Many in US won't return to gym or dining out: poll

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WASHINGTON — Much of the country remains unlikely to venture out to bars, restaurants, theaters or gyms anytime soon, despite state and local officials across the country increasingly allowing businesses to reopen, according to a new survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

That hesitancy in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak could muffle any recovery from what has been the sharpest and swiftest economic downturn in U.S. history. Just 42% of those who went to concerts, movies, theaters or sporting events at least monthly before the outbreak say they’d do so in the next few weeks if they could. Only about half of those who regularly went to restaurants, exercised at the gym or traveled would feel comfortable doing so again.

Lynn Tanner, center, and her husband Ryan, bottom right, are served lunch at Busy Bee Cafe Thursday, May 21, 2020, in Ventura, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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About a quarter of Americans say someone in their household has lost a job amid that downturn, and about half have lost household income, including layoffs, pay cuts, cut hours or unpaid time off. The majority of those whose household suffered a layoff still believe they will return to their previous employer, but the share expecting their job will not return has risen slightly over the past month, to 30% from 20%.

Amber Van Den Berge, a teacher in Indiana, held off on immediately returning to her second job as a fitness instructor. She would need to pass a test for COVID-19, get her temperature checked each morning and lead class while wearing a protective mask.

“Wear a mask to teach a fitness class? I’m not ready for that,” said Van Den Berge, 39.

The speed and strength of any economic rebound could be thwarted because many fear the risk of new infections. Consumers make up roughly 70% of U.S. economic activity, so anything less than a total recovery in spending would force many companies to permanently close and deepen the financial pain for 39 million people who have lost jobs in roughly the past two months.

Forty-nine percent of Americans approve of how President Donald Trump is handling the economy, the poll shows. That has slipped over the last two months, from 56% in March. Still, the issue remains a relative positive for Trump, whose overall approval rating stands at 41%.

President Donald Trump speaks at Ford’s Rawsonville Components Plant Thursday in Ypsilanti, Mich. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

TACO BELL TO MAKE 30K CORONAVIRUS HIRES THIS SUMMER

Trump has at times downplayed the threat of the coronavirus and the benefits of testing and has criticized the leadership of Democratic governors. Meanwhile, many Democratic lawmakers have insisted on the importance of containing the disease and sustaining the economy with federal aid.

Greg Yost, a Republican from Rockaway, New Jersey, says he wishes the president would defer more to medical experts, rather than speak off the cuff. But he added that he thinks Trump believes he must defend himself against personal attacks.

“He’s between a rock and a hard place,” Yost said.

But ShyJuan Clemons, 45, of Merrillville, Indiana, says Trump has made the fallout from the pandemic worse by initially denying its dangers and failing to display much empathy for those hurt by the coronavirus.

“Even my cat knows that he’s terrible,” said Clemons, referring to his 14-year-old Siamese mix, Shinji.

Clemons works with special needs people and worries about his hours if Indiana — starved of tax revenues because of the disease — cuts its budget.

But it also shows how an atmosphere of political polarization may be feeding both an eagerness by some to return and a reluctance by others to resume their previous lifestyles.

Among those who did so at least monthly before the outbreak, Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to say they’d go to restaurants (69% to 37%), movies, concerts or theaters (68% to 28%), travel (65% to 38%) and go to a gym or fitness studio (61% to 44%).

After being closed for several weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, Chandler Fashion Center Mall welcomes back patrons with many social distancing guideline signs Sunday in Chandler, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

KEVIN HASSETT PREDICTS CORONAVIRUS JOB LOSSES WILL PEAK IN JUNE

Sixty-nine percent of those who regularly shopped in person for nonessential items before the outbreak, including majorities among both parties, say they’d be likely to wander malls and stores again. But Republicans are more likely to say so than Democrats, 82% to 61%.

Yost expressed no qualms about going out because he believes the economic damage from shelter-in-place orders will be worse than the deaths from the disease.

“What’s going to happen with depression, homelessness — a lot of other problems are going to arise because we shut down the economy?” said Yost, a vice president of operations at an insurance agency. “I would go to a restaurant and feel comfortable with my kids and not even have masks on.”

Still, there's an exception to the partisan divide, with 76% of Republicans and 69% of Democrats who get haircuts on at least a monthly basis saying they’d do that in the next few weeks if they could.

