Friday, March 19, 2021

NOAA weather satellite breaks into 16 pieces in Earth orbit

The U.S. Space Force's 18th Space Control Squadron (18 SPCS) has confirmed the breakup of NOAA 17 which was formally decommissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2013 following an 11 year on-orbit operating life.

Data indicates the breakup likely occurred March 10,” the Space Force said in a post on Twitter. The 18 SPCS is tracking approximately 16 pieces, which are being incorporated into routine conjunction assessment to support spaceflight safety. There is no indication that this breakup was caused by a collision with another object, Space Force officials said. NOAA 17 was launched into orbit in 2002.

A similar event happened in November 2015 when the U.S. military's Joint Space Operations Center investigated the breakup of the NOAA 16 weather satellite.

New Alaska Airlines seasonal service between Anchorage and Minneapolis-St. Paul

Alaska Airlines announced Friday new seasonal service at one of the airline's key hubs in Alaska with new nonstop service between Anchorage and Minneapolis-St. Paul. This additional nonstop flight means Alaska Airlines will provide the most nonstops from the state of Alaska than any other carrier.

The new service to the Land of 10,000 Lakes is in addition to the newly added nonstop service between Anchorage and Las Vegas, Denver and San Francisco, along with the expansion of year-round service to sunny Phoenix and Maui.

This summer, Alaska will fly nonstop to 11 destinations between Anchorage and the Lower 48 and Hawaii including: Minneapolis-St. Paul; Chicago; Denver; Honolulu; Maui; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Phoenix; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco and Seattle. Four of the cities on the West Coast are also Alaska hubs, which allow for improved connectivity for guests traveling to other locations.

Introductory one-way fares between Anchorage and Minneapolis-St. Paul start at $98, and one-way fares between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Anchorage begin at $99. The new service starts June 19.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

BetRivers sports betting app not up to high-quality standards; improvements coming

BetRivers will release an upgraded version of their iOS sports betting app next month, the company said in an email to users Thursday.

“We’re extremely appreciative of the feedback that our players have provided, we’ve listened carefully, and we’re excited that improvements are coming soon to our product offering,” the company said. “To be honest, our current iOS app in Virginia is not up to the high-quality standards we normally pride ourselves on. However, we wanted to share that next month, we will be releasing an upgraded version of the BetRivers iOS app that will significantly improve your experience.”

Users will notice improved site navigation, usability, and performance, less reloading, shorter transition times between screens, and more.

“While the timeline for needed approvals and launch hasn’t been confirmed yet. for our bettors with Android devices we anticipate that we launch our Android app in the Google Play Store soon,” BetRivers said.

BetRivers opened for sports betting in Virginia on Jan. 27.

Helicopter test flight on Mars no earlier than first week of April

NASA will hold a media briefing Tuesday to discuss upcoming activities for the agency's Ingenuity Mars helicopter. The teams operating Ingenuity and NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover have chosen the flight zone where the helicopter will attempt the first powered, controlled flights on another planet.

Briefing participants include:

  • Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters

  • Bobby Braun, director for planetary science, JPL

  • J. (Bob) Balaram, Ingenuity chief engineer, JPL

  • HÃ¥vard Grip, Ingenuity chief pilot, JPL

  • Farah Alibay, Perseverance integration lead for Ingenuity, JPL

Ingenuity's test flights are expected to begin no earlier than the first week of April. The exact timing of the first flight will remain fluid as engineers work out details on the timeline for deployments and vehicle positioning of Perseverance and Ingenuity.

The Perseverance rover – with Ingenuity attached to its belly – landed in Jezero Crater Feb. 18. Ingenuity is a technology demonstration with a limited test flight duration of up to 31 days. The rover will deploy the helicopter and provide environmental monitoring and imaging support. It also hosts Ingenuity's base station, enabling communication with mission controllers on Earth.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Daily nonstop Hawaiian Airlines flights to Ontario start in May for summer demand

Hawaiian Airlines inaugurated nonstop service to Honolulu from Ontario on Wednesday.

Hawaiian's Ontario-Honolulu service – which will be offered daily starting May 24 to meet summer demand – expands options for Greater Los Angeles residents who have enjoyed the airline's nonstop flights to the Hawaiian Islands from Los Angeles and Long Beach. Los Angeles became the carrier's first U.S. mainland gateway in 1985.

Guests boarding Hawaiians' inaugural flight to Honolulu received flower lei and were treated to Hawaiian music and dance. Flight HA73 departs Ontario at 9:05 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a 12:20 p.m. scheduled arrival time in Honolulu. The flight from Honolulu to Ontario, HA74, departs at 1:05 p.m. and arrives at 9:35 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Hawaiian, the nation's most punctual airline for 17 straight years, will service the ONT-HNL route with its modern Airbus A321neos, a quiet and fuel-efficient aircraft with 16 luxurious leather recliners in First Class, 44 Extra Comfort seats and 129 Main Cabin seats.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Golden Nugget and Bally's awarded permit to conduct sports betting in Virginia

Bally's Corp. announced Tuesday that it has been issued a temporary sports wagering permit to conduct online sports betting in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The temporary permit provides Bally's with significant opportunities to showcase its best-in-class sports betting platform.

Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc. (GNOG) also won one of the few coveted online sports gaming licenses to be awarded in Virginia and has been granted a temporary permit to commence online sports wagering in the State of Virginia. The company now has market access to 10 states, legislation and regulatory approvals permitting.

"We will be working hand in hand with the regulators over the next couple of months to complete all of the required and standard platform testing so that we will be in a position to start taking bets this summer,” said Thomas Winter, president of GNOG.

UPDATE - Penn Sports Interactive, LLC was also awarded a temporary permit for their Barstool Sportsbook app.

Star Air making a comeback with new destinations

COVID-19 has taken a toll on all the segments of industries around the globe. But India-based aviation service Star Air is making a comeback adding new destinations.

Post COVID lockdown, Star Air launched its scheduled flight services to three new destinations that include Surat, Nashik, Jodhpur and resumed its services to Tirupati as well.

Star Air is now gearing up its operations to expand its business horizon further, in cities like Nagpur and Jamnagar by April. Currently, it offers scheduled flight services to 13 Indian destinations that include Ahmedabad, Ajmer (Kishangarh), Bengaluru, Belagavi, Delhi (Hindon), Hubballi, Indore, Jodhpur, Kalaburagi, Mumbai, Nashik, Surat, and Tirupati. The company also provides charter services, backed by its fleet of Embraer ERJ145 aircrafts and Airbus helicopters.

Star Air was formed in January 2019.