The methane-fueled engine is expected to form part of the Dragon rocket, with Musk suggesting the engines are three times more powerful than the current Merlin engines that SpaceX uses on its Falcon 9 rocket. The engine was fired at the company's McGregor, Texas facility, according to a report by tech website Engadget and comes ahead of a long-awaited speech by Elon Musk. USA Today reported on Sunday that Musk would outline his ideas for how to establish a city on Mars within a decade. The speech is due to be held at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Musk is expected to detail a new system called the "Mars Colonial Transporter," that could deliver 100 people to the planet Mars.
The Hubble Space Telescope has spied what appear to be water plumes on one of Jupiter's icy moons shooting up as high as 125 miles. The geysers are apparently from an underground ocean that is thought to exist on Europa, considered one of the top places to search for signs of life in our solar system. The plumes at the south pole were detected by the workhorse telescope as the moon passed in front of Jupiter. Even so, the possible presence of plumes, which shoot up and rain back down on the surface, would "allow us to search for signs of life in the ocean of Europa without needing to drill through miles of ice," astronomer William Sparks of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore said Monday.
The number of African elephants has dropped by around 111,000 in the past decade, a new report released Sunday at the Johannesburg conference on the wildlife trade said, blaming the plummeting figures on poaching. The revelation, the worst drop in 25 years, came amid disagreement on the second day of the global meet over the best way to improve the plight of Africa's elephants, targeted for their tusks. With Namibia and Zimbabwe, wanting to be allowed to sell ivory stockpiles accrued from natural deaths to fund community elephant conservation initiatives, Zimbabwe's Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri rejected the "imperialistic policies" of opposing countries, branding them a "clear infringement on the sovereign rights of nations".
A U-2 spy plane that crashed in northern California earlier this week, killing one of the two pilots, focused attention on a normally clandestine aspect of the U.S. military. The U-2 plane has a long and storied history that stretches back to the late 1950s, but how is the reconnaissance aircraft used today? U-2 planes have been flown by the United States and other nations for more than 60 years, as both a spy plane and an instrument of science.
When it comes to rare lunar events, September 2016 seems to be the month that keeps on giving: This Friday, September 30, a Black Moon will rise in the skies of the Western Hemisphere, a phenomenon we haven't seen since March 2014. The Black Moon, which will occur at 8:11 p.m. ET on Friday, will only be happening in the Western Hemisphere because, technically, the new moon will happen on October 1 for the Eastern Hemisphere (they'll be getting their Black Moon at the end of next month). The next time we'll see a second new moon in a single calendar month in the Americas will be July 2019.
ST. LOUIS • A joint effort between Washington University and the University of Pennsylvania received a $23.6 million federal grant to start a new Science and Technology Center. The partnership, fueled by the five-year grant, creates the Science and Technology Center for Engineering MechanoBiology. It's an effort to understand how single cells work, what they react to and how they can be used or developed to prevent diseases, boost crop practices and more. Single cell organisms are the root of all plants and animals. "Being named an STC is a prestigious distinction reserved for sweeping research projects that have the power to change lives. We're ready to get to work," Guy Genin, principal researcher
More than 40 people in a Canadian city were treated for an opioid overdose this summer after they smoked crack cocaine that had been contaminated with an opioid drug related to fentanyl, according to a new report. In mid-July, a hospital in the city of Surrey, British Columbia, experienced a large spike in patients needing treatment for an opioid overdose — about 11 patients per day needed treatment, up from the usual four patients per day. Most of the patients had become unconscious after smoking what they thought was crack cocaine, the report said.
Australians overwhelmingly believe in climate change, according to a new poll, and they are more than ready for the government to do something about it. According to The Climate Institute's 2016 Climate of the Nation report, 77 percent of Australians believe climate change is happening. The report, released Monday, also indicates the majority of Australians trust the science that suggests human activity is to blame for climate change.
On Monday morning, the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group—which owns Chinese car brand Geely as well as Volvo and the London Taxi Company—announced that it is now the main sponsor and official automotive partner of the Bloodhound SSC land speed record project. The three-year deal includes both financial and technical support for the project, as well as an extension of Bloodhound SSC's STEM in schools promotion across China. Richard Noble, the main driving force behind Bloodhound SSC (and both previous land speed records) said "We could not have a better partner than Geely: not only are they an international technology company with tremendous vision and capability, they share our passion for innovation
For the first time, SpaceX has fired the Raptor rocket engine Elon Musk and his company intend to use to send people to the Red Planet. SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted photos of the Raptor rocket engine churning out streams of fiery exhaust Monday morning. In a tweet, Musk stated that "SpaceX propulsion just achieved first firing of the Raptor interplanetary transport engine." The announcement of the first successful firing comes a day before a speech at the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico where Musk will be discuss his plans for sending humans to other planets in our solar system.
On Monday, NASA is set to reveal evidence of "surprising activity" on Jupiter's moon Europa. The space agency teased the event last week, much to the chagrin of science journalists everywhere who are planning to cover the news, whatever it is. NASA has a bad habit of starting rumors about big discoveries, always leading to much online buzz and speculation, but the press conferences never turn out to be about aliens: (I mean, really: If NASA officials were sitting on findings that huge, they would either keep that secret on lock while they confirmed all their data or shout it from the rooftops immediately. You don't tease about aliens.) We'll have the new Europa news up on Speaking of Science
Nine out of 10 people globally are breathing poor quality air, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, calling for dramatic action against pollution that is blamed for more than six million deaths a year. New data in a report from the UN's global health body "is enough to make all of us extremely concerned," Maria Neira, the head of the WHO's department of public health and environment, told reporters. Poorer countries have much dirtier air than the developed world, according to the report, but pollution "affects practically all countries in the world and all parts of society", Neira said in a statement.
