Two spacecraft drifted closer to one another far above planet Earth, as they prepared to dock.USA Cap Com-Huston: Go ahead.The plot concerned a NASA mission in which a US spacecraft ran into problem.The three crew members on board were saved by a Soviet mission also in orbit.It is planned that the first experimental flight to test these systems be conducted during 1975, envisaging the docking of a United States Apollo-type spacecraft and a Soviet Soyuz-type spacecraft with visits of astronauts in each other s spacecraft.The implementation of these projects will be carried out on the basis of principles and procedures which will be developed in accordance with the summary of results of the meeting between representatives of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the USSR Academy of Sciences on the question of developing compatible systems for rendezvous and docking of manned spacecraft and space stations of the USA and the USSR dated April 6, 1972.
Scientists track British genetic adaptation over 2,000 yearsNew research by geneticists working with data from the UK10K Project to study the genomes of 10,000 Britons has for the first time detailed exactly how the genetic traits of the people of the British Isles have evolved over the past 2,000 years Nature .Lockheed Martin plans Mars orbital lab for 2028Later today, Lockheed Martin is set to unveil details about its planned Mars Base Camp: a laboratory that will house six astronauts in orbit about Mars, which the company hopes to have in place by 2028 Popular Science .The system uses cameras, acoustic and radio frequency sensors to monitor stadia and business premises that could be at risk of unwanted drone activity.The camera connector just fits on the right-hand side of the Zero's board in what Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton calls "dumb luck."Produced by Bruno Wu and producer Larry Kasanoff's Threshold Global Studios, Kasanoff says that it's an ensemble piece with a Chinese cast; the first part of a trilogy that's "not at all what you think; it will be a cool surprise."Book now for WIRED MoneyWIRED Money showcases the innovative thinkers who are re-imagining the financial sector.
All Images: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRIPluto may be long gone, but NASA s New Horizons spacecraft is by no means finished with the outer solar system.For the second time, New Horizons has observed 1994 JR1, a 90-mile wide Kuiper Belt Object KBO that orbits over 3 billion miles from the sun.Here was JR1 back in November:And here it is last month, from a distance of just 69 million miles:The latest observations allowed the New Horizons science team to start fleshing out a portrait of the lonely space rock.We can now pinpoint the location of JR1 to within 600 miles, giving us our most precise KBO orbit to date.Indeed, these are our first tantalizing glimpses of a mysterious realm whose existence astronomers only learned of a few decades ago.You can think of the Kuiper Belt as a vast cryobank, filled with primordial chunks of rock that have not been touched or transformed since the birth of the solar system.
From science fiction to economics, entrepreneurism to human history, it's a solid batch of choices, with something to keep all minds occupied during a beach break or long flight.Five thousand years later and their progeny form seven distinct races and they must journey to an alien: Earth.People figure out that in two years a cataclysmic meteor shower will wipe out all life on Earth, so the world unites on a plan to keep humanity going by launching as many spacecraft as possible into orbit.Even if the details of Nick s work turn out to be wrong, I suspect his focus on energy will be seen as an important contribution to our understanding of where we come from."As founder and CEO of Rakuten, one of the world's largest Internet companies, author Hiroshi Mikitani brings an entrepreneur's perspective to bear on the country's economic stagnation.Today, of course, Japan is intensely interesting to anyone who follows global economics.
A new study released by NASA on Tuesday shows that oceans on Europa, one of Jupiter s 67 known moons, might have a lot in common with our own oceans, including a chemical balance capable of harboring life.Scientists have been eyeing the mysterious water world as one of the most promising places to find alien life for a while now, and this study suggests they're on the right track.The moon, which is only a quarter the size of Earth, is covered in a thick shell of ice.But there is strong evidence that there could be a salty ocean deep beneath its surface.For the study, scientists at NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory compared Europa s potential for producing hydrogen and oxygen with Earth s using the same methods developed to study Earth s oceans."The cycling of oxygen and hydrogen in Europa's ocean will be a major driver for Europa's ocean chemistry and any life there, just as it is on Earth," NASA planetary geophysicist and lead author Steve Vance said in a press release.The right balanceScientists want to get a closer look at how Europa s seawater interacts with deep cracks that are thought to form at the surface of the moon's rocky core.On Earth, when new cracks form, the new rock reacts with the water, producing minerals and releasing hydrogen.They're looking to see if the same reactions are occuring on Europa.They're also looking for signs of the ability to support life in Europa s icy exterior — and on this front they've made some solid gains.Thanks to its scant atmosphere, Europa is constantly bombarded by cosmic radiation which breaks up the chemical bonds of the ice within.Whether or not life and biological processes complete the circuit is part of what motivates our exploration of Europa," Hand said in the press release.And the next step in answering that question is figuring out how the hydrogen and oxygen, along with other elements such as carbon and nitrogen, interact in Europa s ocean.NASA is currently putting together a mission slated for the 2020s that would further explore Europa.A radiation-tolerant spacecraft would be sent into orbit around Jupiter to take high-res flyby images of the icy moon to learn more about its composition and ability to sustain life.NOW WATCH: Here's why aliens might actually existLoading video...