The poll finds an overwhelming majority of Americans, 70%, describe the economy as poor, but their outlook for the future is highly partisan. Sixty-two percent of Republicans expect improvement in the coming year, while 56% of Democrats say it will worsen.

At the same time, two-thirds of Americans say their personal finances are good, which has remained steady since before the outbreak began.

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Many families have been able to survive the downturn because of aid such as direct payments to taxpayers and expanded unemployment benefits that will expire in July.

Mitchell Durst, 74, has watched the job losses from the sidelines as a retired mathematician in Keyser, West Virginia.

He was already cautious about going out because of a compromised immune system from cancer treatments. The disease stopped his weekly poker game. He lived through the polio crisis, dealt with gas rationing during the 1970s and worked in Nigeria during the Ebola scare.

He calculates the United States will need to be patient about an economic comeback.

“Until we have a vaccine, particularly for those folks at risk, it’s going to be awhile,” Durst said. “If we get something in two years, if we’re so fortunate to be able to do that, I think that would be fantastic.”

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The AP-NORC poll of 1,056 adults was conducted May 14-18 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

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US military's mystery space plane rockets back into orbit

Space Force launches secretive X-37B space plane back into orbit for its sixth flight after mission details were revealed for the first time – and is not expected to return home until 2022

  • It’s the sixth flight of an X-37B, a solar-powered plane that’s flown by remote control without a crew 
  • Officials aren’t saying how long the spacecraft will remain in orbit this time 
  • But the previous mission lasted a record two years and each mission has been progressively longer 
  • A military official had earlier shared the craft’s agenda with the public for the first time ahead of its flight 

The U.S. military´s mystery space plane rocketed into orbit again Sunday, this time with an extra load of science experiments.

It´s the sixth flight of an X-37B, a solar-powered plane that’s flown by remote control without a crew.

Officials aren’t saying how long the spacecraft will remain in orbit this time. But a senior vice president for X-37B developer Boeing, Jim Chilton, noted each mission has been progressively longer.

The previous mission lasted a record two years, with a touchdown shrouded in darkness at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center last year.

A military official had earlier shared the craft’s agenda with the public for the first time ahead of its orbital flight.

The X-37B, riding atop a liquid fueled Atlas V rocket,  is carrying a range of payloads for three different experiments.

The tests include converting the sun’s power into radio frequency microwave energy that can be transmitted to Earth and power different facilities, including military posts.

Along with harnessing power from the sun, the plane is also set to evaluate the reaction of materials in space and the effect of radiation on seeds for NASA. 

The U.S. military´s mystery space plane rocketed into orbit again Sunday, this time with an extra load of science experiments. It´s the sixth flight of an X-37B, a solar-powered plane that’s flown by remote control without a crew

Officials aren’t saying how long the spacecraft will remain in orbit this time or the purpose of the mission. But a senior vice president for X-37B developer Boeing, Jim Chilton, noted each mission has been progressively longer

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Sunday, May 17, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The mission’s primary payload is the X-37B spaceplane

In this file photo released by the US Air Force, the Air Force’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission 4 lands at NASA ‘s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida, on May 7, 2017

This May 5 shows the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle for the USSF at Cape Canaveral, Florida

The winged spacecraft resembles NASA´s old shuttles, but is just one-quarter the size at 29 feet long. The one just launched features an extra compartment for experiments, including several for NASA and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, making it the biggest science load yet for an X-37B.

The Air Force has two of these reusable space planes. Their home base is a former space shuttle hangar at Kennedy.

‘You could say that the X-37B stands on the shoulders of the space shuttle,’ Chilton said. ‘From a common shape to a common home.’

Since the first flight in 2010, the secretive space planes had logged a combined 2,865 days in orbit as of Sunday.

‘If you add up all the missions, just under eight years in orbit and 1 billion miles, so a lot of traveling by this machine,’ Chilton said during the launch broadcast.

Delayed a day by bad weather, this marked just the second rocket launch for the newly established Space Force. In March, it hoisted a national security satellite.

United Launch Alliance, which provided the Atlas V rocket, declared success 1 1/2 hours after liftoff. It dedicated Sunday’s launch to the health care workers and others who are working on the front lines of the pandemic.

