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Move over, SpaceX. A disruptive new startup, Relativity Space, has boldly expressed its interest in competing against Elon Musk’s private space exploration company, which has recently been highlighted in the media for its continuous satellite constellation launches as a part of its Starlink global internet service.
Relativity Space specializes in 3D printing, rocket engineering, metallurgy, and related industrial endeavors. The startup is currently in the process of building its fully 3D-printed, reusable Terran 1 spacecraft, set to launch in January of next year. Terran 1 is the only rocket of its kind, using exclusively 3D-printed parts produced in the company’s proprietary Stargate factory. Relativity recently revealed that it is also engineering a second fully 3D-printed rocket, Terran R, with new manufacturing innovations that could outshine even SpaceX’s greatest feats.
Tim Ellis, an aerospace engineer recognized by TIME Magazine’s 100 Next list for up-and-coming globally influential figures and Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, founded Relativity Space in 2016. The fast-growing company, which now employs 230+ engineers, scientists, and other experts, has also recently partnered with NASA and the U.S. Air Force to develop its technologies for commercial and government use.
The clout behind Relativity Space, while impressive, is only a cosmetic facet of the startup’s achievements. Its true genius lies in its manufacturing technologies and methodologies.
To fully grasp how the Terran family differs from the various Falcon 9 models, it is important to understand some fundamentals of how the rockets work. These rocket families are made up of two components: first stage, and second stage. Both Terran 1 and Falcon 9 operate with a reusable first stage, which carries and deposits the payload before returning to earth, while the second stage detaches from the spacecraft and burns up in the atmosphere. A rocket’s maximum payload also determines the diversity of its use cases; the most recent Falcon 9 can deliver a payload of over 50,000 lbs, while the Terran 1 can only carry up to 2,755 lbs. Both can be produced in about two months, though the Terran 1 performs slightly better in the production time metric.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 is clearly the best choice in terms of ability and efficiency; however, the next model in Relativity’s Terran family could change the entire landscape of the space exploration economy.
The Terran R concept, which is already in its early development stages, will consist of reusable stage one and stage two components and carry a maximum payload of up to 44,000 lbs.
So far, SpaceX has failed to find an economically viable solution to create a fully reusable rocket. Ellis cites that traditional manufacturing techniques, such as those used by SpaceX and other space exploration enterprises, present significant challenges in economically and environmentally sustainable rocket manufacturing. The proprietary technology in Relativity’s Stargate factory, along with numerous alloys patented for use in both Terran rockets, make creating a fully reusable (and financially viable) spacecraft possible for the first time.
Though the Terran 1 still has just under a year before its initial launch, Ellis has stated that Relativity will release information about the Terran R rocket intermittently throughout 2021, adding that the existing large 3D printers in its Stargate factory can already begin manufacturing the new rocket — “The only change is software,” he said.
In addition to the company’s impressive plans for the Terran rockets, Ellis has also expressed a much larger vision for Relativity Space and its technologies.
“3D printing… is rewriting something that we don’t feel has fundamentally changed over the last 60 years,” he said. “It’s really bringing automation that replaces the factory fixed tooling, supply chains, hundreds of thousands of parts, manual labor… with something that I believe is needed for the future on Earth.”
The Relativity Space website reveals another important piece of its mission: “We believe in a future where interplanetary life fundamentally expands the possibilities for human experience. In realizing this audacious vision, our long-term goal is to upgrade humanity’s industrial base on Earth and on Mars.”
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More and More States are Looking to Provide Universal Broadband
Some states in America now see broadband internet as a universal right and are fighting to give it to all of their residents. And some of these states are now using the recently-passed American Rescue Plan as a way to do it.
In July of 2021, Virginia governor Ralph Northan announced a major plan that will expand broadband access to all Virginia residents by the year 2024. To make this plan a reality, Northam intends to use $700 million in federal funds set aside by the American Rescue Plan, which was passed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to assist citizens and states struggling to make ends meet. In total, more than $4 billion was promised to Virginia so Northam’s plan will just use a portion of the total sum.
Virginia isn’t alone in its quest to give all residents broadband access. Others such as Connecticut and the nation’s most-populated state, California, are promising to find ways to fund broadband for all. Connecticut’s plan is more comprehensive than California’s, with a goal of 2027 set in place. There is a good chance that more states will follow the lead created by these states as the demand for universal broadband becomes stronger and the need becomes more apparent.
