The quartet of newly minted citizen astronauts comprising the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission were due to splash down in the Atlantic off Florida on Saturday, completing a three-day flight of the first all-civilian crew ever launched into Earth orbit.
A 42-year-old data engineer on the first all-civilian astronaut crew to reach orbit made some spaceflight history on Friday, with a zero-gravity ukulele performance in a SpaceX capsule hundreds of miles above Earth's surface.
Taiwan's air force scrambled on Friday to warn away 10 Chinese aircraft that entered its air defence zone, Taiwan's defence ministry said, the day after the island announced a $9 billion boost to military spending to counter the threat from China.
The United States regrets France's decision to recall its ambassador from Washington and will continue to be engaged in the coming days to resolve differences between the two countries, a White House official said on Friday.
The United Kingdom acted in an opportunistic manner in the deal struck between the United States and Australia which ended a $40 billion submarine contract deal between Canberra and Paris, a French diplomatic source said on Friday.
Around 700,000 people in Myanmar are estimated to have lost internet access after attacks on telecommunication equipment run by Mytel, the partly army-controlled company said amid reports that dozens of its towers were damaged.
North Korea's state media accused the United States on Friday of double standards over military activities and pursuing a hostile policy towards Pyongyang that was hampering the restart of talks on the country's nuclear weapons and missile programmes.
A Russian crew of two cosmonauts and two cinema professionals is set to take off for the International Space Station (ISS) early next month to shoot the first movie in outer space, filmmakers said on Thursday.
As billionaire space enthusiasts blast off into space, the best most people can do is watch with envy. There is another way, however, to feel what it would be like to float in space like an astronaut at a mere $7,500 per person for a 90-minute trip. The Zero Gravity Experience allows adventurers to flip, float, somersault and hang upside-down in the hollowed-out cabin of a Boeing 727, said Zero G Corporation CEO Matt Gohd. When the modified G-Force One plane gets to an altitude of about 24,000 feet (7,300m), the pilots start to climb, and then push the plane over the top of a parabolic arc. That leaves passengers in free fall - they feel weightless for 20 to 30 seconds until the plane descends back to 24,000 feet. Pilots repeat the maneuver about 15 times during the flight.On Wednesday, a SpaceX rocket blasted off from Florida carrying billionaire e-commerce executive Jared Isaacman and three other people he chose in the first all-tourist crew to orbit Earth. It marked the debut flight of SpaceX owner Elon Musk's new orbital tourism business. Isaacman paid an undisclosed sum to fellow billionaire Musk for the flight; Time magazine has put the ticket price for all four seats at $200 million. Rival companies Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc and Blue Origin inaugurated their own private-astronaut services this summer, but those suborbital flights lasted just minutes. Zero G has been offering flights since 2004 and counts Virgin founder Richard Branson, Musk, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and physicist Stephen Hawking among its customers. This year, Gohd said there would be 65 to 70 flights. Amid the increased interest in space travel, Gohd expects that to rise to about 100 flights next year. "When people go up on the flight ... everybody's giggling," said Gohd about the feeling of weightlessness. "They've never felt anything like this. And they're like children again."
Some Afghan girls returned to primary schools with gender-segregated classes on Saturday, but older girls faced an anxious wait with no clarity over if and when they would be able to resume their studies at the secondary school level. This report produced by Jonah Green.
The Biden administration on Friday moved to revive an order put in place by then-President Donald Trump directing the expulsion of migrant families caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a day after a U.S. judge blocked it.