Record-Breaking Property Loans Revealed by Australian Bureau of Statistics

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Australians are borrowing more money for property than ever before.

It was recorded that a rising 5.6 per cent to $24 billion is the total value of new loan commitments for housing reached a record high in November 2020. The amount was almost a third higher than it was in November 2019, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amanda Seneviratne, the ABS’ head of finance and wealth, revealed most of the money was allocated in for homes that already existed.

According to her, “loan commitments for existing dwellings rose 5.9 per cent and were the largest contributor to the rise in November’s owner-occupier housing loan commitments.”

She added the value of construction loan obligations surged to 5.6 per cent in November, skyrocketing to 75 per cent since July. This follows the June’s enactment of the Government’s HomeBuilder grant as a nod to COVID-19.

“Other federal and state government incentives and ongoing low-interest rates also contributed to the continuing growth in new housing loan commitments.” She explained.

The number of loan commitments for first home buyers rose 3.1 per cent to 13,905, marking a stratospheric rise of 42.5 per cent since the start of the year. A huge spike in home loans also marks a return to form for the Australian property market, which was remarkably resilient throughout the worst of the pandemic.

Given this fact, it seemed that the lack of accessibility to view and purchase properties merely rested ordinary trade until vendors, agents and buyers could begin working as normal.

As per, Tim Lawless, Corelogic’s research director, “the number of residential property sales plummeted by 40 per cent through March and April but finished the year with almost 8 per cent more sales relative to a year ago as buyer numbers surged through the second half of the year.”

The director asserted that although the unpredictability is prevalent, housing values showed notable resilience, falling by only 2.1 per cent and recovering with strength throughout the final quarter of 2020.

The Queen praises the resilience of people in the UK and around the world in her annual Christmas speech – Channel 4 News

The Queen praised the resilience of people in the UK and around the world during a year dominated by the coronavirus pandemic. In her Christmas message recorded at Windsor Castle she said even in the darkest times – there was till the prospect of hope.

Plus ambassadors from all 27 European countries have gathered in Brussels to be briefed on the  post-Brexit trade deal with the UK.

An extra 800 military personnel have been deployed to help thousands of lorry drivers who are stranded in Kent, waiting to cross into France.

And the choir of Notre-Dame has sung inside the medieval Paris cathedral for the first time since it was nearly destroyed by a fire. A small group of choristers took part in a special Christmas Eve concert broadcast on French television.

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Malls’ last stand – The surprising resilience of American restaurant chains | Business

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Mastercard’s Digital Intelligence Index reveals digital trust and resilience in APAC economies

  • Stand Out economies in APAC include Singapore, Chinese Taipei and Malaysia
  • Quality of access, accountable institutions, among factors in digital competitiveness

The Fletcher School at Tufts University in the US, in partnership with Mastercard, recently unveiled the Digital Intelligence Index, which charts the progress economies have made in advancing their digitalisation, fostering trust and integrating connectivity. While there is no country analysis, an interactive version allows for quick comparison of up to five economies.

The once in three years index builds upon earlier editions in 2014 and 2017. 2020’s index paints a picture of global digital development, sheds insight on key factors driving change and momentum, and unpacks what this means for economies facing the challenges of a global pandemic and post-pandemic future. 

Notably across Asia Pacific, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, South Korea and Chinese Taipei are amongst the most digitally dynamic economies. South Korea and Chinese Taipei have significantly outperformed the OECD growth rate in Q2 2020 amidst the global lockdown.

These economies feature high levels of available talent, active R&D collaboration between industry and academia, and a strong record of creating and bringing digital products into the mainstream.

“The pandemic may be the purest test of the world’s progress towards digitalisation. We have a clearer view on how dynamic digital economies can contribute to economic resiliency during a time of unparalleled global turmoil and can be positioned for recovery and change,” says Fletcher’s Dean of Global Business Bhaskar Chakravorti.

