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Connect the World

Two Previous Attempts to Launch the Starship ended in Explosions; Italy's Competition Authority Fines TikTok $11M for Failing to Sufficiently Protect Minors; World's Most Powerful Rocket Attempts 3rd Test Flight; SpaceX Launches Starship Rocket on 3rd Test Flight; Georgia Judge Could Remove District Attorney in Trump Case; What Does Freedom Mean to you. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired March 14, 2024 - 09:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Live pictures from SpaceX starship rocket there on the launch pad in Texas that launch should happen

this hour. It is 8 am in Boca Chica. It's 6 pm here in Abu Dhabi. I'm Becky Anderson. This is "Connect the World".

Your headlines this hour, Hamas confirms one of its commanders was killed in an Israeli airstrike on a U.N. building in Rafah on Wednesday. Italy's

competition authority fines TikTok millions for failing to sufficiently protect minors. And next up Donald Trump set to be back in court in


Well, the stock markets open in New York in about 30 minutes time futures indicating a relatively robust start to the trading day the numbers from

the Producer Price Index have just dropped, showing wholesale prices actually accelerating a little faster than expected in February jumping six

tenths of 1 percent higher than the forecast three tenths of 1 percent doesn't seem to be bothering the markets that much we will check back in as

they open bottom of the hour.

Well we are moments away from SpaceX is starship rocket latest launch attempt after two catastrophic explosions. Will it be third time lucky for

the most powerful rocket ever built? Well, these are live pictures from Boca Chica in Texas where the rocket is on the launch pad and set for


Two previous attempts as I say last year ended in high altitude explosions. Today's aim is to make it through an hour long test flight before

splashdown in the Indian Ocean. The system designed to be fully reusable intended for space exploration and tourism as well as taking astronauts

back to the moon as part of NASA's Artemis program.

Our CNN Space Expert Kristin Fisher has been following all of this and she joins me now. So let's just set this in context. How critical is today's

mission for SpaceX, Kristin?

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE & DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: It's a big one, Becky and it's one that NASA is going to be watching very closely because they

need this rocket it is the centerpiece it is the human landing system for its Artemis program. This is the spacecraft that they're going to use to

return NASA astronauts to the surface of the moon for the first time since the end of the Apollo program.

And as you know, NASA and the United States believe it is in a race with China to get there and build a base on the south pole of the moon. So

that's what's at stake here. SpaceX has made quite a few improvements to this spacecraft since the previous two flight tests ended in those rapid

unscheduled disassembles or explosions is most people call it.

And it's pretty remarkable that this flight is even happening today, Becky, because SpaceX just got its launch license yesterday at around 5 pm Eastern

time, so less than 24 hours ago from the FAA. So, you know, SpaceX has really been saying, we want to move faster. We want to do these test

flights in more rapid succession so that we can help NASA achieve its goal of landing astronauts on the surface of the moon within the next few years.

SpaceX has said the regulators specifically the FAA are kind of holding us up and slowing us down. So if SpaceX is indeed able to launch today, less

than 24 hours after it got its launch license from the FAA.

That's going to be a big sign to NASA and members of Congress to say, hey, look, see, we really are we're not waiting on the hardware. The hardware is

ready to go. We're really waiting on the FAA and the regulators to give us the green light, Becky.

ANDERSON: SpaceX poised for the third launch test of what is this Starship mega rocket. We will return to this and keep an eye on what is going on

there in Texas a little later. Thank you, Kristin.


Well, the Israeli military says it intends to move more than a million displaced people from Rafah before a planned assault on the border city in

Gaza. The IDF says the civilians will be relocated to what it calls humanitarian enclaves.

Meanwhile, Hamas confirms one of its commanders was killed in an Israeli strike on UNRWA building in Rafah on Wednesday. CNN's Scott McLean live in

Istanbul keeping across what is going on with the very latest, Scott.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky. So UNRWA says that five people were killed in this strike, including 1 staff member, 22 people were

injured. And this was on one of the last remaining food distribution centers in Rafah at a time when obviously, hunger is widespread, oftentimes

that is turning into famine, and this isn't a one off either.

