A supply ship bearing John Glenn's name arrived at the International Space Station on Saturday. Astronauts used the station's big robot arm to grab the capsule, as the craft flew 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Germany. NASA's commercial shipper, Orbital ATK, named the spacecraft the S.S. John Glenn in honor of the first American to orbit Earth. It rocketed from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Tuesday with nearly 7,700 pounds of food, experiments and other goods. Glenn died in December at age 95 and was buried earlier this month at Arlington National Cemetery. His widow, Annie, granted permission for Orbital ATK to use his name for the Cygnus spacecraft. The company, in fact, sent up some memorabilia
President Donald Trump just released a statement for Earth Day, and it doesn't seem like he really loves the Earth? Along with some faint praise of America's "abundant natural resources and awe-inspiring beauty," Trump used Earth Day to talk about jobs
First it was the women, and their allies. Then the scientists, and the believers in science: On April 22, Earth Day, a March for Science will take place in Washington, DC, and more than 500 other cities around the world, as “the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.” According to the organizers, the march champions “robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.” It isn’t a partisan event but, the organizers say, a “celebration of science” and the impact science has in everyone’s life. However, the timing is political: “In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting
"We wanted to test systematically just how much oxygen deprivation these animals can stand," he said. The team first tested the animals in an environment with five percent oxygen. "Anything less than 10 percent kills a human," Lewin pointed out. But the rodents were hardly affected at all, even after several hours of reduced oxygen. The next test was to put the rodents in an environment with no oxygen at all. "The animals quickly went to sleep," explained Lewin. "They entered a state of suspended animation, a kind of coma, and survived like that for 18 minutes." When oxygen was reintroduced, the animals quickly recovered and suffered no long-term damage at all. Analyzing the data, the scientists
Tesla founder and Chief Executive Elon Musk said his latest company Neuralink Corp is working to link the human brain with a machine interface by creating micron-sized devices. Neuralink is aiming to bring to the market a product that helps with certain severe brain injuries due to stroke, cancer lesion etc, in about four years, Musk said in an interview with website Wait But Why. "If I were to communicate a concept to you, you would essentially engage in consensual telepathy," Musk said in the interview published on Thursday. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will create computers so sophisticated and godlike that humans will need to implant "neural laces" in their brains to keep
During one of numerous failed attempts to establish himself as an environmentalist, New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman enthusiastically reported in 2010 that - in honour of Earth Day on April 22 - the United States Navy had test-flown a fighter jet "powered by a 50-50 blend of conventional jet fuel and camelina aviation biofuel made from pressed mustard seeds". Armed with this and other bits of trivia, Friedman concluded that the US military was thus in fact on the front line of the battle for a clean Earth. Never mind that, mustard seeds or not, the US Defense Department remains one of the top polluters on the planet. To be sure, the neoliberal media's toxic alignment with
Archaeologists have found incredible evidence of a huge Wichita Indian town in Kansas that was once home to 20,000 people. Donald Blakeslee, a professor of archaeology at Wichita State University, told Fox News that experts harnessed 400-year-old Spanish documents and modern technology to locate the long-lost town of Etzanoa near Arkansas City, Kansas. “A single community of 20,000 people was not something that any of us expected,” he said over the phone. “It’s a completely different view of everything.” Etzanoa, which existed from the early 15th century to just after 1700, was visited by Spanish soldiers in 1601. The soldiers were interviewed about the town in Mexico City the following year
Former President Vigdis Finnbogadottir told The Associated Press that Iceland must take steps to protect its language. Teachers are already sensing a change among students in the scope of their Icelandic vocabulary and reading comprehension. Anna Jonsdottir, a teaching consultant, said she often hears teenagers speak English among themselves when she visits schools in Reykjavik, the capital.
