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A Proposed Second Summit between U.S. and North Korea; A Series of Radio Bursts from Space; Virgin Orbit Attempts to Launch Satellites from Planes

Aired January 14, 2019 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers worldwide. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10. We are your objective explanation of world events and we`re

grateful to have you beginning a new week with us.

First story takes us to the Korean peninsula, where there`s a lot of talk taking place about a second summit between the leaders of North Korea and

the U.S.

The first one which happened last summer in Singapore was historic because it was the first time that sitting leaders from both of these countries met

face to face. And it was considered a foreign policy success for U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. They signed a

declaration that said the U.S. would work toward normalizing relations with North Korea and that North Korea would work toward giving up its nuclear


But critics say concrete steps toward peace treaty haven`t been taken. A big hang-up is that North Korea wants security guarantees from the U.S.

before it starts giving up its nukes and the U.S. wants North Korea to give up its nukes before relations are normalized. But they`re not the only two

countries that factor in to all this. The U.S. fought alongside South Korea in the Korean War in the early 1950s. The two democratic nations

have historically been close allies. North Korea`s only close ally is China and the leaders of those two communist countries held a surprise

meeting last week.

So, as American and North Korean officials reportedly plan a second summit between their leaders, a lot of questions are being raised about the

influence of South Korea and China on that meeting.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Following a secretive trip to China on his armored train, Kim Jong-un, the once shunned dictator, has

emerged tonight with two key world leaders and power brokers by his side, as he angles for a second summit with President Trump. One of those

brokers, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, says he`s expecting to hear news soon of a second summit, hinting it could be imminent.

Analysts say just about every side in this process needs a win right now. South Korea`s Moon Jae-in tonight is seen as hell-bent, almost desperate,

to push a peace deal between Trump and Kim. Moon, suffering politically at home, sees a denuclearization deal as key to his political survival and is

seen as making moves that might go against the interest of the United States, which he partially depends on for his country`s security.

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN": Moon at this particularly time is trying to mediate between the two sides. But he`s mostly adapting Kim

Jong-un`s negotiating position, which is the United States should give sanctions relief on a partial basis. And so, it seems that Moon is pretty

much working with Kim Jong-un against the United States.

TODD: The other power broker in Kim`s corner, his fellow strongman, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who Kim travelled some 800 miles by rail to


CHRIS JOHNSON, CENTER OF STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: It`s really about reminding the White House that China is central to this discussion

and nothing is going to happen here that doesn`t include the Chinese.

TODD: Kim was in China this week at the very same time that top American trade negotiators were also there, trying to work their way out a trade war

with China. Experts say that was no coincidence, that Xi is now holding his influence with North Korea over President Trump.

(on camera): What is the danger to the United States of Xi Jinping being so powerful right now with North Korea and the U.S.?

JOHNSON: I think the risk for the U.S. in China`s leverage in this process right now is that if we don`t start making some progress in the North

Korea-U.S. bilateral channel, this makes -- gives Kim Jong-un a lot of leverage to be able to say, I have the Chinese backing me, you need to make

more concessions on armistice and on peace treaty and so on, before I`m willing to start declaring what I have in terms of nuclear capability.



AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

What do the names Whirlpool, Black Eye, and Sombrero all have in common?

Are they all appliance brands, names of galaxies, special ops forces, or oceanic reefs?

These are all the names of galaxies, massive concentration of stars.


AZUZ: Of course, the one we live in is the Milky Way, which would have made that question too easy. And scientists say they have detected some

sort of signal from outside it, fast radio bursts that repeat. Radio bursts, which are signals that only last for a millisecond or so, aren`t

that rare in space. But researchers say that last summer, a Canadian radio telescope recorded a burst six times from the same location, and that is

said to be unusual.

This is only the second time that this type of signal has been found to repeat. So, what is it? No one knows.

Some people think they could be a form of communication from extraterrestrial life trying to contact us. But scientists say that`s

probably not it. The bursts could come from neutron stars or a black hole. What they`re hoping is to record more of them so they can be studied and

used to explain their origin.