The aid agency, the U.N. aid agency says that some 150 of its facilities have been hit since the war began. And it's not like Israel doesn't know

where they are. They are given the coordinates every single day, including in this case as well. And so UNRWA is calling this a blatant disregard for

international humanitarian law, while the Israelis are calling it a precise strike that killed a Hamas commander.

Only later, when CNN asked did they confirm that precise strike was on an UNRWA food distribution center. Now, the Israelis have also announced plans

now to move the 1.4 million people currently taking shelter in Rafah ahead of its planned invasion, it says that it's going to move them to what it's

calling humanitarian enclaves elsewhere, and provide food, water, housing and hospital care as well.

But a lot of people will hear that and roll their eyes because of course well Israel has failed to get enough aid into this territory already. An

Israeli official previously said that it would take two weeks to build up just the troops in that area in order to launch that kind of invasion, how

long it takes to move 1.4 million people though. It's really anyone's guess, Becky.

ANDERSON: Meantime, significant concern still about the opening of a second front to the north of Israel with Lebanon, and the wider regional story,

which sort of leeches into where I am here in the Gulf, and that is the Red Sea. What's going on?

MCLEAN: Yeah, that's right. So the U.S., the Pentagon says that they carried out strikes yesterday in Houthi territory in Yemen against four

drones and one missile after a Houthi missile was launched into the Red Sea. It didn't hit anything. We're also getting a word of another Houthi

missile launch again in the Gulf of Aden again, didn't hit anything.

But it really illustrates the danger here. And we know that danger is often being disproportionately carried by Filipino seafarers who make up some 1/5

of the global crew members for commercial ships around the world. They make up the majority of the Galaxy Leader crew that was taken hostage back in

November and are still being held hostage in Yemen.

And they also make up the majority of the True Confidence crew which was hit last week, resulting in three people killed the very first three people

killed. Most of the Filipino survivors of that ship arrived back in Manila this week watch.


MCLEAN (voice-over): This was the burning wreckage of the cargo ship True Confidence after it took a direct hit from a Houthi missile last week.

Video from the Indian Navy shows troops winching the stranded crew into a helicopter later tending to injuries. One had burns to his face, and other

later had his leg amputated.

According to the Philippines government, most of the 23 crew members were Filipino, and arrived back in Manila this week.

MARK DAGOHOY, CREW MEMBER OF SHIP ATTACKED BY HOUTHIS: It's saddening and horrible because we were all together and suddenly all this happened. It's

very painful for us, especially for the families.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Three of the crew is still on board the ship, presumed dead. These are the first deaths after months of Houthi missile attacks in

the Red Sea, targeting any ships with links to Israel, the U.S. or the U.K. True Confidence is now somewhere in the Arabian Sea, slowly being tugged to

the nearest safe port according to Filipino Diplomat Eduardo de Vega.

EDUARDO DE VEGA, PHILIPPINE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: One family still holding crew until they see the remains of the loved one they continue to

grow miracles to happen.

MCLEAN (voice-over): De Vega overseas his countrymen who make up 1/5 of the world's commercial seafarers. Filipinos also make up most of the Galaxy

Leaders crew. It was hijacked by Houthi gunmen back in November, through it been held hostage ever since.


VEGA: The work we get from Houthis is same, and they've been saying it that they will keep holding the ship and all the crewmen until we see an end to

the hostilities in Gaza.

MCLEAN: There's no point in negotiating.

VEGA: We believe they may be expecting that governments recognize them as the official government, and it will be difficult for any government to

recognize the government which patches the ships on the sea.

MCLEAN (voice-over): New data shared with CNN by maritime security firm Ambrey Analytics shows the extent of the Houthis attacks on commercial

ships since November, almost 100 incidents at least 23 of them missile or drone attacks that left physical damage to a vessel. One ship the RUBYMAR

was sunk.

De Vega believes most of the Galaxy Leader crewmen are still being held on board the ship, which has become a local tourist attraction off the coast

of Hodeidah in Yemen. November the Houthis promised to treat the crew members as their guests are in weekly contact with their families is being

fed and there is no indication of abuse. De Vega says the only proper treatment is to release them.


