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SpaceX Launched The First All-Civilian Crew

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We said that civilians are not ready for space travel. SpaceX disagrees. 

On September 15, the very first all-civilian crew was launched into space on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, Resilience. Jared Isaacman, 38, Sian Proctor, 51, Hayley Arceaneaux, 29, and Chris Sembroski, 42 are the first civilians in space.

At 8:09 pm the first civilians launched. Within ten minutes, the amateur astronauts reached orbit. Within three hours, they had reached their final cruising orbital altitude, just over 363 miles. 

That’s higher than the International Space Station and the soon-to-be-replaced Hubble Telescope. It’s also the furthest any human has flown from Earth since NASA’s Apollo moon program ended in 1972

One Small Step for Man…

Isaacman, Shift4 Payments CEO and crew leader of what is called Inspiration4, read a statement as SpaceX cheered. He thanks those who helped make the journey: 

Right to the doorstep of an exciting and unexplored frontier, where few have come before and many are about to follow. The door is open now, and it’s pretty incredible.” 

This is the debut space tourism flight sparked by the “billionaire space race.” Of all three billionaires, Musk is the one making space tourism work as an enterprise. 

And his company, SpaceX, has the full support of NASA. In a Twitter post they wrote: 

“#Inspiration4 embodies our vision for a future in which private companies can transport cargo and people to low Earth orbit. More opportunities to fly = more opportunities for science.” 

Isaacson never disclosed how much he paid for the four seats. TIME magazine has them priced at $200 Million. 

That’s a lot of space cheddar. 

Doing It For The Children

This is an opportunity for Isaacson to promote the charity St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

They have satellites offering WiFi across the world, and they have major contracts with NASA (for which Bezos’ Blue Origin company is suing). Inspiration4’s flight is also significantly longer than both Bezos and Branson’s flights combined. 

These four civilians, Isaacman, Proctor, Arceneaux, and Sembroski, spent five months in rigorous preparation including: 

  • Altitude fitness
  • Centrifuge (G-Force)
  • Microgravity and Simulator training
  • Emergency Drills
  • Classroom work
  • Medical Exams

An Historic Spaceflight

None of the civilians will actually be in control of the Crew Dragon. Instead, ground-based flight teams and onboard guidance systems will be in control.

The amateur astronauts will perform a series of medical experiments. With the goal of applying them to human health on Earth and potential future spaceflights. 

The SpaceX Inspiration4 spaceflight will likely not be like future space tourism flights. The training and the experiments involved mean space tourism probably isn’t for a few years. It does, however, feel closer than ever.

This flight proves that SpaceX is a very serious player. Between their WiFi satellites, Starlink, and the mission to Mars, SpaceX is making major strides in space.

We look forward to seeing a lot more from SpaceX in the future as they continue to blow our minds. 

The historic SpaceX flight is currently in orbit and will last three days.

UPDATE: The Inspiration4 Crew has landed safely back on Earth at 7:07pm ET Saturday. Their mission was to study the human body and raise $200 Million for St. Jude’s Hospital.

Chris Blondell is a Philadelphia-based writer and social media strategist with a current focus on tech industry news. He has written about startups and entrepreneurs based in Denver, Seattle, Chicago, New Haven, and more. He has also written content for a true-crime blog, Sword and Scale, and developed social media content for a local spice shop. An occasional comedian, Chris Blondell also spends his time writing humorous content and performing stand-up for local audiences.

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OpenStudio – Business Management All-In-One

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We all need a service that makes business easier, right? Managing your team, your finances, your documents, and your customers can be an arduous juggle. There are a few services out there that help businesses manage all of this. But have you heard of OpenStudio? No? Well, allow us to make a proper introduction. 

OpenStudio helps you centralize all the applications and services you may need in order to run a business. 

Some of the top features offered by OpenStudio are necessary in order to run a business but haven’t necessarily been rolled into one package. Things like IT Protocol/Document Management create a shared workspace to save your important documents for future consultation. 

Or perhaps you may find the Permissions and Authorization Management feature useful. You can decide which permissions and applications every member can access. 

OpenStudio offers the following services: 

  • Surveys
  • Content Management
  • Task Management
  • Ticketing
  • Alerts
  • Document Management
  • File Sharing

There are other similar services, but none of them are as neatly packaged and formatted as OpenStudio. Running a business doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need should be at your fingertips. A custom environment to manage your team, your finance, your documents, and your customers? Sign us up.

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Archbee Is Here To Centralize Your Company Data

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If you could describe Archbee in two words they would be: “documentation specialist.”

Founded in 2018 with $1 million in funding. Archbee is a knowledge base platform for technical teams to create, structure, and share documentation internally and to customers. 

