Space tourism: pollution on the horizon?

Live the ecstasy of weightlessness, with a view of the Earth and without thinking about its future: space tourism still counts for negligible quantity in terms of pollution. But in this time of climate change, questions are emerging about the carbon footprint of this activity, which could take off quickly.

On July 11, British billionaire Richard Branson successfully flew for a few minutes to the frontier of space. Tuesday, it will be the turn of Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, to visit the great void with his Blue Origin capsule.

These private “suborbital” flights undoubtedly constitute a turning point in the advent of space tourism: Richard Branson’s company, Virgin Galactic, has already sold 600 tickets, between 200 and 250,000 dollars, and ultimately aims to conduct 400 flights per year. .

With what impact on the planet? Difficult to assess, as this hobby for the ultra-rich remains ultra-marginal, still far from the radar of environmental defenders.

But the problem will arise if this tourism becomes massive.

“If we wanted to send 50,000 tourists a year into space tomorrow, there would be a real environmental issue,” the CEO of Cnes (the French space agency), Philippe Baptiste, said on Friday on a French radio station.

A “quiver of critical discourse, stifled so far by the enthusiasm of the beginnings, begins to rise”, notes Arnaud Saint-Martin, a French sociologist of science.

“At a time of climate change, it is clearly not the time to launch an activity that will increase certain emissions”, adds Finnish researcher Annette Toivonen, author of “Sustainable space tourism”.

The American scientist Martin Ross, who compared the technologies of the two billionaires, showed that Jeff Bezos’ vehicle uses a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, considered less polluting.

– CO2 and soot –

Richard Branson’s spaceship, on the other hand, appears to be particularly polluting, because its solid fuel propulsion technique produces CO2 (the main cause of climate change) and spits soot while crossing the stratosphere.

“It’s as if you were burning a tire” in an area of ​​the atmosphere where the air, less dense, is recycled less quickly, notes Christophe Bonnal, of the CNES launchers department.

Asked by AFP, Virgin Galactic assured to be “engaged in a process aimed at reducing the impact on the environment, with a view to a sustainable development” of its activity. And indicates that the carbon footprint of one of its flights “was equivalent to that of an individual trip in business class aboard a flight London-New York” by plane.

The emissions remain indeed modest “if we compare them to the 915 million tonnes of CO2 emitted in 2019 by the 4.5 billion passengers on commercial flights”, noted several French scientists, on the site The Conversation in September 2020.

But Virgin Galactic’s suborbital sprees still represent “4.5 tonnes of CO2 per passenger”, or “twice the annual individual emission allowing, according to the IPCC (UN climate expert group, Editor’s note), to respect the objective of + 2 ° C of the Paris agreement “of 2015, according to these scientists.

Moral and political considerations are added to these ecological questions, which castigate “luxury rides” for the very rich in search of sensations.

“In a context of climate emergency and pandemic – where more sober development models are discussed, in particular the green plane -, one can wonder if these trips are not a superfluous need”, argues Arnaud Saint- Martin from CNRS.

– The Moon on the horizon –

At its beginnings too, aviation was perceived as a “sport for the rich”, notes Christophe Bonnal. With the difference that the first flights of Alberto Santos-Dumont or Louis Blériot “allowed the progress leading to today’s aeronautics”.

“But what shocks me in the flights of Richard Branson is that there is no horizon behind”, argues the expert. Jeff Bezos, him, “a priori plays on a field other than mass tourism: he sees big, he aims at the Moon, and further still with humanity leaving the planet”.

In the meantime, (rich) space fans concerned about their carbon footprint will be able to test “zero-emission” balloon trips, which the French company Zephalto will notably be offering from 2024.

At an altitude of 25 km, propelled by helium – a neutral gas – passengers will dive into the darkness of space to admire the curvature of the blue planet. “We hope the show will make you think, because what the astronauts are saying is that once you see the atmosphere so fine above the Earth, you become aware of its fragility,” said the director of the start-up, Vincent Farret d’Astiès.


Tourists captivated by traditional medicine – El Sol de San Juan del Río

Visitors who go to hotels such as Misión La Muralla or Mansión Galindo, are attracted by the ancient recipes that are exposed through the traditional medicine of the women of the community of San Ildefonso Tultepec in Amealco de Bonfil, and even ask that can expand their shipping routes.

This was announced by María Isabel Pascual García, a member of the Dyxaí traditional remedies cooperative, who established that they now have a sales space in these two hotels, where tourists are surprised by the amount of medicines that can be found.

He stressed that, among the products that they like the most are those that have to do with skin and hair care, since shampoos, soaps and ointments have had a successful result thanks to the methods they apply in their composition, using especially essences from the hills of Amealco.

