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NASA's first asteroid-harvesting space probe begins its journey home

Jak Connor | Tue, May 11 2021 6:31 AM CDT

Back in September 2016, NASA's $800 million OSIRIS-REx mission launched with the space probe arriving at the 1,650-foot-wide asteroid named Bennu in December 2018.

Once the OSIRIS-REx probe arrived at Bennu, it began a close-up study of the asteroid to determine the best possible location to spiral down and collect samples. In October 2020, the probe dove down to collect samples of the asteroid. The probe collected many samples such as dirt and gravel, so much, so the probe's sampling mechanism was unable to close correctly.

On May 10, the probe fired its main thrusters to begin its 1.4 billion-mile journey back to Earth, where its sample capsule will land in the Utah desert in September 2023. The journey from the asteroid to Earth will take probe two years, and throughout its journey, it will be traveling at a velocity of 595 mph. When the capsule is retrieved in 2023, it will be the biggest haul of space samples the US has received since Apollo moon rocks.

Continue reading: NASA's first asteroid-harvesting space probe begins its journey home (full post)

Space junk hits 'tipping point' should be global priority, says expert

Jak Connor | Mon, May 10 2021 9:03 AM CDT

Space is littered with the remnants of attempts of human space exploration, whether the objects be spent rocket parts, small bolts, discontinued satellites, or just chips of paint.

Space junk hits 'tipping point' should be global priority, says expert 02 | TweakTown.com

Most of these objects pose a big risk to future space exploration for humans, as even the tiniest of space junk could be traveling at high speeds could obliterate a working satellite if the orbits crossed. Now, researchers are saying that Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is becoming overcrowded with space debris and that it should be a global priority to remove the junk.

Back in 1970, Donald Kessler, a retired NASA senior scientist for orbital debris research, predicted that as space rubbish increased, a collision would eventually happen that would cause more space rubbish, which would then start a domino effect that would lead to LEO being too dangerous for any space activities.

Continue reading: Space junk hits 'tipping point' should be global priority, says expert (full post)

1952 scientist predicted Mars would be colonized by someone named Elon

Jak Connor | Mon, May 10 2021 8:36 AM CDT

Coincidences can be viewed as very peculiar things, especially when the chances of one occurring are astronomically small.

When a coincidence occurs that has a very small chance to do so, some people are attracted to the idea that there is some kind of other power at play other than organic chance. An example of a coincidence like this is a "prediction" from Dr. Wernher von Braun, who wrote in his 1952 book Project Mars: A Technical Tale, that "a Martian government was created led by ten men, whose leader was elected by universal suffrage for five years under the name or title of Elon."

In the book, Dr. Wernher goes on to say that both sides of parliament will create laws that will be administered to the "Elon" and the cabinet. It seems that Dr. Wernher was referring to "Elon" being a form of position, rather than the name of the person. There is no direct connection between Wernher and Musk, and another thing to point out is that Musk wasn't even born at the time of the books writing, making it impossible for Wernher to be making a "prediction". Musk was born in 1971, the book was published in 1952.

Continue reading: 1952 scientist predicted Mars would be colonized by someone named Elon (full post)

Did we just find actual proof of life on Mars?

Jak Connor | Mon, May 10 2021 7:36 AM CDT

There is no hard evidence of life being on any other planet other than Earth, but now researchers have found something that could be evidence of life.

Did we just find actual proof of life on Mars? 02 | TweakTown.com

According to a new paper published in the Advances in Microbiology, researchers have suggested that images captured of the surface of Mars show signs of fungal life existing. Researchers put forward the argument that patches of fungi that look like lichen, as well as spherical objects that resemble puffball fungi that is found on Earth. Additionally, the researchers show images of what they claim is bacteria growth occurring on the Opportunity rover.

Here's some of what the researchers wrote, "Fungi thrive in radiation intense environments. Sequential photos document that fungus-like Martian specimens emerge from the soil and increase in size, including those resembling puffballs (Basidiomycota). After obliteration of spherical specimens by the rover wheels, new sphericals-some with stalks-appeared atop the crests of old tracks."

Continue reading: Did we just find actual proof of life on Mars? (full post)

Mars earthquakes lead scientists to believe volcanoes are active

Jak Connor | Mon, May 10 2021 6:36 AM CDT

Researchers have located what they now believe as the most recent evidence for volcanic activity on Mars.

Mars earthquakes lead scientists to believe volcanoes are active 03 | TweakTown.com

NASA's InSight lander measured two earthquakes back in March. The lander was able to trace the quakes back to a region of Mars named the Cerberus Fossae, and now using images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, researchers believe that the Cerberus Fossae is the most recent evidence of volcanic activity on Mars.

Estimations have put the age of this volcanic deposit anywhere between 45,000 and 200,000 years old. On a geological scale, the age of the deposit is quite young, whether it be 45,000 or 200,000 years old, as volcanic rock elsewhere on Mars formed between 3 and 4 billion years ago. Additionally, Mars saw some volcanic activity regularly until around 3 million years ago. David Horvath from the Planetary Science Institute explains, "if we were to compress Mars geologic history into a single day, this would have occurred in the very last second."

