Sci-tech


SpaceX halts US satellite launch for national security mission SpaceX halts US satellite launch for national security mission
- December 19, 2018

Though GPS III SV01 will assume its orbit around Earth this week, it will take several months for the new satellite to be integrated into the GPS constellation. "The launch of GPS III SV01 is a major milestone in the effort to modernize the GPS system", said Johnathon Caldwell, vice president for navigation systems at Lockheed Martin . (more...)
Virgin Galactic Takes Next Step Towards Space Tourism Virgin Galactic Takes Next Step Towards Space Tourism
- December 19, 2018

The spacecraft reached an altitude of 51.4 miles, or almost 83 kilometers, before performing a slow backflip and gliding back to land at Mojave. He continued: "We will now push on with the remaining portion of our flight test programme which will see the rocket motor burn for longer, and VSS Unity fly still faster and higher towards giving thousands of private astronauts an experience which provides a new planetary perspective to our relationship with the Earth and with the comsos". (more...)
NASA discovers Saturn is losing its rings NASA discovers Saturn is losing its rings
- December 19, 2018

According to the spectrometer team, Cassini's nose hit the "jackpot" as it sniffed out the unknown region between the planet and its closest rings. Based on a new research paper , penned by O'Donoghue and six other researcher from institutions across the USA and United Kingdom, the combined effect of these two mechanisms is causing ring material to rain down onto Saturn at what NASA calls the "worst-case-scenario" rate of the estimates provided by the Voyager data. (more...)
No flights today for SpaceX, Blue Origin, Arianespace No flights today for SpaceX, Blue Origin, Arianespace
- December 19, 2018

The long-awaited flight already had slipped to almost the end of the available launch window because of high upper level winds when the issue cropped up. Since then, a combination of NASA bureaucracy and technical/programmatic stumbles made by both companies have conspired to nearly indefinitely delay the first uncrewed and crewed trips to orbit. (more...)
Climate talks extended as island nations demand action Climate talks extended as island nations demand action
- December 18, 2018

The sun sets over buildings in Milan, Italy as the climate change conference, COP24, came to a close. "It is not easy to find agreement on a deal so specific and technical". Negotiators from nearly 200 countries appeared close to clinching a deal Saturday on the rules that will govern the 2015 Paris climate accord, after two weeks of intense negotiations in Poland. (more...)
Engineer Gets Revenge On Package Thieves With Glitter Bomb Engineer Gets Revenge On Package Thieves With Glitter Bomb
- December 18, 2018

It contains a Global Positioning System to track the package, four smartphones to record everything that happens, a motorised cup filled with fine glitter which spins when opened, and a can of fart spray which is released five times every thirty seconds. (more...)
Saturn's rings could vanish much sooner than expected Saturn's rings could vanish much sooner than expected
- December 18, 2018

With its iconic rings, you can pick Saturn out in an instant, but if NASA scientists are right, we might actually be watching the planet's most eye-catching feature disappearing right in front of us. The paths of falling "ring rains" are influenced by Saturn's magnetic field. The particles that make up the rings are being bombarded by radiation from the Sun and, as the video explains, clouds of plasma from impacts of space rocks. (more...)
SpaceX launch of military satellite rescheduled SpaceX launch of military satellite rescheduled
- December 18, 2018

The next GPS III satellite will launch in mid-2019, Eschenfelder said, while subsequent satellites undergo testing in the company's Colorado processing facility. If for some reason the launch can't take place as planned, SpaceX has a backup launch window already set up for Wednesday, December 19th at around the same time. (more...)
Astronomers spot farthest known object in our solar system Astronomers spot farthest known object in our solar system
- December 18, 2018

Recorded in the catalogue of solar system objects as ' 2018 VG18' , based on the timing of its discovery, the astronomers who spotted it ended up giving it a nickname - ' Farout' . What was once considered a vast, cold emptiness is now known to be the home of several objects. The search for Planet X has produced several related discoveries this year: "2015 TG387 (dubbed "The Goblin " as it was first seen near Halloween") is situated about 80AU distant. (more...)
Poacher ordered to repeatedly watch ‘Bambi' Poacher ordered to repeatedly watch ‘Bambi'
- December 18, 2018

Over almost nine years, David Berry and his two sons, David Berry Jr and Kyle Berry , killed the deer , mostly at night, then cut off their heads and antlers - leaving the bodies to rot where they fell. Randy Doman , the state's conservation protection division chief, told the News-Leader that this type of poaching is nothing more than seeking out a "trophy". (more...)
Rocket Lab Launches 13 Cubesats on 1st Mission for NASA Rocket Lab Launches 13 Cubesats on 1st Mission for NASA
- December 18, 2018

Another aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of compact, 3D-printed robotic arms; and yet another will help prove out technology for a new solar-sailing system that could allow small spacecraft to explore deep space, Rocket Lab representatives said. (more...)
Virgin Galactic hits new heights with fourth rocket-powered test flight Virgin Galactic hits new heights with fourth rocket-powered test flight
- December 18, 2018

The craft, SpaceShipTwo, soared at speeds topping out at 2.9 times the speed of sound - about 2,200 miles per hour - through almost three layers of Earth's atmosphere to reach space, the company said. Branson founded the Virgin in 2004. "It's good weather, no trees around to crash into when you land". "That's how he got the facility in New Mexico, they coughed up huge tax incentives and I have every expectation that he would expect the same here." "It's just a high altitude airplane ... (more...)
Virgin Galactic reaches space and is one step closer to space tourism Virgin Galactic reaches space and is one step closer to space tourism
- December 17, 2018

