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Authorities allow Virgin Galactic to resume launches after mishap probe

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The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has closed its mishap investigation into the July 11 Virgin Galactic Unity 22 launch

The Virgin Galactic aircraft had deviated from its assigned airspace on its descent

The FAA stated that Virgin Galactic had implemented changes that the agency had required upon how it communicates during flight.

The authority then confirmed that the Richard Branson backed company will be allowed to resume operations.

The FAA investigation:

The government investigation found the Virgin Galactic spacecraft had deviated from its assigned airspace upon its descent from space and the company failed to communicate the deviation to the FAA as required.

Virgin Galactic confirmed earlier this month it was planning another SpaceShipTwo flight from New Mexico, Unity 23, pending technical checks and weather. That flight is to carry three crew from the Italian Air Force and National Research Council, it added.

Virgin Galactic confirmed the FAA had accepted the corrective actions it proposed

The space company include updated calculations to expand the protected airspace for future flights and additional steps in the company’s flight procedures to ensure real-time mission notifications to FAA Air Traffic Control.

“The updates to our airspace and real-time mission notification protocols will strengthen our preparations as we move closer to the commercial launch of our spaceflight experience,” said Virgin Galactic Chief Executive Michael Colglazier.

Richard Branson was among six Virgin Galactic employees who took part in the July 2021 space mission, soaring more than 80 km above the New Mexico desert.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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IRS to require facial recognition in order to file and pay taxes

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A major shake-up is coming to the way US citizens file their taxes

Citizens that file their taxes online tax will soon be required to submit a selfie to a third-party identity verification company using facial recognition tech in order to file their taxes or make IRS payments online.

According to Gizmodo, from this summer, online users with an IRS.gov account will no longer be able to log in with a simple username and password.

The new process will instead involve facial recognition. Users will need to provide a government identification document, a selfie, and copies of their bills to Virginian-based identity verification firm ID.me to confirm who they are.

That change, first noticed by Krebs on Security, marks a major shift for the IRS which previously allowed users to file their taxes without submitting personal biometric data.

Gizmodo reports that a statement from an IRS spokesperson said users can still receive basic information from the IRS website without logging in, however the representative added they would need to sign in through ID.me to make and view payments, access tax records, view or create payment plans, manage communications preference, or view tax authorisations.

Users attempting to log in to their accounts using ID.me will have to create an account with the company by uploading either a driver’s license, passport, or passport card.

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The international airlines suspending US flights

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Emirates has announced that it is suspending a majority of flights to the United States due to the planned launch of 5G

Flights are suspended to all destinations in the United States, except major cities including Los Angeles, New York and Washington.

Due to operational concerns associated with the planned deployment of 5G mobile network services in the US at certain airports

EMIRATES SAID in a memo to employees

Air India, All Nippon Airways, and Japan Airlines, have all suspended most routes to the United States as well.

This follows the world’s largest telecommunications company AT&T announcing it will delay the implementation of its 5G service at some airports in the United States.

This is all in response to CEOs of America’s largest airlines warning of a major disruption to travel and shipping if the service is rolled out. 

In an open letter, the executives call for 5G technology to be limited near US airports.

In the statement, the CEOs are requesting a limit on 5G within 2 miles of airport runways as defined by the FAA

It says “Immediate intervention is needed to avoid significant operational disruption to air passengers, shippers, supply chain and delivery of needed medical supplies”.

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Airline CEOs warn of major 5G disruption near airports

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CEO’s of America’s largest airlines are warning of a major disruption to travel and shipping

They’re calling for 5G technology to be limited near U.S airports

In an open letter also signed by shipping giants FedEec and UPS, the CEO’s wrote with urgency to request a limit on 5G within 2 miles of airport runways as defined by the FAA

The say that “Immediate intervention is needed to avoid significant operational disruption to air passengers, shippers, supply chain and delivery of needed medical supplies”

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