MCLEAN (on camera): So Becky, international standards dictate that when these crew members go to these designated hostile environments like the Red

Sea and the Gulf of Aden, that they should A, be paid double what they normally are and B, they should be given very clearly the opportunity not

to go and instead be repatriated to their home countries at the expense of the company.

Now, Eduardo de Vega that Filipino Diplomat you saw there says that in this case, at least early indications are that they were given that chance. But

according to the Financial Times, the ownership of that ship changed from American registration to Liberian registration, just days before the attack

were carried out.

And obviously, that would have put a lot more risk on these crew members. And what is not clear at this point is whether the crew members were aware

of that fact, in fact, De Vega says that as a general rule, crew members likely are not aware of the ownership of the ship that they're actually on

though, given the risk that they're carrying, especially these days.

They should be ideally. We've also reached out to the previous owner, the previous American owners of that ship, Becky that declined to comment for

this story.

ANDERSON: Important reporting, good to have you Scott, Scott McLean on the story. The conflict in Gaza and kids there regaining some sense of normalcy

and displaced mark, Ramadan with songs and with decorations in their tent cities, but for so many in Gaza, there isn't enough food and water to break

the daily fast.

You can read more about the humanitarian crisis in the Enclave by scanning the QR code here or by going to and subscribing to our newsletter

meanwhile, in the Middle East. And a reminder, a few of our top story this that we are keeping a very close eye on these pictures.

These are live SpaceX pictures out of Texas we are just minutes away T- minus 11 50 odd seconds from launch and we'll bring you that as it happens. And troubles for social media giant TikTok mounting, Italy's competition

authority has slapped the app with an $11 million fine for failing to monitor content that could threaten the safety of minors last month.

TikTok was forced to remove some video showing young people doing a dangerous challenge known as the French scar which involves pinching your

cheek to leave a lasting bruise. Anna Stewart joins us now with more, Anna.

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, pretty strange trend wasn't it and one that's quite damaging. There were concerns about the mental health and

physical health of some of these young people during the French scar trend. Dermatologists warned that it could like leave lasting damage.

So this was another move in Europe to make social media companies in this example TikTok more responsible for the harmful content on their platforms.

And in this case, you had the communications regulator in Italy, forcing them to remove some of the video earlier this year.

And the anti-trust regulator started the investigation last year and has now issued this fine saying that TikTok simply didn't do enough to prevent

the algorithm from profiling young users so that it could be spread. Now TikTok certainly disagrees with this assessment.


They released a statement saying they disagree with the decision. And they say that the content average just 100 daily searches prior to the

investigation by the anti-trust regulators suggesting that that actually pushed it into having more interest in being shared more. They say they

restricted the visibility of the content under eighteens a long time ago.

That is the current situation with TikTok in Italy. The EU has actually passed legislation that's going to make it even more difficult, I think for

these platforms to get away with not restricting this sort of harmful content.

ANDERSON: Good to have you. Thank you. I'm flip flopping back to our top story now that launch that should have happens have moments from now in

Texas. Let's get some insight on all of this. From two men who have taken multiple space flights between them. Former Astronauts Leroy Chiao and

Chris Hadfield join me to share their firsthand experience of what is the incredible tech drama and adrenaline behind a rocket launch.

Let's bring these pictures up. Gentlemen, T-minus 9 and counting as far as minutes are concerned, not second at this point. Do we have our guests?

Yes, we do, sir, Leroy, as you look at these images, what's going through your mind?

LEROY CHIAO, FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT: This is a very exciting moment. You know, I think third time is going to be the charm. This rocket is certainly

disruptive is designed to be a fully reusable system. The Starship is also fully reusable. We'd like to see a successful test of that as well a lot of

objectives there.

And you know, you talked about the excitement of launch, and it kind of brings me back to you know, getting on a space shuttle or a Soyuz rocket

and waiting there for the final minutes and when it starts to really become real, you know, you've spent so much time in simulators hundreds of hours

and simulators that everything's familiar but then there's that realization hits you that hey this time it's for real.

