Showing posts with label SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. Show all posts

24 October 2021

US conducts 'successful' test of hypersonic missile technology.

The United States successfully tested hypersonic missile technology in October 2021.

Hypersonic missiles, like traditional ballistic missiles, can fly more than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5).

This test demonstrated advanced hypersonic technologies, capabilities and prototype systems in a realistic operating environment.

The test was conducted at a NASA facility in Wallops, Virginia.

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23 October 2021

South Korea launches first homegrown space rocket "Nuri".

South Korea has launched its first homegrown rocket, stepping up the country's ambitions in space.

The Korean Satellite Launch Vehicle II, known as Nuri, took off from Goheung, about 500km (310 miles) south of Seoul.

President Moon Jae-in said the vehicle completed its full flight sequence but failed in its goal of putting a dummy satellite in orbit.

Such launches are essential for a space programme but could potentially also have military applications.

South Korea is locked in an arms race with North Korea, with both recently test-firing new weapons. The North put a satellite in orbit in 2012.

Nuri cost South Korea an estimated 2 trillion won (£1.23bn or $1.6bn) to develop. Weighing 200 tonnes and measuring 47.2 metres long, it is fitted with six liquid-fuelled engines.

In his comments, President Moon admitted the launch fell short of their goals, but added: "It's not long before we'll be able to launch it exactly into the target trajectory," Reuters news agency reported.

South Korea plans to carry out four more launches of the Nuri until 2027 to increase reliability, according to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) that is overseeing the launch.

While South Korea is seen as a technological powerhouse, it has lagged behind other countries in its development for space exploration.

Previous attempts by Seoul to launch a rocket in 2009 and 2010 failed, with the second exploding minutes after take-off.

South Korea is aiming to send a probe to the moon by 2030.



21 October 2021

New genes identified for fibromuscular dysplasia.

Three new genetic variants that regulate gene expression in the arteries are connected to fibromuscular dysplasia, an arterial disease that can cause dangerous consequences for the heart and vessels, according to a new study.

The findings, published in Nature Communications by an international team of FMD experts from the United States and Europe, also confirmed the importance of a fourth genetic target that has already been identified as involved with the disease.

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NASA Selects Gamma-ray Telescope to Chart Milky Way Evolution.

NASA has selected a new space telescope proposal that will study the recent history of star birth, star death, and the formation of chemical elements in the Milky Way. The gamma-ray telescope, called the Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI), is expected to launch in 2025 as NASA’s latest small astrophysics mission.

NASA’s Astrophysics Explorers Program received 18 telescope proposals in 2019 and selected four for mission concept studies. After detailed review of these studies by a panel of scientists and engineers, NASA selected COSI to continue into development.

COSI will study gamma rays from radioactive atoms produced when massive stars exploded to map where chemical elements were formed in the Milky Way. The mission will also probe the mysterious origin of our galaxy’s positrons, also known as antielectrons – subatomic particles that have the same mass as an electron but a positive charge.



20 October 2021

China launched 1st Solar Exploration Satellite.

China has successfully launched its 1st solar exploration satellite into space from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province aboard a Long March-2D rocket. 

The satellite was named as ‘Xihe’ (Xihe is the goddess of the sun who created the calendar in ancient Chinese mythology), also known as the Chinese Hα Solar Explorer (CHASE). The satellite has been developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

The 550kg (121-pound) Xihe satellite was sent by a Long March 2D rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in northern Shanxi province into a 571km-altitude orbit, where it is expected to monitor the sun for three years.



Russian team back on Earth after filming first movie in space.

A Russian film crew are back on Earth after wrapping up scenes for the first movie shot in space. Klim Shipenko and actor Yulia Peresild left the International Space Station and landed in Kazakhstan – to be met by a crew filming touchdown scenes. The movie has been in its own kind of space race – with Tom Cruise. He is apparently part of a Hollywood filming-in-space project involving Nasa and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The filmmakers had blasted off from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan earlier this month, travelling to the ISS with veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov to film scenes for “The Challenge”.

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18 October 2021

Pluto's atmosphere is starting to disappear, scientists find.

Pluto's atmosphere is going through a strange transformation, scientists are finding. 

The icy dwarf planet, which lies over 3 billion miles (4.8 billion kilometers) away from Earth in the Kuiper Belt, caught astronomers' attention as it passed in front of a star back in 2018. 

With the star backlighting Pluto, the team of researchers was able to make observations of the dwarf planet and its atmosphere. With this unique view, they came to a surprising conclusion, which they describe in a new study. 

The astronomers found evidence that Pluto's atmosphere is starting to disappear. 

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China’s Shenzhou-13 spacecraft docks for 6-month mission.