Better-than-binary multi-level memoryMemory could be getting an upgrade beyond the two states used in binary, as researchers have designed a magnetic element with six stable magnetic states, according to a paper published in Applied Physics Letters.They consume less power, allow memory to be written and read at a quicker pace, and last longer."Furthermore, since MRAM is different in its nature from flash, there is no reason that it should suffer from the drawbacks of multi-level-cell flash memory."This technique, known as spin-orbit torque switching, shows that more memory can be packed over a tighter space.Researchers believe that even more magnetic states can be created by adding more layers of magnetic film – crossing four ellipses could give eight magnetic states.The researchers said they would like to "progress towards fabricating a prototype" that would help them "convince the magnetic memory industry to make a shift towards multi-level magnetic memory."
Boffins have used 7,000 images from Europe's Sentinel-2A Earth-watching satellite to construct a fine mosaic of Africa, shown entirely cloud-free in all its continental glory.Clear skies over AfricaMost of the images - totalling 32 TB of data - were snapped between December 2015 and April 2016, the European Space Agency ESA explains.From its 786 km altitude polar orbit, Sentinel-2A's multispectral imager captured Africa in 290 km-wide swathes.Although due to the satellite's "10-day revisit at the equator, the chance of imaging Earth's surface when the skies are clear is relatively high", ESA notes that "being able to capture the Tropics cloud-free over the five months is remarkable".Pic: ESA / ATG medialabSentinel-2A forms part of the Copernicus Earth observation programme, mainly contributing "information for agricultural and forestry practices and for helping manage food security".Once fully operational, the Sentinel-2 constellation will "cover all Earth's land surfaces, large islands, inland and coastal waters every five days at the equator".
To put that in perspective, NASA has previous noted it's "big enough to encompass a football stadium".The weight of the balloon plus payload is 4,500kg, or "roughly 10 grand pianos or 2.5 mid-size cars", or indeed "55 kangaroos, 100 toilets, or 1,000 cats", as NASA nicely put it last month.On the ground, the SPB displays sub-stadium dimensions, but it's still impressive, as the launch vid grabbed on Monday at New Zealand's Wanaka Airport shows:SPBs are designed for "ultra-long-duration flight of up to 100 days at mid-latitudes", carrying scientific payloads to a more-or-less constant float altitude of 33.5km, as a budget alternative to sending them into orbit atop rockets.For this mission, the massive sandwich bag is carrying the University of California's Compton Spectrometer and Imager COSI , which will "probe the mysterious origins of galactic positrons, study the creation of new elements in the galaxy, and perform pioneering studies of gamma-ray bursts and black holes".While NASA hopes the SPB will stay aloft for over three months, the current flight record is 54 days, on a 2009 mission which began at the previous launch site in Antarctica.The first flight from Wanaka in 2015 lasted 32 days, five hours and 51 minutes before a leak prompted NASA to abort the mission over Outback Australia.
US aerospace and defence firm Lockheed Martin has unveiled a concept for a new Mars base that will orbit the Red Planet instead of being based on the planet's surface, enabling humans to be sent to Mars by 2028.Lockheed Martin has envisioned a heavy lift rocket that turns into a space station, orbiting Mars to allow scientists to gather valuable researchUnveiled at the Human to Mars space conference in Washington DC on Wednesday 18 May, the Mars Base Camp is a space station designed to orbit around the Red Planet, similar to the International Space Station ISS , only smaller.Also included in the design are radiators to keep sensitive electronics and living quarters cool, solar arrays to harness power from the sun for spacecraft operations and propulsion, and a cryogenic rocket engine that produces a high-powered thrust to get the spacecraft from lunar orbit into deep space to Mars and enables the astronauts to go on excursions around the Red Planet's moons; Phobos and Deimos.Much can be learnt from Mars orbitLockheed Martin's mission timeline for the Mars base campBy being in orbit of the Red Planet, scientists can learn a lot more about Mars even without landing, and it means that we could learn more instead of spending more time creating and constructing the right habitats.So Lockheed Martin has come up with a proposal it hopes the space agency will consider in order to cement plans to get humans to Mars.To that end, it has drawn up set targets – have the rocket and capsule ready to launch on an unmanned mission by 2018, and if that is successful, take astronauts to deep space, just beyond the moon in 2023 for the first time ever, and then work their way towards orbiting Mars by 2028.
