SpaceX’s Starhopper Engulfed by Fireball During Test

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An artist's illustration shows Starship, SpaceX's future passenger vehicle, launching above the clouds. (Credit: SpaceX) On Tuesday, SpaceX ran its second test of Starhopper, the prototype for their enormous future passenger spacecraft. The static fire test was meant to measure the Raptor engines that power the craft. But at the end of the five second test, Starhopper was instead surrounded by an enormous fireball, as shown in a video from the rural Texas test site gathered by Everyday Astro ...read more

Scientists Start Developing a Mini Gravitational Wave Detector

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Gravitational waves can be detected from the collision of massive objects in the universe, but also from much smaller objects like dark matter particles. (Credit: EPA/R. Hurt / Caltech-JPL) In 2015, scientists made history by detecting the first gravitational waves — ripples in space-time predicted by Albert Einstein a century earlier. The waves were created by the merger of two black holes, each one much larger than the sun. And since then, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave O ...read more

Earthquakes Will Rock Central U.S. a Decade After Oil Extraction Ends

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An Oklahoma home damaged in 2011 during an earthquake that was likely spawned by injecting wastewater during fossil fuel extraction. (Credit: USGS) Earthquakes used to be uncommon in Middle America. But in the last decade, quakes numbers have skyrocketed in Oklahoma and Kansas. The major uptick in seismic activity has risen alongside the growth of oil and gas production in the area. When fossil fuel companies dispose of wastewater by injecting it into underground wells, the increased pressur ...read more

If Apollo 11 Failed, Here’s the Speech Nixon Would Have Read

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President Nixon greets Apollo 11 astronauts, left to right, Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, shoulders only, and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. (Credit: NASA/Apollo) It’s easy, amid the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, to see it as an inevitable success. NASA had been preparing for the task for years, ever since President John F. Kennedy made his famous speech at Rice University in 1962, declaring America would “go to the moon in this decade.” Whe ...read more

How Humans’ Unique Cooking Abilities Might Have Altered Our Fate

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(Credit: Petr Bonek/Shutterstock) If you cooked dinner today — even a Cup O Noodles — you did something extraordinary and uniquely human. While the rest of the animal kingdom subsists on raw food, we Homo sapiens cook our chow. And according to some researchers, this distinction made all the difference: When our ancestors mastered cooking roughly 2 million years ago it changed the course of human evolution, they say. Because cooked food provides more energy, the habit led to s ...read more

Elon Musk’s Neuralink Unveils Mind-Reading Implant that Could Be Ready for Humans by 2020

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Neuralink's chip implantation machine, which is designed to insert the company's N1 chip into people's heads with extreme precision. (Credit: Neuralink) He’s pioneered several multi-billion dollar companies, launched one of his cars into space, and now Elon Musk wants to hack your brain. On Tuesday night, the CEO and co-founder of Tesla and SpaceX lifted the veil of secrecy on a new venture, called Neuralink. The company launched in 2016 promising to create cutting-edge brain-machin ...read more

Human Wastewater Runoff is Killing Corals in the Florida Keys

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Corals stressed by heat and other environmental conditions can bleach, or kick out their life-giving algae companions. (Credit: sabangvideo/Shutterstock) It’s been said time and time again that climate change is killing coral reefs. Rising ocean temperatures cause bleaching, which damages huge chunks of coral ecosystems from Australia to the southern United States. But heat isn’t the only reason reefs are dying. Nitrogen runoff from human activities could be damaging corals ar ...read more

SpaceX Says It Knows Why Crew Dragon Exploded

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SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft opens its nose cone before docking with the International Space Station on March 3. (Credit: NASA) Almost three months after SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule blew up during a test on April 20, the results of the investigation place blame on a leak and a faulty valve. According to a report released by SpaceX, the “anomaly” in the test occurred about 100 milliseconds prior to ignition of the last thrusters. The leak let nitrogen tetroxide, a comb ...read more

Protests Resume in Hawaii With Start of Thirty Meter Telescope Construction

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Telescopes atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. (Credit: EastVillage Images/Shutterstock) The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) has had a tumultuous start. Set to be the world’s largest visible light telescope, construction was slated to begin in 2015 near the peak of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea. But protests over construction on a mountain considered sacred by some Native Hawaiians stalled the project and sent it back to the courts. As a result, the TMT had to restart the lengthy approval process. T ...read more

ISS Mouse Experiment Tests How the Body Adapts to Living on the Moon

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Japan's experiment module on ISS, called Kibo. (Credit: NASA) Astronauts living on the International Space Station spend hours working out every day just to avoid losing serious muscle mass and bone density in microgravity. But will such precautions be needed to live on worlds that are simply lower in gravity than Earth, like the moon and Mars? And what effect would such gravity have on growing children? These questions are almost entirely unanswered by science, but they're vital for humani ...read more

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