NASA’s cybersecurity problems aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic

NASA reports that the shelter-in-place measures induced by the coronavirus pandemic have transferred its workforce to work from home. This move has deepened the existing cybersecurity challenges since hackers can tap into their systems and wreak havoc. 

NASA’s move to close down its institutions and allow only the crucial employees to work six months ago altered its operational efficiency. Currently, the agency has recalled some of its employees under strict social distancing measures to work on the urgent missions that are not sortable from the home working station. 

NASA’s interim IT chief, Jeff Seaton, admits that the pressure on the information technology resources in the past six months has been high, primarily due to the pandemic. He articulated that the pandemic has cauterized the need for more virtual systems to deliver data and accommodate more employees. 

The agency argues that the work-from-home structures have activated the probability of invasion by cybercriminals from both individuals and nations. NASA’s inspector, Paul Martin, stated that the firm conducted over ten audits, resulting in close to 75 recommendations concerning cybercrimes.

Martin reported that the pandemic accelerated cybersecurity risks since most of the transactions take place on virtual platforms. Additionally, cybercriminals can clone accounts and access the details of critical transactions. The simpletons of the company are likely to be prone to such attacks, especially now that they are under immense pressure to deliver quality data.

Seaton explained that they are widening the scope of coverage by installing algorithms that secure their systems. For example, NASA keeps locking its systems when personnel log out to close in on the gaps that cybercrimes can use to take advantage. Martin confirmed that NASA is making progress in security detailing. He said that there are visible changes, and the safety of the systems is at its top-notch. Martin assured that they are implementing the recommendations outlined after the audits. 

Rep. Kendra applauded the agency for keeping their game together even in the pandemic season when more insecurity cases would have arisen. She added that the government would be apportioning the agency its funds to implement the recommendations as quickly as possible.

In conclusion, the agency leaders explained that they had installed mechanisms to keep the system safe. The officials added that they would be implementing more structures to work on the network. The agency is proving to be a tough nut yield to the pressure of cybercrime.


Software is biting a huge chunk of the renewable power market

Utility service providers like Terabase Energy are pushing to reduce solar power prices before the lapse of the next five years. This energy startup company plans to integrate software and technological knowledge to facilitate the upgrade of its solar power plant operations. Terabase Energy has received $6 million to expand its solar software portfolio and other firms, including CityLight Capital, SJF Ventures, and Trancoso Partners. Terabase Energy’s head, Matt Campbell, reported that the affordability of solar hardware paradoxes the software cost of the projects that have been escalating.

SenseHawk, a solar energy portfolio that ensures customers can establish and run solar infrastructure, has obtained $5.1 million in its first financial help trip. This financial aid comes from Alpha Wave Foundation, which is an affiliate of Falcon Edge Capital. SenseHawk’s portfolio and software facilitate solar firms to minimize operational costs, improve proficiency and automate processes via artificial intelligence and machine languages. The program serves over 50 customers in 15 countries and will be expanding its operations to reach a capacity of 3000 GW global power activation by the end of this decade. The firm also offers consultation services for any company wishing to venture renewables. 

Elsewhere, Myst AI, an artificial intelligence portfolio, received $6 million in its financial allocation, which will widen its time projections for renewable energy projects. Myst AI will be utilizing these funds together with Valo Ventures and Gradient Ventures, who also offer similar services. The engineers at Myst work towards assessing the scope of climate change problems and recommending the efficient way to utilize renewables both on the grid level and at the households to counter climate change. The president of Myst, Pieter Verhoeven, explained that they focus on future projections to solve climate change problems amicably. 

Ubicquia, a smart energy utility provider, has won $30 million in this same appropriation. It intends to partner with Fuel Venture Capital and ClearSky to install streetlights that use renewable energy. Additionally, these lights magnified with video features will be run by an artificial intelligence program to ease traffic clearance and ensure public security. Ubicquia communication portfolio supplies public Wi-Fi at affordable subscription rates in addition to infrastructure monitoring connections for executives wishing to observe the performances of their businesses. 

In conclusion, Overstory acquired $1.7 million, which will notify the concerned agencies of wildfire risks and power blackouts using satellite imaging and climate data. This move will help conserve the environment and in the early preparation for natural calamities.


EU’s plan of minimizing emissions by 55% puts pressure on renewables to catch up

Renewable energy developers are happy with the EU’s move to raise the emissions reduction percentage by over 50%, seeing that it opens ways to penetrate the whole globe. However, the Paris climate agreement still proves to be ambitious to achieve within the stipulated timeframe. Various companies hail the deal, saying that it marks some little emissions reduction steps among them BEE and Greenpeace.