Low earth orbit is probably a lot closer than wherever those radio bursts came from. And there`s a long wait for companies that want to put their

small satellites into low earth orbit. There`s a new process that can speed that up by launching the satellites from the sky itself. But that

could come at a price of almost ten times the cost of launching a satellite from Earth.


DAN HART, CEO, VIRGIN ORBIT: It`s better than launching off the top of Mount Everest.

RACHEL CRANE, CNN BUSINESS INNOVATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart is talking about launching a rocket off a Boeing 747.

It`s one of the ways the company is looking to differentiate itself from competitors, who all launch from the ground, in the red hot small satellite

launch market.

(on camera): What kind of performance advantage are we talking about?

HART: We get somewhere between 10 percent and 20 percent improvement by flying on the aircraft. And it also allows us to get above the thick air

that you have at sea level. Because we get a performance advantage, we can make a rocket a little bit smaller, make the engines a little bit

smaller, and less expensive.

CRANE (voice-over): The advantages don`t stop there. Virgin Orbit says, theoretically, its system can take off from most commercial airports. The

company`s 747 Cosmic Girl serves as a flying launch pad for their 70-foot- long LauncherOne rocket. At 35,000 feet, the two-stage rocket is released from under the wings and ignites, (INAUDIBLE) customers` lightweight


The company says its launch would cost customers $10 million to $15 million and Virgin is aiming to be operational by early 2019. Having just

completed its first test flight, Orbit already has contracts with NASA and the Department of Defense.

HART: Most people don`t realize that the satellites are supporting us every day. So, a lot of our customers are commercial enterprises who are

setting up new applications for communication, for tracking ships, for mobile communication.

CRANE (on camera): Why did you want to get into the small sat space?

RICHARD BRANSON, FOUNDER, VIRGIN GROUP: It`s very expensive today to put satellites into space, and you have to wait for sometime six months, a

year, before you get a slot on a big rocket to get them up there. So, we thought that we could take it up to 35,000 feet, drop the rocket, and then

fire it off into space, we`d have a lot of advantages over any competitors.

CRANE (voice-over): Kelly Latimer pilots Virgin Orbit`s 747 Cosmic Girl, a retrofitted Virgin passenger airplane.

(on camera): This does not look like a typical 747. Why is it completely stripped inside?

KELLY LATIMER, PILOT, VIRGIN ORBIT: Part of that which is to get rid of the extra weight. The total weight we took out is about 50,000 pounds.

And the weight of the rocket is going to be about 58,000 pounds. So, it kind of let us put the rocket --


CRANE: Kind of eats it out.

LATIMER: Yes, put the rocket on without really eating the weight increase.

CRANE (voice-over): Latimer performed the first captive carry flight of its LauncherOne rocket, but says she`s really excited for the company`s

next major milestone, its first orbital flight.

LATIMER: I look forward to the day where it`s the actual rocket, it`s got the fuel onboard and we`re going to just go up there and drop it and see,

you know, go up in front of us.

CRANE: While Virgin Orbit inches closer to that milestone, competitor Rocket Lab recently launched six small satellites into low earth orbit.

Rocket Lab says it hopes to complete 16 launches next year, a number Virgin Orbit would like to top.

HART: We expect to be launching 20, 30, maybe more times a year. I could easily see us doing missions much further than low earth orbit, going to

geo, going to lunar, going to Mars.

BRANSON: The demand I think for small satellites around the earth is enormous. There`s about 4 billion people are not connected. They all want

to be connected.


AZUZ: A boy from California accidently left his stuff animals at a hotel in Hawaii, and that`s when their vacation turned awesome. The teddy bear

and stuffed seal got to chillax by the pool. Yes, I said chillax 2009.

Sunbathing, a spa treatment, a personal tour by the staff, all part of it. And it was that same staff who after the lost toys took them on this photo

shoot, packed them up and sent them home safe and sound to their owner.

So, how was their vacation? Plush. How did it make them feel? Soft. How are they after the five-star cuisine? Stuffed.

And they can`t build-a-bear the weight until they get back to where they`ve mini (ph).

I`m Carl Azuz, and that`s CNN 10.