The company said it followed health advice for the launch. Many of the flight controllers wore masks and were spread out.

Precautions were less evident along area causeways, where spectators parked to watch the Atlas soar. Thick, low clouds spoiled the show.

The Cape Canaveral Air Force Station has an exceptionally fast turnaround for its next launch.

Before dawn Tuesday, SpaceX will attempt to launch another batch of its Starlink satellites for global internet service. It will be SpaceX’s last flight before its first astronaut launch, scheduled for May 27 from next-door Kennedy Space Center.  

The space plane lifted off on top of an Atlas V rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at around 9.15am

United Launch Alliance, which provided the Atlas V rocket, declared success 1 1/2 hours after liftoff. It dedicated Sunday’s launch to the health care workers and others who are working on the front lines of the pandemic

This pilotless craft has been performing a range of classified missions for the military group since 2010, allowing the group to test new technologies in space. 

The Air Force has two X-37Bs that are swapped while one is undergoing refurbishment. Powered by solar cells with lithium-ion batteries, the plane was orbiting at around 200 miles high. 

The first mission in 2010 lasted 224 days, the second a year later went on for 468 days and the mission that ended in 2019 lasted a total of 780 days.

‘This program continues to push the envelope as the world’s only reusable space vehicle,’ Randy Walden, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office director, said in an earlier statement.   

WHAT IS THE X-37B SPACE PLANE?

The U.S. Air Force’s unmanned X-37B space plane looks similar to Nasa’s space shuttle but is much smaller. 

The space plane is 29 feet (8.8 metres) long, 9.6 feet (2.9 metres) tall and weighs around 11,000 lbs. (4,990 kilograms).

It is orbiting at around 200 miles (320 kilometres) high. 

The U.S. Air Force’s unmanned X-37B space plane looks similar to Nasa’s space shuttle but is much smaller. The space plane is 29 feet (8.8 metres) long, 9.6 feet (2.9 metres) tall and weighs around 11,000 lbs. (4,990 kilograms) 

Officials have revealed few details about the OTV-5 mission (the aircraft’s fifth) but according to the Air Force, one on board OTV-5 payload is US thermal spreader which will test the longevity of electronics and heat pipes in the space environment.

The craft is powered by solar cells with lithium-ion batteries.

Four previous X-37B missions have been launched by United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rockets. 

Each time the unmanned space plane has carried a mystery payload on long-duration flights in Earth orbit.      

It’s the sixth flight of an X-37B, a solar-powered plane that’s flown by remote control without a crew

This May 5 photo shows an Atlas 5 rocket carrying the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle at Cape Canaveral

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If you like the locked-down US economy, you’ll love the Green New Deal

The cost of the left’s Green New Deal is so enormous most Americans were probably never able to appreciate its true magnitude. Now, thanks to the COVID-19 crisis, maybe they can.

Last year, a study co-authored by a former head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found the GND’s 10-year sticker price could top $93 trillion — a figure that sounds like Monopoly money.

But with America on lockdown and the economy shrinking (first quarter GDP fell nearly 5 percent and might plunge as much as 40 percent in the second), Congress has been swooping in with multitrillion-dollar rescues: $2.2 trillion in March and maybe another $1 trillion in the coming weeks.

Yet to pay for the Green New Deal, which presumed Democratic nominee Joe Biden calls a “crucial framework” for fighting climate change, Washington would have to triple those outlays — every year for a decade. (And the fiscal bloodletting wouldn’t end there.)

“The Green New Deal is clearly very expensive,” notes the American Action Forum study. Indeed, “the breadth of its proposals makes it daunting to assess.”

Plus, its expansion of “the federal government’s role in some of the most basic decisions of daily life” would “likely have a more lasting and damaging impact than its enormous price tag.”

Fact is, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other backers are basically calling for exactly the kind of economic shutdown the nation is now experiencing — only on an even larger scale.

While Americans today avoid air travel, for instance, the GND would essentially ban airplanes altogether. Gasoline cars, too. And anything else that burns fossil fuel.

Steak lovers would long for today’s virus-sparked meat shortages after the GND did away with flatulent cows.

