SpaceX has a taker for the first flight of one of its recycled rockets. The Luxembourg-based company SES — a longtime SpaceX launch customer — said Tuesday it will send its next communications satellite up on a previously flown Falcon rocket. It will be the first true reuse of a rocket previously used for an orbital mission. The launch will take place sometime this fall from Cape Canaveral. "Thanks for the longstanding faith in SpaceX," SpaceX chief Elon Musk said via Twitter. "We very much look forward to doing this milestone flight with you." The chief technology officer at SES, Martin Halliwell, said SpaceX's testing for the upcoming mission gives his company "full confidence." SES was the
Tasmanian devils are evolving genetic resistance to a contagious and deadly cancer that's been pushing the endangered species to the brink of extinction, an international team of scientists has found. Devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), a nearly 100 percent fatal cancer first detected 20 years ago, has wiped out an estimated 80 percent of the Australian marsupials, according to a news release from Washington State University. Because Tasmanian devils often display aggression by biting each other's faces, DFTD -- one of only three known transmissible cancers -- is easily spread among the animals, WSU said.
A drone whirred to life in a cloud of dust, then shot hundreds of feet skyward for a bird's-eye view of a vast tomato field in California's Central Valley, the nation's most productive farming region. Equipped with a state-of-the-art thermal camera, the drone crisscrossed the field, scanning it for cool, soggy patches where a gopher may have chewed through the buried drip irrigation line and caused a leak. In the drought-prone West, where every drop of water counts, California farmers are in a constant search for ways to efficiently use the increasingly scarce resource. Cannon Michael is putting drone technology to work on his fields at Bowles Farming Co. near Los Banos, 120 miles southeast of
By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Lucy, one of the best known ancestors of humans to ever roam the earth, may have died after a fall from a tree, University of Texas researchers said on Monday after studying her 3.18-million-year-old fossilized remains. A high resolution X-ray CT (computed tomography) study of Lucy, a female hominid, indicates she suffered fractures to her right humerus not typically seen in fossils. The injuries were consistent with those "caused by a fall from considerable height when the conscious victim stretched out an arm in an attempt to break the fall," according to the research from John Kappelman, a University of Texas anthropology and geological sciences professor, who consulted with Stephen Pearce, an orthopedic surgeon at Austin Bone and Joint Clinic.
A "strong signal' from outer space is catching the attention of scientists, particularly those at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project. The signal was detected by a telescope in Russia, according to writer Paul Gilster, who runs the website Centauri Dreams.
The number of savanna elephants in Africa is rapidly declining and the animals are in danger of being wiped out as international and domestic ivory trades drive poaching across the continent, according to a study released Wednesday. Africa's savanna elephant population plummeted by about 30 percent from 2007 to 2014 and is declining at about 8 percent a year, said a survey funded by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen. "If we can't save the African elephant, what is the hope of conserving the rest of Africa's wildlife?" elephant ecologist Mike Chase, the lead researcher, said in a statement.
Arguably one of the most Mars-like environments on Earth, the north side of Mauna Loa has been home sweet home to six NASA crew members for the last year. Inside a dome-shaped structure, they were living out the latest in a series of NASA-operated missions designed to inform spaceflight: Operation HI-SEAS, for Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation. The mission was designed to study the psychological impact of long-term space travel by sticking the crew in a confined environment with the same people. Who would voluntarily sign on for that still isn’t clear, but WIRED checked out the team’s return to normalcy this weekend.
In the wake of the news that former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner was caught (once again) sexting with a woman who is not his wife, the country let out a collective sigh. But Weiner's case is unusual, because his behavior looks more like a sexual compulsion or addiction, said Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist at the University of Washington and co-author of "The Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples," (Harmony, 2013). "It's about this kind of thrill that he gets showing his body to some anonymous woman, and you call it an addiction or a compulsion when they can't stop it even in the face of catastrophic consequences," Schwartz told Live Science.
Deere & Co. was sued by U.S. antitrust officials seeking to block the company’s purchase of Monsanto Co.’s Precision Planting LLC equipment business, a deal the government says would eliminate competition and raise costs for farmers. Deere’s acquisition would combine the only two significant U.S. providers of high-speed precision planting systems used by farms, giving the company control of close to 90 percent of the U.S. market, the Justice Department said Wednesday in a complaint filed in federal court in Chicago. Deere, the world’s largest maker of agricultural machinery, agreed to buy the Monsanto unit in November for $190 million, according to the complaint, as it works to make its machines
Are we alone in the universe? An international group of astronomers has detected an interesting radio signal spike, one that could possibly be of alien origin, from a star system located 95 light-years away. Scientists who search for extraterrestrial intelligence in the universe, a field known as SETI, find the powerful signal unique enough to warrant permanent monitoring of the signal’s source. Few details have been released so far, but more information about the finding will be announced at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), which will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico during the last week of September. Of course, it is very likely that the radio spike was produced by something else
Ever wondered exactly what effect those sweet, sugary drinks might be having on your teeth? We know fizzy drinks like Mountain Dew and Coca-Cola aren't great for the old gnashers, but the video above — a guest episode of Tom Scott's "Things you might
About 30,000 cases of precut vegetables are being recalled in many Southeastern states because they could be contaminated with Listeria. This week, the food manufacturer Country Fresh announced a recall of several of its vegetable products — including precut onions, mushrooms and peppers — after one of its products being sold in a Georgia grocery store tested positive for Listeria bacteria. The recall affects products sold at a number of grocery stores — including Walmart, Harris Teeter and Winn-Dixie — in nine Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia).