Organizers of Saturday's nationwide March for Science have some pretty lofty goals: supporting science "as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity." Promoting "evidence-based policies in the public interest." Oh, and don't forget highlighting "the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world." Whoa, that's a lot of exalted ground to cover with one cardboard sign! But long after those signs and slogans are put away, educators will continue the fun, hard slog of helping students understand key issues, like global warming, the science behind it and what students can do to help. I reached out to three veteran
NASA's Cassini spacecraft faces one last perilous adventure around Saturn. Cassini swings past Saturn's mega moon Titan early Saturday for a gravity-assisted, orbit-tweaking nudge. "That last kiss goodbye," as project manager Earl Maize calls it, will push Cassini onto a path no spacecraft has gone before — into the gap between Saturn and its rings. It's treacherous territory. A particle from the rings — even as small as a speck of sand — could cripple Cassini, given its velocity. Cassini will make its first pass through the relatively narrow gap Wednesday. Twenty-two crossings are planned, about one a week, until September, when Cassini goes in and never comes out, vaporizing in Saturn's atmosphere.
"We're all really, really scared just based on the initial desire to cut NIH funding," she told CNN. "In terms of us, NIH is everything and so is the National Cancer Institute." The funding for her lab goes toward paying salaries, buying the reagents to run experiments -- some of those reagents cost $500 per milliliter, she said -- and keeping the lights on at the institution. "It's not so much me being out of a job. It's taking away the hope for the patient and that's disgusting," she said. Beyond the research woes, for Paul, it's about sending a message that science will not be silenced. "Even if funding for NIH weren't specifically affected, this is about sending a message together as scientists,
A carpet of bluebells bursts into flower in Belgium in a wonder of the natural world -- but one that is at risk of being trampled by tourists drawn to its beauty. At the start of spring the tall beech trees are still bare enough to let enough sunlight reach the forest floor and allow the flowers to bloom. Huge swathes of the 555-hectare (1,370-acre) woodland are covered in millions of the delicate purple flowers for as far as the eye can see.
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson never stops thinking of ways to make airplanes better. In a blog post on Tuesday, Branson discussed graphene, a newly-developed carbon material which, according to him, could be "the next revolutionary step in building lighter, safer and more efficient planes." Graphene was discovered in 2004 at the University of Manchester. In graphene, carbon atoms are arranged in perfect hexagons -- resembling a bee colony's honeycombs -- to form a perfect, thin sheet. It's like graphite just sliced thinner and thinner until it's only one atom thick. Graphene is incredibly thin, strong, and flexible while remaining extremely light. It's so thin, in fact, that it's often
Every April, as the weather warms, the Lyrids meteor shower comes around promising the chance to see a wave of shooting stars. Luckily, the Moon is currently waning, which will make it easier to see the meteors because it won’t provide as much light pollution. The Lyrids are one of the oldest known annual meteor showers.
Several teams of researchers at USC have joined forces for a study aimed at detecting vital signs to help stem conflicts in couples before they occur. Couples were brought into the lab, equipped with wearable sensors, given smartphones for recording data and sent out on their way. The study largely took place outside of the lab, with participants filling out an hourly survey to offer insight into their feelings toward their significant others. The team opted not to go out of its way to introduce arguments through external means or touch subject matter, and while not every participant reported an issue during the trial, plenty of issues arose. Because, you know, couples and stuff. “The fact that
After Olympian power couple Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton announced their retirement in January, they’ve been floating around different ideas about what they’re going to do for the rest of their lives. As a former decathlete, Ashton remains pretty determined to go to space in some capacity, telling ESPN after the couple’s joint retirement announcement that going to Mars “is a pretty serious idea and goal” of his. The 29-year-old’s tweets are often space related, and even his Twitter profile reads — not two-time Olympic gold medalist, not world record holder — “Being the 1st person on Mars would be cool.” But if not the Red Planet, he’ll settle for a trip to the moon. “I like things that are really ambitious goals and being first person on Mars would be a good one,” Ashton said.