With giant oceans coating the red planet s northern hemisphere, huge meteoroids would slam into the planet s surface kicking up giant waves 120 metres high.This isn t the first time the idea of huge tidal waves has come up in relation to Mars.Edward H. White II, pilot of the Gemini 4 spacecraft, floats in the zero gravity of space with an earth limb backdrop circa November 1965.Five NASA astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis look out overhead windows on the aft flight deck toward their counterparts aboard the Mir Space Station in March of 1996.Echo 1, a spherical balloon with a metalized skin, was launched by NASA on 12th August 1960.Four views of Earth rising above the lunar horizon, photographed by the crew of the Apollo 10 Lunar Module, while in lunar orbit, May 1969.
Athletes from around the globe travel to compete in the games every two years and with the entire world watching, it s no surprise that host nations pull out all the stops in terms of showmanship.According to reports, a company by the name of Star-ALE is bidding for the right to create a man-made meteor shower that would rain down over the capital of Japan during the opening ceremony.If you want to leave the rest of the world in awe, a man-made meteor shower would certainly do just that.The plan would be to send up a series of microsatellites into orbit loaded with 500 to 1,000 specially-developed pellets.As they re-enter the Earth s atmosphere, they ignite at an altitude of around 35 to 50 miles up and display various colors in the process.We ll find out in a few years.
Our red planetary neighbour will soon be even closer and brighter as Mars is set to be in opposition, which will put it at its closest distance from the Earth since 2005According to NASA, on Sunday May 22 , Mars will be in opposition, meaning the Sun and Mars will be on opposite sides of Earth.Mars will appear to rise in the east at around sunset and set in the west just at daybreak and its sunlit side will be visible all night long to astronomers and stargazers.Image: NASAThen, on May 30, Mars will be just 46.8 million miles away from Earth, the closest it s been in 11 years.Oppositions occur about once every 26 months due to Mars orbit taking around twice as long as Earth s. Some are also better than others due to Mars elliptical path versus Earth s more circular one.Before that, the nearest approach was nearly 60,000 years ago and experts expect the record to stand until August 28, 2287.This planet-watching opportunity comes just days after NASA released new images of Mars, which depicted changes in the surface and revealed the effects the changing seasons have on the environment.
Images: NASAOur red planetary neighbor will soon be even closer and brighter as Mars is set to be in opposition, which will put it at its closest distance from the Earth since 2005.According to NASA, on Sunday May 22 , Mars will be in opposition, meaning the Sun and Mars will be on opposite sides of Earth.Then, on May 30, Mars will be just 46.8 million miles away from Earth, the closest it s been in 11 years.Oppositions occur about once every 26 months due to Mars orbit taking around twice as long as Earth s. Some are also better than others due to Mars elliptical path versus Earth s more circular one.Before that, the nearest approach was nearly 60,000 years ago and experts expect the record to stand until August 28, 2287.This planet-watching opportunity comes just days after NASA released new images of Mars, which depicted changes in the surface and revealed the effects the changing seasons have on the environment.
India is set to launch a scale model of a reusable spacecraft on Monday, a project that in time could pit the nation against billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk in the race to make access to space cheaper and easier.The winged vessel -- one-fifth of full size -- is due to blast off on a rocket from Sriharikota base on the southeastern coast, reach an altitude of 70 kilometers 43 miles and glide back at supersonic speeds to Earth for a splashdown in the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Space Research Organisation said.India put a probe into Mars orbit in 2014 for just $74 million, demonstrating a combination of technological capability and low costs that chimes with the goal of more frequent space travel being championed by Musk s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and Bezos s Blue Origin LLC."India plans to spend about 75 billion rupees $1.1 billion on its entire space program in the year through March 2017, a fraction of the yearly $19-billion-dollar budget of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the U.S.The reusable space vehicle is supposed to provide a cost-effective and reliable option for operations such as launching satellites, according to the Indian space agency.An unmanned mission to the moon that ended in 2009 showed water formation there may be occurring.The Mars probe beat China to the red planet after an almost yearlong voyage.Prime Minister Narendra Modi controls the Department of Space, whose successes give the premier an opportunity to market India as a destination for high-technology investment.The nation remains about eight years away from a full-scale version of the reusable space vehicle, and still has to cross the hurdle of steering the vessel safely back to land rather than water, according to the Indian space agency.Musk s SpaceX in December pulled off a soft, vertical touchdown after the two-stage rocket propelled its payload.Less than month earlier, Bezos sent one of his test rockets to the edge of space and landed it safely back on Earth.
