For a photographer based in Juneau, two Alaskan roads — the Glenn Highway and the Richardson Highway — formed the backbone of a stunning late-spring road trip.
The administration says it will “repeal or replace” the rule that opened up more than half of Tongass National Forest to logging.
The administration suspended leases that were auctioned in the waning days of the Trump White House. But a 2017 law requires another sale.
Over the past month the Biden administration has defended three significant oil and gas projects, raising concerns among environmentalists that climate policy is being undermined
The administration says the country must pivot away from fossil fuels but backed a project set to produce more than 100,000 barrels of oil each day for 30 years.
In a state the size of Texas, California and Montana combined, planning an affordable itinerary can be a challenge, especially with this summer’s lack of cheap cruises.
Alaska Airlines said it had suspended State Senator Lora Reinbold from flying because she refused to comply with its mask rules.
While wide-ranging in scope and style, these pieces are alike in their power and depth.
Each summer, salmon begin their journey back to the rivers where they were spawned. Alaskan fishermen, along with whales, eagles and bears, share in the abundance.
Many group tour companies are trading their international itineraries for souped-up domestic trips aimed at nature-loving Americans.
The Biden administration’s strategy to curb Beijing’s behavior faces a stiff challenge as China uses its economic, diplomatic and military might to deflect criticism.
In his first foreign trip, the secretary of state will visit Japan and South Korea before the first in-person diplomatic encounter between the United States and China in several months.
The Junior Iditarod, the longest race in Alaska for competitors under 18, is a chance for young mushers to prove their skills.
The coronavirus has spread into the most remote villages, a reminder of earlier pandemics that ravaged the state. Now there is a rush to deliver vaccines in time.
From the rise in poaching to the waning of noise pollution, travel’s shutdown is having profound effects. Which will remain, and which will vanish?
Every political reform proposal must be judged by its ability to fuel or weaken extremist candidates.
The adventurer Blair Braverman has led a team of sled dogs over a 900-mile race in Alaska, seen her skin dissolve in the desert and overcome Covid-19. What makes it all less terrifying? Accepting the unknown.
In the first week of February, avalanches in the United States killed at least 14 people, an extraordinarily high number. Experts say one explanation might be increased interest in outdoor activities during the coronavirus pandemic.
The bodies of the hikers were found near Anchorage on Wednesday. An avalanche in Colorado this week also killed three people.
Ed Sniffen’s resignation came less than six months after his predecessor, Kevin G. Clarkson, resigned amid revelations that he had sent hundreds of text messages to a female state employee.
Rocket launch company Astra, which just reached space this past December with a test launch from Alaska, will be going public on the NASDAQ via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called Holicity. The recent SPAC craze has already extended to the New Space sector, and Virgin Galactic was among the in this wave of a new path to public listing, so there is precedent for space launch in particular, but Astra will be the first to list on the NASDAQ.
The terms of the deal will result in an anticipated $500 million in cash for Astra, from a combined $300 million held by Holicity in trust and a $300 million injection via a PIPE (private investment in public equity) from funds under management by BlackRock. The arrangement sets a pro forma enterprise valuation of Astra at around $2.1 billion – that valuation of the company minus the $500 million in cash the SPAC merger brings in. Astra expects it to complete by the second quarter of this year, after which the company will trade under the ticker ‘ASTR.’
Astra manufactures its own rockets, which are designed to carry small orbital payloads, at a facility in Alameda, California. Thus far, it has then shipped its launch vehicles to Kodiak, Alaska for flight – requiring just a handful of people on the ground at the actual spaceport to mount and launch the rocket, with the majority of the team overseeing the flight operating remotely out of a mission control facility back in California. The company’s model focuses on high output production of relatively inexpensive rockets, which can be responsively shipped and launched virtually anywhere depending on needs.
With its successful test in December, Astra achieved a pay-off of years of quiet work building and iterating its launch model. The startup was originally pursuing a DARPA-funded competition to achieve rapid response launch capabilities, but that contest expired with the prize unclaimed. The successful test in December still proved out the viability of Astra’s model – though it fell slightly short of achieving orbital velocity for actual payload delivery. The company said that this was a relatively easy remaining issue to fix, wholly manageable via software tweaks, and it intends to deliver its first commercial satellites beginning this summer.
Ultimately, Astra aims to be launching payloads on a daily cadency by 2025, and in a blog post accompanying the SPAC news, Astra founder and CEO Chris Kemp said that it’s also intent on “building a platform of space services” that implies ambitions beyond its work today on rockets.
The location of the fort, which was used by the Tlingit people to ward off Russian invaders in 1804 and was destroyed by the Russians, has eluded researchers for decades.