And the tens of millions out of work thanks to the lockdown would be a pittance compared to those unemployed under the AOC plan, which offers “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work,” a fact sheet unveiled with it said.

The loss of freedoms under the GND would also surpass those lost under social distancing, as bureaucrats dictated how you lived, ate, traveled and worked.

Indeed, the sacrifices would have to be greater than now because even with the global economic shutdown, carbon emissions are projected to fall only 6 percent, while some analysts believe they need to drop close to 8 percent to beat climate change.

Advocates see the emissions dip as a bright side to the pandemic: “This is what ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’ looks like,” tweeted noted climate activist Eric Holthaus. “We’re doing it. It’s possible!”

Actually, it’s hard to see any bright side to the outbreak, but it does offer a useful taste of life under the GND — not one many Americans would care for.

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Lockdown splash out: British brothers dig rainwater swimming pond

HOOK, England (Reuters) – Two British brothers got so bored by the coronavirus lockdown that they are digging an 8-metre (26 ft) rainwater swimming pond in their parents’ back garden.

Adam Horton, 19, and his brother Edward, 15, came up with the idea a year ago but never had the time to dig out the 50 tonnes of earth for the pond.

The coronavirus lockdown changed all that.

“We are building a swimming pool in our back garden, but it’s a swimming pond so it’s natural fresh water and we are going to have plants and stuff growing around in the shallows here,” Adam Horton told Reuters from inside the hole.

“When lockdown came around we had loads of time on our hands – it was the perfect opportunity to get it done,” said Horton.

They have dug all day every day for a week for the pond which will be 4 metres wide, 2 metres deep at the jumping end and 1.2 metres at the shallow end. It doesn’t have a traditional mechanical or chemical filter but plants will keep it clean.

The giant rectangular pond – as yet without rainwater – now scars the lush green lawn of the garden near Hook, about 50 miles west of London. A puzzled Boxer dog named Floyd looks on.

Why did their parents allow it?

“I’ll be honest: I didn’t let my children do it,” said their father, Jon Horton, 49. “My wife did.”

“I said ‘no’ to it because of the work that would be involved. But they convinced me, they changed my mind,” he said with a smile. “They have really impressed me.”

Edward Horton said it should be ready by the start of July.

“Last summer it was really hot and I just wanted a swimming pool and I said to Adam that we should build one,” he said.

“We spoke to Mum and Dad about it and Dad didn’t really want to do it but we managed – he let us do it in the end.”

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Argentina's famed steakhouses adapt to life under lockdown

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – On the tree-lined streets outside Buenos Aires steakhouse Don Julio in the trendy neighborhood of Palermo, diners are used to joining snaking lines to get a coveted table at the restaurant as evening falls.

But since a strict nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 20 to slow the spread of the coronavirus, it is having to adapt. Don Julio has converted into a high-end butcher shop, with plans to roll out street food.

Pablo Rivero, the owner of Don Julio, said the aim was to keep alive the atmosphere and feeling of the corner grill, or ‘parrilla’ – a concept that is a key part of Argentine culture and as ubiquitous and emblematic of Buenos Aires as a cafe in Paris or local London pub.

“We are not going to lose it, so it is a question of finding a way of getting through this,” he said.

Argentines have been told to stay at home, unless they are a key worker or are buying groceries or other essentials.

That has meant restaurants and cafes have been closed, while small local bakeries, grocers and butchers remain open.

“Certainly the idea of ​​the butcher shop is to give people a shade of Don Julio,” said Rivero. He said they would not do cooked food delivery because it was hard to maintain quality, though they are accelerating a plan to sell street food.

“This way we can engage people in something that can represent an income until activity restarts,” he said, adding that his 100 employees were still working during the lockdown in the butcher shop or helping remodel the restaurant.

Gaston Riveira, the head of another of the capital city’s top parrillas, La Cabrera, said the sector was going through a tough time under the lockdown, which has been extended to at least May 24.

“We are in a difficult moment because there is no tourism and Argentines are not going out because of the quarantine,” he told Reuters. He said the restaurant had “transformed into a food factory” doing deliveries on a reduced menu.

Deliveries in aluminum trays and covered pots come with instructions on how to ensure the food is as close to restaurant quality as it can be.

