Jun 22, 2017

If a chicken sandwich goes to space, tourists are next

A KFC chicken sandwich will soon fly to space, and while it may sound silly, that means we're one step closer to sending tourists to space, too. World View Enterprises, a space tourism company based in Arizona, is testing its unmanned, high-altitude balloon by launching fried chicken 100,000 feet into the air. The company will launch any day now.

What's next: The next step is to carry tourists to the edge of the atmosphere. The chicken sandwich's voyage, which will last four days and be filmed by multiple cameras, will test the balloon's ability to communicate with ground operations and use solar power. If all goes well, World View Enterprises plans to charge passengers $75,000 for a view of the curvature of the Earth. Tickets are already on sale.

Why it matters: The high-altitude balloon offers a relatively inexpensive version of space tourism, which usually costs many millions.

Go deeper

Kenan Thompson and Hasan Minhaj to headline White House Correspondents' Dinner

Kenan Thompson on "SNL" in 2018. Photo: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC via Getty Images

Kenan Thompson, the longest-tenured "Saturday Night Live" cast member, will host the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on April 25.

And Hasan Minhaj — host of Netflix’s "Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj," and the entertainer at the 2017 dinner — will return as featured entertainer.

"Billions": Season 2020

Mike Bloomberg speaks at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, Va., on Saturday. Photo: James H. Wallace/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP

Money alone can’t buy a presidential election, but it surely gets you VIP access.

Why it matters: Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is duking it out with Billionaire Donald Trump, often on Billionaire Jack Dorsey’s Twitter and in ads on Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, all chronicled in Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post. 

Biometrics invade banking and retail

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Banks have been quietly rolling out biometrics to identify customers — verifying them by their fingerprint, voice or eye scan — and retailers like Amazon are getting into the game.

Why it matters: These companies are amassing giant databases of our most personal information — including our gait, how we hold our cellphones, our typing patterns — that raise knotty questions about data security and privacy.