Continue reading: Mars earthquakes lead scientists to believe volcanoes are active (full post)

Hubble celebrates Mothers Day with image of space that 'raised' stars

Jak Connor | Mon, May 10 2021 4:32 AM CDT

Hubble is officially celebrating Mother's Day, and for all the mothers out there, the space telescope has published an incredible image of a region of space.

Hubble says that the region of space is known as 30 Doradus. It's located 170,000 light-years from Earth and has been the birthplace of millions of young stars. Hubble goes on to say that 30 Doradus has "raised" these young stars and that it's one of the largest "visible star-forming site in a neighboring galaxy."

The image that Hubble has captured with its Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys is roughly 650 light-years across. Hubble is able to look at individual stars, which allows astronomers to gather important information about the birth of the star and its evolution. 30 Doradus is described as a "star-forming factory", with any of the stars in the image being between 2 million to about 25 million years old. For more information on this story, check out this link here.

Continue reading: Hubble celebrates Mothers Day with image of space that 'raised' stars (full post)

Elon Musk reveals he has Asperger's on SNL while Dogecoin drops by 22%

Jak Connor | Mon, May 10 2021 3:32 AM CDT

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has recently appeared on Saturday Night Live to host the show, and throughout his hosting, Musk revealed that he has Asperger's.

Musk's appearance on Saturday Night Live was highly anticipated, as many people believed that he would use his airtime time to promote topics such as dogecoin or cryptocurrency in general. During his opening monologue, Musk revealed that he was "making history tonight", as he is the first person to host Saturday Night Live with Asperger's, "or at least the first to admit it".

To most people's surprise, Musk didn't use his time on Saturday Night Live to promote dogecoin or any other cryptocurrencies. He instead used to make fun of certain aspects of himself in a humbling yet surprisingly comedic way. The only mention of dogecoin throughout the show was when Musk's mother mentioned that she didn't want to receive dogecoin as a Mother's day gift, to which he said, "it sure is". While Musk was on Saturday Night Live, the price of dogecoin was tumbling down, and over a 24-hour period, it dropped by 22%.

Continue reading: Elon Musk reveals he has Asperger's on SNL while Dogecoin drops by 22% (full post)

China's rocket crashed back to Earth, US space command won't say where

Jak Connor | Sun, May 9 2021 12:32 AM CDT

Over the last week, many people were concerned about China's out-of-control rocket crashing back down to Earth and potentially hitting an inhabited location.

China's rocket crashed back to Earth, US space command won't say where 02 | TweakTown.com

Reports are now indicating that the Long March 5B rocket has crashed back down to Earth, with most of the rocket burning up upon entry to the atmosphere. Chinese state media have reported that the rocket has landed in the Indian Ocean on Sunday. According to China Manned Space Engineering Office-, the rocket re-entered the atmosphere at 10:24 a.m. Beijing time (0224 GMT) with the coordinates 72.47 degrees east and latitude 2.65 degrees north.

The U.S. Space Command has confirmed the re-entry of Long March 5B, but has said that it cannot verify if any debris impacted land or water. On its website, the U.S. Space Command said, "The exact location of the impact and the span of debris, both of which are unknown at this time, will not be released by U.S. Space Command."

Continue reading: China's rocket crashed back to Earth, US space command won't say where (full post)

IBM announces world's-first 2nm chip technology, 50B+ transistors

Anthony Garreffa | Fri, May 7 2021 9:30 PM CDT

IBM has come out swinging announcing their new 2nm process technology, with the latest marketing-hype-driven 2nm node achievement by IBM being heralded as the "world's first 2nm process".

The company explains that its new 2nm chip technology will help "advance the state-of-the-art in the semiconductor industry, addressing this growing demand. It is projected to achieve 45 percent higher performance, or 75 percent lower energy use, than today's most advanced 7 nm node chips". Quite the marketing pitch there, IBM.

But how real is this 2nm technology, and how did IBM seemingly leap past industry-leader TSMC which is so ahead of the game that Samsung could take until 2030 to even catch up. Our friends at Wccftech break it down, saying that in comparison Intel's 7nm process would be about the same as TSMC's 5nm node -- with TSMC's 5nm node not even having a 50% improvement over 7nm.

Continue reading: IBM announces world's-first 2nm chip technology, 50B+ transistors (full post)

New study finds evidence that fungus can grow on Mars

Jak Connor | Fri, May 7 2021 8:33 AM CDT

A new study has explored the possibility of microbe life, such as black mold fungus, being able to survive on Mars.

New study finds evidence that fungus can grow on Mars 02 | TweakTown.com

A new study published in the journal Advances in Microbiology has suggested that recently taken images show a fungus-like specimen growing on Mars. The images show a white amorphous specimen that appeared to be able to change shape, grow, and move. The images were captured over three Earth days, and one of the photos revealed hundreds of mushroom-like specimens.

Interestingly, one of the specimens was crushed by the rover's wheels, but then later inspection revealed that new spherical specimens were beginning to "grow" back. Not only are these specimens "growing" on the Martian surface, photos show the presence of white fungus-like specimens in an open rover compartment. It should be noted that this study is showing evidence towards life being able to exist on Mars, and is by no means is confirming any extraterrestrial life has been found. More evidence is needed for a confirmation of that.

Continue reading: New study finds evidence that fungus can grow on Mars (full post)

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