Other key findings include:

  • With nearly two thirds of the world’s population online today, we are entering an ‘after access’ phase, where access alone is not enough. Aspects such as the quality of access, effective use of digital technologies, accountable institutions, robust data governance policies and fostering trust are greater factors in determining digital competitiveness and sustainability.
  • Young people in emerging economies are demonstrating high levels of digital engagement, a bright spot for governments attempting to expand digitalization in their economies.Mastercard’s Digital Intelligence Index reveals digital trust and resilience in APAC economies

Mastercard’s president of Cyber & Intelligence Ajay Bhalla (pic) says: “Never before has there been such an acute need to understand the factors that drive digitalization and digital trust. With that knowledge, businesses and governments can work together to help all 7.6 billion people around the world benefit from the vast opportunities a digitally advanced economy can bring. 

“Whilst much remains uncertain today, it is clear that digital success will be a key building block in our collective recovery.”

Malaysia's digital economy outperformed those of its ASEAN neighbours, Singapore aside.

Digital evolution

This year’s index, Mastercard notes, looks at two components: Digital Evolution and Digital Trust. Digital Evolution captures an economy’s historical momentum from the physical past to the digital present. Digital Trust is the bridge that connects its journey from the digital present to an intelligent and inclusive digital future.

Mapping 95% of the world’s online population and drawing on 12 years of data, the Digital Evolution scorecard measures 160 indicators in 90 economies across four key pillars: institutional environment, demand conditions, supply conditions, and the capacity for innovation and change. These segment into four categories:

  • “Stand Out” economies in Asia Pacific are Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, South Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Malaysia. They’re in this category alongside the United States, Germany, Israel, and others because they’re both highly digitally advanced and exhibit high momentum. They are leaders in driving innovation, building on their existing advantages in efficient and effective ways.
  • “Stall Out” economies in Asia Pacific are Australia, New Zealand and Japan. These are noted as mature digital economies with a high state of digital adoption despite slowing digital momentum. They tend to trade off speed for sustainability and are typically invested in expanding digital inclusion and building robust institutions.
  • “Break Out” economies in Asia Pacific include mainland China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand. These are evolving rapidly with momentum and significant headroom for growth that is highly attractive to investors.
  • “Watch Out” economies – such as the Philippines – have a number of infrastructure gaps. Despite this, young people are showing enthusiasm for a digital future with increased use of social media and mobile payments.

Mastercard’s Digital Intelligence Index reveals digital trust and resilience in APAC economies

Digital trust

The Digital Trust scorecard, on the other hand, measures 198 indicators in 42 of the index’s economies across four key pillars: behaviour, attitudes, environment, and experience.

  • Economies such as Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, Chinese Taipei and South Korea provide citizens with a near seamless experience, delivering the holy grail of advanced infrastructure, broad access and unparalleled interaction. This experience is also matched by high levels of engagement, offering these economies a clear advantage in a ‘beyond access’ future.
  • Economies such as mainland China, Indonesia and Vietnam have increasingly favorable attitudes about their digital future, buoyed by rapidly expanding digital adoption and opportunity. 
  • Overall, digitally advanced economies with higher levels of socio-economic equity expressed more positive attitudes towards digital technologies, while fast-moving Break Outs are more optimistic than their Watch Out peers.

“Covid-19 has advanced digitalisation across Asia Pacific by at least five years in as many months, only serving to further accelerate the development of the digital ecosystems across the region. With rising levels of consumer trust and engagement and growing digitisation in the small business segment, all deeply supported by proactive enabling actions from governments, the opportunities ahead for the region’s digital economy are immense,” comments Matthew Driver, Executive Vice President, Services, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.

“With Asia Pacific poised to recover quickly from the pandemic, the strong performance in the two components of Digital Evolution and Trust will only serve to further support Asia’s leadership in digital.”

Mastercard’s Digital Intelligence Index reveals digital trust and resilience in APAC economies

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Alex Davies showed he has resilience to match his significant talent

By Michael Whiting

Alex Davies is a rangy, inside ball-winning midfielder, but in his only game following the COVID-19 shutdown period, displayed another attribute that could be just as important at AFL level.