“We have done very well in the hotels where they let us expose our remedies, we are very happy because the result of what we do actually favors people’s health, and when they look to us to take care of their skin and hair.”

He commented that many of the people who buy from them are from the United States, and they have emphasized that it would be very useful if they made shipments to the American Union, since, in those regions is where they most appreciate the knowledge of their ancestors to help to the health of people with various ailments.


Forza Horizon 5: New Game Info. Gran Turismo 7: Potential Beta Test. | GW-News 07/13/2021 – Gameswelt

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J&J covid vaccine receives FDA warning about immune disorder

Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine fact sheet was revised to warn of the risk of a rare immune system disorder, adding new headwinds for a vaccine that was expected to be a lynchpin of the US immunization effort.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement Monday that it was adding the warning after 100 reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare condition in which the immune system attacks the nerves, among people who received the injection. So far, about 12.8 million Americans have received the one-dose vaccine.

The agency said 95 of the cases required hospitalization and that one person had died. While the available evidence suggests a link between the vaccine and the syndrome, the agency said the data was insufficient to be able to definitively say what caused the disease.

The revised fact sheet says that symptoms started within 42 days of receiving the J&J injection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cases were mostly seen in men over the age of 50 about two weeks after they were vaccinated. The CDC said the issue will be discussed at an upcoming vaccine advisory committee meeting.

Between 3,000 and 6,000 people a year develop Guillain-Barré syndrome, according to the FDA, and most make a full recovery. The agency said a higher rate has been seen with certain vaccines, including seasonal flu and shingles.

Cases generally begin within a few days to weeks of a respiratory or gastrointestinal viral infection and can result in mild flare-ups of muscle weakness or more severe forms of paralysis.

Despite the new warning, the CDC said the risk of serious adverse events from covid vaccines remains remote and that it is recommended that everyone over the age of 12 receive a vaccine. The FDA said the benefits of the J&J injection in preventing COVID-19 clearly outweigh the known and potential risks.

Covid infections have increased again in many areas due to the spread of the delta variant. Nearly all virus-related hospitalizations and deaths now occur among the unvaccinated, according to the CDC.

Another setback
J&J said it is in contact with the FDA and other health authorities about the Guillain-Barré cases.

“The possibility of this happening is very low and the reported case rate exceeds the background rate by a small degree,” the company said in a statement.

The development marks another potential setback for the J&J vaccine. Shares of the New Brunswick, NJ-based drugmaker fell 0.2% to $ 169.48 as of 4 p.m. in New York.

In April, US health agencies urged providers to stop giving the injection to test for rare but serious blood clots that occurred among some people who had received it.

After a 10-day review, regulators lifted the pause, suggesting that the likelihood of developing the rare blood clot syndrome, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia, was very low and the benefits of the injection outweighed the risks.

Regulators added information about the minimal risk of clots to the vaccine data sheet, noting that most of the cases had occurred in women ages 18 to 49.

Use of the J&J injection, once expected to be central to the U.S. vaccination campaign, has been hampered by concerns that it is less effective than other vaccines, as well as production problems in a company hired to manufacture them.

The Washington Post previously reported that the US Food and Drug Administration planned to add the Guillain-Barré syndrome warning.

GBS and vaccines
Vaccines, by nature, have an effect on the immune system. Although they are intended to boost the body’s natural defenses, scientists have suggested that it is biologically plausible that immunizations may be associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

CDC has long studied the association between the seasonal flu vaccine and the 2009 H1N1 monovalent and Guillain-Barré flu vaccine, although the agency has suggested that the exact risk is difficult to estimate, and that developing the syndrome due to getting the flu itself is even bigger. probable.

The FDA has made drug companies include Guillain-Barré syndrome warnings with other vaccines. In March, for example, US regulators demanded that GlaxoSmithKline Plc. review the prescribing information for your shingles vaccine, Shingrix, after you have determined that there is an association between it and Guillain-Barré.

In J & J’s large, advanced-stage clinical trial, a vaccine recipient and a placebo recipient developed Guillain-Barré syndrome within two weeks of receiving an injection, without establishing a causal association with the vaccine.

Other warnings
Health officials have warned of rare potential side effects with other COVID-19 vaccines. Last month, the FDA added warnings to patient and provider data sheets for messenger RNA injections by Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc. about a small risk of possible cardiac inflammation.

About 1,200 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been reported in people who had received the vaccines, according to the CDC, while about 147 million Americans have been fully vaccinated with them.

The available data does not show a pattern of Guillain-Barré syndrome in mRNA vaccine recipients, the FDA and CDC said.