The harsh wind-hammered tundra sometimes complicates the prospect, as do the polar bears. But the children are enthusiastic pupils.
Marc Lore, the executive vice president, president and CEO of U.S. e-commerce for Walmart, is stepping down a little over four years after selling his e-commerce company Jet.com to the country’s largest retailer for $3 billion.
Lore’s tenure at the company was a mixed bag. Walmart instituted several new technology initiatives under Lore’s tenure, but the Jet.com service was shuttered last May and other initiatives from Lore, like an option to have customers order items via text, was also a money-loser for the Bentonville, AK-based company.
“After Mr. Lore retires on January 31, 2021, the U.S. business, including all the aspects of US retail eCommerce, will continue to report to John Furner, Executive Vice President, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart U.S., beginning on February 1, 2021,” Walmart said in a filing.
Walmart has continued to push ahead with a number of tech-related initiatives, including the launch of a new business that will focus on developing financial services.
That initiative is being undertaken through a strategic partnership with the fintech investment firm, Ribbit Capital and adds to a startup tech portfolio that also includes the incubator Store N⁰8, which launched in 2018.
“Reflecting on the past few years with so much pride – Walmart changed my life and the work we did together will keep changing the lives of customers for years to come. It has been an honor to be a part of the Walmart family and I look forward to providing advice and ideas in the future,” Lore said in a statement posted to Linkedin. “Looking forward, I’ll be taking some time off and plan to continue working with several startups. Excited to keep you all up to date on what’s next.”
Just half of the 22 available tracts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge got bids, and big oil companies stayed away.
The story of the biggest earthquake ever recorded in North America and the voice that gave Anchorage’s account in the aftermath.
With a deadline looming and weak interest from oil companies, the state of Alaska may step in and buy leases in the hope of reassigning them later. Some analysts saw that as a long shot.
Rocket launch startup Astra has joined an elite group of companies who can say their vehicle has actually made it to orbital space – earlier than expected. The company’s Rocket 3.2 test rocket (yes it’s a rocket called ‘Rocket’) passed the Karman line, the separation point 100 km or 62 miles up that most consider the barrier between Earth’s atmosphere and space, during a launch today from Kodiak, Alaska.
This is the second in this series of orbital flight tests by Astra; it flew its Rocket 3.1 test vehicle in September, but while that flight was successful by the company’s own definition, since it lifted off and provided a lot of data, it didn’t reach space or orbit. Both the 3.1 and 3.2 rockets are part of a planned three-launch series that Astra said would be designed to reach orbital altitudes by the end of the trio of attempts.
Astra is a small satellite launch startup that builds its rockets in California’s East Bay, at a factory it established there which is designed to ultimately produce its launchers in volume. Their model uses smaller craft than existing options like either SpaceX or Rocket Lab, but aims to provide, responsive, short turnaround launch services at a relatively low-cost – a bus to space rather than a hired limousine. They compete more directly with something like Virgin Orbit, which has yet to reach space with its launch craft.
This marks a tremendous win and milestone for Astra’s rocket program, made even more impressive by the relatively short turnaround between their rocket loss error in September, which the company determined was a result of a problem in its onboard guidance system. Correcting the mistake and getting back to an active, and successful launch, within three months, is a tremendous technical achievement even in the best of times, and the company faced additional challenges because of COVID-19.
Astra was not expecting to make it as far as it did today – the startup has defined seven stages of reaching orbital flight for its development program; today it expects dto achieve 1) count and liftoff; and 2) reaching Max Q, the point of maximum dynamic pressure undergone by a rocket in flight in Earth’s atmosphere. Third, they were looking to achieve nominal main-engine cutoff for first stage – and this is where they would’ve pegged success today, but the “rocket continued to perform,” according to CEO and founder Chris Kemp on a call following the launch.
Rocket 3.2 then performed a successful stage separation, and then the second stage passed through Karman line, reaching outer space. After that, it went further still, achieving a successful upper stage ignition, and a nominal upper stage engine shut off six minutes later. Even then, the rocket reached 390 km which is its target orbital height, but then reached a velocity of 7.2 km per hours, just one half km/hour less than the 7.68 km required for orbital velocity.
Astra emphasized that the mix for the propellant for this stage is basically only able to achieve while testing in situ in space, so they say this will just require some upper stage propellant mixtures to achieve that extra velocity, and Kemp said they’re confident they can do that in the next couple of months, and start reliving payloads early next year. This won’t require any hardware or software changes, the company noted, just a tweak in the variables involved.
He added that this is a big win for the underlying theory behind Astra’s approach, which focuses on using significant amounts of automation in order to reduce costs.