The chief executive of BEE, Simone Peter, reported that the Paris agreement’s success rate would have been high if only the EU had resolved to minimize emissions by two-thirds of the forecasted rates. Additionally, other groups pioneering for the renewable sector in Europe are against trees’ replanting to reduce carbon emissions. These groups argue that replanting trees is only a camouflage of the problem when, in reality, they should be focusing on greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Lisa Göldner of Greenpeace argues that if the EU focuses on replanting trees as a trap for carbon dioxide emissions, it will trash the Paris agreement, which has more informed solutions to climate change.

Germany’s pioneer for the energy industry, BDEW, proposes that the EU must stick to the right platform to minimize climatic changes. BDEW’s director, Kerstin Andreae, advises a vast penetration and establishment of renewable energy facilities to cut out the greenhouse gas emissions from the energy industry. She retorted that the EU must also second the uptake of clean energy electric vehicles to facilitate the achievement of the Paris agreement on climate change.

Elsewhere, Kristian Ruby of Eurelectric supports the EU’s plan of using trees to cut out emissions, saying that it may take time to realize the Paris agreement using this methodology but is the most appropriate and achievable. She added that this strategy, coupled with the transport and manufacturing industries’ electrification, would quickly realize the climate change objectives.

Other countries like Spain also supported the EU’s plan terming it the best tool to recuperate the economy from the coronavirus pandemic impacts. Spain argues that cashing into the thriving sectors like the EV industry will not only reduce emissions but also create new employment opportunities for the people retrenched in this pandemic season. 

Finally, the EU proposal to cut down emissions by 55% is still under review with various countries promising to fight it. These countries say that they must lay down some ground regulations and infrastructure to cater to their heavy dependence on fossil fuels before they can fully support the transition.


OHB plans to develop the Hera asteroid space vehicle for ESA

The European Space Agency has agreed with Germany’s satellite developer OHB which allows it to establish the Hera asteroid space vehicle. OHB announced that it would be partnering with 17 other ESA members to finalize Hera’s development before its deployment in the next four years. Hera will be venturing the Didymos and Dimorphos in the next six years for binary asteroid research that will last for half a year.  

Hera will be ESA’s second trial to deploy a spacecraft to study the phenomena behind asteroids. The first similar program, called Asteroid Impact Mission, ended four years ago after experiencing financial struggles. Hera will be going out for its mission immediately after NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) leaves on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The mission pf DART is to crash test the binary asteroids to understand how they can handle them when they approach Earth.

DART will be hosting a payload that will detach from it before the vehicle crashes into the binary asteroid system. On the other hand, Hera will be evaluating the adjustments on the asteroid system after the collision with DART. This move will help scientists understand the composition of the asteroid system. ESA explained that they would be using Hera to analyze the test data and make it simpler for the other scientists to draw inferences.

ESA explained that there are various binary asteroid systems. For this reason, the DART program will help scientists understand the probable behavior of the binaries. The asteroids have different orientations, with one being more massive than the other. The collision between DART and the binary asteroids will generate samples that the scientists can combine for experimental analysis.

The deal between OHB and ESA covers the design costs, crashlanding activities, and sample collection of the material ejected due to crashing DART on the binary asteroids. Hera will be hosting two payloads for different firms that have applied for rideshare opportunities in this spacecraft. One of the loads, GomSpace, will be using its cubesat to evaluate the Dimorphos asteroid and understand its origin.

The other payload is a cubsat exploring the dust and mineral composition and why it exists in this binary system. Additionally, Hera will be a communication link with the designs on Earth to prevent unsuccessful exploits. The control center for this mission will be the ESA’s operations center based in Germany. Finally, Hera will bring to light a new dimension of knowledge concerning binary asteroid systems. 


Astra dispatch dismissed during the foremost-stage burn

Astra was able to dispatch its Rocket 3.1 vehicle in late 11th September. Nonetheless, the air-lift concluded during the small dispatch vehicle’s first-stage burn. The spacecraft blasted off from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska on Kodiak Island at 11.19 p.m. Eastern, as per a sequence of tweets by the corporation that did not give out live footage of the dispatch endeavor. The blast-off happened after a preceding endeavor on 10th September was canceled due to a sensor hitch.

