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Showing posts from February 27, 2017

The Vicious Cold War Poison That Killed Kim Jong Un's Half Brother

An autopsy identified the cause of death as VX, a deadly nerve agent developed during the 1950s.


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Complete skeleton of new marine reptile discovered in Mexico

Mexico's arid desert region throws up a new discovery, a complete skeleton of an ancient marine reptile thought to be 93 million years old.


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Dying of hunger: What is a famine?

Last week South Sudan was declared the site of the world's first famine in six years, affecting about 100,000 people. "Famine is not a word that we use lightly," said Erminio Sacco, a food security expert with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Since 2007 the term has been employed according to a scientific system agreed upon by global agencies, as the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) scale.


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SpaceX announces planned private trip around moon in 2018

SpaceX, the space technology and exploration company founded by billionaire Elon Musk, plans to fly a pair of civilians around the moon and back to Earth in 2018, the company announced Monday. According to Musk, SpaceX was approached by the two individuals who expressed interest in the mission, which is expected to skim the moon and carry them into deep space on the company's Dragon Capsule and Falcon Heavy rocket after launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A press release from SpaceX noted that the pair "have already paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission." Musk declined to reveal the clients' identities.


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SpaceX says it will fly 2 people to moon next year

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX said Monday it will fly two people to the moon next year, a feat not attempted since NASA's Apollo heyday close to half a century ago.


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NASA Starts Wind Tunnel Tests On Lockheed Martin Design For Quiet Supersonic Jet

NASA announced it has begun wind tunnel tests on Lockheed Martin's X-plane preliminary design for quieter supersonic jet.


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SpaceX to Fly Passengers On Private Trip Around the Moon in 2018

SpaceX will fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon in 2018, the company's founder Elon Musk announced Monday (Feb. 27). The private spaceflight company will use its Falcon Heavy rocket to send the two paying passengers into space aboard one of the company's Dragon spacecraft. The two private citizens, who have not yet been named, approached SpaceX about taking a trip around the moon, and have "already paid a significant deposit" for the cost of the mission, according to a statement from the company.


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SpaceX plans to send crewed mission beyond moon in 2018

SpaceX will launch a crewed mission beyond the moon for two private customers, according to an announcement made by the company Monday.


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Science And The Brexit Mountain

I'm a fan of the three rules of mountaineering: it's always farther than it looks, it's always taller than it looks, and it's always harder than it looks. Ed Hillary, he of Everest fame, said that nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. You claim the science to raise the money, but you swing through, say, the Lhotse wall 'for the hell of it.' Some Brexiteers seem to be of the Hillary variety, and approach the impending divorce with our mainland neighbours with a whoop, a holler and a cheery wave.


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NASA Reveals Stunning New Images Of A Supernova Discovered 30 Years Ago

Discovered 30 years ago, Supernova 1987A is one of the brightest exploding stars of the last four centuries. To commemorate its anniversary, NASA has now released a tranche of new data about the spectacular star, including striking imagery and time-lapse video. The supernova is the closest star explosion seen in centuries, presenting an unique opportunity for astronomers to study the progress of the star’s death.


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Musk’s SpaceX Plans 2018 Flight Circling Moon With Civilians

Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. plans to send two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year as it continues to work with NASA for a crewed mission to the International ...


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Elon Musk: SpaceX is going to launch 2 space tourists 'beyond the moon'

SpaceX plans to launch two paying customers around the moon in late 2018. The company, founded by...


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NASA Considers Putting Astronauts Aboard The First Megarocket Flight

Eventually NASA intends to use the rocket for their first manned mission to Mars.


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Study finds peculiar tie between warm climate, slow snowmelt

DENVER (AP) — Global warming could mean that mountain snow melts at a slower pace, researchers said Monday, a peculiar finding that might be bad news for the West and other regions that depend on snow for water.


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The inventor of Maglev train tech wants to build a magnet-powered rocket launcher

James Powell, the inventor who inspired the maglev train, is back with a maglev rocket launcher concept for launching space vehicles. A new video from PatentYogi shows what it might look like.