In 2020, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia crated a report that found one in five Virginia students lacked high-speed internet or a computer at home. Broadband coverage has always been sparse in rural areas, with many residents unable to even pay for the service. The Coronavirus pandemic only highlighted the need for internet access for all citizens, as most were forced to work from home and all students were required to attend classes online. More and more people and politicians are beginning to speak out, stating that broadband access is a right that all Americans are entitled to.
With the 2022 mid-term elections beginning to loom over the American political landscape, the idea of creating broadband access for all Americans is becoming more and more popular, and will likely be a major debate point for politicians seeking office.
How Windows 365 Can Benefit Businesses
It’s no secret that Microsoft has been moving more towards digitizing many of their services. Xbox Cloud Gaming brings console gaming to a wider variety of users, lowering the barrier of entry and bringing the optimum experience to more devices. Now with the official upcoming release of Windows 365, Microsoft will again improve accessibility to one of their most popular services – Windows.
Windows 365 is the latest in cloud computing services (a development on their existing Azure) which allows anyone with app store or web browser access to be able to stream a full Windows 10/11 PC to their device. Laptops, tablets, phones, and even old PCs can act as a light client for the virtual PC (similar to a Virtual Machine), including Apple devices.
As a result, businesses all around the world can take advantage of the benefits provided by a consistent, cloud-accessible, and scalable solution for computing anywhere.
4 Major Benefits of Windows 365 for Business
Maintain a Uniform Experience Between Devices
One of the major problems resulting from the new hybrid workspaces that have developed as a result of COVID restrictions has been the inability to access work computers. Your company PC is likely to have all your work files, sufficient hardware, and the programs you need to do your job. But, you can’t always take your desktop home with you.
Windows 365 helps by creating a single virtual PC instance that maintains its state even when logged out. That means that if you leave something unfinished on your office PC, you can resume it directly from your laptop, tablet, or phone at home with the same resources available. No matter where it’s accessed from, Windows 365 provides a uniform experience to all devices.
Minimize Hardware Costs
Computer hardware advances quickly – and so do the expenses if you’re trying to stay up to date. All businesses need optimal performance from their hardware but it doesn’t make sense to replace computers regularly.
Windows 365 allows you to turn just about any device with a screen into a full-fledged Windows 10/11 PC. Old laptops, cell phones, and a variety of low-cost devices can act as mobile workstations without the investment it would take to achieve that performance with hardware.
On-Demand Performance Scaling
Do you ever wish you had more computer performance? Of course you do – and with Windows 365, you can get it with just a few clicks.
Businesses with Windows 365 accounts are able to assign resource plans to individual users that are part of their network. As long as a vacant subscription exists, administrators can change the plan tied to the user to something more powerful immediately. This unlocks more processing power and other resources, allowing for optimal performance when it is needed without hardware upgrades required.
Easy Onboarding of New Members
Whether you’re a growing startup or a seasonal business looking to bring in more help, onboarding with Windows 365 is as simple as ever.
To provide access to business files, resources, programs, and other important information, business owners can simply provide an account to the new employee on their network. They’ll immediately have access to a virtual business PC with everything they need – no dropbox, email attachments, or flash drives required.
SEC Arrives at Settlement with First American Financial Two Years After Breach of Data
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pressed charges against First American Financial, a real estate company, for failing to abide by disclosure requirements and procedures. The acts of non-compliance came after personal identifying customer information was breached in 2019, including social security numbers and financial data. First American was found to be liable for having immense vulnerabilities in their cybersecurity management, rendering them in violation of Rule 13a-15(a) of the Exchange Act.
Shockingly, First American’s information security team discovered said vulnerabilities months in advance of senior management’s response to the incident, but they did not comply with company policies by advising their superiors about it. First American initially learned of the mishap, which consisted of at least 800 million images being revealed unintentionally, when a cybersecurity journalist contacted them with the unfortunate news. Despite First American rapidly issuing a statement once leadership learned of the incident, they were penalized for the overall poor structure of compliance regarding security of their electronic data.
The severity of this incident was emphasized through statements reiterating that all of the confidential information accidentally leaked was within reach of anyone who had access to the internet. Furthermore, the company’s reputation took another huge blow when they were confronted with accusations of failing to implement a sufficient cybersecurity system by the New York State Department of Financial Services’ Cybersecurity Regulation in July of 2020.
Although First American did not outright admit to any wrongdoing, they accepted a cease and desist order and settled their mistakes by paying a $487,616 fine. First American expressed gratitude for the resolution that was reached, and they asserted that complying with disclosure mandates set forth by the SEC will continue to be a priority for them. The penalty imposed on First American for their faults is sure to set an example for their industry, especially considering they hold 21.07% of the market share and are one of four top mortgage title companies.