“We try to make it as similar as possible,” he said, adding that a lot of the cuts offered come on the bone, which helps maintain the temperature and “juiciness.”

The global coronavirus pandemic has hit international demand for Argentine beef more broadly, with many restaurants shuttered from Asia to Europe, said Mario Ravettino, president of Argentina’s meat exporters group.

Some companies were freezing merchandise, he added, while “other firms are turning to the domestic market, which is extremely dynamic and the situation is changing day by day.”

Francisco Palazzo, a 28-year-old who lives with his girlfriend in Buenos Aires, said it was important for people to be able to get a taste of normality. Before the lockdown, he usually ate an ‘asado’ mixed grill three times a week.

Recently, he said he bought some cooked meat, sausage, and black pudding from a parrilla near his apartment that was now doing take-out.

“It was late and it made us want to eat an asado and continue with our old habits,” he said. “What is more you can also contribute to that business, which has really great meat – just doing the little bit you can.”

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Swedish pop-up restaurant fights coronavirus one guest at a time

RANSATER, Sweden (Reuters) – A coronavirus-resistant restaurant in a meadow in Sweden with just one table and one chair has welcomed its first guest.

The pop-up restaurant named Bord for En – Table for One in English – has no waiters and the food is delivered to the table in a basket from the kitchen window via a pulley system.

Upon arrival, the guest is guided to the table by another rope that leads into the meadow. “Once the rope ends, there’s the chair and the table,” chef Rasmus Persson said, adding that the first basket to arrive at the table would carry a drink.

Persson, who founded the restaurant with his partner Linda Karlsson, said they had the idea when her parents came to visit in March and he prepared a table for them outside and served a meal through a window.

“I think one of the things many of us miss the most in these times is travelling,” Persson said. “Since we can’t geographically travel far I think at least by our minds we can travel and one of the best methods of having an inner travel, at least I think so, is by food and nature.”

Restaurants in Sweden have, unlike in many other countries, been allowed to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic provided they observe social distancing guidelines.

The solo restaurant is fully booked through May while some slots are still available in June and July and they have weather protection for rainy days, Karlsson said.

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US Military reveals details of X-37B space plane for the first time

US Military reveals mission details of secretive X-37B space plane for the first time ahead of orbital flight where it will carry out research on space radiation and microwave energy

  • The X-37B space plane is set to go on its sixth mission on May 16 from Florida 
  • The Air Force has never revealed the plane’s agenda – until now
  • X-37B will carry payloads to convert the sun’s energy so it can be sent to Earth
  • It will also evaluate the affects low orbit has on samples and seeds for NASA 

The US Air Force and Space Force have kept a tight lid on their mysterious space plane, but a military official has shared the craft’s agenda with the public for the first time ahead of its orbital flight this month.

The X-37B is set to take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, riding atop a liquid fueled Atlas V rocket on May 16 carrying a range of payloads for three different experiments.

The tests include converting the sun’s power into radio frequency microwave energy that can be transmitted to Earth and power different facilities, including military posts. 

Along with harnessing power from the sun, the plane is also set to evaluate the reaction of materials in space and the effect of radiation on seeds for NASA.

Scroll down for video 

The US Air Force and Space Force have kept a tight lid on their mysterious space plane, but a military official has shared the craft’s agenda with the public for the first time ahead of its orbital flight this month (pictured is the craft returning home from its 2019 mission) 

This pilotless craft has been performing a range of classified missions for the military group since 2010, allowing the group to test new technologies in space.

This month’s launch will mark the sixth mission of X-37B, which is set to spend more than two years in space.

The mission, dubbed OTV-6, is set to take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said during a webcast hosted by the Space Foundation: ‘The Air Force’s Rapid Capability Office has combined forces with the Air Force Reserve Research Lab and now the US Space Force to execute a mission that maximizes the X-37B’s unique capabilities.’

OTV, which stands for ‘Operational Test Vehicle’, entails the Air Force launching a 29-foot long X-37B robotic mini-shuttle into low-orbit in order to test new technologies 

‘This important mission will host more experiments than any prior X-37B flight, including two NASA experiments.’

‘One is a sample plate evaluating the reaction of select significant materials to the conditions in space.’

‘The second studies the effect of ambient space radiation on seeds.’