Fairing separation: The artist's impression.Pic: ESA / Pierre CarrilEurope's home-grown Galileo satnav system will take another step towards a full constellation tomorrow when satellites 13 and 14 head heavenwards from Kourou in French Guiana.ESA recently fired up Galileos 11 and 12, and said of when we can expect to enjoy metre-accurate satnav: "Initial services will be made available by the end of 2016.Then as the constellation is built-up beyond that, new services will be tested and made available, with system completion scheduled for 2020."There's more on the system's current status in this Galileo 13/14 overview vid:This autumn, ESA will attempt to lift the next four Galileos in one hit using a customised Ariane 5 ES.Ultimately, there will be 24 operational satellites, with six in-orbit spares.
The RLV-TD winged body spacecraft takes off Monday morning.For the last several years, India has been making steady progress with its space program, including the successful insertion of a spacecraft into Mars orbit in 2014, something previously only the United States, Soviet Union, and the European Space Agency had accomplished.At 7am local time, the HS9 solid rocket booster fired for 91.1 seconds, lifting the RLV-TD winged body spacecraft to above 50km.After separating from the booster, the spacecraft crested to an altitude of 65km, nearly two-thirds of the way to outer space, before beginning its descent.Enlarge / The RLV-TD vehicle on the ground, before being mated to its boosterThe RLV-TD flown Monday will not be recovered from the sea, but the 1.75-ton vehicle will undergo successive test flights during the coming years to demonstrate landing capability.ISRO must also continue development of an air-breathing scramjet engine that will help power the vehicle all the way into space.
GIFThere are a lot of good reasons to believe this watch that uses flowing liquid mercury to show the time is fake.But that doesn t stop us from wanting a watch that looks like the T-1000 strapped to your wrist.Seahope s Liquid Metal Watch, designed by Y. Kimura, uses three blobs of mercury that continuously orbit the watch s face to indicate the current hour, minutes, and seconds.Its website doesn t go into details about how exactly the company s creation works—presumably there s a trio of moving magnets beneath its face—but it will happily let you pre-order one ahead of a July 14 release.Available in various colors and metal finishes, the watch s will set you back just shy of $200, if you re brave enough to entrust your credit card details to a sketchy-looking online store.We d maybe suggest waiting until July 14 comes and goes to see if this thing actually ships, and then maybe hunting one down from a more reputed online shop.
Galileos 13 and 14 slips the surly bonds of Earth.The pair blasted off atop a Soyuz rocket from Kourou in French Guiana at 08:48 GMT, en route to joining their fellow Galileos at an altitude of 23,222km.PlayGalileo will offer a "highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control".The European Space Agency ESA assures it's "interoperable with GPS and Glonass", with its "dual frequencies as standard" delivering "real-time positioning accuracy down to the metre range".Ultimately, there will be 24 operational satellites, with six in-orbit spares.The next launch is scheduled for this autumn, when four Galileos will ride a customised Ariane 5 ES.
SpaceX is planning to launch its fifth rocket of the year this Thursday at 5:40 p.m.The Falcon 9 rocket will be launching out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying a communications satellite called that weighs nearly 7,000 lbs.As of Tuesday afternoon, weather conditions look good for the launch.Once up, the satellite, which was built by aerospace manufacturer Orbital ATK for Thailand s first satellite operator Thaicom PLC, will provide TV and internet services to Southeast Asia.SpaceX's track record for launches has been nearly flawless this year, with four successful launches and three successful landings and retrievals!One of those successes took place on land in December; two more happened in April and May at sea.SpaceX will once again attempt to land the first stage of the rocket on a drone ship in the Atlantic.If it succeeds, it'll be:The fourth successful retrieval of the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket The third successful at-sea landing The second successful landing after launching to the extremely high geostationary orbit, more than 22,000 miles above Earth s equatorDuring SpaceX s last launch, Elon Musk admitted he wasn't sure if they'd stick the landing, citing the extreme heat and velocity the rocket faced upon reentry into Earth s atmosphere.And although it was a hugely surprising success, the re-landed first stage suffered "maximum damage," meaning it's not going back to space again anytime soon.
There are a lot of good reasons to believe this watch that uses flowing liquid mercury to show the time is fake.But that doesn t stop us from wanting a watch that looks like the T-1000 strapped to your wrist.Seahope s Liquid Metal Watch, designed by Y. Kimura, uses three blobs of mercury that continuously orbit the watch s face to indicate the current hour, minutes, and seconds.Its website doesn t go into details about how exactly the company s creation works — presumably there s a trio of moving magnets beneath its face — but it will happily let you pre-order one ahead of a July 14 release.Available in various colours and metal finishes, the watch will set you back just shy of £133, if you re brave enough to entrust your credit card details to a sketchy-looking online store.We d maybe suggest waiting until July 14 comes and goes to see if this thing actually ships, and then maybe hunting one down from a more reputed online shop.