Sci-tech


Ion drive: The first flight Ion drive: The first flight
- November 22, 2018

Inspired in part by the technology of Star Trek , the MIT aircraft is powered by a relatively obscure principle known as ion propulsion or electroaerodynamic thrust. The researchers used two technologies towards this end. Achievements aside, though, the system is still far too inefficient for anything more than an extremely lightweight drone plane at the moment. (more...)
Quebec premier to bring up French services in first meeting with Ford Quebec premier to bring up French services in first meeting with Ford
- November 22, 2018

The previous Ontario government, led by Kathleen Wynne, passed legislation in October 2017 mandating the creation of the french-language university. After Ford's decision became public last week, Legault said that he wants French in Ontario to be protected as much as possible. (more...)
Year-old termite mounds can be seen on Google Earth Year-old termite mounds can be seen on Google Earth
- November 22, 2018

The researchers said there are still many unanswered questions about the termite colonies, including the exact physical structure of the nests. As a point of reference, they say the excavated dirt would fill 4,000 Great Pyramids of Giza . These termites live underground and feed on dead leaves from the forest floor at night. The field of ancient termite mounds in northeastern Brazil. (more...)
Bill Shorten promises rebates to 100,000 households to help reduce power bills Bill Shorten promises rebates to 100,000 households to help reduce power bills
- November 22, 2018

The focus on storage and low income and rental is a welcome move, (and predicted by RenewEconomy on Monday ) and just a little bit surprising that one of the major poliical parties has finally woken up to the benefits - in both policy and politics - of helping households reduce bills by investing in their own power supply and storatge. (more...)
NASA announces landing site for Mars 2020 Rover NASA announces landing site for Mars 2020 Rover
- November 21, 2018

Jezero Crater is located on the western edge of Isidis Planitia, which is a very big basin north of the Martian equator that was formed by an asteroid impact some 3.9 billion years ago. Because Mars' atmosphere is significantly thinner than Earth's, everything will need to go right to help it land gently, something that has been hard to achieve in the past. (more...)
Fears over Brexit deal sign-off this weekend as UK-EU talks 'continue' Fears over Brexit deal sign-off this weekend as UK-EU talks 'continue'
- November 21, 2018

That draft accord so far has done little to win over lawmakers in Britain, with eurosceptics in May's Conservative Party and her allies in Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party piling on pressure to try to force her to change tack. (more...)
Elon Musk renames BFR spacecraft to ‘Starship Super Heavy’ Elon Musk renames BFR spacecraft to ‘Starship Super Heavy’
- November 21, 2018

Mr Musk had previously named his Mars spaceship the Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT), then the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS), then the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), and is now calling it simply Starship. Musk has said he wants the Starship vessel to be able to hold around 100 people, and that the launch system could one day be used to colonize the Moon and Mars in order to make humans a "multi-planetary" species. (more...)
Scientists finally reveal why wombats’ faeces is cube-shaped Scientists finally reveal why wombats’ faeces is cube-shaped
- November 21, 2018

At the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics 71st Annual Meeting, Patricia Yang , a postdoctoral fellow in mechanical engineering, and her colleagues presented their findings of the mechanics that lead to the marsupials ' oddly-shaped droppings. (more...)
NASA To Review Policies At SpaceX, Boeing Over Elon Musk Weed Smoking NASA To Review Policies At SpaceX, Boeing Over Elon Musk Weed Smoking
- November 21, 2018

The review, first reported November 20 by the Washington Post , will start early next year and last for several months, and will include extensive interviews with personnel at both companies to examine how they implement cultures of workplace safety, rather than technical issues regarding the crewed spacecraft the companies are developing. (more...)
SpaceX scraps plan to upgrade Falcon 9 for more ‘reusability’ SpaceX scraps plan to upgrade Falcon 9 for more ‘reusability’
- November 21, 2018

United States aerospace manufacturer SpaceX has renounced the idea of upgrading the second stage of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle for its reusability, Elon Musk, SpaceX co-owner and CEO, said on the night into November 18. Musk called the new design "very exciting" and "delightfully counter-intuitive". "Charming paradox!" - he wrote. Following stage separation, the first stage successfully returned to Earth for a second time, landing on a drone ship stationed in the Atlantic ocean. (more...)
Cargo ship launch clears crewed mission to space station
- November 21, 2018

The successful Soyuz-FG launch cleared the way for the liftoff December 3 of the next station crew, led by veteran Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko with Canadian flight engineer David Saint-Jacques and NASA astronaut Anne McClain, both spaceflight rookies. (more...)
Virtual reality simulation lets you explore the supermassive black hole Virtual reality simulation lets you explore the supermassive black hole
- November 21, 2018

In the video below, you can see how Milky Way's supermassive black hole looks like in virtual reality. Researchers from Radboud University in The Netherlands teamed up with scientists at Germany's Goethe University to produce an incredible VR simulation using data models, turning past observations and readings of the black hole into a visualization that puts you right next to it. (more...)
NASA announces landing site for 2020 rover
- November 21, 2018

