Weekly Roundup: Confident Americans, A Self-Building Satellite, Billionaires Musk & Ma Predict Doom!

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Stuck in traffic or relaxing on a beach this Labor Day weekend? We're keeping you informed and entertained with the week's top stories you may have missed.

Unflappable Americans Remain Confident in the Economy

Hiring and income gains are keeping American consumers relatively optimistic about the economy despite signs of a global economic slowdown, volatile financial markets and escalating U.S.-China trade tensions. The Conference Board, which measures consumer confidence, revealed that American consumers' assessment of present conditions is at the highest level in nearly 19 years. According to survey respondents, plans to buy cars increased, but plans to buy appliances and residential real estate waned.

Read more from Bloomberg >>

Say Hello to the World's First Self-Building Satellite

Silicon Valley-startup Made in Space unveiled its technology for the world’s first satellite that manufactures and assembles itself in orbit using raw materials and 3D printing technology. With a $73.7 million contract from NASA and private funding, the self-building satellite is scheduled to launch in 2022. The technology will propel NASA’s Moon to Mars mission and create a space economy.

Read more from San Francisco Chronicle >>

SpaceX and Startup Astranis Bringing Satellite Internet to Alaska

Alaskan residents are about to say goodbye to buffering and hello to fast streaming speeds thanks to SpaceX and Silicon Valley-startup Astranis. The companies signed a deal to launch Astranis’ internet-beaming satellite into orbit aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Satellite broadband internet aims to connect billions of people who don’t currently have easy, cheap access to global networks. Alaska could serve as a good test case as many residents live in areas underserved by broadband providers.

Read more from TechCrunch >>

No Go For Launch

The six astronauts living aboard the International Space Station can have their morning coffee and look out their window to see Hurricane Dorian as it whips across the Atlantic. Meteorologists expect the storm to hit Florida on Monday, which is cause for concern at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. NASA and SpaceX are erring on the side of caution and moving their rockets indoors to keep them safe and sound.

Read more from Space >>

$57 Billion On a Single Stage, 1 Ominous Prediction

Tesla billionaire Elon Musk matched wits with Alibaba billionaire Jack Ma for nearly an hour on stage at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai. The two visionary entrepreneurs debated a range of topics, but seemed to agree that while the global population is predicted to reach 10 billion by 2057, that figure may actually not be enough to sustain the human race. Well, it's been a good run.

Watch the video at MarketWatch >>

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