NASA's Mars robot can now decide which discoveries are most important to send back to Earth.
A government plan to secure growth in the UK's £13.7bn space industry is laid out in the Queen's Speech. The stated purpose of the new Bill is to make the UK the most attractive place in Europe for commercial space - including launches from British soil. But officials and stakeholders are keen to ensure the space sector does not lose out when the UK leaves the EU. The government intends to increase the UK share of the global space economy from 6.5% today to 10% by 2030. Spaceports have been an important sticking point. Previous feasibility work has already identified a number of aerodromes that might make suitable spaceports - from Cornwall to Scotland. But as the law stands, rocket planes and
Few aviation mysteries have captivated the public as much as the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, whose plane vanished over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 as she was attempting to become the first female pilot to fly around the world. In the decades since, conspiracy theories about what really happened to Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, have abounded. Some speculate that their Lockheed Model 10 Electra crashed and sank to the bottom of the Pacific. Others claimed the Japanese captured the pair, thinking they were spies. Last year, a Pennsylvania-based group called International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) repositioned the spotlight on an alternate theory: With their fuel
Solar panels on wheels make for a strange sight on the streets of Syria's besieged Douma, but the makeshift generator is helping local residents secure water. Douma lies outside the capital Damascus, in the rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta, and has been under a suffocating government siege since 2013. Residents have had no electricity for four years, relying instead on generators for everything from lighting to refrigeration.
The highest court of the European Union ruled Wednesday that courts can consider whether a vaccination led to someone developing an illness even when there is no scientific proof. The decision was issued on Wednesday in relation to the case of a Frenchman known as Mr. J.W., who was immunized against hepatitis B in late 1998-99. About a year later, Mr. J.W. was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
They are called "unicorns of the sea" and they are infesting the Pacific Coast, destroying fishing nets and puzzling scientists, the Guardian reports. The tiny blob-like creatures are infesting some stretches of the West Coast as far north as Alaska so badly that fishermen can't catch anything. The translucent tubular invaders are pyrosomes, and while they generally range in size from a few inches to 2 feet, they band together in huge colonies. (See video.) They rip nets and clog hooks, and wash up on beaches to the consternation of the locals. One researcher began spotting the "sea pickles" in nets in February and since then, the numbers have exploded, per Oregon Public Broadcasting. One research
The total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 is just around the corner; to make sure skywatchers can view the event safely, Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) will provide over 100,000 free solar- eclipse-viewing glasses to underserved communities across the United States. The eclipse, also called the Great American Total Solar Eclipse, will sweep across the continental U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina along a stretch of land about 70 miles (113 kilometers) wide. Skywatchers in the path of totality will see the moon slowly pass in front of the sun. Viewers outside that path may see the sun partially covered. Although the moon will temporarily block out the sun's bright light, special glasses are required
A U.S. coal company is firing back at John Oliver after the Last Week Tonight host slammed its CEO in a June 18 show. On Wednesday, Murray Energy filed suit against Oliver, HBO, and Time Warner for defamation. The lawsuit accuses Oliver of hosting a "false and malicious broadcast" and of carrying out a "meticulously planned attempt to assassinate the character and reputation" of Bob Murray, the Ohio company's chief executive.
(CNN)A wooden big toe that enabled a priest's daughter to walk around 3,000 years ago has been found to be even more complex than researchers believed. It is thought to be one of the oldest prosthetic devices ever found. "By using a sophisticated way of fixing the individual parts of the prosthesis to each other, the artificial limb had a balancing effect and gave, to some extent, a freedom of movement," said Andrea Loprieno-Gnirs of the University of Basel.
In the culmination of a seven-year collaboration between indigenous communities across Canada and Google Earth Outreach, indigenous lands in the northern nation have been added to both Google Maps and Google Earth. For the last three years, Google Canada has been hosting mapping workshops with a number of indigenous communities throughout Canada.
The safety record at the U.S. laboratory that created the atomic bomb is facing intensifying criticism as work ramps up to produce a key component for the nation's nuclear weapons cache. A series published this week by the Center for Public Integrity cites numerous internal reports and other documents outlining federal regulators' concerns about safety lapses at Los Alamos National Laboratory over the years, including spilled plutonium and workers positioning plutonium rods in a way that could have been disastrous. In an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press, Los Alamos officials took aim at critics and reassured employees of the safety of the lab's facility for making plutonium cores used to trigger the explosions in nuclear bombs.
Castanheira de Pêra (Portugal) (AFP) - Portugal's N236, now dubbed the "road of death", lies charred black from the devastating fire that swept from one side of forest to the other, trapping families and couples in their cars, and firefighters who had come to the rescue. "My nephew died, a fireman" says Joaquim Serra da Fonseca, 68, serving drinks at the bar of his dimly lit restaurant in Castanheira de Pera, which the N236 cuts through. The nephew, Goncalo Conceicao, a 40-year-old restaurant owner and father of an 11-year-old son, was a volunteer fireman.
By Matthew J. Stock STAFFORD, England (Reuters) - Researchers at a British University have embarked on a decade-long experiment that will pump a forest full of carbon dioxide to measure how it copes with rising levels of the gas - a key driver of climate change. The Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) experiment at the University of Birmingham's Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) will expose a fenced-off section of mature woodland - in Norbury Park in Staffordshire, West Midlands - to levels of CO2 that experts predict will be prevalent in 2050. The apparatus for the experiment consists a series of masts built into six 30-metre wide sections of woodland, reaching up about 25 meters into the forest canopy.