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SpaceX wants to send 2 people around the moon in 2018

In a bold and surprising step, Elon Musk's private spaceflight company SpaceX wants to fly people around the moon and bring them back to Earth in 2018.  According to Musk, two private citizens — whose identities aren't public yet — want to pay SpaceX to send them from Earth, around the moon and bring them back home aboard a crewed Dragon spacecraft and Falcon Heavy rocket.  SEE ALSO: Relive SpaceX's incredible daytime rocket landing with this video "We've been approached to do a crewed mission beyond the moon," Musk said during a press call Monday.  The flight profile would bring the space travelers down to "skim the surface of the moon" in a long loop around the lunar body, Musk said.  The entire mission would take about a week.  "They have already paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission," SpaceX said in a news release. The mission relies on two pieces of machinery that haven't yet flown their proper maiden flights.  Fly me to…

Jupiter looks like an abstract painting in NASA Juno image

Jupiter's swirling atmosphere gets a gorgeous watercolor-like close-up from NASA's Juno spacecraft.


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Genetically engineered bacteria could help wipe out deadly mosquitos

A pair of bacterial genes may enable genetic engineering strategies for curbing populations of...


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New app gives parents peace of mind

Here Comes the Bus tracks school buses in real time


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Storm chasers pay homage to late ‘Twister’ star Bill Paxton

Members of the weather community celebrated the late Bill Paxton for his starring role in ‘Twister,’ by spelling out his initials on radar by using GPS coordinates. Paxton died from complications from surgery. He was 61


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The STEM Superhero of Sesame Street

It was a crazy idea, and even today no one is sure who thought of it. It was the researchers. No, the screenwriters. Or maybe the advisers? Whomever it was, seven years ago, dozens of Sesame Workshop team members were sitting in a room preparing for the 41st season of Sesame Street. The mission was to create episodes that would teach children about STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math.


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As Russia Targets Satellites, the Air Force Prepares for War in Space

Space may be the final frontier, but it is also fast becoming another potential battlefield where America must be prepared to defend itself against any and all adversaries. As if on cue, the global military information site IHS Jane’s 360 reported late last week that Russia plans to arm some of its MiG-31BM interceptor aircraft with anti-satellite weapons.


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Will The SLS' Debut Flight Carry Astronauts?

NASA has begun a feasibility study to consider the risks associated with adding crew to the first integrated launch of the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft.


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'Our daily bread' has hidden climate costs

Nearly half the environmental impact of a loaf of bread comes from the "unsustainable use" of fertilisers on wheat crops, researchers said Monday. Synthetic fertilisers boost yields, but they contain or generate chemicals -- ammonia, nitrates, methane and carbon dioxide, among others -- that drive global warming, they reported in the journal Nature Plants. "This arises from the large amount of energy needed to make the fertiliser, and from nitrous oxide gas released when it is degraded in the soil," said lead author Liam Goucher, a scientist at the University of Sheffield in England.


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Here's How Much Less Sleep Women Get Once They Have Kids

In the study, researcher Kelly Sullivan, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Georgia Southern University, wanted to understand the factors that affect adults' sleep. "It's important to learn what is keeping people from getting the rest they need so we can help them work toward better health," Sullivan said in a statement.


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Europeans Brought New, Deadly Ulcer Bacteria to Americas

Europeans who came to the Americas inadvertently introduced germs — including smallpox and measles — that killed upward of 90 percent of the native people. The Europeans (and their African slaves) also brought new strains of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, known to cause gastric ulcers and stomach cancer, according to an international team of researchers. The twist is that these "foreign" H. pylori strains didn't kill the local people quickly, like the smallpox virus did.


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Conflicts of Interest: Are Humans Inherently Selfish?

President Donald Trump has been dogged by questions about conflicts of interest. At the heart of any conflict-of-interest situation is the question of whether to act in your own best interest or do what is best for the greater good. "In the past 20 years, we have discovered that people — all around the world — are a lot more moral and a lot less selfish than economists and evolutionary biologists had previously assumed, and that our moral commitments are surprisingly similar: to reciprocity, fairness and helping people in need, even if acting on these motives can be personally costly for a person," Samuel Bowles, an economist at the Santa Fe Institute and author of "The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives Are No Substitute for Good Citizens" (Yale University Press, 2016), wrote in an email to Live Science.


