SpaceX Dragon capsule returns to Earth / Zoom CEO honoured at award gala / Japan set to call national emergency

By Robert Scammell


Good morning, here’s your Tuesday morning briefing. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

SpaceX Dragon capsule returns to Earth

SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon 1 capsule will leave the International Space Station today, returning more than 4,000 pounds of experiments, samples and unneeded supplies to Earth.

The spacecraft left Cape Canaveral on 6 March for a resupply mission. At 08:45am EST the station’s robotic capture arm will release Cargo Dragon. Six hours later it is expected to splash down in the Pacific Ocean.

It is the final time the Dragon 1 capsule will be deployed for such missions. Going forward, SpaceX will use the Dragon 2, which comes in two versions: Crew Dragon and Cargo Dragon.

You can watch Cargo Dragon’s departure, rescheduled from yesterday, live on NASA TV.

Zoom CEO honoured at Asia Game Changer West Awards

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan is among the honourees at this year’s Asia Game Changer West Awards, which will be held as a virtual gala because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The video conferencing firm has seen a massive surge in popularity as much of the world has entered lockdown, with its technology used to connect remote workers and families and friends separated by social distancing measures.

Last year the awards, which are run by Asia Society and celebrate those that make “positive contributions to the future of local communities, Asia, and the world”, took place in San Francisco.

California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Dr Bonnie Maldonado from Stanford University School of Medicine, and Dr Yongwei Zhang, Group VP of BGO-Shenzhen are among the speakers at this year’s event.

Japan set to call national emergency

Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is widely expected to declare a national emergency today over the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is believed the new measure will apply to Tokyo and six other prefectures and will last for about a month.

So far Japan’s comparatively low number of cases – just over 3,500 have tested positive – has so far allowed it to avoid enforcing a lockdown like many other countries.

Abe is also expected to unveil a 108 trillion yen (£800bn) rescue package to help Japan’s struggling economy.

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