World’s Deepest Diving Pool Opens in Dubai | Photogallery

“Dive in another world” – this is how the world’s deepest diving pool inaugurated in Dubai is presented. Professional or amateur divers can descend up to 60 meters, going through the floors of a kind of submerged building — where even table football can be played.


What to see again on HBO Max? Premiere Godzilla vs. King Kong –

This July 29, the new Warner Media platform arrived, with an attractive catalog of productions from HBO, DC Comics, Cartoon Networks, Max Originals and a battery of films by Warner Bros., including films that were only available until recently. weeks in theaters. What to see again on HBO Max? Next Friday, July 16, Godzilla vs. King Kong, one of the WB tanks, which can be seen without any extra payment.

The debut of the film joins El Conjuro 3, which premiered on Friday the 9th, to compete with Black Widow (which came to Disney Plus) or Tenet, which will premiere on Friday 23rd. The case of Tenet is particular, since in the trailer what to see again in HBO Max In July, Christopher Nolan’s movie is promoted, but there are no other references yet on the platform. Will it be for selected markets?

Warner also announced that at least until 2022, movies will be released on HBO Max a few weeks after they hit theaters, since -on the one hand- the pandemic situation is far from over and many cinemas are still closed and -for other- seeks to add subscribers to more planted platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus.

Godzilla vs. King Kong is a new installment of the MonsterVerso from Legendary Pictures that pits the two colossi in an epic battle, which means a direct sequel to “Kong: Skull Island” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”.

Kong and his protectors set out on a journey to find their true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphan with whom he formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the world.

The King of the Kaiju and the giant gorilla face each other because some humans are trying to find the center of the Earth, the place of origin of the monsters. Therefore, they take King Kong out of his confinement, which provokes Godzilla and seeks to attack him. Thus will begin the fight in which when the smoke clears, only one will remain standing.

“Godzilla vs. Kong ”is the latest installment in an everlasting list of films about the two monsters. In total there were 36 Godzilla productions and 12 King Kong productions. The director affirmed that his film has a series of nods and tributes to the original kaiju film that brought these two monsters together for the first time in 1962, while he promised that the film will have a clear winner, but it will not be the end.


These travel destinations are particularly popular

Even if the number of infections is rising again in many places, many people have already planned a summer vacation. Some areas even benefited from the crisis while others are now less popular. An overview.

Spain, Croatia, Greece: some travel destinations have always been popular with German holidaymakers for decades. Due to the Corona crisis, however, some preferences have shifted – with sometimes surprising results and consequences for prices and availability. t-online shows where a particularly large number of people are going this summer, where prices are rising and where you now have the chance of spontaneous vacations.

Surveys show travel trends for summer 2021

The travel company “Hometogo” commissioned a survey to assess the travel behavior of Germans in the summer. The data is based on several million search queries that were received on “Hometogo” in 2019 and 2021 for various check-in dates. The results not only show which countries are particularly popular.

Other studies show similar results. The marketing consultancy “Simon-Kucher & Partners”, for example, carried out the international study “Travel Trends 2021”, in which more than 7,000 people from 7 countries were surveyed. And “Holidaypirates GmbH” asked more than 1,000 people how they want to travel after the pandemic.

These are the most popular summer destinations

About 80 percent more travel destinations were searched for in Germany for summer 2021 than in 2020, compared to summer 2019 it is 58 percent more. After Germany, Croatia and Italy are still the most popular travel destinations. However, both suffered losses compared to 2019.

France came in fourth, but compared to 2019, 33 percent fewer searches were made for our neighboring country, and the Netherlands and Spain were hit even harder in fifth and sixth place: the two travel destinations lost around 45 percent. Clear winners, however, are Denmark (7th place) and Austria (8th place) with a plus of 63 and even 186 percent.

Sweden and Poland, on the other hand, also had to cope with fewer searches, but ended up in 9th and 10th place in the “Hometogo” ranking.

This is what tourists want when booking

As “Hometogo” reports, there were six times more inquiries about “flexible travel dates” than was the case before the pandemic. So vacationers want more flexibility when planning their vacation in 2021. This is also confirmed by the fact that there are now an average of only 74 days between booking and check-in: Previously it was an average of 108 days. So the trend is towards spontaneous and flexible booking.

The international study “Travel Trends 2021” also shows that only 29 percent of Germans have already booked their summer vacation this year, while 35 percent are still planning to do so.

What type of travel is preferred in 2021?

According to “Hometogo”, around 70 percent of those surveyed would most likely spend their vacation in a holiday home in 2021. In comparison, 32 percent plan to spend the night in a hotel. 77 percent want to travel by car or camper van, camping holiday on the other hand, 28 percent are still planning.