The Gold Coast Academy product showed he could play with injury.

Playing for Broadbeach in the senior QAFL competition, the 18-year-old ruptured two ligaments in his elbow in the opening five minutes against Mt Gravatt. He played the game out.

It was only later that week Davies raised the issue with the club’s physio and was ruled out for the remainder of the shortened season.

“I didn’t tell anyone I hurt my elbow until a few days later, because I thought I was fine,” Davies told

“I kept waking up in my sleep, so I told the physio and got an MRI and found out it was ruptured.

“I couldn’t use my left arm. I couldn’t do much in the midfield, couldn’t tackle or win a contested ball. I knew something was wrong, I just didn’t know how bad it was.”

Davies is available to be pre-selected by the Suns ahead of the NAB AFL Draft, meaning the club won’t have to match a bid for him under their list concessions from the AFL. He’ll be added directly to the club’s primary list. 

He hails from Cairns in Far North Queensland, where current Gold Coast players Jarrod Harbrow, Jack Bowes and Caleb Graham also come from.

Harbrow’s brother Marc coached Davies in his junior years.

Davies had an excellent underage career, representing Queensland at both under-17 and under-18 level, but only after choosing footy over basketball.

Through his early teenage years, the 191cm midfielder was part of the Cairns Taipans Academy, training five days a week with the round ball.

But when the opportunity to move south as a 16-year-old and finish his schooling on the Gold Coast was presented, Davies pounced.

He had been part of Gold Coast’s Academy program since the age of 12, but this would take it to another level and heighten his chances of playing in the AFL.

“I preferred basketball with the aircon in Cairns – it was much easier to train,” he laughed.

“I went as far as I could with basketball until I had to make a decision.

“Any kid from North Queensland would want to live on the Gold Coast.

“It was a pretty easy decision. I loved the footy environment a lot more, so I chose the footy pathway.

“There’s heaps more kids like me playing rugby league and other sports and I think the Academy has helped a lot of people switch codes.

“It makes it a lot easier, you’re already in a semi-professional environment the way they run it.

“I’m not going to lie, it was tough getting used to everything when I first moved down, but once I settled down I loved it, it was definitely the right decision.”

Although the youngster says “nothing is set in stone”, if the Suns select Davies as expected he has a head start, having already trained with the club and getting to know the players, coaching staff and administration.

After suffering from shin splints that kept him out of the AFL Combine, he is almost back to 100 per cent fitness.

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Goulburn Mulwaree and Upper Lachlan Councils win resilience grants | Goulburn Post

news, local-news, Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Upper Lachlan Shire Council, bushfire recovery assistance, Angus Taylor, Wendy Tuckerman, Bob Kirk, Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund

Two councils in the area will receive $100,000 each to help recover from last summer’s bushfires. Federal Hume MP announced the assistance under stream one of the joint federal and state Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund on Thursday. The money will go to Goulburn Mulwaree and Upper Lachlan Shire Councils to help “promote community well-being, social and future disaster resilience.” READ MORE: NSW bushfire community and resilience fund grants “(It) will allow Goulburn Mulwaree Council to develop procedures and acquire equipment to assist with the operation of an emergency evacuation centre and to provide local community grants to facilitate bushfire recovery and resilience activities,” Mr Taylor said in a statement. The Local Emergency Management Committee, comprising police, fire authorities, SES and other agencies, operates from the council chambers during fire, flood and natural disasters. ALSO READ: Moss Vale and Goulburn train station upgrades on track Mayor Bob Kirk said it ensured a coordinated response. “This funding is fantastic, and will be utilised to install technology and equipment that will make life much easier for the LEMC,” he said. Meantime, Upper Lachlan will use its $100,000 to improve communications across the Shire through enhanced transmission towers. Mr Taylor said the council would also be used to manage a local community grants program to facilitate bushfire recovery and resilience activities. ALSO READ: NSW mobile speed camera signs to go Upper Lachlan Shire Mayor John Stafford welcomed the boost. “Affordable access to fast download speeds and unlimited data is still part of the digital divide, and we’ve all become keenly aware of the need for digital connectivity this year,” he said. “Through better digital access, this funding will assist the provision of bushfire resilience and will improve liveability and the ability to conduct business in areas like Taralga.” Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said the focus was on a locally-led recovery ensured fire-affected community had improved capacity and capability to respond to future disasters. ALSO READ: P-plater charged after allegedly clocking 199km/h “We are committed to supporting communities on the long road to recovery. We understand that locals know what they need best, so that’s why we are empowering local communities to make best use of this funding,” she said. The closing date for community applications for Stream 2 of the BCRRF has been be extended to provide adequate time for applications to be submitted. They will be accepted up until 12pm on December 11, 2020 and can be submitted at We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.


