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U.S. becomes first country to ban anti-satellite space missile tests

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The U.S. is responding to dangerous space debris by banning missile tests against space satellites, becoming the first country to do so

United States Vice-President Kamala Harris chairs the National Space Council and labelled the tests as reckless and dangerous.

She emphasised that the Biden administration is determined to ensure responsible use of space.

Speaking at the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California Harris says stopping the direct ascent anti-satellite missile testing will protect satellites in low-Earth orbit and urged for other countries to consider the measure.

The US, China, India and Russia have all taken part in such missile tests previously and it’s resulted in widespread debris.

Space debris presents many problems for astronauts, satellites and the growing commercial presence there.

Debris doesn’t have to be large to cause havoc something as small as a basketball could destroy a satellite and even debris the size of a grain of sand could cause serious damage.

It was only late last year that Russia tested an anti-satellite missile hitting an unused Soviet-era spy satellite in low-Earth orbit.

This strike sent 1,632 pieces of debris floating in Earth’s orbit.

Astronauts were in the International Space Station at the time and had to seek shelter in their docked capsule with the missile nearly hitting the ISS.

If this debris is to hit working satellites then we could lose a variety of services like GPS and weather warnings would be missed.

Natasha is an Associate Producer at ticker NEWS with a Bachelor of arts from Monash University. She has previously worked at Sky News Australia and Monash University as an Online Content Producer.

Tech

Japanese billionaire could be first on Musk’s moon journey

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Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa says he plans to make a “big announcement” related to space after a meeting with Elon Musk.

The founder of the online fashion site Zozo Inc, completed a tourist trip to the International Space Station on a Soyuz spacecraft in December last year.

Now he plans to journey around the moon with Musk’s rocket and satellite company SpaceX next year.

The 47-year-old entrepreneur tweeted that he had held an online meeting with Musk and “can now make a big announcement about space on December 9”.

The space enthusiast will likely become the first private passenger on a SpaceX moon mission with a week-long fly-by planned for 2023.

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Tech

Elon Musk on Kanye: “I wanted to punch him”

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Elon Musk admits he wanted to “punch” Kanye West after the rapper last week tweeted an image of a swastika intertwined with a Star of David.

Musk had described himself as a “free speech absolutist” – but he suspended Ye’s account shortly after the post – for incitement to violence.

Pre-Musk Twitter had previously restricted Ye’s account in October after he vowed to go “death con 3 on Jewish people.”

Now Musk has spoken out about the latest controversy.

“I personally wanted to punch Kanye, so that was definitely inciting me to violence. That’s not cool,” Musk said during a question-and-answer session on “Twitter Spaces”.

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Business

Facebook and Google could soon pay for news in New Zealand

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New Zealand officials are seeking to pull digital media providers into line when it comes to paying for news

Digital companies like Google and Meta could begin paying media companies in New Zealand under a new scheme designed to protect local content publishers.

Lawmakers in Wellington will vote on the bill, where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Government is expected to pass it.

Willie Jackson is the Minister of Broadcasting, who said news outlets will benefit from deals reached with digital platforms.

“New Zealand news media, particularly small regional and community newspapers, are struggling to remain financially viable as more advertising moves online.”

The legislation is based on similar laws already passed in Canada and Australia.

“It is critical that those benefiting from their news content actually pay for it,” Mr Jackson said.

The Australian Government introduced the News Media Bargaining Code in 2021, which has led to 30 deals between media outlets and tech firms.

It allows lawmakers to step in when tech companies are negotiating content deals with local media outlets.

The Treasury Department recently found the “agreements have enabled news businesses to, in particular, employ additional journalists and make other valuable investments to assist their operations.”

The agreements are based on how often content is clicked, which ultimately leads to advertising revenue.

Google has cemented agreements with Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media, which are scheduled to run for five years.

Meanwhile, Meta has reportedly reached commercial agreements with 13 news businesses.

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