ANDERSON: And by which you mean what when you when you're there and you're in a rocket you're an astronaut and you realize it's for real. What then is

going through your mind at that point?

CHIAO: Well you know for me the very first time I had launched the you know, we got into the space shuttle is all very familiar, like I said, I

mean except it was perpendicular was pointing up right and but then all the panels, everything was familiar going through all the sequences in the

checklist and then we get to that final point, about a minute and a half before launch when we get the final call from the Launch Control Center.

You know close and lock your visors initiate to flow and have a good flight. And at that point, it's becomes very real and became very real and

I had this a little adrenaline rush and you know, we went through all that and just the last minute tick by and we were on our way.

ANDERSON: I want to take a very short break don't go anywhere folks watching stay with us. Seven minutes and change before the scheduled launch

of this SpaceX mega rocket, more on that after this.



ANDERSON: T-minus five minutes and changes our top story, the launch that should happen moments from now in Texas. Let's get you back to Former

Astronaut Leroy Chiao drama adrenaline. That's always top of anybody's mind when we think about a rocket launch. This, as I understand it is the

biggest, strongest and most powerful transportation vehicle in the world. What do you understand to be the importance and significance of today's

launch, sir?

CHIAO: Well, yes, this is absolutely the biggest and most powerful vehicle ever devised. And this time, the third flight test, I mean, we've made

great strides, it may not seem like it. But if we had on the first and second launch attempts and this will be the third one. I expect this one to

go pretty well if because they've learned a lot of lessons.

This will be a disruptive thing because it's fully reusable, both the booster and the Starship vehicle that will dramatically bring down the

price of launching things into orbit and beyond by quite a large factor, more so than I think the lay public realizes. And that's going to be a game

changer from launching satellites to having the building the infrastructure to build colonies on the moon or even some kind of basis.

And then going on to Mars of course, Elon Musk has famously said he started SpaceX because he wants to put colonies on Mars. He Himself wants to live

on Mars. And so this is a big step towards that goal.

ANDERSON: Chris Hadfield joining us, Leroy, of course, is the Former Commander of the ISS. Elon Musk wants to live on Mars. Would you go sir,

given the opportunity?

CHRIS HADFIELD, FORMER CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY ASTRONAUT: Well, I mean, you only live once. And what do you want to accomplish in your life? What do

you think is worthwhile, what adventures appeal to each of us individually, and a lot of people of course, but not lot want to, but a lot of people

want to live in Antarctica, thousands of people.

Hundred people live at the South Pole. You know, there are people that live way in the high Arctic and all regions of the earth. And so there's always

going to be some of us that want to be on the edge of exploration and see what's possible and push the edge of the human experience.

And Leroy, and myself as Astronauts and Space Station Commanders, were obviously to some degree part of that group. And to me, it's excited me

since I was very young.

ANDERSON: Yep. And so many people talk so romantically about space, as you watch these images were two minutes in change before the scheduled launch

of what is this mega rocket. And just walk us through your memories of your time in space, if you will, Chris.

HADFIELD: Sure. But you know I was a test pilot before that. And this is a test flight, you know, and I tested lots of different airplanes and new

engines and all. And so there's a huge amount of excitement in preparation, whether it's testing a new aircraft or flying a spaceship or a rocket ship.

But what you are mostly is focused, you are as focused as a human being could be about all the things that might go wrong, and how you're going to

react to them. And this is only the third time this ship has ever flown. So there are still a huge number of unknowns. But yes, we're a minute and a

half away.

Hopefully the window stays low enough. I'm pretty excited for all the team at SpaceX to all those people who have worked on this rocket for years and

hope it gets further than we've ever been before.

ANDERSON: I think I'm just going to pause for a moment, keep you both with me. I want you both to have an opportunity to watch this launch as well.

We'll just keep these pictures up for the time being and we've just been looking at those staff who are clearly you know, involved in this launch.