The firm later tweeted that the spacecraft fruitfully blasted off. Conversely, the air-lift concluded during the foremost stage burn. The firm did not instantly give out further particulars concerning how long after dispatch the air-lift concluded, or rather what scrubbed the air-lift. It seemed like they got a fair amount of nominal air-lift time.

Footage captured by eyewitness displayed the spacecraft’s motors shutting down while the car was still in its initial stages of going up. As per the industry sources, that closure happened nearly 30 seconds after blast off. The spacecraft then plunged to the ground close to the pad and blew off.

In a blog post in 12th September, the firm stated that at the initial stages of the air-lift, their help system seemed to have introduced some slight swaying into the air-lift, making the car to drift from its intended route going to a commanded stoppage of the motors by the air-lift precaution system.

Rocket 3.1 is the first in a sequence of three display dispatch by Astra planned to demonstrate that the vehicle can get to the orbit. In a July briefing with reporters, firm officials stated their aim for this dispatch was to get through the foremost-stage burn and then detach the upper stage, roughly two and half minutes after blast-off. The firm did not anticipate this spacecraft to get to the orbit, and the car was not conveying a cargo.

Chris Kemp [Chairperson and co-starter of Astra] remarked that they did not plan to strike a hole-in-one there; rather, they planned to complete enough to guarantee that they were able to reach the orbit after three air-lifts, and for them, that meant a minor foremost-stage burn and making the upper stage to detach fruitfully.

During that time that Chris Kemp talked, Astra intended to conduct the dispatch during a six-day window at the onset of August from Kodiak. Nonetheless, a mixture of bad weather, technical hitches, and range desecration kept the spacecraft grounded. The firm postponed initially for a window opening in August, then taken to a window opening 10th September due to weather.


New Zealand pledges full transition to zero-emission electricity by 2030

Decisive climate change strategy as Labour pledges to facilitate New Zealand’s 100% transition to renewable electricity by 2030. But realistically, the full implementation of the system faces inhibitors such as lack of effective policies to minimize emissions in sectors that produce more carbon emissions than the energy industry.

Labour’s pledge advances an initial target for full renewable electricity systems by 2035, involving the plan’s validation after the government evaluated the five-year budgetary allocation in 2025. The strategic plan focuses on reducing emissions in the energy industry, a tiny contributor to New Zealand’s emissions profile, while ignoring significant emitters such as the transportation industry, Agricultural sector, and industrial heat processes. 

Currently, 84 percent of renewables energy sources generate New Zealand’s electricity, but eliminating the remaining 16 percent requires diligence to attain the desired goals. A research study conducted by the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC) documented other cost-effective methods to minimize emissions. A report drafted from the research stated that a drastic shift to renewable electricity leads to sky-rocketing electric power prices. 

New Zealand’s electricity system is heavily dependent on hydroelectricity, which constitutes nearly 67 percent of its power supply. The country’s over-reliance implies that the power supply does not satisfy the market’s electricity demand during dry years or seasons with little rain. Concerning the power shortages during dry years, New Zealand operates a handful of fossil-fuel-powered electricity generation facilities because the station is unaffected by prevailing weather conditions. 

The ICCC stated that overcoming power shortages in dry seasons requires technological advancements such as pumped hydro schemes or a massive Telsa battery. The ICCC committee said the technical viability to attain total renewable electricity by developing renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar power to solve power shortages during dry seasons. Another recommendation is to enlarge battery storage capacities and rapid market demand response substantially. 

The ICCC anticipates a 93 percent renewable electricity system by 2035. The plan is to electrify the transportation and industrial heat processes, achieving the remaining 7 percent, to attain a fully zero-emission economy. Striving to reach a fully renewable electricity system by 2035 increases residential power pricing by 14 percent, retail electricity prices increase by 29 percent, and industrial power pricing increase by 39 percent. 

In summary, the admirable goal to achieve a zero-emission economy that runs totally on a renewable electricity system comes at a cost. The climate change strategy faces challenges that inhibit renewables’ rapid adoption from substituting fossil-fuel-powered facilities and industries. The challenges are either financial feasibility problems or implementation issues. 


Lucid Air’s Electric Vehicle sets new standards in the motor industry

During an interview with Peter Rawlinson, the Chief Executive of Lucid Air, he stated that the company’s revolutionary electric vehicle technology seeks to rank their car as the best EV made globally. Rawlinson’s experience in the automobile design business comes from working on both the Lotus, United Kingdom’s legendary sports car, and the Tesla S. He said that the Lucid Air seeks to transform the motor business game-changer for the world’s future mobility.