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How to I explain COVID to my toddler? AWH resilience podcast four | The Border Mail

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How do you explain a global pandemic to a two-year-old? It’s a question Albury Wodonga Health clinicians have answered for many parents this year. And on World Children’s Day, a podcast will help families understand the impacts of COVID-19. Senior psychologist and infant mental health co-ordinator Connie Cudini and occupational therapist Louise Scheidl discuss child development and early prevention in the episode. Ms Scheidl, also a health promotions officer, said AWH’s well-being and resilience podcast series helped raise the profile of child and adolescent mental health. Previous podcasts: “It’s like anything that’s complex [explaining COVID-19] – as a parent, we try to drill it down to the essential of what’s going to impact the little one,” she said. “It’s about acknowledging things could be a bit scary, but reminding them of the safety around them. “Generally speaking, people really don’t ever consider little babies as having mental health. “They way they express themselves is through their behaviour. “That’s where we may be able to help parents understand what might be causing certain behaviours. “If they notice changes … it is worth going to talk to their maternal child nurse or their doctor.” The pandemic resulted in a drop in referrals of children and adolescents for support, with schools being closed, but Ms Cudini said demand had grown. “Anecdotally, I suspect we are the busiest we’ve been in a long time,” she said. “We have a lot of kids who have been quite isolated from their normal day-to-do preschools and kindergartens. “It’s about raising parents’ awareness that their little people have such a rich emotional world. “They can have anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. “Any kind of early intervention is a fantastic way of supporting your kids.” Ms Cudini said for some families, COVID-19 had been positive. “[Some are] suddenly in the position to perhaps be with one another for the first time in a long time,” she said. “For some families that’s great, and it was easy and pleasant to do … but for some families it increased stress.” IN OTHER NEWS: Evelyn McDiarmid, herself a psychiatrist with Albury Wodonga Health and mum to six-week-old Noah, said it was important to remember that kids pick up on things. “If we’re really stressed about something, or we’re constantly watching the news, kids are acutely aware of that,” she said. “Being able to monitor and look after our own emotions is really important too.” Find the podcast on Albury Wodonga Health’s website.


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The importance of resilience for entrepreneurs

Covid-19 has brought many challenges to all kinds of industries and professions. Many were concerned about the effect on young entrepreneurs across the nation – what would happen to the UK’s thriving start-up scene in the likes of Manchester, London, Exeter and Bristol?

As Paul Beach, Head of Executives and Entrepreneurs, Private Banking at Arbuthnot Latham explains a mandated ‘remote’ working style, rapidly changing consumer habits and tightened purse strings created a new and unknown business landscape. These shifts began in Lockdown 1.0 and will only become more entrenched as we move through 2.0. Would young entrepreneurs be squeezed out of the industry? We hoped not.