Very confident it seems about what happens next with somewhat on 45 seconds to go now and counting. Let's listen in.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clearly 2D paths are -- 42nd holders go from -- flight director Ty Huntington and telling the team we are go for 20 seconds to go.

Listen in. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 30 seconds into flight we are feeling the rumble we are seeing 33 at a 33 Raptor engines ignited on the super heavy booster.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Booster ship avionics power and telemetry nominal acquisition and single Corpus Christi --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Continuing to get good call outs our trajectory looking nominal systems looking nominal just amazing to see all 33 lit up once

again. This point we've already passed through max q, that maximum dynamic pressure and passing supersonic so we're now moving faster than the speed

of sound getting those onboard views from the ship cameras.

Now the next major milestone is going to be a hot staging maneuver. Again we're going to be doing that in just about 90 seconds to do that we're

going to shut down all that the three center Raptor engines on super heavy. That'll be our Miko, our most engines cut off and then the clamps holding

the two stages together we're going to release Starship second stage will ignite its engines the R-Vac's first.

The sea levels right after that, the sea level engines will be splayed are just kind of pointed out at about a 15 degree angle or look close to

tracking you might be able to see those center right after. And so those six engines will push Starship off of the booster. All right, counting down

now we're going to be coming up right around the three minute mark on that hot staging maneuver.

Again we'll see the booster engines start to shut down you'll see all but three lights go out in the middle and then we'll see the engines ignite on

ship pushing it away and that will start carrying the ship into space booster will start to do its flip and then move into the -- burn setting it

up splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hot staging confirmed boosters now making its way back seen six engines ignited on ship. Hey we got a Starship on its way to space and a booster on

the way back to the Gulf.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh man, I need a moment to pick my jaw up from the floor because these views are just stunning. These are live views from

Starship firstly just currently performing -- their news informing us at the second stage or the ship everything looking good nominal there.

First stage is currently performing the boost back burn expecting that to last about one minute that boost back burn. That respect burned propels the

booster back towards the coast taking it to a landing in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. We're only using the super heavy boosters 13 center engines

from here on out as whenever they relate you'll be able to see that in the left bottom corner.

Those are the ones that can gimbal In other words, they move and change direction in order to change the thrust to steer the first stage back to

Earth. Well these are just incredible views coming to us.


Everything is looking good for both the first stage on the left hand side of your screen or the super heavy booster, as well as on the right hand

side of your screen that is starship or we also refers to that as the ship. Now the boost back burn was the first of two burns required to return it to


The next one will be the landing burn where all 13 center engines will initially ignite and then transition into a three engine burn to help slow

it down. Now just as a reminder of the stage one test objectives, we're looking for controlled ascent, which we have so far stage separation which

gorgeous we cruise right through it, as well as --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- the normal trajectory.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good news, they're telling us that the path that starship is on is good. Now starship second stage is still firing its

engines and as you heard following planned flight path, the ship objectives we're looking for hot staging, again cruise right through that we're

looking to demonstrate controlled ascent as well as orbital insertion. The bottom right hand corner of the screen shows the ship engine graphics so be

sure to keep an eye on those.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yep, OK, like this is just a phenomenal test so far. Super heavy is performing beautifully today. It's on its return leg of the

journey. Ship is continuing to burn its six engines, those larger circles, the Raptor vacuum engines, the inner circles, the Raptor sea level engines.

We're about 30 seconds away. Just 30 seconds away -- excuse me the landing on the booster.

You see the fans rotating those hypersonic -- are guiding us through the atmosphere back towards our splashdown site. Again, we're going for a hard

split for a splashdown, a soft splashdown. So for landing burn, we're going to expect to see the 13 center engines light, rapidly bring down the

boosters velocity and then just the three in the center for splashdown.

Let's see if that'll work. Again, if you have a few engines and acquisition of signal, we'll see if we can get some other video of that. Now, this is a

test objective today it is still something that we're attempting to learn. And to make it that far to demonstrate the controlled reentry up to that

point is pretty darn good, ship continuing to look nominal with its ascent burn. This burn lasting about six minute's total.