In a statement to Arab News, Rawlinson announced that Lucid Air plans to scale-down their transformative car design in manufacturing affordable models. The company’s focus is to make a global impact by producing cars that accommodate all social classes, not just manufacturing luxury cars. The groundbreaking car technology originates from Saudi Arabia, a renowned international hub developing its conventional hydrocarbons. However, the growing electric vehicle industry threatens Saudi Arabia’s oil companies, and once the fossil-fuel-powered transportation is phased out, these corporations are at risk of shutting down.

Rawlinson attributes Lucid Air’s thriving success to the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which owns a majority share after a $1 billion investment into the project back in 2018. Peter believes that the company’s launch is a significant take-off moment for the EV market. Next year, lucid Air plans to avail the car to the Middle East, following a scheduled premiere in the United States next spring. The transformative car technology’s remarkable qualities include higher performance, more comfort, and a more extended range than all-electric vehicles.

Lucid Air targets the luxury saloon customer segment currently dominated by German automakers such as Mercedes and BMW, pricing the car between $90,000 to $170,000 based on the car model and customer specifications. The company scheduled price reductions to begin after one year of operation. Rawlinson announced that Lucid Air aims to rival Tesla, the EV production prodigy, despite the preceding Tesla’s prospect. He said that the car designs available in the EV market need more effort to take it a notch higher.

Lucid Air plans to dominate the overly populated fossil-fuel-powered vehicle customer segment in Europe, as a strategy aimed at challenging Tesla’s supremacy in the world’s EV market. The $100 billion luxury car niche market offers excellent potential for the company. Rawlinson thinks gasoline-powered automakers such as Porsche and Audi are yet to achieve the range and car performance that Lucid attained with the Lucid Air.

To conclude, more EV automakers such as Lucid, that just launched the revolutionary car technology for Lucid Air, continue to open up great opportunities for the development and adoption of better electric vehicles. The future of mobility depends on the production of affordable EVs to enhance consumer uptake. 


The feasible solution to electricity problems is building more solar and wind energy plants

Close to a decade ago, scientists came up with the concept of building many solar and wind energy farms to test their viability and reliability in resolving the problem of greenhouse gas emissions from using fossil fuels. These scientists from the University of Delaware (UD) and the Delaware Technical College came up with this concept after heated discussions on the advantages of transitioning to these energy sources and their similar challenges.

The scientists reported that solar and wind energy farms would replace 100 percent of the national grid energy based on 100 days annually. The increasing intensity of the sun radiations and winds sweeping through coasts is the basis of suggesting an increase in the number of projects dealing with this development. The scientists fully delved into this matter and came up with this rather radical idea of building more and more wind and solar energy plants with other fuel cells to diversify renewable energy sources.

The scientists piloted their project comparing the results with the periodical weather data measurement in a four-year plan. The pilot project found that supplying more electricity during the peak demand period was cheaper than storing it for usage when the demand arises.

In the past, the biggest challenge in the renewable energy industry was the cost of developing the facilities to tap the renewable and supplying it to households and businesses. Currently, the economy has developed and expanded to accommodate the pursuit of these renewables without crumbling. Additionally, it would be cheaper to achieve the set regulations on pollution by the Paris agreement than rigidly adhering to fossil fuel power plants’ use.

With the strict adherence to the zero-emissions plan, countries must purpose to fully maximize their potential of generating renewable energy to support the fight against environmental pollution. The coronavirus pandemic has opened people’s eyes to see the viability of renewable energy pursuit as a replacement for fossil fuels. Since the introduction of lockdown measures, people dumped their cars in garages minimizing the emissions from these ICEs. The people have witnessed a gradual increase in air quality and intend to keep this trend by replacing their cars with electrics that are not as emissive as the ICEs.

To sum up, the idea of overly investing in particular sources of energy would be viable if the government and its devolved units tried it out in phases, after which they can entirely switch to the most suitable energy source.


Global Utility Corporations hesitate to go green

Hesitations of major energy corporations to go green continue to undermine efforts aimed at curbing climate change. Recently, Galina Alova from the University of Oxford conducted a study report that indicated about 10% of international energy utility corporations are developing their capacity for renewable energy faster than for gas and coal. A journal, Nature Energy, published the research findings from the study. The main finding showed that out of a sample of 3,000 utility companies studied, a huge percentage continued to depend heavily on fossil fuels. But for the utilities adopting alternative renewable energy resources, 60% still operate fossil energy portfolios. 

