SpaceX's all-civilian Inspiration4 spaceflight is coming to an end, and the company wants to be sure you see those last moments. The firm is livestreaming its Crew Dragon capsule's return to Earth starting at 6PM Eastern, with an expected splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean near Florida at 7:06PM. You can watch the stream below.
The mission saw Shift4 chief Jared Isaacman and three other civilian crew members (Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski) conduct scientific research around the effects of spaceflight on the human body. It also served as a fundraising campaign for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which relies primarily on donations to advance cancer-fighting medicine.
This is the shortest occupied Crew Dragon flight to date. The earlier Demo-2, Crew-1 and Crew-2 missions were all planned to dock with the International Space Station and last between nine weeks to six months — Inspiration4's three days is a blip in comparison. Not that SpaceX is complaining. This not only demonstrates the viability of sending civilian-only crews to space, but could serve as a sales pitch to clients who might only want a brief amount of time in orbit.
The Russian government still has a strong influence on Telegram despite lifting a ban last year. RadioFreeEuropereports Telegram has temporarily blocked all of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny's Telegram chat bots during voting in the country's parliamentary election this weekend. Company founder Pavel Durov said Telegram would obey an election law barring campaigning during elections, calling the law "legitimate."
The move comes despite the nature of the bots and Durov's past statements. One of the bots, Smart Voting, was only meant to identify candidates that could unseat the dominant United Russia party, not just Navalny's Russia of the Future party. Durov also decried Apple and Google removing the Smart Voting mobile app from their respective app stores, calling it a "dangerous precedent" that tolerated censorship.
Russia under Vladimir Putin has routinely cracked down on any political dissent, including actions against Navalny himself (such as an attempted assassination linked to Russian agents) and a long-running effort to quash the broader Smart Voting effort. Officials both threatened Apple and Google with fines and have gone so far as to try and throttle internet infrastructure providing access to Smart Voting.
Whatever the motivations, the decision underscores the fine line tech firms tend to walk in Russia. While they might object to the Putin regime's tight grips on politics and speech, they also can't afford to antagonize the government if they want to have any kind of presence in the country. Telegram may object to Russia's policies, but it risks depriving residents of a relatively safe avenue for free expression if it defies Russian laws.
Don't worry if you were disappointed that Harley-Davidson's first e-bikes didn't include that eye-catching vintage model. As Electreknotes, Harley's Serial 1 brand now plans to sell a highly similar retro bike, the MOSH/TRIBUTE, in "late Q4" (read: December). Pre-order it for $5,999 and you'll get the MOSH/CTY's underpinnings with looks that would seem right at home in the 1950s, including fat white Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires, a honey-hued leather saddle and similar grips.
The functionality remains the same as the more contemporary-looking model, including the Gates carbon belt drive, built-in lighting and TRP hydraulic disc brakes. The removable 529Wh battery is estimated to deliver up to 105 miles of range, although that can shrink to 35 miles depending on your ride mode, biking style and road choices.
You'll have to act quickly if you want one. Serial 1 is making just 650 MOSH/TRIBUTE units split evenly between the US and Europe. The Harley brand has promised more special edition e-bikes "in the future," though, so you needn't give up hope if you're too late.