And we're expecting that this burn will end just after T plus eight minutes about a minute from now. So far, though I mean, congrats to the team making

it this far is farther that we've gone


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On flight to just wonderful views and great engine performance from the vehicle.


ANDERSON: Well, you heard it from those involved, congrats to that team for achieving what they have achieved today. Let's explain what exactly that

is. I've got Chris and Leroy, both experts astronauts themselves. Gentlemen, Chris, let me start with you. What have we just witnessed?

HADFIELD: We've witnessed getting starship further into space than ever happened before. They got a clean separation; the first stage came back and

came down through the atmosphere. Looks like maybe as it was getting down into the thick air, it might have had some control problems. But the actual

spaceship itself, the ship is continuing to accelerate. It's already almost at orbital speed of 28,000 kilometers an hour.

And that engines continuing to work. They've just shut down those engines. So I mean this is a huge step forwards in understanding how this ship

works, a very successful third test flight.

ANDERSON: And we as you know punters it's very British word, but we as consumers, those who haven't had the opportunity to go to space have just

witnessed Leroy, some incredible footage as we explain the enormity the significance of what is this test flight. The images that we've seen will

be frankly familiar to you too. But again you just explain the significance of what we've seen here and look; this is just -- this is beautiful.


CHIAO: Oh, absolutely beautiful. And as I had a feeling everything went really, really well today. You know, we saw the super heavy booster perform

flawlessly, got up the starship, separated away perfectly and started its return. As was mentioned, it looks like Chris said, and I agree, it looks

like at the end there might have had some control problems.

But you're going to expect a few little glitches, the big thing is, it got its payload on its way it came back most of the way back. And they're going

to work that part out. Starship on the other hand is looks like it got into near orbit perfectly. It's not going to do a complete orbit. It's going to

splashdown somewhere near Madagascar. But everything looks to be going perfectly.

They're going to be doing some orbit operations, including opening up payload bays, doing a fuel transfer, other proving and demonstrate the

technologies, but today, very exciting day. And as we discussed earlier, this is a big disrupter for sure.

ANDERSON: Yeah and Chris, we were talking about the significance and importance to NASA's Artemis project. Can you just put that into context

here? What is it that we're seeing today that makes an enormous difference to the potential success of NASA's project going forward?

HADFIELD: If you look back to like how we got to Antarctica for a long, long time, we just had sales, but then we invented steam powered ships and

then we invented airplanes. And suddenly Antarctica became a place that people could not just explore, but start to live. And what this ship is

demonstrating for us is that same sort of transition in, in space exploration and in delivery to orbit and in lunar settlement.

And then maybe eventually even Martian settlement, this step increase in capability, you know ten times the amount of stuff up to space. And it's

just wonderful to see just how far this is getting on the test today. It just opens doors forever now to new opportunity. And there's still a lot of

testing to go. This is only the third test flight, but I'm really joyful for the whole SpaceX team. And for everybody in this space business of what

this is opening up for everyone.

ANDERSON: Yeah, it's been remarkable to watch this with the cameras positioned as they are. Give me your sort of, you know, front row seat, if

not kind of a sense of a real time experience here. Leroy, it sounded like the hot staging maneuver was important. What is that stage?

CHIAO: Yes, that is a very important piece of the test and of the vehicle design. And basically what happens is that the prior to separation, the

starship actually lights its own engines, part of its some of its own engines. And then there's a shutdown and the booster engines and the

separation. So there's no lag if you will, basically what happens is the starship apps actually flies away from the booster, which is starting to

slow down.

And of course, that's important because you liked those engines, you keep it from re-contacting. You don't want any kind of collision. But that all

looks like it went flawlessly. And this as Chris just said, this is an enabler, this technology, this flight test today shows that it will be

perfected. It's not -- could it work, can it work, it will work. And it's just a matter of getting it perfect and becoming operational.

ANDERSON: So what we've seen here is controlled ascent and stage separation, Chris, what is next when you talk about how much more testing

there is to do at this point?