In the travel year 2021, beaches and natural destinations are also in demand. Only 13 percent of those surveyed are planning one city ​​trip, on the other hand, more than half want to go to the sea. National parks and forests are attractive for 18 percent of those surveyed, mountains still for 17 percent.

The international study by the marketing consultancy “Simon-Kucher & Partners” also shows that although the price is still an important criterion for holidaymakers, the pandemic situation at the travel destination or trust in the local health system now also play a major role. For 27 percent, the most important thing is that the trip can be canceled. According to the survey, 49 percent travel by car, 30 percent by plane and only 10 percent want to use the bus or train. Lisa Remmelberger, partner in “Simon-Kucher’s Competence Center for Travel, Tourism & Leisure”, explains: “Consumers’ needs have changed. Travelers want to have the certainty, without restrictions or the risk of one quarantine To be able to go on vacation. “The providers would therefore have to offer flexibility in booking conditions and take precautions to ensure a safe and pleasant stay.

As the survey by “Holidaypirates” also shows, many also want to travel more sustainably in the future. A quarter of those surveyed said they wanted to travel more responsibly in the future, 16 percent said they had already paid attention to this before the pandemic.

When do most Germans travel?

According to the “Hometogo” survey, the most popular travel months for 60 percent of those surveyed are July or August. However, 46 percent can also imagine a vacation in September or October, 30 percent have already traveled in May or June and only 11 percent are planning winter for their vacation.

What influence will the vaccinations have on trips in summer 2021?

More and more countries are restricting their entry options only for those who have not yet been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Those who have been vaccinated or recovered often no longer need to be in quarantine or no longer need to be in quarantine when entering the country Covid-19 get tested.

More than half of the “Hometogo” respondents are of the opinion that those who have been vaccinated are allowed to travel freely again earlier, while 28 percent are against earlier advantages for those who have been vaccinated. In the meantime, there is the European one to make travel easier for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered Vaccination certificate. 62 percent of those surveyed rated this option positively.

How did the corona crisis change prices?

“Hometogo” examined, among other things, how the prices developed in June for example weeks in July and August. The travel agent points out, however, that there are holiday accommodations everywhere that differ from the average prices. That always depends on the location, size or equipment.

“The price developments from 2019 to 2021 do not mean that individual holiday accommodations have become more expensive or cheaper”, explains “Hometogo”, “Rather, the price development provides information about how much more or less a holidaymaker has to pay on average for one night in a holiday home Comparison at the same point in time in 2019. The differences result primarily from a different selection of available accommodations in the comparison period. “

The calculation shows, for example, that the price of an overnight stay in Germany has increased by 26 percent from 96 to 116 euros compared to 2019. In Croatia 132 euros are due, in Italy 126 euros. The difference is particularly large in Denmark, for example: in 2019 the average price for an overnight stay was 90 euros, in 2021 149 euros will be charged. The most expensive, however, is Mallorca with an average price of 254 euros per night.

“Travel Trends 2021” also asked about the travel budget of Germans: 27 percent of those surveyed want to spend more money on their upcoming vacation than they did before the pandemic. Anna Krumpen, Senior Consultant and Expert for Travel, Tourism & Leisure at “Simon-Kucher & Partners”, explains: “The long travel restrictions mean that society has a lot of catching up to do, and the desire to travel is high. As many consumers have been able to save money they have a budget that they can and want to spend on travel in 2022. “

What does “workation” mean?

Due to the Corona crisis, it has also become more and more popular to combine work and vacation in a “workation”. As the study “Travel Trends 2021” shows that 42 percent of Germans are open to this model because they can work increasingly flexibly due to the Corona crisis. More than half of Germans would even extend their vacation by two weeks or more if they had a “workation”.

For the selection of the “workation” location, the equipment such as stable internet, a separate work area and electronic equipment is particularly important. “The shift to remote working and hybrid models is good news for the tourism industry. The opportunity to work during the day and relax in a beautiful vacation spot in the evenings and on weekends attracts a lot of people,” explains Lisa Remmelberger.

In the “Holidaypirates” survey, as many as 40 percent state that “Workation” is the perfect way to extend their vacation and “really get to know a new place”. 37 percent can even imagine moving completely to another country.


Pluto TV rival? –

After the arrival in Latin America of HBO Max, this week, and silently, without any bombastic announcement, Samsung TV Plus, Samsung’s streaming platform, a service more similar to Pluto TV, was launched.

Although the service had already been available on Samsung televisions and Android cell phones, now it can also be viewed online in any internet browser by entering

However, for now, not all of us will be able to see it. The service can be seen in countries like the United States, but not in Latin America, at least for now.