‘A third experiment, designed by the Naval Research Laboratory, transforms solar power into radio frequency microwave energy, then studies transmitting that energy to Earth.’

The sample plate evaluation and seed experiments will gather data specifically for NASA, while converting the sun into microwave energy will be used to power military posts, as reported on by Business Insider. 

Although the Air Force owns the X-37B, the newly formed Space Force is responsible for launching, operating and landing the craft.

The Air Force has two X-37Bs that are swapped while one is undergoing refurbishment.

Powered by solar cells with lithium-ion batteries, the plane was orbiting at around 200 miles high.

The first mission in 2010 lasted 224 days, the second a year later went on for 468 days and the mission that ended in 2019 lasted a total of 780 days.   

The tests include converting the sun’s power into radio frequency microwave energy that can be transmitted to Earth and power different facilities, including military posts. Along with harnessing power from the sun, the plane is also set to evaluate the reaction of materials in space and the effect of radiation on seeds for NASA 

‘This program continues to push the envelope as the world’s only reusable space vehicle,’ Randy Walden, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office director, said in Sunday’s statement.

‘With a successful landing today, the X-37B completed its longest flight to date and successfully completed all mission objectives.

‘This mission successfully hosted Air Force Research Laboratory experiments, among others, as well as providing a ride for small satellites.’  

The Air Force is usually very secretive about what the spacecraft takes to orbit with, but made an exception in its last mission.

The military group also shared some details of the craft’s 2019 mission .

The group noted that the X-37B was carrying the Advanced Structurally Embedded Thermal Spreader built by the Air Force Research Laboratory.

According to the AFRL, the payload’s three primary science objectives are to measure the initial on-orbit thermal performance, to measure long-duration thermal performance and to assess any lifetime degradation.  

Five previous X-37B missions have been launched by United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rockets. Each time the unmanned space plane has carried a mystery payload on long-duration flights in Earth orbit 

Five previous X-37B missions have been launched by United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rockets.

Each time the unmanned space plane has carried a mystery payload on long-duration flights in Earth orbit.

‘The many firsts on this mission make the upcoming OTV launch a milestone for the program,’ Walden said at the launch last year.

‘It is our goal to continue advancing the X-37B OTV so it can more fully support the growing space community.’

WHAT IS THE X-37B SPACE PLANE?

The U.S. Air Force’s unmanned X-37B space plane looks similar to Nasa’s space shuttle but is much smaller. 

The space plane is 29 feet (8.8 metres) long, 9.6 feet (2.9 metres) tall and weighs around 11,000 lbs. (4,990 kilograms).

It is orbiting at around 200 miles (320 kilometres) high. 

The U.S. Air Force’s unmanned X-37B space plane looks similar to Nasa’s space shuttle but is much smaller. The space plane is 29 feet (8.8 metres) long, 9.6 feet (2.9 metres) tall and weighs around 11,000 lbs. (4,990 kilograms) 

Officials have revealed few details about the OTV-5 mission (the aircraft’s fifth) but according to the Air Force, one on board OTV-5 payload is US thermal spreader which will test the longevity of electronics and heat pipes in the space environment.

The craft is powered by solar cells with lithium-ion batteries.

Four previous X-37B missions have been launched by United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rockets. 

Each time the unmanned space plane has carried a mystery payload on long-duration flights in Earth orbit.      

Source: Read Full Article

Registrars wear PPE as they use emergency powers to marry couple and grant terminally ill groom’s dying wish – The Sun

REGISTRARS wore face masks as they used emergency powers to marry a couple and grant the groom's dying wish.

Desmond Codona, 59, told his three kids he wanted to marry their mum and his long-term partner Christine Meaney, 60, before he passed away after cancer docs said he had just weeks to live.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Eldest daughter Suzi contacted Middlesbrough’s Principal Registrar Dawn Galloway to see if she could arrange a wedding despite the current restrictions.

Weddings are currently suspended due to Coronavirus but emergency ceremonies can be conducted in exceptional circumstances.

Following a risk assessment, it was decided the emergency powers could be used to make the couple's dream come true.

Two days later Dawn and Deputy Principal Registrar Sarah Teece attended the couple’s home in Hemlington, Teesside, in full personal protective equipment to marry the couple.