Paris Air Show: A look at the four coolest aircraft showcased, including C-130J, Scorpion attack jet, RACER helicopter and the X6 Military Helicopter
The death of the rap artist Prodigy (Albert Johnson, half of the duo Mobb Deep) at only 42 this week, after a lifetime of suffering from sickle cell disease, was a reminder of the devastating cost of the sometimes fatal genetic disorder — and of the failure to cure it. It has been 61 years since the discovery of the mutation responsible for sickle cell, which affects about 100,000 people in the U.S., and 30 years since scientists found a compensatory mutation — one that keeps people from developing sickle cell despite inheriting the mutant genes. Last year, when STAT examined the lack of progress, scientists and hospital officials were frank about one reason for it: Other genetic disorders, notably cystic fibrosis, attracted piles of money that led to cures, but sickle cell strikes the “wrong” kind of people, including African-Americans, and so has historically been starved for funds. The genetic mutation that causes sickle cell allows red blood cells to cramp up in a way that impedes their flow through blood vessels.
The number of people moving to Britain from Eastern Europe has fallen by around a third since the Brexit vote, according to a study released Wednesday that suggested the plunge in the pound could be to blame. The analysis by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford pointed to official data showing a fall in allocations of National Insurance numbers to the lowest level since the countries joined the EU. National Insurance numbers are required by people looking to work or claim social welfare in Britain.
Not many people — and certainly not many government agencies — have the opportunity to say "no" to the president. However, NASA's acting director, Robert M. Lightfoot Jr., might be living your wildest fantasy: he just outright denied Donald Trump something he requested. According to The New York Times, Lightfoot and his team at NASA recently rejected Trump's desire to add more crew to its Space Launch System's first flight. Citing cost and time, Lightfoot conceded that the White House's request was "technically feasible," but it would set the mission back considerably: additional crew members would cost an extra $600 to $900 million. NASA's investigation into whether additional astronauts could
(CNN)Did Mount Everest shrink after Nepal's massive 2015 earthquake? To clear up these frequently raised questions once and for all, the Nepalese government has kicked off the long and arduous mission of re-measuring the height of the world's tallest peak. In 1856, Everest's height was first calculated to be 8,840 meters above sea level by a team led by British surveyor Sir George Everest, the man whom the mountain was named after. "Since multiple scientific studies show that there might have been some changes in the height of Everest, it became the Nepali government's responsibility to check and clarify the matter," Ganesh Prasad Bhatta, director general of Nepal's Survey Department, told CNN.
Eight new satellites have been ordered for Galileo - Europe's global positioning system. As before, they will be made by the German-UK consortium comprising OHB-System of Bremen and SSTL of Guildford. The industrial contract was signed at the Paris Air Show on Thursday by OHB and the European Space Agency, which is procuring Galileo on behalf of the EU. Europe's GPS has enough spacecraft for a full constellation already but this order ensures sufficient spares. It will provide leeway as some of the first satellites that were launched into the network are retired. This is the third straight contract win for OHB-SSTL. There are even options in the new order to add further units - of two, four or
The only tremors from a reported major earthquake off the California coast came on the internet. Seismologists said Wednesday's automatically generated report of a magnitude 6.8 quake in the Pacific Ocean 10 miles west of Santa Barbara was a false alarm based on a quake that happened in the same area nearly a century ago. "The quake did happen, but it happened in 1925," said Rafael Abreu, a geophysicist from the US Geological Survey.
Hulking excavators claw at riverbanks on Indonesia's Sumatra island in the hunt for gold, transforming what was once a rural idyll into a scarred, pitted moonscape. It is one of a huge number of illegal gold mines that have sprung up across the resource-rich archipelago as the price of the precious metal has soared, luring people in rural areas to give up jobs in traditional industries. Now authorities in Sumatra's Jambi province, which has one of the biggest concentrations of illegal mining sites in Indonesia, have started a determined fightback, combining a crackdown with attempts at regulation.
From the pages of Playboy Magazine to the lightsaber from "Star Wars" and KFC's fried chicken sandwich, here are 5 weird objects that were sent to space or are going up in space this year.
A team of international scientists are transporting samples of ice from a melting glacier in Bolivia to Antarctica, for study and preservation before the glacier disappears. The international "Ice Memory" expedition of 15 scientists took samples from the glacier on Illimani Mountain in the Andes and will store them in Antarctica at the French-Italian base of Concordia. The scientists were helped by local guides and porters, who live near the base of Illimani.
To small island nations where the land juts just above the rising seas, the U.S. pulling out of the Paris global warming pact makes the future seem as fragile and built on hope as a sand castle. Top scientists say it was already likely that Earth's temperatures and the world's seas will keep rising to a point where some island states may not survive through the next 100 years. President Donald Trump this month said he'd withdraw the United States from the climate deal , prompting leaders of vulnerable islands to talk about their future with a mixture of defiance, hope and resignation.
When Mary Caswell Stoddard started measuring bird eggs from hundreds of species, she wasn’t expecting to learn that most eggs are not egg-shaped. Think about an egg and you’ll probably conjure up an ellipse that’s slightly fatter at one end—the classic chicken egg. But chickens are outliers. Hummingbirds lay eggs that look like Tic Tacs, owls lay nigh-perfect spheres, and sandpipers lay almost conical eggs that end in a rounded point. After analyzing hundreds of species, Stoddard showed that the most common shape—exemplified by an unremarkable songbird called the graceful prinia—is more pointed than a chicken’s. “We mapped egg shapes like astronomers map stars,” Stoddard says. “And our concept