Next Blue Origin Rocket Will Carry Two Microgravity Experiments

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company is planning to launch yet another round-trip rocket, but this time, it looks like the rocket will include a little something extra on board, namely a pair of microgravity experiments. It makes sense for Blue Origin’s scientists to take advantage of this unique opportunity to conduct these experiments, as microgravity is not exactly easy to simulate here on Earth. Each one of these experiments will make use of microgravity conditions in their own way. One of them is the Box of Rocks Experiment (BORE) created by the Southwest Research Institute, which aims to investigate what happens to rocky soil on small asteroids.

The other one is the Collisions Into Dust Experiment (COLLIDE), which was put together by a team of students from the University of Central Florida. This experiment will involve capturing video of a marble hitting a bed of dust in low gravity in order to see how the particles move. The setup required to execute and observe these experiments was provided by Nanoracks, which has previously worked on a series of NASA experiments. The news regarding these microgravity experiments was revealed by Jeff Bezos himself via Twitter.

You can have a look at the following videos in order to get a better idea of what these experiments are all about.

If Elected President Donald Trump Vows to Cause Amazon Problems

Donald Trump seems to thrive on controversy and has rapidly become the favourite candidate for the Republican nomination. Initially, political commentators dismissed Trump and believed it was only a matter of time before he exited the presidential race. However, whenever Trump makes shocking remarks no other politician would dream of, his popularity skyrockets. Please note as a technology website, we endeavour to leave any political inklings aside and report in a fair manner. During a recent speech, Trump discussed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his acquisition of The Washington Post.

Trump proclaimed:

“I have respect for Jeff Bezos, but he bought The Washington Post to have political influence, and I gotta tell you, we have a different country than we used to have,”

“He owns Amazon. He wants political influence so that Amazon will benefit from it. That’s not right. And believe me, if I become president, oh, do they have problems. They’re going to have such problems.”

This is a fairly worrying statement and suggests Trump wants to impose penalties on Amazon for his bitter dispute with founder Jeff Bezos. Perhaps this is just posturing and Trump’s attempt to publicly embarrass Jeff Bezos. Some of you might remember, Jeff Bezos posted a tweet offering Trump a reserved seat on the Blue Origin rocket. This is quite a rare occurrence and Bezos only has 15 total tweets to his account. Clearly, Trump believes Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post sorely for political gain to enhance Amazon’s influential position as a retail giant. Of course, this will only matter if Trump wins the Republican nomination and then ends up victorious during the presidential campaign. It’s not beyond the realms of fantasy though and Trump has already made warnings against Apple’s use of non-American workers.

Amazon isn’t the most reputable of companies because of tax avoidance behaviour and evidence of poor working conditions. Employees work under extreme stress and every packaged item is monitored. This can be devastating for morale, and applies so much pressure. It’s even been argued that Amazon’s working conditions can exacerbate underlying mental health problems.

Image courtesy of Forbes.

Watch Blue Origin’s Rocket Landing from Vehicle’s POV!

The internet seems to love the videos of the technically amazing Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launching and landing again and we’ve seen quite a few videos of this and enjoyed them all. However, there’s one more angle you won’t have seen yet, as the team have released a point of view video from the rocket that gives you an awesome new look at the landing.

Blue Origin is led by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who released a Vine of the second landing attempt which took place on January 22nd (video below). The shot was created using a camera which was mounted on the vehicle’s booster. The video (at the bottom of the this page) is only six seconds long, but keep in mind that this is because it was sped up from its normal speed. In the video, you can see New Shepard descend towards the launch pad, then deploy its legs, before landing a perfect propulsive landing technique.

This is an amazing technical achievement that simply cannot be understated. Not only did they launch the rocket into space and land it safely back on Earth, the most recent launch was the very same rocket, showing that their plans for a reusable rocket is making great progress. The project is destined to be a reusable rocket that can take passengers into sub-orbital space, where they’ll experience four minutes of weightlessness and if that’s not cool enough, they’ve got plans for bigger rockets already in the works.

The team is clearly making great progress, and with Space X and Virgin Galactic, to name but a few, all working on pushing new innovations to the world of space travel, the next few years are going to be extremely exciting.

Check out the video of the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket landing below and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Amazon CEO Dismisses Criticism of Company’s Working Enviroment

Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon has strongly refuted claims by the New York Times which described Amazon’s working conditions as deplorable and could result in psychological breakdowns. For example, Bo Olson, who worked in books marketing said,

“Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk.”

Bezos doesn’t recognise the portrayal of Amazon in the New York Times article and released a thorough statement to employees:

“Dear Amazonians,

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to give this (very long) New York Times article a careful read:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html

I also encourage you to read this very different take by a current Amazonian:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/amazonians-response-inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-nick-ciubotariu

Here’s why I’m writing you. The NYT article prominently features anecdotes describing shockingly callous management practices, including people being treated without empathy while enduring family tragedies and serious health problems. The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day. But if you know of any stories like those reported, I want you to escalate to HR. You can also email me directly at jeff@amazon.com. Even if it’s rare or isolated, our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero.

The article goes further than reporting isolated anecdotes. It claims that our intentional approach is to create a soulless, dystopian workplace where no fun is had and no laughter heard. Again, I don’t recognize this Amazon and I very much hope you don’t, either. More broadly, I don’t think any company adopting the approach portrayed could survive, much less thrive, in today’s highly competitive tech hiring market. The people we hire here are the best of the best. You are recruited every day by other world-class companies, and you can work anywhere you want.

I strongly believe that anyone working in a company that really is like the one described in the NYT would be crazy to stay. I know I would leave such a company.

But hopefully, you don’t recognize the company described. Hopefully, you’re having fun working with a bunch of brilliant teammates, helping invent the future, and laughing along the way.

Thank you,

Jeff”

Now both sides of the story have been publicly revealed, it’s virtually impossible to know the inner workings of Amazon without becoming an employee. Although, a documentary from the BBC shows insider footage as an undercover journalist experiences the Amazon workload. I would highly recommend watching the video, despite its poor quality as it really is quite shocking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4aRz7NqTOo

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.