The Daily Flash -Eco, Space, Tech (6/18)

013-F9_night_IMG_8591_640 SpaceX Lands $490 Million Satellite Launching Contract

It seems the commercial space industry in the U.S. is suddenly ablaze with activity. SpaceX has just announced a $492 million deal with Iridium to launch numerous satellites into orbit, and it's all thanks to the Falcon 9 rocket success. Iridium is the owner-operator of what it calls "the only truly global satellite communications" system for the public. It's the tech behind those satellite phones that news reporters sometimes use in particularly far-flung parts of the world. The company is busily setting up its next generation system, Iridium Next, which will rely on 72 800-kilo satellites flying around the globe in orbits at 780 kilometers. It's these satellites that SpaceX has just been chosen to loft into space, with several units riding in the nose cone of a Falcon 9 at once, in multiple launches between 2015 and 2017.

Tweet_utah A Tweet Too Far? Utah Firing Squad Execution Announced on Twitter

Earlier today, convicted killer Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed by a Utah firing squad; the first execution of its kind in the United States in 14 years. Shortly before that, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff announced it with a couple of tweets.One of them read: “I just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner’s execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims.” Earlier, he tweeted: “A solemn day. Barring a stay by Sup Ct, & with my final nod, Utah will use most extreme power & execute a killer. Mourn his victims. Justice.” Were these tweets really necessary? For the most part, the 140-character messages about death, devoid of any emotion, did not sit well with many Twitter users.


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