NASA's latest nail-biting drama was far from orbit as the Senate narrowly confirmed President Donald Trump's choice of a tea party congressman to run the space agency in an unprecedented party-line vote. In a 50-49 vote Thursday, Oklahoma Rep. James Bridenstine, a Navy Reserve pilot, was confirmed as NASA's 13th administrator, an agency that usually is kept away from partisanship. His three predecessors — two nominated by Republicans — were all approved unanimously. Before that, one NASA chief served under three presidents, two Republicans and a Democrat. The two days of voting were as tense as a launch countdown. A procedural vote Wednesday initially ended in a 49-49 tie — Vice President Mike
A SpaceX rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Wednesday evening carrying NASA’s latest planet-hunting telescope. Known as TESS, the satellite will look for planets capable of supporting life over a two-year mission.
Joseph Hunter, a onetime sergeant from Kentucky with a Special Forces background, Adam Samia and Carl David Stillwell were found guilty of murder-for-hire and other charges. All three had denied they planned the 2012 execution-style hit — a case that’s provided an inside glimpse into the secret fraternity of private mercenaries willing to kill in cold blood for cash.
A bleak new study describes the profound damage that climate change has wreaked on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Rising temperatures in 2016 “cooked” swathes of corals, the scientists found, causing the catastrophic die-off of almost 30 percent of the world’s largest coral reef system. Global warming has already radically — and possibly permanently — transformed the reef’s ecology, according to the study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
NASA's Tess spacecraft embarked Wednesday on a quest to find new worlds around neighboring stars that could support life. The satellite — the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or Tess — will scan almost the entire sky for at least two years, staring at the closest, brightest stars in an effort to find and identify any planets around them. Hundreds of thousands of stars will be scrutinized, with the expectation that thousands of exoplanets — planets outside our own solar system — will be revealed right in our cosmic backyard. "The sky will become more beautiful, will become more awesome" knowing there are planets orbiting the stars we see twinkling at night, said NASA's top science administrator, Thomas Zurbuchen.
Pressure for the FAA to act grew after an engine on a Southwest plane blew apart on Tuesday, showering the aircraft with debris and shattering a window. Investigators said a blade that broke off mid-flight and triggered the fatal accident was showing signs of metal fatigue — microscopic cracks that can splinter open under the kind of stress placed on jetliners and their engines. The National Transportation Safety Board also blamed metal fatigue for an engine failure on a Southwest plane in Florida in 2016.
Adolescence is a period for individual growth and opportunities, but it also coincides with the emergence of many mental disorders. In a study that was recently published in JAMA Psychiatry, Norwegian researchers revealed that the pathways between brain regions are associated with early signs of mental illness in youth. The researchers analyzed a wide range of clinical, cognitive, and genetic data from more than 6000 children and adolescents. They derived a score of general cognitive ability as well as early signs of psychiatric symptoms for each individual, and analyzed images of pathways in the brain of more than 700 of the participants using advanced machine learning techniques. The study
Elon Musk gets a lot done. The 46-year-old entrepreneur and CEO is revolutionizing the spaceflight industry with SpaceX, transforming the world of the electric car at Tesla, and pushing neuroscience and transportation forward at Neuralink and the Boring Company. As SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell said at the 2018 TED Conference, Musk's goals are a lot to keep up with. "When Elon says something, you have to pause and not blurt out 'Well, that's impossible,'" she said. "You zip it, you think about it, and you find ways to get it done." Recently, Musk reportedly announced to Tesla employees that he wants to adopt a 24/7 shift schedule to get production for Tesla's Model 3 electric car on track. In an
Officials said it could take 24 to 36 hours to fully restore power to more than 1.4 million customers as outrage grew across the island about the state of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority. “This is too much,” said Luis Oscar Rivera, a computer technician who just got normal power back at his house less than two months ago. The outage last Thursday was set off when a tree limb fell on a power line as the contractor cleared land in central Puerto Rico and a backup line failed.
Natural divers "The way they dive is so natural," Ilardo said. "There's nothing like seeing them in the water." Ilardo was struck by how the Bajau seemed "so incredibly comfortable in the water." She recalled how a Bajau man free diving alongside her suddenly dropped another 30 or 40 feet to scoop up a giant clam "like it was no problem at all." To understand what the team then discovered, you need to understand what happens to the human body when it dives into the water, Ilardo explained. First, the heart slows, which lowers the amount of oxygen consumed. Blood vessels in the extremities also constrict, channeling oxygen-rich blood to vital organs. Lastly, the spleen contracts. "The spleen is
A group of more than 100 octopus "moms" and their eggs were found clustered about 2 miles below the ocean's surface off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica by a group of scientists during a deep-sea expedition. The researchers made the surprising discovery while exploring the Dorado Outcrop, a rocky area of the ocean floor created by an underwater volcano, with a drone. “When I first saw the photos, I was like ‘No, they shouldn’t be there! Not that deep and not that many of them,” Janet Voight, associate curator of zoology at Chicago's Field Museum and an author of a new study on the findings published in "Deep Sea Research Part I," said in a statement online. The pink, "dinner-plate-sized" octopuses
The "Squawk Box" crew talks about some of the morning's top news stories, including an update on earnings, and NASA's successful launch of a satellite with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Trump said that CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Kim “got along really well” in their recent secret meeting, and he declared, “We’ve never been in a position like this” to address worldwide concerns over North Korea’s nuclear weapons. If the meeting when I’m there is not fruitful I will respectfully leave the meeting,” Trump told a news conference.