The software provides a set of customized tools for software developers. This enables everyone in the business to organize key information and intelligence in a single hub. That’s a benefit of colleagues and customers, both present and future. 

Meet Dragos

In an interview with Forbes, founder and CEO of Archbee, Dragos Bulugean stated: 

We are talking about the knowledge that makes your business what it is. Archbee is meant to be the one-stop-shop for the documentation needs of software companies.”

“Businesses are in a rush to create products, launch them faster, and be the first to market. An important part of creating a product is its catalog or index – in essence, the ‘how to’ guide.’”

“It is this often neglected task that Archbee is making it easier to create. It is not just a product manul but a central knowledge base and the true front of knowledge which is making an impact on commercial metrics – helping improve onboarding time for customers, reducing the number of support tickets and, importantly, making the products understood by users.”

“We’re focused on helping any company that builds software to create collaborative spaces which are accessible to all and easy to use.” 

This long-awaited platform offers editing, document collaboration, Slack integration, file storage, and other related services. These features, in turn, enable engineers to disseminate real-time information about planning on their construction team. 

When you have a software as innovative as Archbee, it frees time up for developers and engineers. That way they’re able to spend more time in “deep-work” mode and solve more challenging problems that require full attention. 

In short, with Archbee, you can centralize all of your information in one place.

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Meet The World With Memrise

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All over the world, around 60-75% of people speak at least one language. People who speak more than one language report improved memory, problem-solving, critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration, and more. So, if you speak more than one language, you essentially have an improved brain. If you want to join this crowd, Memrise may be the most effective option out there. 

One of the things that had kind of caught my attention was that psychology around how we learn languages.

Ben Whatley, Co-Founder and CPO of Memrise, learned French the way most of us learn a second language. We’re given the rules of the language, the grammar, how to speak properly. But there’s a flaw in that approach. 

I would go to France and I couldn’t speak a word. I wanted to understand why that was.

“That was a light bulb moment.”

The way we’re taught language is from the left brain perspective as opposed to the right. The left brain involves analytics, reading, and writing. The right brain involves creativity. If you need a metaphor to help you out, the left brain is the uptight, brilliant nerd and the right brain is the hippie-dippie artist.

Whenever you’re learning a language, you may often hear that the best way to learn is to immerse yourself in it. If you’re learning Spanish, spend a month in Mexico City. If you’re learning Japanese, take a trip to Tokyo. And so on. The grammatical approach to learning language has its value, but it’s the colloquial experience that truly helps imprint 

Whatley and fellow Oxford classmate, Ed Cooke, founded Memrise in 2010. Cooke, a Grand Master of Memory, had combined his skills with Whatley’s observations and ideas. They conceived of a new method of language learning. One more in line with immersion than grammar. 

We’ve been gradually and daringly evolving the product to bring more and more of the richness of real-world content into the course of our ongoing experience.” 

In 2016, we did a tour around Europe on a double-decker bus to collect a video dictionary of all the European languages. 

“Tens of thousands of short videos of native speakers [speaking] in context.

While other language learning apps like Duolingo or Babbel have computerized voices, Memrise has actual recorded voices.

That kind of got baked into our core algorithm – namely naturalistic accents, idioms, phrases as they’re spoken in the real world, not sort of in the kind of academic sense, but a kind of multi-dimensional learning.” – Cooke

Most everyone really wants when they’re learning a language is they’re learning it to connect with other people, to be able to read what other people mean and to be able to express themselves to other people.” – Whatley

Speaking Spanish to your teacher versus speaking to a coworker is notably different. Your teacher will have you say “poco” to mean “little” when your coworker will make fun of you for sounding too proper. Memrise would teach you that “poquito” is the casual way to say “little.” 

Memrise is disrupting the academic dominance of language learning by focusing more on practice than technique. How many native English speakers do you know that speak perfectly grammatical English? 

Let’s take “you all.” In the south, you’ll here “ya’ll.” But in Pittsburgh, you’ll hear “yinz.” Do you think ESL teachers are noting things like that? Probably not. Memrise, however, does focus on this more casual ways of speaking because they have a stronger understanding of how the human brain functions and how we communicate with one another. 

One interesting feature you’ll find with Memrise but not any other language learning app are Zoom conversations. These are free rooms where you can hop in and speak, say, Spanish with other people. Instead of traveling to Mexico City to immerse yourself in the Spanish language, you can log into Zoom and speak it with other speakers. 

It’s live person to person – it’s not a lesson. It is just about trying to use whatever language skills you’ve got in your in your bag. Just try and get it out there and use it, because that’s what happens when you are actually in a country.” – Whatley

The aspiration is to make it as fun as being in the country.” – Cooke

It’s never too late to learn a language. The pleasure of learning and speaking a new language is immeasurably rewarding. As Memrise says on their site, “learn and language and meet the word.”

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