I’ve seen first-hand that the entrepreneurial spirit is still very much alive and kicking from my work with start-ups from The Business School (formerly Cass Business School) and City, University of London. Every November, we celebrate young entrepreneurs at the Inspiring Innovator awards and this year’s entries are as innovative as ever! But I’ve seen new trends emerge, with this year’s finalists quickly adapting. And it’s not just new businesses, established start-ups connected to The Business School such as Twipes and Mash Paddle Brewery have continued to evolve to compete on the world stage. The UK’s home-grown entrepreneurial talent is more motivated than ever.

Entrepreneurs are adapting quicker than ever

Entrepreneurs can spend years strategising before executing a business plan. The outbreak of Covid-19 caused dramatic and unexpected disruption. But the UK’s new homegrown entrepreneurs are resilient by nature. Faced with cancelled exams, postponed lessons, virtual university courses and suspended internships, the route for young people looking to start a business has never been less certain. Vital networking opportunities were moved online, with many young people missing out on those critical ‘watercooler’ moments.

It is a testament to the resilience and strength of the UK’s young people, that our Gen Z entrepreneurs are continuing to build and grow. One example is EMenuNow which is a start-up offering a ‘plug & play’ contactless ordering and payments service. By quickly taking stock of the new ‘post Covid-19’ world, entrepreneurs like EMenuNow have been able to quickly innovate to solve new problems.

DeepReel is another business that has risen to the challenge of COVID, leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in order to automate the process of voice dubbing. With a huge increase in virtual and online interactions due to COVID, DeepReel taps into a key trend that is only set to increase. For an entrepreneur, there are always new opportunities ready to be grasped with both hands.

Sustainability and social wellbeing are top of the agenda

In challenging times, concerns around sustainability and social wellbeing can often fall by the wayside. But throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen these issues rise to the top of the agenda and have been ready to assist where we can. Many have accelerated plans and social entrepreneurship is thriving. One great example is a start-up called Leiho, a social enterprise focused on improving the quality of life of the UK’s homeless population.

We’ve also seen an influx of wellbeing apps. The lines between work and personal life have blurred; many entrepreneurs are now acutely aware of the challenges and importance of personal wellbeing. This is mirrored in the mission of many entrepreneurs – gone are the days of ‘get rich quick’ strategies. Start-ups want sustainable and long-term value to be proud of.

Camaraderie across the entrepreneur eco-system is strong

There is a strong sense of camaraderie amongst young entrepreneurs and a willingness to help mentor and encourage. This collaborative eco-system is rapidly developing across ‘Gen Z’ and will continue to grow. Working from home has broken down boundaries between the workplace and personal life. In many cases, this has led to the creation of stronger relationships between colleagues and business partners.

Businesses such as WealthAware, a platform that brings transparency to retail investing, have continued to engage with virtual networking forums. These forums create a vital space for entrepreneurs to share expertise and learnings.

Post Covid-19 entrepreneurs are physically agile

Remote working and social distancing restrictions challenged the well-worn business model of many companies. Pubs, bars and restaurants that were viable and popular pre-Covid-19 have had to adapt. Start-up Mash Paddle Brewery, whose founders attended The Business School, had a strategy built around a physical location. Rather than accept defeat, the business pivoted and looked to find opportunities. The Mash Paddle Brewery found that rents in prime locations were now lower due to a decline in footfall, managing to secure an in demand location that would have been previously out of reach.

Many businesses are now buying locally and engaging with artisans at a scale not seen for years. Companies such as Inspiring Innovator alumni Twipes, the disposable wet wipes brand, successfully localised their supply chain in response to manufacturing disruption from COVID-19. Start-ups are also encouraging workforce agility. With the closure of borders many businesses had to quickly adapt to a globally dispersed workforce. Physical office space is no longer a priority, with entrepreneurs instead looking to hybrid workplace ‘hubs.’ This mobility is empowering the global start-up community to truly collaborate, but also increases the need for a strong network and counsel.

