pilots will manoeuvre the spaceship to give the best possible views of Earth and space while raising the vehicle’s wings to its ‘feathered’ re-entry configuration, which decelerates the craft and stabilises its descent.

As gravity pulls the spaceship back towards the Earth’s upper atmosphere, astronauts will return to their seats ready to return to our planet.

At around 50,000 feet (15,240 metres), after re-entry, the pilot will return the spaceship’s wings to their normal configuration, ready to glide back to Earth for a smooth runway landing. 

Once it reaches 50,000 feet (15,240 metres) the carrier plane releases SpaceShipTwo, a reusable, winged spacecraft designed to carry six passengers and two pilots into space. Virgin Galactic has named its first SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity (pictured) - the craft that the company has used in all of its test flights - though the firm is expected to produce more in future

Once it reaches 50,000 feet (15,240 metres) the carrier plane releases SpaceShipTwo, a reusable, winged spacecraft designed to carry six passengers and two pilots into space. Virgin Galactic has named its first SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity (pictured) – the craft that the company has used in all of its test flights – though the firm is expected to produce more in future

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Brace yourself: a second stimulus check could be delayed even further | The State

More than 160 million Americans have received a first stimulus check since March.

Photo:
William Thomas Cain / Getty Images

US lawmakers have their sights set on a smaller stimulus package to end 2020, there is still reason to believe that the plan could contain other direct payment but we would have to wait a bit more time.

The new proposals presented this week in Congress do not count a direct stimulus stimulus payment for coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean a new round of payments is out of the question.

Democratic legislators and the president-elect, Joe biden, have shown their public support for the bipartisan $ 908 billion bill containing funding for a unemployment program, Payroll Assistance for Small Businesses but not a stimulus check.

A Proyect of direct payment could be presented as part of a coronavirus tracking package but by 2021 that would allow a second financial aid check to be submitted that qualified individuals could receive.

Both Congressmen and Biden have acknowledged that the new support program will be insufficient for citizens, so they will seek to develop a broader stimulus package for the coming year.

The good news is that the support that the bipartisan proposal is receiving as a basis for the negotiations has been strong since the plan proposes to continue with payments of up to $ 300 a week of unemployment assistance.

Biden has committed to developing an agenda during his first 100 days as president that includes the signing of new executive orders.

“At this time, the plenary session of Congress must meet and approve a robust aid package to address these urgent needs,” Biden said Tuesday during the presentation of his economic team.

The president-elect affirmed that his transition team is working on the proposals it will present to the new Congress to face so much the health crisis as the economy. If the president-elect does not have sufficient support from Congress, the new administration could do very little on the issue of a new stimulus check.

You may be interested in: ICE issues warning about bogus COVID-19 vaccine scams and treatments.

After Inauguration Day, Republicans will continue to pressure the new administration in the event that Democrats do not win the pending January 5 election that will define legislator seats for the state of Georgia.

You can learn more reasons why a second stimulus check could be further delayed after the first payment was received by more than 160 million people.

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