Christine, 60, said: "They were absolutely exceptional. They put their lives on the line to do something really good and kind. We are over the moon that they could do it.

"Des has always wanted us to be married but the time has never been right.

“We are both on cloud nine. Des is absolutely buzzing it has really given him a lift. It has really picked him up and that has made me feel a lot better. It's given him a real boost."

Des added: "It's the best thing I've ever done.”

Principal Registrar Dawn said: "They are a lovely couple and we are really pleased that we were able to grant this wish and make it happen for them."


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US racing tips: Templegate's best bets for the meeting at Gulfstream on Sky Sports Racing on Thursday

GULFSTREAM PARK

6.00

MYFIRSTEXWIFE has been off for two months but that is her only negative and it’s not the biggest.

She comes down in class on the back of a good second over course and distance when she met trouble in running. Her trainer has a fantastic record when dropping his horses in grade and can land another winner with that tactic.

6.35

Wesley Ward is known as the juvenile king in the States and he will have both of his runners fit and ready to go on debut.

GEM THIEF could just have the edge over Tharos with top rider Irad Ortiz on board. The tip’s dam has a high strike-rate and she has been working well ahead of this first run.

Lyrical is another who has put in some decent trackwork and won’t lack for fitness. Her trainer is not known for first-time-out winners but keep an eye out for a market move.

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7.09

CHIC AND SEXY clocked a personal best on her first run for trainer Benny Cadahia when a close-up second here last time. She clocked a good time and is at home over today’s distance.

Take Charge Again has the perfect inside draw and can be forgiven a modest run last time when forced wide. She’s a threat, while Stormy Boss will be much happier back in a sprint after running out of petrol over a mile here latest.

7.41

GARNER STATE PARK comes from the top jockey and trainer team at the track and has shown lots of promise on her two runs so far. She has been just over a length off the winner each time and has already shown a liking for this turf track.

8.13

INDIAN COUNSELOR takes a fair drop in class and goes back on his favoured turf track. He won a much hotter race than this on grass three runs ago and his trainer has a high strike-rate at this level.

Digital Footprint is back from a break but was keeping better company than this at Aqueduct. He may need this unless the market speaks.

Bourbon Currency has a tricky draw but the booking of red-hot jockey Ortiz catches the eye.

8.45

CELTIC BROTHERHOOD has the plum inside draw and can make the most of it. He showed real promise when second on debut over course and distance last time. He has worked really well since then and is sure to take a step forward today.

9.17

FIBER OPTIC was backed off the boards before finishing third on her hat-trick bid here last time. It was still a good effort and she worked very sharply the other day.

Heir Ball was a place ahead of the tip latest and there won’t be much between them again, while Royally Cool will be happy dropping in trip on this comeback and is a threat.

9.48

NOWITNA RIVER came home with a rattle over a slightly shorter distance here last month. The line came too soon so this longer trip looks a wise move and her trainer does well with horses having their second run under his care as she does today.

10.19

AUGUSTA MOON has been knocking on the door and went mighty close again here last time. This slightly shorter distance should suit well and the booking of Luis Saez is a plus.

Sammie Sunshine has her sights lowered after a modest effort over six furlongs last time. She was better over this mile before than and is interesting going back on turf.

Bean Counter has been beaten as favourite on his past two runs including by just half a length here last time. Another bold bid is expected, while Avenida Manana was impressive in lesser company last time.

10.49

BOW TOWN CAT is coming back from a short break after a convincing victory at Parx in March. She has the ideal inside draw and is proven in today’s class. She has clocked some of the best times in the field and looks a fair price.

Flora Fantasy will be popular after a game victory here latest. She has moved to a trainer who boasts a 35% win record with horses having their first run for him.

Gioielli comes from the same stable and is making her debut so has that stat in her favour too. She looks the type to do better for this drop back in distance.

11.19

KITTEN’S CLOWN is bred to relish the turf track and has been showing plenty in his trackwork ahead of this debut. The yard has a good record in this lowly class and Tyler Gaffalione is a good jockey booking for an inexperienced horse.

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US racing tips: Templegate's best bets for the meeting at Gulfstream on Sky Sports Racing on Sunday

GULFSTREAM PARK

6.45

SIR CHUBBY has improved on his past couple of runs and enjoyed this turf track and distance when a close-up third last time. Today’s rider Irad Ortiz has been firing in the winners and can strike again.