The UK’s young entrepreneurs are innovative and dynamic. We’ve seen and helped start-ups quickly pivot and adapt to the ‘new normal.’ Despite huge obstacles, and the recent introduction of a national lockdown, young people are more focused than ever on sustainability and wellbeing. This translates to how entrepreneurs are engaging with each other, as we see and facilitate deep collaboration and knowledge sharing. There is no longer a need to be ‘physically’ together and businesses are being agile in their approach to branch locations and office space. In the face of uncertainty and challenges, the resilience factor is stronger than ever.

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SpaceX’s ‘Resilience’ Lifts 4 Astronauts Into NASA’s New Era of Spaceflight

It’s not yet the same as hopping on commuter flight from New York to Washington or renting a car from Avis, but Sunday’s launch of four astronauts to the International Space Station in a capsule built by SpaceX was a momentous step toward making space travel commonplace and mundane.

In the future, instead of relying on government-operated spacecraft, NASA astronauts and anyone else with enough money can buy a ticket on a commercial rocket.

“This is truly a commercial launch vehicle,” Jim Bridenstine, the NASA administrator, said during a post-launch news conference, “and we’re grateful to our partners at SpaceX for providing it.”

NASA designated Sunday night’s launch as the first operational flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft built and operated by SpaceX, the rocket company started by Elon Musk. The four astronauts aboard — three from NASA, one from JAXA, the Japanese space agency — left Earth from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

A Crew Dragon took two astronauts — Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley — to the space station in May, but that was a test flight to shake out remaining glitches in the systems.

The four astronauts on this flight are Michael S. Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Victor J. Glover of NASA and Soichi Noguchi, a Japanese astronaut.

NASA and SpaceX last week completed the certification process, which provides the space agency’s seal of approval that SpaceX has met the specifications set out for regularly taking NASA astronauts to orbit. This launch, known as Crew-1, is a regularly scheduled trip to take four crew members for a six-month stay at the space station.

“It marks the end of the development phase of the system,” Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight development at NASA, said in a telephone interview with reporters on Thursday. “For the first time in history, there is a commercial capability from a private sector entity to safely and reliably transport people to space.”

Despite iffy weather — forecasts gave only a 50-50 chance of favorable conditions at the launchpad — the skies remained clear enough. At 7:27 p.m. Eastern time, the nine engines of the Falcon 9 rocket roared to life and brightened the night sky as the rocket arced over the Atlantic Ocean.

After dropping away from the second stage, which continued to orbit, the Falcon 9 booster turned around and landed on a floating platform. SpaceX now, as a matter of course, recovers and reuses the boosters. This same rocket stage will be used to launch the next quartet of astronauts to the space station next spring.

The Crew Dragon, named Resilience, is scheduled to dock on Monday at about 11 p.m. after a 27.5 hour trip as the capsule caught up with space station, which is traveling at more than 17,000 miles per hour.

When Mr. Glover arrives, he will become the first Black astronaut to serve as a member of the station’s crew in the 20-some years that people have been living aboard the International Space Station. Other Black astronauts have previously been aboard the space station, but they were there for briefer stays during space shuttle missions that helped assemble the orbiting outpost.

When asked during a news conference on Monday about his thoughts on making history, Mr. Glover modestly nodded to the significance.

“It is something to be celebrated once we accomplish it, and I am honored to be in this position and to be a part of this great and experienced crew,” he said. “And I look forward to getting up there and doing my best to make sure, you know, we are worthy of all the work that’s been put into setting us up for this mission. You know, unlike the election — that is in the past or receding in the past — this mission is still ahead of me. So, let’s get there, and I’ll talk to you after I get on board.”

He also said last week in an interview with The Christian Chronicle, a publication of the Churches of Christ, that the milestone was “bittersweet.”

“I’ve had some amazing colleagues before me that really could have done it, and there are some amazing folks that will go behind me,” Mr. Glover said. “I wish it would have already been done, but I try not to draw too much attention to it.”

Charles F. Bolden Jr., who served as NASA administrator under President Barack Obama, said that while Mr. Glover was making history, he should not feel burdened.

