Science, Space & Robotics News - Page 2
Back in late April 1986, a nuclear accident happened that shook the planet. This disaster was none other than Chernobyl, and the nuclear fallout was devastating.
Since the Chernobyl nuclear explosion, the radioactive site has become more of a real-life research site for scientists. Researchers have since sent in several robots to examine the site and how the nuclear fallout has affected both plant and animal life. In 1991, a team found that black-spotted fungi were growing on the walls of one of the nuclear reactors. The team also found that this fungi was slowly breaking down the radioactive graphite from the core, and was growing more strongly towards the center of the zone.
In 2007 a follow-up study was conducted by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan, and found that certain types of fungi were "attracted" to radiation and actually grew more rapidly in radioactive conditions. The three fungi species were Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Wangiella dermatitidis. These species of fungi and five others were then sent to the International Space Station in 2016 to be exposed to further radiation.
Alright, so I need to do this -- it has gone to the top of my bucket list instantly. Jetman Dubai has unleashed a new video that shows pilot Vince Reffet flying through the sky in a jet-powered carbon-fiber suit like a real-life Superman, or Iron Man, depending on how you want your superheroes.
The pilot launches off the ground and flies into the air at around the 2-minute mark in the video, flying around Dubai and heading south towards Jumeirah Beach Residence. Jetman Dubai notes that Reffet in "eight seconds [Reffet] had reached 100 meters height, in 12 seconds 200m, 19 seconds 500m, and reached 1000m in 30 seconds at an average speed of 130 knots". Crazy, but oh-so-damn-awesome stuff.
Reffet has a bunch of GoPro cameras attached to the suit which gives us some utterly gorgeous footage of his flight, which is wicked-fast in the end and makes me want to do it personally... even though I'm deathly afraid of heights, it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, that's for sure.
It was only a few days ago that the World Health Organization (WHO) deemed the coronavirus outbreak "public enemy number 1". Now, we are hearing reports that 58 million people are facing severe lockdown.
According to a new report by News.com.au, 58 million people have been forced into lockdown in the central Chinese province of Hubei. Hubei is located around 2.5hrs away from the city of Wuhan, and according to this new report, each of Hubei's 200,000 rural communities will be sealed shut and their entrances guarded. Only one member from each family is allowed to leave the house every three days to buy living essentials such as food and water supplies.
All roads in Hubei have been closed down, with the exception of police vans and ambulances. Businesses will also stay closed, with the exception of chemists, hotels, supermarkets, and medical services. Hubei accounts for over 80% of the confirmed coronavirus cases, as well as 96% of the deaths in China. According to the regulators who spoke in the South China Morning Post, "In principle, every villager should stay at home. If he really needs to step outside, he has to wear a mask and keep a minimum 1.5 metres from other people."
NASA has announced that Rocket Lab will be the company to provide launch services to get their 55-pound satellite to the Moon's orbit.
More specifically, Rocket Lab will be taking the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE), or CubeSat to the Moon's cislunar orbit. Once it has arrived, it will learn the Moon's seven-day cislunar orbit cycle, and relay valuable information back to Earth that will allow engineers and NASA to better prepare for future missions.
The CubeSat will be aboard the Electron rocket and blast off from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. At the moment, the mission is targeted to launch sometime in early 2021, and the firm-fixed launch contract is valued at $9.95 million. If you are after anymore information regarding this new contract, check out the official NASA press release here.
Marques Brownlee has sat down with Microsoft founder Bill Gates to give a quick overview of Gates Annual Letter 2020.
The above video was released onto Marques Brownlee's YouTube Channel, and it's basically an overview of Gates' 2020 annual letter that was released onto his website. The letter that Gates and his wife wrote, Melinda Gates, details their 2020 plan on how they are going to tackle issues such as global health (vaccines), education, climate, and more.
