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How to buy a ticket aboard a Virgin Galactic flight for $450,000 a pop



Virgin Galactic plans to soar past the Covid troubles burdening the aviation industry with an audacious financial plan

Sir Richard Branson has a plan to repair Virgin Atlantic’s money woes. The airline is exploring a possible listing on the London stock market. It has also reopened ticket sales for upcoming space flights.

The starting price for a seat aboard a Virgin Galactic flight on the ‘SpaceShipTwo’ costs a whopping $450 thousand dollars, far from the “modest premium” that CEO Michael Colglazier recently described.

The news of reopening ticket sales came alongside the release of the company’s quarterly financial report. The report revealed a net loss of over $94 million. The company has been in the red every quarter since going public in 2019.

What does a flight aboard SpaceShipTwo cost?

The company will offer three booking options; single-seat reservations, multi-seat reservations and an option to buy out all six seats on a given flight.

Colglazier also said that the company will offer seats for “research and professional astronaut training” priced at $600,000 each.

The total experience runs for approximately an hour; including a mere few minutes of weightlessness and views of earth in what the US government considers to be space.

Who can buy a Virgin Galactic flight?

Virgin Atlantic will offer the tickets to a list of “early hand raisers” before opening the spots to the public. The list in question is the “Spacefarer Community”, which has a $1000 deposit joining fee. The group has about 1000 members who have paid the deposit.

The company will also raffle off two seats to people who donated to Space For Humanity; a nonprofit working towards democratising space.

However, any new buyers will need to wait for their turn behind a pretty long list of people waiting for their chance to go to space. Almost 600 people already purchased a ticket for between $200,000 and $250,000 nearly a decade ago.

The news follows the Virgin Galactic completing its first fully crewed flight to the edge of space last month.

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.

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“TikTok represents two national risks to Australians”: should you delete the app?



Democracies continue to ban popular video-sharing app TikTok over national security concerns

Australia recently banned TikTok from all federal government owned devices over security concerns.

Canberra is the latest in a string of U.S.-backed allies to take action against the popular video-sharing app.

The ban centres around concerns China could use the app to trace users’ data, and undermine democratic values.

Senator James Paterson is the Australian Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, who said TikTok poses a risk to Australians.

“They can get access to awful amount of information on your phone.

“Because it’s beholden to the Chinese Communist Party, there’s no guarantee it won’t fall into their hands,” he said.

Senator Paterson said there are “six or seven million Australians who use the app.”

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Cyber attacks are on the rise, so what is being done to combat them?



Australia experienced two of its worst cyber attacks on record last year, as the world braces for cyber warfare to rise

Ukraine has suffered a threefold growth in cyber-attacks over the past year.

Viktor Zhora is leading Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection agency, who said cyber attacks are occurring at the same time as missile strikes at the hands of Russia.

Mr Zhora said in some cases, the cyber-attacks are “supportive to kinetic effects”.

On the other side of the planet, Russian hackers were responsible for Australia’s Medibank scandal.

“This is a crime that has the potential to impact on millions of Australians and damage a significant Australian business,” said Reece Kershaw, who is the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police.

Australian Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security is James Paterson, who said Australia can learn from cyber warfare in Ukraine.

“Ukraine is a lesson for the world.

“They are fighting a hybrid war, one on the ground and one online. If there is to be future conflict including in our own region, in the Indo-Pacific, it’s highly likely that the first shots in that war will occur cyber domain not in the physical world,” Senator Paterson said.

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Amazon employees walk out to protest office policies



Staff at warehousing giant Amazon have walked off the job to protest the company’s return-to-office program

Over 1,900 Amazon employees pledged to protest globally over proposed changes to the company’s climate policy, layoffs and a return-to-office mandate.

The activist group behind the rally is known as Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ), who are seeking a greater voice for employees.

“Our goal is to change Amazon’s cost/benefit analysis on making harmful, unilateral decisions that are having an outsized impact on people of color, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable people,” organisers said.

Over 100 people gathered at the heart of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters on Wednesday. The company said it had not witnessed any other demonstrations.

AECJ said the walkout comes after Amazon made moves “in the wrong direction”.

The company recently has recently overturned a desire to make all Amazon shipments net zero for carbon emissions by 2030.

The company maintains a pledge on climate change.

Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser told Reuters the company is pursuing a strategy to cut carbon emissions.

“For companies like ours who consume a lot of power, and have very substantial transportation, packaging, and physical building assets, it’ll take time to accomplish.”

AECJ protesters also sought support for the 27,000 staff, who had lost their jobs in recent months —around 9 per cent of Amazon’s global workforce.

The company has also mandated a return-to-office program.

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