Blue Origin started work on its next-generation BE-4 engine in 2011. It wasn’t revealed to the public for three years. News of the BE-4 is always sparse. Last October, after the first test, at 50 percent thrust, Blue Origin tweeted a six-second-long video. In January, it was 13 seconds after another crucial test. In the private space industry, where companies tend to present themselves with style and panache, Blue Origin has always been the quiet one. So the BE-4 project is worth a close look, because it offers clues to where Blue Origin is at as a company—and because it’s helping solve a national security issue. Blue Origin announced the BE-4 in 2014 when the company won a contract with United
A Canadian woman was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison after attempting to smuggle millions of dollars worth of cocaine into Australia on a cruise ship. Melina Roberge, 24, pleaded guilty to smuggling 209 pounds of cocaine in 2016, the Washington Post reports. Roberge will serve at least four years and nine months without parole.
Researchers at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research found that adolescents with poorer scores in the social and mental well-being domains of HRQoL have structural changes in their retinal blood vessels that could be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in later life. Lead researcher Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath said this was the first study to demonstrate an independent link between poor HRQoL and changes to the retinal blood vessels. "Poor well-being and certain structural changes to the retina are both associated with an increased risk of future cardiovascular disease, but few studies have explored the link between the two," Associate Professor Gopinath explained.
A satellite company planning to launch a $1bn (£700m) network of satellites to provide "live and unfiltered" coverage of the Earth has been backed by former Microsoft chief executive Bill Gates and Japanese tech giant Softbank. The tech leaders are backing EarthNow, which plans to launch 500 satellites to cover Earth's atmosphere in video surveillance and provide live video feedback with only one second of delay. The Washington-based satellite company has the backing of aerospace giant Airbus as well as billionaire Gates and Softbank, the Japanese conglomerate that has invested billions in tech companies from Uber to chipmaker Arm.
One of the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy, Shults flew training missions as an enemy pilot during Operation Desert Storm, while working with other women to see a rule excluding them from combat flights repealed. Twenty-five years later, Shults was at the controls of the Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 Tuesday when it made an emergency landing in Philadelphia after one of the engines on the Boeing 737 exploded while the plane was traveling 500 mph (800 kph) at 30,000 feet (9144 m) with 149 people on board. Shults calmly relayed details about the crisis to air traffic controllers, and passengers commended her handling of the situation.
The Hubble Space Telescope knows how to celebrate its anniversary in style. Each year, the telescope team releases a new, mind-blowing image of something gorgeous. The Lagoon Nebula is the winner for 2018. NASA also released a fly-through video of the nebula that takes you soaring through the Hubble view. Hubble, a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), launched on April 24, 1990. The ESA's Hubble site describes the Lagoon Nebula as a "colossal object" that's 55 light-years in width and 20 light-years in height. Even though it is about 4,000 light-years away from Earth, it is three times larger in the sky than the full Moon." Here is the new image in all its glory: The
"Single-use plastic items such as straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds have a significant impact on our environment, both on land and in our seas and rivers when they are either littered or discarded incorrectly after use," read the statement. Recent research by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) estimates that the UK uses around 8.5 billion straws a year, and studies have shown that about 8.8 metric tonnes of plastic waste ends up in our oceans each year. Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the proposed ban comes as part of a concerted effort to "help protect our marine life." "Single-use plastics are a scourge on our seas and lethal to our precious environment and wildlife so it is vital we act now," says Gove.
Now, for the first time, a definite example of cranial surgery has been found in an animal: specifically, a nearly complete cow's skull discovered at a Neolithic site that dates to 3,400 to 3,000 BC. The investigation of this skull is detailed in a study published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports. The cow's skull was found at the Stone Age site of Champ-Durand in France, just under 25 miles from the Atlantic coast.
Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union’s trade commissioner, also said the bloc would not offer any concessions in order to be exempt from the U.S. import duties ahead of a May 1 deadline in talks. “We are a seeing a recovery and a potential growth in trade and global growth but it is threatened by these tariffs,” she told reporters in Strasbourg, France. Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump slapped tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on imported aluminum, but granted the EU a temporary exemption until May 1.
BenevolentAI said the latest round of funding will help it scale drug development and its AI platform. Its AI technology is used to decipher the molecular process of disease and match drug treatments to the most applicable patients. Ken Mulvany, founder and chairman of BenevolentAI, said that the U.K. was an attractive hub for science.
Just as it has done every year since the April 20, 1999, shooting killed 12 students and a teacher, Columbine High School will be closed, and students there will stick with their tradition of holding a day of service to commemorate the tragedy in a community that includes both those who have pushed for gun control and to arm teachers. Junior Kaylee Tyner, who helped organize a walkout at the school on March 14, said the anniversary is a day to remember those lost in the shooting and those they left behind and politicizing it could divide the community. “Every other day can be a day to push for change,” said Tyner, who wishes organizers of the national walkout had reached out to the Columbine community first.
Following the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush, her husband recalled her as “the most beloved woman in the world” and assured grieving Americans their “love and friendship” was helping the Bush family in the hours after her death. Former President George H.W. Bush, who held his wife’s hand all day Tuesday before she died, released his first statement following Barbara Bush’s death through his spokesman Wednesday. “I always knew Barbara was the most beloved woman in the world, and in fact I used to tease her that I had a complex about that fact,” Bush said in the statement.