Virgin Galactic’s Space Plane Soars to New Heights

Virgin Galactic's suborbital space plane VSS Unity reached a maximum altitude (apogee) of 240,000 feet or 45 miles(73 km) on its fifth test flight.

New Heights

Virgin Galactic’s supersonic space plane, the VSS Unity, took off on its fifth test flight today. Mothership WhiteKnightTwo released the suborbital space plane at around 44,000 feet — and VSS Unity reached a new maximum altitude of 55.85 miles (89.9km.)

The second generation SpaceShipTwo, dubbed VSS Unity, reached an altitude of 51.4 miles (82.7  km) during its fourth test flight in December 2018. This time, the space plane traveled with a much heavier payload — close to full commercial weight — and a third crew member, Beth Moses, the first woman to enter space on a commercial US spacecraft.

“Zombie” Deer Disease Could Spread to Humans, Experts Warn

Deadly Deer

“Zombie deer disease” is spreading across the globe.

Known more formally as chronic wasting disease (CWD), the infection eats away at the brains of deer, elk, and moose. It causes the animals to show signs of dementia, manifesting as difficulty walking and eating, before they ultimately die — and experts are now warning that the disease could make the jump from animals to humans.

Global Issue

“Zombie deer disease” is spread by prions, pathogenic proteins that can’t be killed because they aren’t alive. They’re neither bacteria nor viruses, but once they infect an animal, they cause its cells to fold abnormally and Lees verder

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Touching Google Doodle Honors Steve Irwin on What Would Have Been His 57th Birthday

Steve Irwin Birthday Steve Irwin Google Doodle Crocodile Hunter Google Doodle

In 2006, wildlife expert and well-known television star Steve Irwin tragically passed away at just 44 years old. Thirteen years later, and the world continues to honor the late “Crocodile Hunter,” whose lasting legacy is explored in a touching new Google Doodle tribute.

Intended to commemorate what would have been his 57th birthday on February 22, 2019, this short but sweet animation traces his extraordinary life and work. It opens with a shot of a young Irwin in a boat as he and his beloved dog, Sui, encounter a crocodile. It then showcases Irwin’s role at the <a target="_blank" Lees verder

Via:: MET kunst


Senators Opposing Green New Deal Are Drowning in Fossil Fuel Cash

The senators and representatives who oppose the Green New Deal have accepted several times more fossil fuel money than its supporters.

Follow the Money

The senators and representatives who support or have co-sponsored the Green New Deal, the ambitious package of proposals to combat global climate change, have received far less money from the fossil fuel industry than their opponents, according to HuffPost.

The clear divide between legislators who’ve received large donations from oil, gas, and coal companies and those who haven’t shows that, as far as U.S. leaders are concerned, cash is still king.

Break it Down

The 12 senators who have agreed to co-sponsor the Green New Deal have taken a total of $1.1 million worth of fossil fuel campaign contributions over the course Lees verder

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Scientists Discovered a Star That Explodes Every Year

Scientists have discovered a star in the Andromeda Galaxy that explodes every year — the first of its kind in the known universe.

Explosive Strength

Scientists have discovered a star in the Andromeda Galaxy that explodes every year — the first of its kind in the known universe.

“When we first discovered that M31N 2008-12a erupted every year, we were very surprised,” San Diego State University astrophysicist Allen Shafter said in a press release.

Blowing Up

Shafter and colleagues describe the peculiar star in a new paper published in the journal Nature.

M31N 2008-12a’s explosive routine, they believe, is due to its codependent relationship with a nearby star. It constantly sucks away its companion’s hydrogen, which explodes violently about once per year.

Big Bang

The constant explosions Lees verder

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Journal Retracts Ethics Article by Doctor Who Gene Edited Babies

When news broke of He Jiankui's infamous gene editing research, an academic journal published his ethical guidelines. Now the article has been retracted.

Take it Back

He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who edited the genome of a human embryo that eventually developed into a pair of living twins, justified his work by publishing a set of ethical guidelines for how genetic researchers can move their field forward.

Now those guidelines have been retracted by The CRISPR Journal — because He failed to disclose his many conflicts of interest on the matter, according to Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

Interesting Choice

News broke of He’s controversial research in late November, right around when The CRISPR Journal decided to publish his article on genetic ethics.

He’s article focused on Lees verder

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Japan Just Landed a Robot Spacecraft on an Asteroid

Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 just touched down on the surface of Ryugu for the third time to collect samples after firing a bullet at its surface.


Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 touched down on the surface of Ryugu Friday — a kilometer-wide asteroid with an orbit that periodically brings it close to Earth as it circles the Sun.

And the probe has already completed the first big step of its primary mission: collect tiny rock samples to send home.

Upon landing, Hayabusa2 fired a metal bullet into the rock and scooped up some samples using its on-board “sampling horn.”

Everyday Consumer Goods Are De-Produced Into Rectangular Prisms of Raw Materials

Volkswagen Beetle. Photograph by Ronald Smits

Dutch design team Studio Drift (previously) codifies the complex mix of materials that are used to create modern consumer goods in their newest series, Materialism. The collection reduces down recognizable items ranging from light bulbs and pencils to bicycles and even a Volkswagen Beetle. Raw materials like graphite, copper, rubber, polyurethane, and aluminum are shown as perfectly sliced blocks, emphasizing the original substance rather than the abstracted functional shape (like a rubber bicycle tube or graphite pencil core).

In a statement Lees verder

Via:: This is Colossal, kunst


Cambridge: AI Might Help Us Avoid “Environmental Catastrophe”

The University of Cambridge has launched a new center focused on finding ways to use AI to address problems with the environment.

Data Collectors

From images taken by satellites to measurements recorded by increasingly sensitive sensors, we now have more data about our environment than ever before.

But we’re not yet at the point where we can effectively make use of all this information, according to Simon Redfern, Head of the University of Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences.

“Such huge datasets pose their own challenges… and new methods need to be developed to tap their potential and to use this information to guide our path away from environmental catastrophe,” Redfern said in a press release about the university’s efforts to confront threats to the Lees verder

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SpaceX Just Launched the First Commercial Lunar Lander, Ever

Making History

It’s official: Israeli space company SpaceIL’s lunar lander Beresheet just launched into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket this evening, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. SpaceX confirmed the successful deployment just after 9:30pm EST.

If all goes well, the dishwasher-sized spacecraft will be the first private spacecraft to ever reach the lunar surface.

A Long Way to Go

SpaceIL is planning for the spacecraft, which is called the Beresheet, to land in April after slowly expanding its elliptical path around the Earth until it’s close enough to the Moon. It will circle the Moon several times before making its way Lees verder

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