Joe Benjamin was beaten in a head-bobber here last time and the extra half-furlong should help as he was in front yards past the line.

Guaco enjoyed stepping up to a mile on dirt here latest when finishing fourth. He could figure if repeating that effort back on the grass, while Fantastry was rusty on comeback latest and should go better today.

7.15

FLYING FINISH is an interesting newcomer with a top jockey booked for this debut. The yard has a 20% win record with sprinters and his dam has produced many winners at this level. This doesn’t look the strongest race and a market move would be telling.

Similar comments apply to Getthe Muny Bernie who worked well the other day ahead of this first run. He is bred to excel over this trip and is another to watch in the market.

Sir Kahn was a solid third last time and looks the pick of those with experience.

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7.46

CONGRATS THAT ran a cracker from stall 11 when beaten half a length over course and distance last time out. He showed plenty of early speed there and may have just paid the price for that in the final few yards where he was collared. He comes from the inside rail today so should have more petrol in the tank.

The form horses are drawn wide with Wild One Forever taking a fair drop in class while Hudson Overpass should find this easier than his sixth at Aqueduct latest. Poppy’s Destiny looked rusty on comeback latest and should be fitter today.

8.17

TOFFEN was impressive when winning here last month on just her second outing. It was all the better because she was forced wide before running on strongly to get the win. This is a tougher race but the trip suits and there’s more to come.

Tournesol can be forgiven one modest effort latest especially as she’s worked strongly since. She won on this track on debut and comes from a top jockey-trainer team.

Days Of Spring had plenty up his sleeve when scoring here last time. He stays in the same grade so will be right there again.

8.48

TOKEN clocked a good time when finishing second over slightly further last time out. She has worked really sharply since then and this drop back in trip should do the trick.

Estilo Talentoso has been second on all four runs including when not getting the best of runs here last time out. The blinkers go on today which could help get her head in front.

Guazza improved on her debut when beaten just over a length over six furlongs latest. He will go close if seeing out this longer distance and in-form Irad Ortiz is a good booking in the saddle.

9.21

HENNY’S TREASURE is dropping in class on the back of a close-up third on this turf track last time out. She came home with a real rattle but the line came too soon. She has a bit further to get going today and this easier grade should help.

Moon Eyes had little chance from out wide when sixth here latest and her trainer Michael Maker has been in good form this season.

For Kicks has a low strike-rate but wasn’t disgraced in fourth here latest when running on. She could hit the frame going back over her favourite distance from a good draw.

9.53

VELVET CRUSH goes up in class but with good reason after winning by more than eight lengths last time. She comes back from a break here but has worked well this week so should be fit and ready.

Boerne has won her past two races in great style including by seven lengths over six furlongs here latest. She’s another going up in grade but looks a nice prospect.

Spanish Point could be best of the rest after winning her first two runs before meeting traffic problems over this trip last time. This is a drop in class from that level.

10.25

SUPER COURAGE saves his best for Gulfstream and followed up a convincing win with a strong second last time. He was just collared on the line there and has worked really well since. He looks the one to beat.

Outshine has blinkers on today and boasts placed form in Graded company at his best. He made his turf debut here last time so has room for improvement on this surface.

Devoted Kitten usually hits the frame and ran well in similar contest last time. He likes this trip and the yard has a good record in this class of racing.

10.57

CORY GAL has been in flying form and has won her past two outings by five lengths each time. She could be drawn better but has loads of early speed so should have no problems getting across. She is more than capable of landing the hat-trick.

Aurelia Garland has a long absence to overcome but she has the prime inside stall and won as she liked in stronger company at Belmont on debut. She has left Wesley Ward since then but should figure.

Midtown Rose is a regular winner who went well here last time and is another to note.

11.29

DONJI battled well to win a stronger race than this last time so should be right there again. He goes well on this turf track and the yard has a good record when winnings come down in class — half of them win.

Keep Quiet is another having his sights lowered after running well at Fair Grounds. He has clocked some of the best times in this field.

Til The End will try to make the most of his stall two draw. He ran better than fifth place suggests here last time and has three course wins under his belt already.

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