Jun 8, 2021

Jeff Bezos set to fly to space in Blue Origin flight

Technology
JeffBezos
BlueOrigin
space
2 min
Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark will be on board the New Shepard vehicle's first crewed flight to space on 20 July

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, will be flying to space on the first crewed flight of the New Shepard, the rocket ship made by his space company, Blue Origin. He will be joined by his brother, Mark Bezos, and the winner of an online auction Blue Origin is hosting, which currently stands at $2.8 million as the highest bid for that seat.

The final phase of the auction, set for June 12, will include live online bidding from remaining participants who bump their existing bid to match the high offer. The flight is scheduled for July 20th, "Ever since I was five years old, I've dreamed of travelling to space," Bezos, said in an Instagram post.

According to Blue Origin's website, the company plans to launch its passengers more than 100km (62 miles) above the Earth's surface, allowing them to experience microgravity. The six-berth capsule will return to Earth under parachutes.

Named after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space, New Shepard is Blue Origin’s reusable suborbital rocket system designed to take astronauts and research payloads into space.

What is Blue Origin? 

Blue Origin is a privately funded aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company, founded in 2000 by Jeff Bezos. The company has the vision of enabling a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth.

Blue Origin believes, in order to preserve Earth, that humanity will need to expand, explore, find new energy and material resources, and move industries that stress Earth into space. The company is working on this by developing partially and fully reusable launch vehicles that are safe, low cost and serve the needs of all civil, commercial and defence customers.

They have been flight testing the New Shepard rocket and its redundant safety systems since 2012. According to the company, the programme has had 15 successful consecutive missions including three successful escape tests, showing the crew escape system can activate safely in any phase of flight.

Both New Shepard and New Glenn (an orbital launch vehicle), have been designed with reusability in mind. Their vertical take-off, vertical landing architecture enables Blue Origin to reuse the first stage of the launch vehicles with minimal refurbishment. Both vehicles have throttleable liquid-fueled engines, that allow for precision landing back on the landing platform.

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

AWS
NASCAR
3 min
Customer obsession and working backwards from the customer is a mantra of Amazon Web Services (AWS), epitomizing its partnership with NASCAR

AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”

AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”

Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”

Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”

Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using  ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”

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