In a few months, Ariana Clealand will begin pursuing her childhood dream of building rockets and satellites. The scientific community is battling widespread distrust, basic research could face steep cuts and “alternative facts” have emerged as a new opponent to empirical truth. “To know that we live in a society where we are blurring the line between fact and fiction … it’s a bit insane, really,” said Clealand, an 18-year-old senior at Dublin Jerome High School and soon-to-be aerospace engineering student at Ohio State University. On Saturday, Clealand was one of perhaps thousands who gathered Downtown to promote the importance of science in policymaking and everyday life, and to call for its continued support.
The world saw brain power take a different form Saturday. "We didn't choose to be in this battle, but it has come to the point where we have to fight because the stakes are too great," said Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann, who regularly clashes with politicians.
Amin Al-Habaibeh is Professor of Intelligent Engineering Systems at Nottingham Trent University, UK. The views expressed in this commentary are solely his. CNN is showcasing the work of The Conversation, a collaboration between journalists and academics to provide news analysis and commentary. The content is produced solely by The Conversation. (CNN)Luke Skywalker wasn't just a farmer. In the original 1977 Star Wars film, the lead character was desperate to leave his home planet of Tatooine, where his family farmed moisture from the atmosphere using devices called "vaporators". In the planet's hot and dry desert landscape, moisture farming was an important activity for survival. But could this
As The Daily Mail reports, researchers from the World Wildlife Fund came up with the wonderful idea to attach webcams to humpback and minke whales in Antarctica, granting us a fascinating view of a day in the life of the giant mammals. The team of American and Australian scientists hoped to gain deeper insight in to the feeding habits of the whales but managed to capture some pretty spectacular whale footage in the process. As Business Insider notes, the researchers gathered information on how whales are impacted by any changes in the population of krill that are brought by on by climate change, commercial fishing, or the decrease in the pH of Earth’s oceans.
Of all the stars in the sky, you might assume the closest to the sun would be the easiest to visit. But this may not be the case. René Heller at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, Germany, says we could reach and orbit Sirius, the brightest star in our night sky, in just 69 years. This is despite the fact that it is twice as far away as our nearest stars in the Alpha Centauri system, which would take at least 90 years to reach. A private enterprise called Breakthrough Starshot is hoping to send a fleet of small, wafer-thin spacecraft to visit Alpha Centauri and explore its tantalising planets. Previous estimates by Breakthrough Starshot have indicated they could
One of the many awesome things about physics is you can study it anywhere. I’ll prove it with a fun problem that involves a cart and a ball. Not just any cart, but a cart that rolls along a table and shoots a ball into the air when you tug on a strung. Like this: I think it’s cool that the ball lands in the cart. But how? Kinematics and Projectile Motion Don’t worry. I won’t make you build a ball-launching cart. I can explain it right here. The ball leaving the launcher is an example of projectile motion because only one force acts on the ball—gravitational force. That means the ball accelerates at a rate of -9.8 m/s2 (or –g) vertically and at a constant rate horizontally. Wrapping your head
A rare snow blanketed parts of Europe this week, downing trees and causing travel disruptions from Slovakia to Maldova. Two dozen people were injured in a 40-car pileup amid snow in northeastern Slovakia on Thursday, according to the Associated Press. The incident occurred at 6 a.m. CEST (midnight EDT) near the city of Poprad, where 7.5 cm (3 inches) of snow covered the ground on Thursday morning. Dangerous heat stifled India this week. Thursday marked the hottest April day for New Delhi since 2010. The extreme heat has prompted officials in Telangana to commence summer vacations early for all schools starting on Friday, according to the Times of India. Schools will also be closed in Tamil Nadu.
When Cormac McCarthy writes an essay on the origin of language and the history of the unconscious mind, you can expect to find yourself wiser after reading it. The author, who has a cult fanbase for his novels The Road, All the Pretty Horses, and No Country For Old Men, doesn’t disappoint in his new piece for the science magazine Nautilus. It turns out McCarthy has been thinking about the unconscious and how it relates to human language for a couple of decades. He has indulged this exploration as a member of the Santa Fe Institute, a nonprofit organization whose researchers study the “underlying, shared patterns in complex physical, biological, social, cultural, technological, and even possible