HADFIELD: Well, if you look at the screen now you can see that the spaceship itself, the starship is still in space. It's 190 kilometers up,

it's turned around backwards, it's running through those tests. And now it's going to try and fly down and use the friction of the air to slow it


So it's a big test of the heat shield on a hollow ceramic tile that are glued to the bottom when we first started flying the space shuttle that was

a big problem trying to qualify all of those heat tiles so we have that to prove.

And then eventually we need to be able to land the first stage back into the launch tower and so it can be recovered and are 100 percent reusable.

And you have to do that transition with the spaceship itself and flip it around and land on its own tail. So they're putting all the pieces

together. But if this were a big jigsaw, a whole bunch of pieces got into place today.


ANDERSON: That issue of reusability that is what Elon Musk promised at the outset of, of his project with SpaceX. And he was determined that the

private sector could do this and that this will be reusable. I mean, just how far has this company come? Leroy, let's, let's start with you. And how

consequential is the work that is being done in the private sector in support of times, you know, what NASA and organizations like NASA are

doing? But if you can just provide me that kind of critical context as we continue to watch what is going on in Texas today.

CHIAO: Well, certainly and Elon Musk, from the very early on said, look, we've got to be reusable, we've got to move towards 100 percent

reusability. And his analogy was look, every time we get on the 737, we don't throw it away after one flight, you know, there would be no airlines.

And so we've got to get into that same mode.

And of course, all the experts in the field and I have to admit, at the time, I was skeptical too, when he said he's going to recover first stages,

actually fly them back and land them either back at the launch site or on a drone ship.

And he failed many, many times and learned from all those failures. And finally, now it's routine. And so you're going to see the same thing with

the Falcon super heavy that just launched the day, a version of it in the future will also come back and be fully reusable. Starship, you can think

of it I mean, it's going to be a space shuttle, it's going to have humans on board one day, it's going to come back and be re-useful.

But it's going to be more reusable than the space shuttle it was the space shuttle many parts of it, including the engines had to be pretty much

rebuilt in order for it to reasonable. This is disruptive because it's going to be inexpensive.

ANDERSON: Well, the clock has been ticking down for SpaceX to be ready of course for NASA's plan return of astronauts to the moon in 2026. Using what

is a modified starship as the land of vehicle. It's been fun having you guys; it's been spectacular watching the images that we have just watched

60 minutes in to this test. It's good to have you guys. We are going to take a very short break, back after this.



ANDERSON: Former U.S. President Donald Trump is arriving at a Florida courthouse for what could be a full day of hearings in the classified

documents case against him. Donald Trump's lawyers will ask the judge to dismiss the case. Trump speaking to reporters before entering court. And

the judge who is ruling on whether the district attorney handling the Trump election subversion case should be removed tells CNN he expects to make the

decision this week.

Georgia Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said quote, I plan to stick to my timeline. Fani Willis is the Attorney responsible for

prosecuting Former President Trump and 14 of his co-defendants. Yesterday, Judge McAfee dismissed several of the election subversion charges Trump and

his co-defendants were facing.

And in other international news just days before Russia's presidential election, Ukrainian forces appear to be sending a message to voters despite

what Russian President Vladimir Putin may claim. The war isn't going entirely his way. Over the past two days, at least three Russian oil

refineries some of the biggest in the country have come under attack from Ukrainian drones.

According to Ukrainian defense sources, a fourth refinery has also been targeted, but for now no official word of Ukrainian involvement. Well, at

this oil facility South East of Moscow, at least two people were reportedly injured and Russian officials confirmed a fire broke out overnight and was

later put out. According to Ukrainian sources the drone attacks are intended to limit Moscow's oil revenue and in that way, impact the

Kremlin's funding for the wall.

Well in Nigeria gunmen who kidnapped almost 300 schoolchildren are now threatening to kill them if they are not paid more than $600,000. Last

week, our men on motorbikes abducted the kids from this school in Kaduna; while Nigeria's President says the kidnappers will be brought to justice

his government is refusing to pay the ransom.


MOHAMMED IDRIS MALAGI, NIGERIA'S INFORMATION MINISTER: Government is not taking any excuses. The president has directed that security agencies must

as a matter of urgency ensure that these children and all those who have been kidnapped are brought back in safety and also in the process to ensure

that not a dime is paid for ransom.