Gates and his wife discuss in detail that their strategies for 2020 and how some of his endeavors for creating new solutions are 'high-risk' and might cost a lot of money, but it would be worth it if it paid off. In the video, Gates talks in detail about bringing the 'green premium' (the extra cost in using green alternatives) of using environmentally friendly alternatives down to zero. If you are interested in what Gates' plan is, check out the above video or the annual letter here.
This is not a joke. A group of people are attempting to sell DNA samples of the global elites, and some of the names on the list will surprise you.
I wouldn't blame you if you thought this was a joke, because I certainly did until I read the website as well as the press release. According to the website, a mysterious group that has called themselves the Earnest Project is scheduling in an auction for items that were collected during the 2018 World Economic Forum at Davos. Some of the items are as follows: glassware, cigarettes, paper cups, cutlery, jars, serviettes, hair, and more.
The press release by Earnest Project says, "Third-party verification of EARNE$ T's attendance at Davos will be made available prior to the auction date. Past Davos attendees may also be consulted to verify the plausibility of the collection-action. Many attendees may recall enjoying a muesli parfait (lot #402) in the Central Lounge for instance. Page 10 of The Collection Catalogue provides further details on collection sites."
Astronomers around the world have their observational eyes fixed on the red giant Betelgeuse, as they are patiently awaiting any signs of detonation.
If this is the first time you are hearing about Betelgeuse, don't stress we aren't in any immediate danger. Betelgeuse is located around 650 light years away, and astronomers have estimated that due to it's dimming cycles the star could explode anytime within the next 100,000 years. What's concerning, and what has caused astronomers from around the world to focus their attention on Betelgeuse is the fact that the red giant seems to be dimming at an unprecedented rate.
Betelgeuse is currently sitting at around 35% of it's normal brightness, which has moved it from it's normal position of the 11th brightest star in the sky to the 24th bright star in the sky. These variations in Betelgeuse's brightness are normal, as the internal temperatures inside the star rises and falls. What isn't normal is how rapidly it's doing it. Astronomers used the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope instrument called 'SPHERE', SPHERE allows astronomers to capture polarized infrared light of objects.
WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, spoke to reporters in Geneva and said that the coronavirus has been given a "pronounceable" name that's "related to the disease". The new name for the coronavirus is now COVID-19, and here's how that name was conceived. The "CO" is for coronavirus, the "VI" is for virus, the "D" is because it's a disease and "19" is for the year it was discovered - 2019.
According to Tedros, "Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks." The WHO has also said that a vaccine for COVID-19 could be around 18 months away and until then the virus is worse than terrorism. "To be honest, a virus is more powerful in creating political, economic and social upheaval than any terrorist attack", said Tedros.
League of Legends is one of the biggest games ever created with a player base of over 100 million players. So how much carbon are those players generating?
In a new study, it has been estimated that League of Legends' 115 million players throughout 2019 resulted in around 3,139,385 tonnes of CO2 emissions, based on the average player game time. This amount of output of CO2 is estimated to be around the same as charging 400,372,745,210 smartphones or driving 7,790,037,221 miles.
Both gaming companies and consoles manufacturers are working towards minimizing their carbon footprint, and with study's such as these and others coming out estimating how much carbon they are producing, they are really putting them in a not-so-good spotlight. I don't know if a few studies will push big game companies such as Riot Games to implement a carbon reduction strategy, but it's a start, I suppose.
At the moment, SpaceX is gearing up for the first crewed flight to the International Space Station with their Dragon spacecraft.
According to recent reports, paperwork is the main problem before SpaceX is given the green light to take astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station. While it hasn't been publically announced, Ars Technica says that NASA is currently working towards a May 7th launch of Crew Dragon, but that date is lucrative.
Above is a video SpaceX released onto their official Twitter account. The video is of the Dragon spacecraft, and according to the post, it's currently undergoing electromagnetic interference testing. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk originally said that Dragon should launch within the second quarter of 2020, and judging on recent reports, that estimation is quite accurate. Dragon will take to the skies sometime in April, May, June. May is most likely the month when a launch will happen.