Knowing more about the ability for life to exist on Mars in the distant past could inform us about how life evolved on Earth. The mission: The rover, set to launch in July 2020, will look for signs of ancient habitable conditions and past microbial life, collecting rock and soil samples for storage on Mars's surface. (more...)
Dead sperm whale found in Indonesia had ingested '6kg of plastic' Dead sperm whale found in Indonesia had ingested '6kg of plastic'
- November 20, 2018

It was discovered after reports that locals had gathered around the carcass to butcher it for meat, according to the park's chief, Heri Santoso. Mr Santoso said the mammal was male and the 13 pounds of trash in its stomach were identified as 115 plastic cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, two flip-flops, a nylon sack and more than 1,000 other plastic pieces. (more...)
Scientists figure out why Australian wombats have cubic droppings
- November 20, 2018

Scientists have finally worked out why wombats produce cube-shaped faeces (pictured). Wombats are the are the only known species capable of producing cubes organically. "I didn't really believe it", Yang says . The team began its investigation with the carcasses of wombats that had been euthanised after auto collisions in Tasmania, Australia. (more...)
Donald Trump leaves Finnish leader puzzled with claim forests are raked Donald Trump leaves Finnish leader puzzled with claim forests are raked
- November 19, 2018

The president then recounted an alleged conversation with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in which he was told about the benefits of raking . "He called [Finland] a forest nation and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don't have any problem", Trump said . (more...)
Space station gets 2 cargo deliveries in record 15 hours Space station gets 2 cargo deliveries in record 15 hours
- November 19, 2018

An unmanned Cygnus cargo ship blasted off Saturday toward the International Space Station, marking the second supply mission in 24 hours destined to carry food and supplies to the astronauts living in space. "To me, it's been a huge success". He died in January . The launch vehicle Antares and the cargo ship Cygnus are owned by Northrop Grumman, which absorbed Orbital ATK a year ago. (more...)
Climate Change Protesters Block off 5 London Bridges Climate Change Protesters Block off 5 London Bridges
- November 19, 2018

Organizers said more than 6,000 people had been involved. Gail Bradbrook, an organiser of Saturday's sit-down protests, warned "we could easily be facing starvation in the United Kingdom if the weather effect continues as it is". Hundreds have gathered in central London to demand the government takes greater action on climate change. "We'll know when governments are doing different things, it could feel like a war, a attractive war". (more...)
Trump says he'll name EPA's acting chief to post permanently Trump says he'll name EPA's acting chief to post permanently
- November 19, 2018

Wheeler has had a relatively quiet year since taking over at EPA compared to the controversial tenure of his predecessor, but has continued to pursue the administration's agenda of reducing environmental regulations that he says were too burdensome on businesses under the Obama administration. (more...)
Massive meteor crater discovered under Greenland ice sheet Massive meteor crater discovered under Greenland ice sheet
- November 18, 2018

The diameter of the crater was approximately 31 km with a depth of about 330 m. the Crater occupies the 25th place in the list of largest meteor craters on Earth. Those signs came from data produced with ice-penetrating radar from NASA's Operation IceBridge , as well as earlier NASA airborne missions in Greenland. (more...)
Scientists discover extremely cold new planet 'Super-Earth' Scientists discover extremely cold new planet 'Super-Earth'
- November 18, 2018

Flashback: The exoplanet is the second closest known exoplanet to Earth, CNN reports . However, for years, the search has come up empty. The researchers were looking for the smallest change in the radiation spectrum of stars that could indicate the fluctuations in its trajectory caused by the influence of gravity of large rocky planet. (more...)
UK supermarket's viral orangutan ad slammed by oil giant UK supermarket's viral orangutan ad slammed by oil giant
- November 18, 2018

Malaysia is also increasingly subscribing to production and supply of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) and has voluntarily adopted internationally accredited sustainability standards. The participants are expected to be able to give the right information about the palm oil industry in Indonesia. As the RSPO meets to renew its sustainability commitments, one major challenge facing the sector is that less than 20 percent of the world's palm oil is now certified as sustainable. (more...)
New Study Reveals More About Mysterious ‘Oumuamua Interstellar Asteroid New Study Reveals More About Mysterious ‘Oumuamua Interstellar Asteroid
- November 18, 2018

The results are reported in a new study published today in the Astronomical Journal and co-authored by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. For example, 'Oumuamua's "spherical diameter" - how big it would be if it were a spherical object, which it nearly certainly is not - is likely between 320 feet and 1,440 feet (100 to 440 meters), the researchers determined. (more...)
Russian Federation launches cargo ship from Kazakhstan to ISS Russian Federation launches cargo ship from Kazakhstan to ISS
- November 18, 2018

The launch of the cargo ship follows a failed attempt on October 11th using the same type of rocket. The Soyuz-FG space launch vehicle carrying the Progress MS-10 cargo ship blasts off to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome , Kazakhstan on November 17, 2018 (local time). (more...)
Google Doodle marks 44 years since scientists sent Arecibo Message
- November 18, 2018

Google is celebrating this achievement with a Google Doodle . It is known as " Arecibo Message" because scientists created and sent the message from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico . The message was written by Astronomer and astrophysicist Frank Drake from Cornell University with the help from American astronomer Carl Sagan and others. (more...)