ANDERSON: Well according to one resident, he lives close to the school the kidnapping is revenge for the killing of gang members by government

security services. You're watching "Connect the World" with me Becky Anderson here on CNN, we will be right back.



ANDERSON: Well, it's been a day of technological breakthroughs. And here's another tech story for you. Tablets and laptops becoming common resources

aren't they in many classrooms today. But one Dubai based school is taking tech to the next level. Anna Stewart is with the story.


PEPPER, A HUMANOID ROBOT: Today -- domains of sound and light.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do we need like to see objects?

PEPPER: That's a curious question.

STEWART (voice-over): Today in this Dubai classroom, a humanoid robot is temporarily in charge. Pepper isn't meant to replace the grade one class

teacher; rather it's giving pre-programmed answers to questions the students have been told to us. Sound boring? Well, it's not because Pepper

is actually part of a school wide project aimed at introducing children to tech.

SREEJIT CHAKRABARTY, DIRECTOR OF AI & ROBOTICS, GEMS DUBAI AMERICAN ACADEMY: We're living in a world that is changing every second. And by the

time they are out in the world, the world is going to be an entirely different place. So please be aware of these technologies is really, really


STEWART (voice-over): Gems Dubai American Academy has two Peppers and two smaller versions called Mau (ph). Grade four scripts Peppers lessons, grade

eight then builds upon that code, adding multimedia to the presentation. And afterwards High School is program Pepper sensors to make the lesson

more interactive.

STEWART: Your students are learning how to code, but they're also from a very young age connecting with a humanoid. Is there anything that the

humanoid can give them that a human teacher can't?

CHAKRABARTY: With the sensors on board the robot, it can actually track how well the students are reacting to that piece of content. Are they

interested? Are they happy? Are they sad? Or are they even bored? And it could interrupt and pull out a piece of content that will make them engaged

in that lesson again.

STEWART (voice-over): Pepper visits the grade one classes around eight times a year.

PEPPER: Keeping curious exploring and asking questions.

STEWART: Who likes Pepper?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like everything about that Pepper.

STEWART: Would you like every lesson to be taught by Pepper?


STEWART (voice-over): When Pepper steps in; sometimes the class's human teacher can't help but feel concerned.

PRIYA NORONHA KUMAR, HEAD OF GRADE 1, GEMS DUBAI AMERICAN ACADEMY: In the future, I feel like Pepper would be able to answer questions faster than I

would as a teacher. However, human impact of empathy and values and kindness and those kinds of things is only through human contact. So --

STEWART: Good. You're in a job for a bit longer than.

KUMAR: Yeah, I'm going run with that.

PEPPER: Until our next Science Adventure, keep observing the world around you like true scientists.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom to me is being able to reach my goals without any barriers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom is the ability to have your own thoughts and make your own decisions without others putting their prejudices on you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Being able to feel my passion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom is when you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.


ANDERSON: Well, students from Ivory Coast there are sharing what freedom means to them. CNN is partnering with youngsters around the globe for the

eighth year of "My Freedom Day" a day of action, led by students to raise awareness of modern day slavery. We've heard from kids and teens from Nepal

to Ecuador standing up against child labor. Students in Kosovo are also sharing their thoughts.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you to start with the choices that we make today choose to stand against child labor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every handprint is a step closer finding child labor print your pledge today, My Freedom Day.











ANDERSON: Today is "My Freedom Day". And we will have a lot more of this student led activity. Next out will head to schools in Atlanta, Georgia and

to Sao Paulo in Brazil. And before we leave you a reminder of our top story this hour, what has been a riveting launch to watch with these incredible

pictures that made us feel like we were literally being taken on a ride with the world's largest rocket SpaceX demonstrating a controlled ascent

and stage separation.

And we learned what all of that meant with our two expert astronauts. I hope you had as much fun as we did. We'll leave you with these pictures.

And we will be back just after this short break with a lot more "Connect the World", stay with us.