“We’ve only been in business for about four years, and this team only has about 100 people today,” Kemp said. “This team was able to overcome tremendous challenges on the way to this success.” had a member of the team quarantining, and tested positive on the way to Kodiak, which meant they had to quarantine the entire team, and then sent an entire backup team to replace them – possible because they only use five people on the launch team.”
“We now are at a point where just five people can go up, and set up the entire launch site and rocket, and launch in just a couple of days,” Kemp said. The team is literally just five people – including labor, rocket unloading, setup and everything on-site – the rest is run remotely from mission control in California via the cloud.
Now will do some tuning for Rocket 3.3, which is currently in California at the Astra factory, before soon attempting that final orbital test flight with a payload on board to deploy. After that, they intend to continue to iterate with each version of its Rocket launched, focusing on reducing costs and improving performance through rapid evolution of the design and technology.
Lynn Marchessault was driving her children and pets from Georgia to Alaska when she got stuck in whiteout conditions in British Columbia. Gary Bath, a Canadian veteran, came to the rescue.
The announcement removes a major hurdle to approving a plan to hunt for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, part of a push to allow drilling there by the Trump administration.
The Trump administration, hastening its last-ditch effort to allow drilling there, said the sales would happen 30 days after an announcement is published in the Federal Register on Monday.
The landslides crushed at least four houses in Haines, Alaska, which is home to about 2,500 people about 90 miles north of Juneau, according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety.
He told a friend that he would have relished the chance to help end the coronavirus pandemic, had he not been retired. The virus claimed him instead.
Denying a permit for the Pebble Mine in Alaska is a commendable move, finally, by the Trump administration.
The earthquake was reported near a sparsely populated area of the Aleutian Islands, a seismically active area.
Astra is set to launch it’s next orbital rocket, with a window that opens on December 7 and lasts for 12 days following until December 18, with an 11 AM to 2:30 PM PT block each day during which the launch could occur, depending on weather and conditions on the ground. This is the startup’s Rocket 3.2, a slightly revised and improved version of the Rocket 3.1 launch vehicle it flew in September.
Alameda-based Astra is a startup focused on building a small, relatively cheap-to-build launch vehicle that can carry small payloads to space at a rapid clip, with flexible launch location capabilities. It’s founded by former NASA CTO Chris Kemp, and backed by funding including Mac Benioff, Innovation Endeavors, Airbus Ventures, Canaan Partners and others, and it already has an active rocket assembly factory operating in the East Bay.
The company was originally founded with the goal of winning DARPA’s Launch Challenge, though the deadline for that has since passed. Astra still aims to essentially satisfying the functional requirements of that competition, by creating a launch vehicle that can be launched essentially on-demand when needed by clients looking for more responsive and mobile spaceflight capabilities, including the U.S. Department of Defense.
The goal of this next flight is similar to the goal of Rocket 3.1 in September: Essentially to study the startup’s rocket and boost its efficiencies while building its effectiveness. Actually reaching orbit isn’t a primary goal yet, but is a secondary, nice-to-have aim of this launch, which will take off from Kodiak in Alaska. The company already learned a ton from its first launch, including lessons that led to changes and improvements made to Rocket 3.2. It has always aimed for a three-flight initial orbital launch test series, and will also fly a Rocket 3.3 after this one incorporating additional lessons learned.
Also this week: Solutions for cities, and a Times investigation
Russia has escalated its provocative encounters in the North Pacific this year, harassing boats in U.S. fishing waters and sending bombers toward Alaska’s shores.
In their spare time, two Silicon Valley developers aided conservationists in developing artificial intelligence to help keep track of individual bears.
Hardened athletes and explorers weigh in on how to keep your kids warm.
Intentionally inane, “Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s?” satirizes the business of podcasting.
The survey would bring heavy trucks looking for signs of oil reserves into one of the most remote and pristine parts of the United States.
The state is seeing record case numbers, adding to evidence that the virus is poised to thrive as the weather grows colder.
The Honker Divide Canoe Route draws intrepid travelers through the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. But the lifting of logging restrictions may indelibly alter its character.
A fondness for minor-party candidates injects some uncertainty, making the state an unlikely late-stage battleground.
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz apologized for engaging in a “consensual, inappropriate messaging relationship” with a local news anchor after she posted a photo on social media.
The effort to open the Alaskan wilderness area, the nation’s largest national forest, has been in the works for about two years.
The executive made “offensive” remarks about the state’s political leaders, the company said, in meetings recorded by an environmental group.
In their case against Seth Lookhart, Alaska prosecutors included video of the dentist on a hoverboard and pulling a tooth. Mr. Lookhart was convicted in January of fraud, unlawful dental acts and other charges.