Apr 24, 2017

Getting to Mars on Trump's 2025 deadline

The issue:

In a call with the International Space Station today, President Trump said that he'd like to get astronauts to Mars "at worst, during [his] second term."

The facts:

Public: The Orion program, the Space Shuttle's successor designed to take humanity out of low-Earth orbit, doesn't have a crewed mission scheduled until 2021, and it's likely to be delayed until at least 2023. NASA won't commit to a firm estimate for a planned Mars mission, saying it hopes it'll launch in the 2030s.

Private: SpaceX's Interplanetary Transport System had been scheduled to launch its first crewed mission in 2024, but that was contingent on a schedule with a first launch to Mars in 2018 — with a spacecraft that isn't scheduled to have its first orbital test until later this year.

Why it matters:

Trump's proposed NASA budget kept Mars funding intact, and political willpower goes a long way in shrinking the notoriously long timescales for spaceflight.

Go deeper

China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.