Unlike HBO Max o Disney Plus o Netflix o Prime Video, is more like Pluto TV. It is completely free (sponsored by advertising) you do not have to subscribe or enter credit cards.

The contents of Samsung TV Plus are extensive, with topics ranging from movies, sports, children, comedies, gastronomy, gamers and more.

As we indicated, Samsung TV Plus has been available on Samsung televisions since 2016, but now it is also possible to enjoy the service from a browser, although in selected markets. Latin America, you will have to wait (or enter via a VPN application).

More information in


Spain and Mallorca again risk area: This next step is imminent

The corona numbers in Spain are increasing sharply. Germany is now classifying the entire country with the holiday island of Mallorca as a risk area again. Above all, the possible next consequence is worrisome.

All of Spain with Mallorca as the Germans’ favorite holiday island is again a corona risk area. The federal government reacted with this classification, which will apply from Sunday, to the sharp increase in the number of new corona infections.

Travel is in fact not made more difficult because holidaymakers returning by plane have already had to submit a negative test. But for Spain, which is heavily dependent on tourism, it could turn out to be damaging to the image that the Foreign Office advises against tourist trips to the country again in the middle of the summer holidays. This raises concerns in the tourism industry, which, however, creates a far worse scenario for sleepless nights.

Seven-day incidence over 50

Should the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants rise to over 200 within seven days (seven-day incidence) for a longer period of time, Spain faces the same fate as Cyprus. The also very popular holiday island was classified as a high incidence area because of its particularly high number of infections. Anyone who is on vacation there and has not been vaccinated or recovered will have to be in quarantine for five to ten days when they return – even if the test is negative. Should the same happen to Spain, where the seven-day incidence is now at 199, it would be a hard blow to the tourism industry.

But for now it stays with the risk area, to which countries and regions are declared, in which the seven-day incidence is over 50. In the Balearic Islands, which in addition to Mallorca also includes Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, the incidence is already three times as high at 153. There were only a few major national restrictions on public life.

Tourism minister questions orientation based on infection numbers

The corona hotspot Barcelona, ​​for example, initially severely restricted nightlife over the weekend. At the same time, however, a music festival with up to 18,000 spectators took place in the tourist metropolis – with test and mask, but without any distance. German vacationers in Mallorca said they would feel at least as safe as at home on the island.

Spain’s Minister of Tourism María Reyes Maroto, meanwhile, raised the question of whether orientation based on the number of infections was still the right way to go. The incidence as a measure of risk is becoming less important in view of the high vaccination rate and the low number of corona patients in hospitals, the minister said. The high numbers of infections are registered primarily in young people who either developed no or only mild symptoms of the disease. The authorities are closely monitoring the situation. Holidays in Spain are definitely safe.


An enterprising billionaire leads the first space tourism trip, overtaking his rival Bezos

Richard Branson’s rocket launch to the edge of space on Sunday will mark a return to the daring feats that first established the arrogant billionaire’s reputation.

For decades, Branson has engaged in a series of record-breaking stunts as he flew a parachute 30 miles (48 km) between England and France.

He crossed the Atlantic in a speedboat in just three days, then traversed the Pacific in a hot air balloon ride at speeds of up to 245 miles per hour.

His adventures attracted huge publicity for his Virgin Group companies, but he was often rescued by emergency services on multiple occasions.

And with the aim of being on the list of records, Branson, the other billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, is now racing in the space tourism race, where tomorrow, Sunday, he is scheduled to witness his rise in the first space tourism trip through his own company, just 9 days before Bezos. , which is scheduled to make a trip to the frontiers of space on July 20, also, using the Blue Origin spacecraft.

Branson announced that he will be on a test flight for Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. A week before he turned 71 years old.

The decision to travel came after approval from the United States. Virgin Galactic’s Federal Aviation Administration transports fee-paying passengers.

Fatal accident

Branson will fly aboard Virgin’s VSS Unity spaceplane, which carries itself aloft on the so-called mother plane, a journey expected to take about 90 minutes from takeoff to landing. After being launched from the carrier aircraft, the unit will ignite a rocket engine to propel it to an altitude of 88 kilometers above the ground.

Richard Branson

The flight approaches the space line defined by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, known as the “Karman Line”, which is 100 kilometers from the Earth’s surface.

Branson, who was knighted in 1999 by Queen Elizabeth II for “services to entrepreneurship,” is worth about $7.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

A company spokeswoman said in December that more than 40 Virgin brand companies raise approximately $22 billion in annual revenue through partnerships, affiliations and direct ownership.