A majority of Americans now say that a U.S. president should release all of his or her medical information. The poll, which was conducted by Gallup last week, found that a slim majority of Americans, 51 percent, said that a president should release all medical information that might affect that person's ability to serve in office, whereas 46 percent said that a president should have the right to keep those medical records private. The new poll results are a change from the results in 2004, when just 38 percent of Americans said that a president should release all of his or her medical information, and 61 percent said that a president should be able to keep those records private, according to Gallup.
An ultrasound showed one of Sarah Gray's unborn twins was missing part of his brain, a fatal birth defect. His brother was born healthy but Thomas lived just six days. Latching onto hope for something positive to come from heartache, Gray donated some of Thomas' tissue for scientific research — his eyes, his liver, his umbilical cord blood. Only no one could tell the Washington mother if that precious donation really made a difference. So Gray embarked on an unusual journey to find out, revealing a side of science that laymen seldom glimpse. "Infant eyes are like gold," a Harvard scientist told her. "I don't think people understand how valuable these donations are," said Gray, who hadn't grasped
Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, believed that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double every year or two. And, to his credit, that rule pretty much held out between 1965 and 2015, when the laws of physics began to get in the way. Now, researchers at North Carolina State believe that we don't need to obsess over ever-smaller transistors to make chips even more powerful. Instead, they've turned to chaos theory in the hope that mixing things up will provide the performance boost that Intel can't. Lead researcher Behnam Kia explains that we are now "reaching the limits of physics in terms of transistor size." If you've ever listened to one of Intel's presentations, you'll
Strollers and cyclists can breathe easy on the banks of the Seine after Paris on Monday approved a plan to ban cars on a long stretch of riverside road cutting across the city. A centrepiece of her battle against pollution, the plan has divided opinion in the French capital. "We need to slow down a bit, let go, stop and relax," said Violetta Kolodziejczak, a restaurant greeter.
Current greenhouse gas concentrations could warm the world 3-7℃ (and on average 5℃) over coming millennia. That’s the finding of a paper published in Nature today. The research, by Carolyn Snyder, reconstructed temperatures over the past 2 million years. By investigating the link between carbon dioxide and temperature in the past, Snyder made new projections for the future. The Paris climate agreement seeks to limit warming to a “safe” level of well below 2℃ and aim for 1.5℃ by 2100. The new research shows that even if we stop emissions now, we’ll likely surpass this threshold in the long term, with major consequences for the planet. What is climate sensitivity? How much the planet will warm
Device not part of Galaxy Note 7 recall
CAPE CANAVERAL — Buzz is building for a long-awaited speech Elon Musk will deliver Tuesday outlining his ideas for how to establish a city on Mars within a decade. At the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, the SpaceX founder and CEO is expected to offer more detail about a system he’s called the “Mars Colonial Transporter,” including a massive new rocket and spaceship that could deliver 100 people to the Red Planet. Detractors may point to a Falcon 9 rocket’s launch pad explosion just a few weeks ago as evidence of a mismatch between Musk’s rhetoric and reality. Musk himself has teased the speech, which is titled “Making Humans a Multi-planetary Species” and will be streamed online, with a sense of humor.
The five-month-old boy, named Abrahim Hassan, has the DNA from both his mum and dad as well as a third bit of genetic code from an outside donor. In the breakthrough method, U.S. doctors broke conventional techniques in order to ensure little Abrahim would be free from a genetic condition passed on from his Jordanian mother.
Canada's parks department on Monday confirmed the discovery of a British exploration ship that vanished during a storied Arctic expedition in 1846. The statement comes two weeks after scientists from the Arctic Research Foundation announced they had found the ship -- part of a two-vessel expedition during which both disappeared -- submerged but well-preserved beneath 24 meters of water in the Northwest Passage. "Parks Canada's underwater archaeology team is proud to confirm that the wreck located in Terror Bay on the south-west side of King William Island, Nunavut is that of HMS Terror," the government agency said.
Deep groundwater near megacities may become contaminated within 10 years, scientists have warned. Using the example of Dhaka, in Bangladesh, they show that over-pumping water in cities affects regional ground resources in the region. Around 15 million people live in Dhaka, making it one of the most populated cities in the world. Population density is also one of the highest in the world, with roughly 115,000 people per square mile. Accommodating the needs of such a vast number of inhabitants means there are often enormous strains on the environment. Water resources are a prime example of this. Like many of the world's megacities, Dhaka is reliant on groundwater from aquifers – permeable rocks
Leprosy has been confirmed in one of two California schoolchildren suspected to have the disease, according to CBS Los Angeles. Health officials were first notified in early September about the two possible cases of leprosy, now usually called Hansen's disease. The diagnosis was confirmed at the National Hansen's Disease Laboratory Research Program (NHDP) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The largest radio telescope in the world officially opened on Sunday, according to China's official Xinhua News. The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, is named after its diameter, which, at 500 meters, is 195 meters wider than the second-largest telescope of its kind, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Xinhua reports the telescope cost $180 million and 8,000 people were displaced from their homes to create the necessary 3-mile radius of radio silence around the facility. It will be used for "observation of pulsars as well as exploration of interstellar molecules and interstellar communication signals." Pulsars are imploded cores of stars slightly larger than the sun,
The world's largest radio telescope began operating in southwestern China Sunday, a project Beijing says will help humanity search for alien life. The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), nestled between hills in the mountainous region of Guizhou, began working around noon, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Built at a cost of 1.2 billion yuan ($180 million), the telescope dwarfs the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico as the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, with twice the sensitivity and a reflector as large as 30 football fields, it said.