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 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.
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.
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.
Seven months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is still dealing with the fallout as it experienced an island-wide blackout on Wednesday. This latest power outage follows a series of outages in the months since Maria. Just last week, half of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority's (PREPA) customers lost power when a tree fell across a major power line.
Small "nano-satellites" could soon play a big role in U.S. Army plans to win ground wars, a top U.S. Army official said Thursday. Lt. Gen. Jim Dickinson, head of the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command explained the technology in Colorado Springs, Colo., on the final day of the 34th annual Space Symposium. The event focused on how best to combat the increasing ability of adversarial countries to explore space. Vice President Mike Pence spoke ahead of the official opening on Monday, FOX 21 reported. One of the key concerns for the Army is potential enemies' greater likelihood of being able to jam U.S. satellite signals, Dickinson said. "The character of warfare has changed," he told a packed
Gene therapy is showing promise for treating one of the most common genetic disorders. Results of a study published Wednesday show that 15 of 22 patients with beta-thalassemia who got gene therapy were able to stop or sharply reduce the regular blood transfusions they had needed to alleviate their life-threatening anemia. There were no serious side effects. "We're extraordinarily excited about these early results," says Alexis Thompson, a professor of pediatrics at the Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, who helped with the study released Wednesday. "For the first time ever, we have a treatment that we might offer to all our patients," says Mark Walters of the University of
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is planning to introduce a bill on Friday that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, he said in a new interview with VICE News. Matt House, Schumer’s communications director, said in a tweet that the Senator will unveil the bill on Friday — 4/20, a day that has become a celebration of marijuana.
A volcano in southern Japan erupted for the first time in 250 years on Thursday, spewing steam and ash hundreds of metres into the air, as authorities warned locals not to approach the mountain. "There is a possibility that (Mount Io) will become more active," said Makoto Saito, an official from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), confirming the eruption. In a televised press conference, he warned residents in the area to stay away from the mountain, part of the Mount Kirishima group of volcanoes, as major ash deposits spread from the crater.
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.
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
The referral to the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia does not mean McCabe will ever be charged, but it does raise the prospect that the longtime law enforcement official could face a criminal investigation into whether he illegally misled officials about his authorization of a news media disclosure. McCabe’s lawyer, Michael Bromwich, said the standard for an inspector general referral is very low and he expected McCabe to avoid prosecution. “We are confident that, unless there is inappropriate pressure from high levels of the administration, the US Attorney’s Office will conclude that it should decline to prosecute,” Bromwich said in a statement.
Mars may have gained its two tiny moons after an asteroid-size object slammed into the surface of the Red Planet. New models suggest that an object the size of the largest of the asteroid-belt inhabitants could have kicked up enough material to form Mars' two moons, Phobos and Deimos. "Ours is the first self-consistent model to identify the type of impact needed to lead to the formation of Mars' two small moons," Robin Canup, a researcher and associate vice president at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), said in a statement. Canup is one of the leading scientists using large-scale simulations to model planet-scale collisions like the one thought to have formed Earth's own moon. Scientists
It’s not easy being a bug, especially one as small as an ant. The list of potential predators is lengthy for the diminutive creatures, so it’s no wonder they’ve developed an arsenal of defense mechanisms ranging from painful bites or stings to overpowering enemies by sheer numbers. But one newly-discovered ant species goes above and beyond when it senses danger. It explodes — killing itself — and coats adversaries in a toxic yellow goo, the ultimate act of self-sacrifice to protect its colony. These valiant ants are the newest addition to the species group Colobopsis cylindrica, more colloquially known as “the exploding ants,” according to a detailed survey of the insects published Thursday in
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
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
U.S.-backed forces in Syria have a militant linked to the September 11 terrorist attacks in their custody, according to the Pentagon. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of militias in Syria, captured Mohammed Haydar Zammar a month ago, the Pentagon said Thursday, according to Reuters. “We can confirm that Mohammad Haydar Zammar, a Syrian-born German national, was captured more than a month ago by SDF partners as part of their ongoing operations to defeat ISIS inside Syria,” said Eric Pahon, a Pentagon spokesman, using an acronym for the Islamic State.
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.
California has the most polluted cities in the United States, a report issued on Wednesday said, as President Donald Trump's administration seeks to force the state to weaken its vehicle emissions standards. The study published by the American Lung Association -- which covers the period from 2014 to 2016, the year before Trump took office -- said Los Angeles remained the city with the worst ozone pollution, and ranked fourth in terms of year-round particle contamination.
Delta and Southwest airline accidents open the door to safety concerns. The 'CyberGuy' Kurt Knutsson reacts on 'Fox & Friends First.'
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 — who became known as “Cocaine Babe” in headlines — and her accomplice, Isabelle Lagace, 29, documented their travels by posting photos on their Instagram accounts during the weeks-long cruise that stopped at 17 ports in 11 countries before ending in Sydney.
When a White House official suggested this week that United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley had suffered “momentary confusion” over the Trump Administration’s approach to new Russian sanctions, she responded with a clear message to the contrary. “With all due respect, I don’t get confused,” Haley said in a statement on Tuesday. The retort — which earned her an apology from National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow — was characteristic of Haley, who has a knack for responding to criticism and slights with a measured, but assertive clapback.
SpaceX successfully launched NASA’S newest exoplanet-hunting spacecraft on Wednesday which could allow scientists to better detect atmospheric signs of life. Taking off just before 7 p.m. ET from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried with it the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or Tess, that is expected to identify thousands of planets in our cosmic backyard, adding to the bounty provided over the past decade by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. On Wednesday morning, SpaceX tweeted that all systems and weather were go for the launch. SpaceX halted Monday's countdown for extra rocket checks. “The search for worlds beyond our solar system continues today with the launch
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.
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.