China's Shenzhou-13 spacecraft carrying three Chinese astronauts docked Saturday (16th) at its space station, kicking off a record-setting six-month stay as the country moves toward completing the new orbiting outpost.

The spacecraft was launched by a Long March-2F rocket at 12:23 a.m. Saturday and docked with the Tianhe core module of the Tiangong space station at 6:56 a.m., approximately six and a half hours later. 

The three astronauts entered the Tianhe space station core module at about 10 a.m., the China Manned Space Agency said.

The two men and one woman are the second crew to move into the space station, which was launched last April. The first crew stayed three months. 

The new crew includes two veterans of space travel. Zhai Zhigang, 55, and Wang Yaping, 41, and Ye Guangfu, 41, who is making his first trip to space.



16 October 2021

NASA launches first space probe to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids.

NASA launched a first-of-its kind mission called "Lucy Mission" on Saturday (16th) to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids, two large clusters of space rocks that scientists believe are remnants of primordial material that formed the solar system's outer planets.

The space probe, dubbed Lucy and packed inside a special cargo capsule, lifted off on schedule from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 5:34 a.m. EDT (0934 GMT), NASA said. It was carried aloft by an Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance (UAL), a joint venture of Boeing Co (BA.N) and Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N).

Lucy's mission is a 12-year expedition to study a record number of asteroids. It will be the first to explore the Trojans, thousands of rocky objects orbiting the sun in two swarms - one ahead of the path of giant gas planet Jupiter and one behind it.

The largest known Trojan asteroids, named for the warriors of Greek mythology, are believed to measure as much as 225 kilometers (140 miles) in diameter. 

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15 October 2021

Arianespace launches 36 new OneWeb internet satellites into orbit on Soyuz rocket.

A Soyuz rocket launched 36 new OneWeb internet satellites into orbit from Russia early Thursday (Oct. 14), pushing the communications provider past the halfway mark to completing its growing megaconstellation.

The OneWeb satellites soared into space atop a Russian-built Soyuz rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in a mission operated by French company Arianespace. Liftoff occurred at 5:40 a.m. EDT (0940 GMT). 

The spacecraft deployed from the Soyuz into a near-polar orbit with an altitude of 280 miles (450 kilometers). These deployments occurred in four-satellite batches, the last of which successfully took place about four hours after liftoff.

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14 October 2021

Earth receives first radio signals from planet outside of Solar System.

In a major discovery, astronomers have for the first time detected stars that are blasting radio signals hinting at the presence of hidden planets around them. 

The signals were picked up using the world’s most powerful radio antenna, the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) situated in the Netherlands.

The new technique of spotting hidden planets could hint at the possibility of life in the system, which remains the biggest question in astronomy. Are we alone? The signals were detected by Dr Benjamin Pope from the University of Queensland and his colleagues at the Dutch national observatory ASTRON. The astronomers have been searching for planets using LOFAR.

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Star Trek’s William Shatner blasts into space on Blue Origin rocket.

Hollywood actor William Shatner has become the oldest person to go to space as he blasted off aboard the Blue Origin sub-orbital capsule.

The 90-year-old, who played Captain James T Kirk in the Star Trek films and TV series, took off from the Texas desert with three other individuals.

Mr Shatner’s trip on the rocket system - developed by founder Jeff Bezos - lasted about 10 minutes.

The craft safely landed just after 10:00 local time (16:00 BST).

Mr Shatner was joined on the flight by Audrey Powers, a Blue Origin vice president; Chris Boshuizen, who co-founded the Earth-imaging satellite company Planet; and Glen de Vries, an executive with the French healthcare software corporation Dassault Systèmes.

This was only the second crewed outing for New Shepard. The first, on 20 July, carried Mr Bezos, his brother Mark, Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen; and famed aviator Wally Funk.

Afterwards, Ms Funk, being 82, was able to claim the record for the oldest person in space - a title she has now relinquished to Mr Shatner.

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13 October 2021

Germany launches World’s First Self-Driving Train.

German rail operator, Deutsche Bahn and industrial group, Siemens launched the first automated & driverless train of the world. The self-driving train was launched in the city of Hamburg. This project is being developed by ‘Siemens and Deutsche Bahn’. It is being dubbed as “world-first”. 

The project is part of a 60-million-euro modernisation of the rapid urban rail system of Hamburg. These automated trains will offer a reliable service without laying a single kilometre of new track.



12 October 2021

NASA's asteroid spacecraft Lucy launches this week on ambitious 12-year mission.

NASA's next asteroid-bound mission to explore the earliest days of our solar system is nearly ready to launch.