According to the report, the utility companies with the most sluggish transition are based outside Europe. Galina said that the utilities’ renewables-prioritizing agreement identified in the study consists of organizations with large-scale operations and great market shares in the countries they are set-up. Alova noted that most of the corporations continue to, side-by-side, develop their capacities for fossil fuel, although at slower rates. 

Galina’s research highlighted the missing link between the steps required to curb the crisis and the actions the utility sector took so far. Most of the hesitant corporations face a carbon lock-in because fossil fuels contribute to approximately 33% of every company’s energy capacity. Alova said that unless the companies decommission their fossil fuel facilities, a significant share in these portfolios faces permanent stagnation. She suspects that an increase in the electricity sector momentum is a major cause of the slow transition.

Approximately 10% of utilities advocate for gas-fired power facilities are from the United States, Russia, and Germany. Galina commented on the close relationship between renewable energy and natural gas, saying that most companies often select both hand-in-hand. Media news reporting huge investments in renewables tends to overshadow updates on funds going into natural gas development. Other reports consider natural gas as the transition fuel, attributing the fuel to the little carbon footprint that allows load-balancing services for the inconsistent generation of renewable energy. 

Dave Jones, the lead electricity analyst at Ember, concurred with Galina Alova’s research findings that indicate how energy companies’ misunderstanding of natural gas’s future continues to undermine the transition. Most corporations plan to construct huge centralized power facilities that use natural gas instead of coal. Jones said that wind and solar continue to provide accessible alternative sources of electricity. 

In summary, utility companies must promptly adopt the steps designed to tackle climate change, starting with the go-green initiative. An increase in fossil fuel use greatly raises the carbon emission levels, a hazard to the planet’s ozone layer. Without the ozone layer, Earth’s inhabitants are at risk of high solar radiation levels with devastating effects. 


Indonesia requires 31,000 charging points to attain electric vehicle aims

Government-owned electricity hulk PLN projects that Indonesia requires over 31,000 fresh electric vehicle charging points by 2030 to attain government aims. Public as well as Private operators, require to invest $3.7 billion to set up 31,000 commercial charging points throughout a decade, as per the PLN’s station advancement road map.

More than a third of the points shall be situated in Jakarta, whereas the rest in cities, far east towards Makassar, South Sulawesi. Aside from gas points, such charging points shall be constructed at shopping malls, market areas, flats, among other areas with big parking spots. PLN tech deputy president Zainal Arifin stated on Tuesday, 1st of September that such points majorly provided to commercial are ever-on-the-go cars like taxis, buses as well as wired motorcycle taxis. Personal cars could re-charge while at home.

Zainal further added that the utmost effectual manner was charging throughout the entire night so that they could make that electricity less expensive. PLN’s path map, as well as the energy ministry’s regulation, tick two additional boxes on a list of guidelines, hoped to stand-in Electric Vehicles development in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. The two bumf form upon Presidential Regulation No.55/2019 on Electric Vehicles.

The agency predicts more than 326,000 Electric Vehicles on the road between 2020 and 2025 that would reduce Indonesia’s dependence on oil. This product is massively imported at the expenditure of bulging the nation’s trade shortfall. As per the present traffic police information, there were 1,419 Electric Vehicles, 95% of which were motorbikes, in Greater Jakarta from last year in August.

The energy ministry’s fresh guidelines backup Electric vehicle maturity through regulating charging socket kinds and centralizing business license issuance for three-point kinds- battery replacement, commercial charging as well as reserved charging. Hendra Iswahyudi [regulation No.13/2020] from the ministry of electricity remarked that the law was consumer safety; hence the consumers had to be bestowed the choice. On the 1st of September, the ministry inducted the nation’s foremost constellation of battery replacement points for electric motorbikes. The points are maintained by start-up PT “EzyFast” Energi Pratama. The figure for battery replacing points in Indonesia is anticipated to get to 52,125 by 2030 to contain electric engines, as per the energy ministry and the corporation regarding the Assessment and Application of Technology [BPPT].

Nonetheless, Zainal and Hendra recognized that many tasks lingered like enlisting regulations over battery re-usage. Electric vehicles cost thrice above their fossil fuel-powered equals. In contrast, motorbikes cost 1.5 times more, as per research by a Jakarta-founded energy think tank, an Institute for Essential Services Reform.