“Several of us have had an opportunity to try to talk with him regularly and try to help put him at ease and help him understand he’s not carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders,” said Mr. Bolden, who is also Black and spent almost 700 hours in space as a NASA astronaut. “He shouldn’t feel unusual responsibility because he’s Black. He should just go and be another crew member and have a good time.”

On Sunday afternoon, as the astronauts prepared for the launch, they were visited by Mr. Bridenstine and Gwynne Shotwell, the president and chief operating officer of SpaceX.

For Mr. Bridenstine, this was the last astronaut launch he would view as leader of NASA. In an interview last week with the magazine Aviation Week, Mr. Bridenstine said he would not, even if asked by the incoming Biden administration, stay on in his current role past the Jan. 20 inauguration.

Mr. Musk, the chief executive of SpaceX, remained out of sight after he said he “most likely” had a “moderate case” of Covid-19.

At the space station, the four astronauts who lifted off on Sunday will join three others already there: Kate Rubins of NASA and two Russians, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.

They will be doing what astronauts have been doing for the past two decades on the space station: overseeing scientific experiments, performing maintenance tasks, talking to students on the ground.

The astronauts, for example, will be collecting their own biological samples to help scientists on the ground study how dietary changes affect the body. The astronauts will also be growing radishes, the latest experiment to explore whether food can be grown in space. (Red lettuce and mizuna mustard greens are among earlier foods that the astronauts have studied.) They will also test whether fungi can break apart asteroid rock and help extract useful metals — a scientific prelude to extraterrestrial mining operations, and a follow-up to a similar, successful experiment that used bacteria.

With Crew Dragon entering operational status, the crew of the space station can be increased to seven. Since the retirement of the space shuttles, the Russian Soyuz spacecraft was the only means for astronauts traveling to and from the space station. The Soyuz only has three seats, and they also serve as lifeboats in case of an emergency there — with two Soyuzes docked there, the maximum size of the crew was six.

But for now, there are not places for seven astronauts to sleep there. “We are currently short one crew quarters on board station,” Mr. Hopkins said during a news conference on Monday. “There are plans to to have a temporary station that will be up there. Not sure when it’s going to arrive. It could arrive mid mission, or it may not get up there while we’re still on board.”

Mr. Hopkins, the commander of the SpaceX crew, said that he might sleep in the Crew Dragon instead.

During the post-launch news conference, Ms. Shotwell said SpaceX would be launching about seven Dragon missions, some to launch astronauts, some to carry cargo, during the next 15 months. Those would almost all be for NASA, she said, but it was possible that it could include one for a private customer.

A couple of companies have announced that they are buying flights on the Crew Dragon to take wealthy private citizens for out-of-this-world vacations. One company, Axiom Space, will take three tourists to the space station, perhaps as soon as late 2021.

One passenger could be the actor Tom Cruise. Mr. Bridenstine confirmed in May that NASA was working with Mr. Cruise to help make a movie at the space station.

Michael T. Suffredini, the president and chief executive of Axiom Space, would not confirm whether Mr. Cruise was booked on the Axiom flight, saying the company does not disclose information about its customers.

Last week, Axiom said all three available seats had been sold. The fourth seat would be filled by an Axiom employee, Michael López-Alegría, a former NASA astronaut.

The other company, Space Adventures, is offering a free-flying Crew Dragon flight that will not dock at the space station, but instead will go around Earth on a highly elliptical orbit that will provide passengers with a view of the planet from a very high perch.

Mr. Bridenstine, in remarks concluding the Sunday night news conference, repeated what he has said many times before, that a new era is opening for NASA and the space industry.

“We are now going into basically operational missions that are commercial in nature, where NASA is a customer.” he said, “Our goal has been and will be to be one customer of many customers in a very commercial marketplace in low-Earth orbit.”

Katherine J. Wu contributed reporting.

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Indian Premier League 2020 final | Fearsome MI breaks DC’s resilience, surges to record fifth title

Five IPL titles are certain to make Rohit the undisputed ‘Numero Uno’ player-cum-leader in the IPL Universe.