Buenos Aires – A group of scientists found a fossilized skull believed to be that of the oldest pterosaur or flying reptile from the early Jurassic period at the bottom of a lake in Argentina's Patagonia region. The heretofore unknown species has been named "Allkauren koi." "We can say that they were reptiles ... completely adapted to flight. The bones of the cranium are pneumatic and ... they have no air cavities. This pterosaur in particular had teeth and a beak, a species with an elongated snout," Ariana Carabajal, an expert in neuropaleontology who was part of the scientific team, told EFE on Tuesday. Allkauren koi - in the Tehuelche language of the Indians who historically lived in the
President Barack Obama is opening a two-day environmental tour aimed at showcasing conservation efforts before traveling to Asia, where climate change is high on the agenda for his final trip to the region. In Nevada on Wednesday, Obama plans to visit Lake Tahoe and speak at a summit dedicated to the iconic lake's preservation. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who like Obama is in his final year in office, has hosted the summit for 20 years and asked Obama to attend.
An ancient tablet recently unearthed in Tuscany has revealed its first secret: the engraved name of a goddess linked to fertility. The 500-pound stone slab, or stele, was unearthed earlier this year at Poggio Colla, a sixth century B.C. site built by the Etruscans. The stele bears a long inscription in a language that has not been used for 2,500 years, project archaeologist Gregory Warden, a professor emeritus at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, told Live Science in April. Now, translation is underway and archaeologists have discovered that the tablet references the goddess Uni. [Photos: The Tomb of an Etruscan Prince] "We can at this point affirm that this discovery is one of the most
Sixty percent of the groundwater in a river basin supporting more than 750 million people in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh is not drinkable or usable for irrigation, researchers said Monday. The biggest threat to groundwater in the Indo-Gangetic Basin, named after the Indus and Ganges rivers, is not depletion but contamination, they reported in the journal Nature Geoscience. Up to a depth of 200 metres (650 feet), some 23 percent of the groundwater stored in the basin is too salty, and about 37 percent "is affected by arsenic at toxic concentrations," they said.
The undersea search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 may have missed the wreckage, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, leading the search, admitted Tuesday to The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast can also reveal the Dutch company providing one of the search vessels, Fugro, admitted as far back as June that there were gaps in sonar coverage of the ocean floor that needed further investigation. As a result, a search that has so far cost $180 million and that was expected to end this summer could now be extended into next year. This will be encouraging news for the families of the passengers and crew on the flight who feared that the search was being prematurely curtailed. The ATSB says that a
In Africa this week? The final solar eclipse of 2016 graces the continent on Thursday, September 1st. This eclipse is annular only, as the diminutive Moon fails to fully cover the disk of the Sun. The 99.7 kilometer wide path crosses the African countries of Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar. The antumbra (the ‘ring of fire path of the shadow annulus as viewed from Earth) touches down in the southern Atlantic at 7:20 Universal Time (UT) on September 1st, before racing across Africa and departing our fair planet over the Indian Ocean over four hours later at 10:55 UT. Partial phases for the eclipse will be visible across the African
Before society collapses, it slows down. A team of researchers examined the archaeological record that Neolithic European — that is, between 3,000 and 10,000 years — societies left in the years before several different collapses. Sean Downey, a University of Maryland anthropologist and a researcher on the study, said that to understand what it means for a society to slow down, you should imagine a rainforest.
Equipped with a state-of-the-art thermal camera, the drone crisscrossed the field, scanning it for cool, soggy patches where a gopher may have chewed through the buried drip irrigation line and caused a leak. In the drought-prone West, where every drop of water counts, California farmers are in a constant search for ways to efficiently use the increasingly scarce resource. Cannon Michael is putting drone technology to work on his fields at Bowles Farming Co. near Los Banos, 120 miles southeast of San Francisco.
A blue fire tornado sounds like it could be an alarming natural disaster, but this phenomenon could actually offer a way to burn fuel with reduced carbon emissions, a new study finds. A fire tornado, or fire whirl, can occur during urban and wildland fires, threatening life, property and the surrounding environment. Traditional, yellow fire whirls gain their color from radiating soot particles, according to study co-author Elaine Oran, a professor of engineering at the University of Maryland.
Dogs distinguish words and intonation in the same region of the brain as humans, according to a new study of how man's best friend interprets our language. Published Monday in the journal Science, the report by researchers at Budapest's Eotvos Lorand University shows the canine brain is capable of interpreting both what we say and how we say it. Dogs, like humans, use the brain's left hemisphere to interpret words and regions of the right hemisphere to analyze intonation.
Tucked on the sea floor behind the long-studied Great Barrier Reef, for example, another enormous reef has been "hiding in plain sight," according to a team of scientists who have just revealed its sprawling scale. This hidden reef has huge fields of weird, doughnut-shaped mounds, each measuring 200 to 300 meters across (656 to 984 feet) and up to 10 meters deep (33 feet) at the center. "We've known about these geological structures in the northern Great Barrier Reef since the 1970s and '80s, but never before has the true nature of their shape, size and vast scale been revealed," says co-author Robin Beaman, a marine geologist at James Cook University, in a statement about the discovery. "The deeper seafloor behind the familiar coral reefs amazed us," he adds.
Recorded by a Russian telescope on May 15, 2015, at a wavelength of 2.7cm and broadcasting at 11Ghz, there are many explanations more plausible than aliens building a radio mast, such as an Earth-based signal bouncing off a piece of space debris. Most cosmic phenomena we mistake for aliens offers short bursts. If we manage to rule out every other explanation, we’d then have to answer the question of why we’re not picking up aliens pulling a War of The Roses on each other on air.