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Showing posts from April 8, 2016

SpaceX rocket booster makes breakthrough landing at sea

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida on a NASA cargo run to the International Space Station on Friday, and its reusable main-stage booster landed on an ocean platform minutes later in a dramatic spaceflight first. The successful autonomous touchdown of the booster at sea marked another milestone for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk and his privately owned Space Exploration Technologies in the quest to develop a cheap, reusable rocket, expanding his edge in the burgeoning commercial space launch industry.


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U.S. needs up to 18 more Russian rocket engines: Pentagon

By Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon will need to buy up to 18 more Russian-built RD-180 engines to power rockets carrying U.S. military satellites into space over the next six years or so, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said in an interview on Friday. Congress banned use of the Russian RD-180 rocket engines for military use after 2019, following Russia's annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014. Work said the United States needed to ensure there were at least "two affordable and reliable means into space." He added the RD-180 would be needed only during what he described as a transition period of new domestic rocket engine development.

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No, Planet Nine Won't Kill Us All

Don't believe the doomsday hype about the putative Planet Nine. Yesterday (April 7), the New York Post published a video claiming that Planet Nine — a hypothesized world in the solar system's far outer reaches — could send asteroids and comets hurtling into Earth soon, with potentially devastating consequences. "A newly discovered planet could destroy Earth as soon as this month," the New York Post said yesterday via its Twitter account, @nypost, by way of advertising the new video.


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NASA: Global warming is now changing how Earth wobbles

WASHINGTON (AP) — Global warming is shifting the way the Earth wobbles on its polar axis, a new NASA study finds.


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Inflatable habitat heading for test run on space station

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - An inflatable human habitat was scheduled for launch to the International Space Station on Friday for a two-year test to see how the lightweight, fabric module compares with traditional orbiting enclosures made from metal, NASA said. The prototype habitat, built by Nevada-based Bigelow Aerospace, was packed inside a capsule slated for liftoff aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 4:43 p.m. (2043 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The scheduled launch marks the fourth mission for high-tech entrepreneur Elon Musk's privately owned Space Exploration Technologies since a rocket failure last June destroyed a cargo ship being carried on a resupply mission bound for the space station.


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Suit that mimics life at age 85 has no creases, just creaks

By Barbara Goldberg JERSEY CITY, N.J. (Reuters) - With the push of a button, a perfectly healthy 34-year-old museum-goer named Ugo Dumont was transformed into a confused 85-year-old man with cataracts, glaucoma and a ringing in his ears known as tinnitus. Dumont had volunteered at Liberty Science Center on Tuesday to don a computer-controlled exoskeleton that can be remotely manipulated to debilitate joints, vision and hearing and shared with the crowd what aging feels like decades before his time. Headphones muffled his hearing while goggles left him with only peripheral vision due to macular degeneration while the suit's joints were adjusted to simulate the stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis.


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Clearing the Air, China Now Leads World in Clean Energy (Op-Ed)

Lynn Scarlett, is a former deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior and currently is global managing director of policy at The Nature Conservancy. Scarlett contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. China is embracing this change as it is poised to move from leading emitter of greenhouse gasses to leader in renewable energy investments.

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From Shredded C-Notes to Corn: Weird Materials Make Their Way into Cars

Nikhil Gupta is an associate professor, and Steven Zeltmann is a student researcher, in the Composite Materials and Mechanics Laboratory of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering. The 2016 New York International Auto Show opened to the public on March 25 with exciting displays of expensive and exotic cars that defy the imagination with high speed and high technology.


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Here's How Money Could Actually Buy Happiness

Money really can buy happiness — if you buy things that "match" your personality, a new study from the United Kingdom suggests. Researchers analyzed more than 76,000 purchases that 625 people made over a six-month period, and grouped the purchases into categories based on how they might be tied to a personality trait. For example, purchases involving "eating out in pubs" were tied to the personality trait of extroversion (a person who is sociable and outgoing), while purchases involving "charities" and "pets" were tied to the personality trait of agreeableness (a person who is compassionate and friendly).

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Even Babies Will 'Sell Out' for a Price

"It's a study I like to call 'the deal with the devil,'" said study researcher Arber Tasimi, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Yale University. Tasimi and Yale psychologist Karen Wynn were interested in finding out the age at which kids will avoid a wrongdoer, even if it comes at a cost to the kids themselves. So Tasimi and Wynn decided to look at this moral dilemma in children on both sides of that age cutoff.


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Injection of Tiny Beads Could Curb Hunger, Promote Weight Loss

A small injection could lead to decreased feelings of hunger as well as major weight loss, a small new study finds. The procedure, known as bariatric arterial embolization, has only been tested in seven patients, and much more research will be needed in order to confirm its safety and effectiveness. However, the doctors who completed the study are "excited about the possibility of adding [the procedure] as another tool for health care providers to offer patients in the effort to curb" the obesity epidemic, said Dr. Clifford Weiss, the director of interventional radiology research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the leader of the study, in a statement.

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New Bizarre State of Matter Seems to Split Fundamental Particles

A bizarre new state of matter has been discovered — one in which electrons that usually are indivisible seem to break apart. The new state of matter, which had been predicted but never spotted in real life before, forms when the electrons in an exotic material enter into a type of "quantum dance," in which the spins of the electrons interact in a particular way, said Arnab Banerjee, a physicist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The findings could pave the way for better quantum computers, Banerjee said.


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Ancient Water Bird Survived Attack by Short-Necked 'Sea Monster'

Scientists have found what may be the world's luckiest Hesperornis — an ancient water bird that escaped the snapping jaws of a plesiosaur about 70 million years ago in prehistoric South Dakota. Still, the plesiosaur got a good bite out of the Hesperornis, a large, flightless diving bird that lived during the late Cretaceous period, when dinosaurs roamed the world. "Basically, the plesiosaur came in from the side," said study co-author Bruce Rothschild, a professor of medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University.


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