Mumbai Indians underlined its status as a true powerhouse team, cruising to a fifth IPL title with a five-wicket victory over Delhi Capitals in the final held at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.

Saving his best for last

MI took the big prize without much fuss, reaching a 157-run target with eight balls to spare. Skipper Rohit Sharma (68, 51b, 5×4, 4×6), not in the best form this season, saved his best for last.

Rohit made his intentions clear early, coming down the track to whack R. Ashwin for a six over long-on off the third ball of the chase.

His partner Quinton de Kock (20, 12b, 3×4, 1×6) packed a punch too. Their pyrotechnics took Mumbai to 58 for one in five overs, effectively shutting DC out of the contest.

Selfless Suryakumar

The only hiccup came when Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit were stranded at the same end, leading Suryakumar to selflessly sacrifice his wicket. Rohit was eventually dismissed 20 runs short of the target, but he had done his job.

Ishan Kishan (33 n.o., 19b, 3×4, 1×6) ensured that MI’s title march would not be stopped.

After choosing to bat, DC rode on a 96-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Shreyas Iyer (65 n.o., 50b, 6×4, 2×6) and Rishabh Pant (56, 38b, 4×4, 2×6) to post a par score.

In trouble

The duo came together when the side was in trouble at 22 for three, facing heavy fire from MI pacers Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah.

Boult gave MI the perfect start, dismissing Marcus Stoinis with a snorter off the very first ball of the match.

Boult got his second when Ajinkya Rahane glanced one down the leg to ’keeper de Kock.

Jayant strikes

Off-spinner Jayant Yadav, drafted into the eleven to counter the many left-handers in the DC batting line-up, delivered the goods. Jayant tossed one up to Shikhar Dhawan, who failed to connect while attempting a wild slog and lost his stumps.

Shreyas and Pant prevented an embarrassing collapse, displaying great temperament to steady the ship. Pant opened out in the 10th over, bowled by left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya, striking two big sixes.

The young wicketkeeper-batsman notched up his first fifty of the tournament with a clever ramp shot off Nathan Coulter-Nile, but got out a couple of deliveries later.

Losing momentum

Pant’s dismissal put a halt on DC’s scoring rate. Shreyas, Shimron Hetmyer and Axar Patel could not provide much firepower at the death, managing only 38 runs in the last five overs.


Delhi Capitals Innings: Marcus Stoinis c de Kock b Boult 0; Shikhar Dhawan b Jayant 15; Ajinkya Rahane c de Kock b Boult 2; Shreyas Iyer not out 65; Rishabh Pant c Hardik b Coulter-Nile 56; Shimron Hetmyer c Coulter-Nile b Boult 5; Axar Patel c sub b Coulter-Nile 9; Kagiso Rabada run out 0. Extras: (LB-1 W-3) 4

Total: (For 7 wickets in 20 overs) 156

Fall of Wickets: 1/0 2/16 3/22 4/118 5/137 6/149 7/156

Mumbai Indians bowling: Trent Boult 4-0-30-3, Jasprit Bumrah 4-0-28-0, Jayant Yadav 4-0-25-1, Nathan Coulter-Nile 4-0-29-2, Krunal Pandya 3-0-30-0, Kieron Pollard 1-0-13-0.

Mumbai Indians: R Sharma c (sub) b Nortje 68; Quinton de Kock c Pant b Stoinis 20; S Yadav run out 19; I Kishan not out 33; K Pollard b Rabada 9; H Pandya c Rahane b Nortje 3; K Pandya not out 1. Extras (lb-4) 4

Total (For 5 wkts, 18.4 Overs) 157

Fall of Wickets: 1-45, 2-90, 3-137,4-147, 5-156

Delhi Capitals bowling: Ashwin 4-0-28-0, Rabada 3-0-32-1, Nortje 2.4-0-25-2, Stoinis 2-0-23-1, Patel 4-0-16-0, Dubey 3-0-29-0.

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