The Lucy spacecraft is targeting a launch window that opens on Saturday (Oct. 16). After blastoff, the spacecraft will make a 12-year journey to the outer solar system, where it will visit half a dozen ancient "Trojan" asteroids that orbit in the same path as the planet Jupiter.

This ambitious mission will include a number of firsts — Lucy will be the first spacecraft to visit asteroids in this region and the first to make a flyby of Earth from the outer solar system. Moreover, the mission will add fresh data as scientists seek to learn more about our universe's early history.



11 October 2021

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2021.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2021 with one half to David Card (University of California, Berkeley, USA) “for his empirical contributions to labour economics”. 

The other half jointly to Joshua Angrist (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA) and Guido Imbens (Stanford University, USA) “for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships”.

This year’s Laureates – David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens have provided with new insights about the labour market and shown what conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn from natural experiments. Their approach has spread to other fields and revolutionised empirical research.

About the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences:

In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden’s central bank) established the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. The Prize is based on a donation received by the Nobel Foundation in 1968 from Sveriges Riksbank on the occasion of the Bank’s 300th anniversary. The first Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen in 1969.

The Prize in Economic Sciences is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden, according to the same principles as for the Nobel Prizes that have been awarded since 1901.



09 October 2021

Images from NASA Rover show existence of lake and river delta on Mars.

Images in a study conducted by NASA have revealed how water helped shape the landscape of Mars billions of years ago. The study further said that this new finding could help the search for evidence of ancient life on the planet.

Earlier this year in February, NASA's Perseverance rover had landed in Jezero crater, where "scientists suspected a long-gone river once fed a lake, depositing sediment in a fan-shaped delta visible from space".

The rover, whose primary mission is to discover whether life may have existed on Mars, captured high-resolution images of the cliffs that were once the delta banks, which were later analysed in the study. Its formation was revealed by the layers within the cliffs.



The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021 to Benjamin List (Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany) and David W.C. MacMillan (Princeton University, USA) “for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis”

Building molecules is a difficult art. They recived the prize for their development of a precise new tool for molecular construction: organocatalysis. This has had a great impact on pharmaceutical research, and has made chemistry greener.

Benjamin List, born 1968 in Frankfurt, Germany. Ph.D. 1997 from Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany. Director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany.

David W.C. MacMillan, born 1968 in Bellshill, UK. Ph.D. 1996 from University of California, Irvine, USA. Professor at Princeton University, USA.



07 October 2021

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2021.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2021 was awarded to Abdulrazak Gurnah born in Zanzibar and active in England, “for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.” The Nobel Prize in literature is awarded by the Swedish Academy, Stockholm, Sweden.

The Profile of Abdulrazak Gurnah

The Tanzanian novelist was born in Zanzibar in 1948 and has since lived in the UK and Nigeria. He writes in English, and his most famous novel is Paradise, which was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 1994. Gurnah currently lives in the UK and taught English Literature at the University of Kent. Until recently, he was Professor of English and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent, Canterbury and has published ten novels and a number of short stories.



NASA will shoot rocket at asteroid to test ‘planetary defense’ strategy.

NASA will launch a spacecraft next month to hit an asteroid — on purpose — to change its path, testing for the first time a method of “planetary defense,” the agency announced.

The launch of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission will occur at 1:20 a.m. Eastern time on Nov. 24, NASA said. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will be launched from the Vandenberg Space Force Base, about 50 miles northwest of Santa Barbara, Calif.

NASA is targeting a pair of asteroids that orbit the sun and occasionally come close to Earth. The asteroids don’t come close enough to pose a threat, NASA says, but their proximity makes them a prime candidate for the test of a technique that could someday prevent a “hazardous asteroid from striking Earth.”

The larger of the two asteroids, Didymos, is about a half-mile across in size, with a smaller “moonlet,” called Dimorphos, orbiting it. Dimorphos, about 500 feet in size, is “more typical of the size of asteroids that could pose the most likely significant threat to Earth,” according to NASA.

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India hosted youngest populations of ‘Acheulean’ human ancestors.

Populations of ancient humans using Acheulean stone toolkits persisted in India until about 177,000 years ago, shortly before the earliest expansions of our own species, Homo sapiens, across Asia, according to a study published on Wednesday (06th).

The longest lasting tool-making tradition in prehistory, known as the Acheulean, was characterised by distinctive oval and pear-shaped stone handaxes and cleavers associated with Homo erectus and derived species such as Homo heidelbergensis.

Latest research led by the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany re-examined a key Acheulean site at the margins of the monsoon zone in the Thar Desert, Rajasthan.

The study, published in the journal "Scientific Reports", shows the presence of Acheulean populations until about 177,000 years ago, shortly before the earliest expansions of Homo sapiens across Asia.






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