However it will fall short of crossing the Karman line, which at 100 kilometres high, represents the boundary between Earth's atmosphere and space. One of the pilots handed Branson a small Earth stress ball when the two hugged after the space ship landed safely after about an hour's journey. (more...)
The year's brightest comet makes its closest pass by Earth this weekend The year's brightest comet makes its closest pass by Earth this weekend
- December 16, 2018

Officially, it's known as Comet 42P/Wirtanen, but if the weather cooperates, Highland Countians should be able to see what's being called "the Christmas Comet" in the eastern sky at night. But even now, it's currently the brightest comet in the night sky, and the brightest of 2018. Chodas said, "Comet Wirtanen has already been visible in larger amateur telescopes, and while the brightness of comets is notoriously hard to predict, there is the possibility that during its close approach comet ... (more...)
Look up: Geminid meteor shower peaks Thursday night Look up: Geminid meteor shower peaks Thursday night
- December 15, 2018

The Geminid meteor shower peaks tonight under almost ideal conditions. The Geminids are the only meteor shower to be produced by an asteroid. The shooting stars produced by the Geminids meteor shower appear to come from the constellation of Gemini, the Twins. (more...)
Russian cosmonauts take 6-hours spacewalk to probe mystery hole in ISS Russian cosmonauts take 6-hours spacewalk to probe mystery hole in ISS
- December 15, 2018

Roscosmos space agency says it wants to find out whether the 2mm puncture was made on Earth or in space. Back in August , ISS crew members noticed a slight drop in pressure on the orbiting laboratory and eventually traced this to a hole on the inside of the habitation module of the Soyuz spacecraft, which delivered a new crew to the orbiting laboratory in June and is now docked at the space station. (more...)
Probe enters lunar orbit in preparation for landing - USA Probe enters lunar orbit in preparation for landing - USA
- December 15, 2018

Challenges include establishing communications with the lunar far side which is never visible from Earth, and the rugged landscape of this unseen hemisphere. A manned lunar mission is likewise under thought. The country's first lunar probe, Chang'e-1, was launched in 2007, making China the fifth country to develop and launch a lunar probe on its own. (more...)
Tropical Cyclone Owen will wreak havoc across Queensland, residents warned Tropical Cyclone Owen will wreak havoc across Queensland, residents warned
- December 15, 2018

Residents in inland areas of the far north are experiencing gales and heavy rainfall. In Sydney , heavy rain severely reduced visibility on the roads causing a spate of traffic accidents. State disaster co-ordinator Bob Gee said they had plans in place in case the weather changes in Far North Queensland. Authorities have been making sure everyone has a place to shelter, in cyclone-rated buildings. (more...)
Premier wants oil refinery built in province Premier wants oil refinery built in province
- December 15, 2018

Alberta now has to buy more oil trains-a more risky way to transport oil than pipelines-because production is rising inexorably while pipeline capacity remains the same in the face of fierce opposition from environmentalist groups and First Nations against new pipeline projects. (more...)
Dracula ants possess fastest known animal appendage Dracula ants possess fastest known animal appendage
- December 15, 2018

As you might infer from their name, Dracula ants (a generic name for species in the Adetomyrma genus) are pretty nasty creatures . The impact is so strong that the opponents get a concussion or physical injury. These ants get the name Dracula due to their unusual feeding habit, which is no less than like cannibalism. Mystrium camillae are known as Dracula ants because they sometimes feed on the blood of their larvae in a non-harmful way, which has been referred to as ... (more...)
A NASA Probe Launched in 1977 Just Entered Interstellar Space A NASA Probe Launched in 1977 Just Entered Interstellar Space
- December 15, 2018

Thanks to a planetary alignment that only happens once every 175 years, Voyager 2 completed flybys of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. "You can think of the galactic magnetic field as an array of bungee cords", says Eric Christian from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, a scientist on the Voyager team. (more...)
You'd Better Watch Out, The Christmas Comet Is Coming to Town You'd Better Watch Out, The Christmas Comet Is Coming to Town
- December 14, 2018

The aptly-named Michelle Starr of Science Alert says: "Usually, 46P/Wirtanen is too far away for us to see, so this is a real treat - the comet's closest approach in 70 years". EST), because, according to the project's director astrophysicist Gianluca Masi, this is when the comet will be close to its maximum brightness. 46P/Wirtanen will be just below the Pleiades, slightly to the left. (more...)
Government Agencies Make Waves With New Definition for WOTUS Government Agencies Make Waves With New Definition for WOTUS
- December 14, 2018

It also details what are not " waters of the United States ", such as features that only contain water during or in response to rainfall (e.g., ephemeral features); groundwater; many ditches, including most roadside or farm ditches; prior converted cropland; stormwater control features; and waste treatment systems. (more...)
Five Years of Record Warmth Intensify Arctic's Transformation Five Years of Record Warmth Intensify Arctic's Transformation
- December 14, 2018

A new report on the impact of climate change in the Arctic revealed that numbers fell from nearly 5 million to around 2.1 million animals, according to a write up by Victoria Gill science correspondent, BBC News. "The report card continues to document a rapid unraveling of the Arctic", said Rafe Pomerance, chairman of Arctic 21, a network of organizations focused on educating policymakers and others on Arctic climate change. (more...)
NASA spacecraft 'InSight' posts selfie from Mars NASA spacecraft 'InSight' posts selfie from Mars
- December 14, 2018

On December 6, 2018, NASA's InSight lander used a camera on its robotic arm to snap a view of itself and the surroundings. On top of the deck are its science instruments, weather sensor booms and UHF antenna. The photo was captured by InSight's Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC), which is found on the lander's robotic arm. Then, the lander's robotic arm will grab the heat probe and seismometer and carefully place them on the Martian surface. (more...)