Google co-founder Sergey Brin wants to make airships cool again. Brin’s secretive company, Lighter than Air Research & Exploration (LTA), is planning to build zero-emission airships powered by batteries and hydrogen-based fuel cells. LTA was created with humanitarian goals in mind, seeking to speed up disaster relief efforts, especially for areas inaccessible by plane or boat. However, there is also commercial potential for LTA’s airships, particularly due to the zero-emission fleet it is building. If LTA succeeds, its airships could have the potential to reduce the massive global carbon footprint of aviation, revolutionising how we transport both goods and people.
Bloomberg has reported discussions between Microsoft and Discord with a transaction that could top $10B. With 100M monthly active users already, Discord is the go-to communication software for gamers. This deal could add yet another communication and community platform to Microsoft’s robust empire, joining Skype, Microsoft Teams, LinkedIn, and GitHub. However, the deal is most definitely not set in stone, as Discord could very well decide to go public or sell to another buyer. What does this deal mean? Microsoft is clearly attempting to build up its gaming and cloud infrastructure, as this intent follows the purchase of ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda. Acquiring Discord would help Microsoft reach this goal by integrating gaming communities with its hardware and software.
Earlier this week, Japanese startup Astroscale launched a demonstration mission of its end-of-life services technology (ELSA), aiming to remove space junk from Earth’s orbit. Astroscale utilises magnetism to safely catch debris and then released to burn up in the atmosphere. Partnering with JAXA, Astroscale hopes to be among the first in the world to remove a large object from orbit. If the mission succeeds, this could have great ramifications for cleaning up Earth’s orbit. As the USA FCC now requires telecommunication companies to create a plan for minimising risk of crashes in space, ELSA technology may become incredibly important to prevent such crashes.