SpaceX Rehearses for Launch Day, Complete With a Tesla Ride to the Pad

Alan Boyle, GeekWire

GeekWire contributing editor Alan Boyle is an award-winning science writer and veteran space reporter. Formerly of NBCNews.com, he is the author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference." Follow him via CosmicLog.com, on Twitter @b0yle, and on Facebook and MeWe.

SpaceX Rehearses for Launch Day, Complete With a Tesla Ride to the Pad

NASA and SpaceX put astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken and the rest of the team at Kennedy Space Center in Florida through a "dry dress rehearsal" in preparation for next week's historic launch to the International Space Station.

  • The simulated countdown covered all of the steps on the timeline for sending the two astronauts on the first-ever crewed trip into space aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon, up to the point of loading propellants into the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Launch Complex 39A. Hurley and Behnken rode to the pad in a NASA-branded Tesla Model X SUV ⁠— which is a cross-promotional touch for billionaire Elon Musk, who serves as CEO for Tesla as well as SpaceX.
  • Such rehearsals have been part of the routine for NASA's crewed space launches, going back to the early days of the space race. But this time, every step in the timeline is getting heightened attention due to the fact that it's been nearly nine years since NASA has launched people into orbit.

Liftoff is currently scheduled for 4:33 p.m. ET (1:33 p.m. PT) Wednesday, with President Donald Trump and other VIPs in attendance. However, the latest weather forecast puts the chances of acceptable weather at only 40%. If the launch has to be delayed, the next opportunity comes on May 30.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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