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Beyoncé Cancels Gig: What Work Is Safe in Pregnancy?

Singer Beyoncé has cancelled her performance at the upcoming Coachella festival in April because she is pregnant. In early January, Coachella organizers announced that Beyoncé would be one of the festival's headline performers. On Thursday (Feb. 23), a joint statement from Coachella and Beyoncé's company Parkwood Entertainment said that the singer had to pull out of the concert, citing advice from her doctor to "keep a less rigorous schedule in the coming months" while pregnant, according to the Associated Press.


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Microbes in Glittering Crystal Cave Revived After 10,000 Years

Microbes that may be between 10,000 and 50,000 years old have been revived from the inside of enormous, glittering crystals from a Mexican cave. This chamber is filled with selenite crystals many meters long that formed over hundreds of thousands of years in magma-heated, mineral-rich groundwater. "What we have been finding are organisms whose closest relatives are also from extreme environments around the world," said study leader Penelope Boston, director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute.


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Richard III's Prayer Book Goes Online … and Is That a Personal Note?

The personal prayer book of King Richard III — in which the English king likely scrawled a reminder of his birthday in his own hand — is now available to peruse online. Leicester Cathedral digitized Richard III's "Book of Hours" and published it on the church's website alongside an interactive interpretive text. The original manuscript is in Lambeth Palace Library and is too fragile for public display, according to the dean of Leicester Cathedral, the Very Rev. David Monteith.


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Science And The Brexit Mountain

I'm a fan of the three rules of mountaineering: it's always farther than it looks, it's always taller than it looks, and it's always harder than it looks. Ed Hillary, he of Everest fame, said that nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. You claim the science to raise the money, but you swing through, say, the Lhotse wall 'for the hell of it.' Some Brexiteers seem to be of the Hillary variety, and approach the impending divorce with our mainland neighbours with a whoop, a holler and a cheery wave.


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Getting Over A Failed IVF Cycle

An unsuccessful IVF cycle can be devastating. Most people underestimate the level of stress that this journey can create, even before getting to the IVF stage. A Harvard Medical School study demonstrated that the stress levels of women experiencing infertility were equivalent to those with AIDS, cancer and heart disease.


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What Can Hidden Figures Teach Us About Workplace Diversity?

Before this movie, I had no idea that so many women had participated in NASA, nor did I know that black women had contributed so significantly to America's advances in the 'space race'. Factually, Hidden Figures identified the three black females who shaped an industry, these women were previously hidden from us, which starts to explain why this was news to a large proportion of the audience viewing it. It's different to the other roles and stories we have gotten used to see black female actresses play, it was a refreshing and inspiring story about three black women who achieved incredible things.


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Israel's Spacecom begins operating Amos-7 satellite

Israel's Space Communications has begun operating a new communications satellite, Amos-7, it said on Monday, a major milestone after it lost two satellites in the past two years. Spacecom had lost contact with another of its satellites in 2015. Amos-7 is the first addition to Spacecom's fleet since the Florida explosion.


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Earth’s Orbiting Junkyard Threatens the Space Economy

Rocket and satellite litter is endangering private space commerce. Enter the cosmic debris tracking industry.


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This Discovery Could Give NASA a Good Reason to Boldly Go Where It's Never Gone Before

And here are a few space companies that could help to "make it so."


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Earth’s Orbiting Junkyard Threatens the Space Economy

Rocket and satellite litter is endangering private space commerce. Enter the cosmic debris tracking industry.


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Bashful Tokyo pandas mate after four-year hiatus

Two giant pandas at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo mated for the first time in four years Monday -- a 52-second effort that boosted hopes for a baby as well as shares in a nearby Chinese restaurant. Public viewing of pandas at the zoo has been halted since last week as the mating season got into full swing for the mammals, which are notoriously difficult to arouse. "We let the two be together at 8:06am (2306 GMT Sunday) and confirmed they mated for 52 seconds from 8:48am," Ueno Zoo announced in a statement.


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