Archive for the ‘science’ Category

Spaceflight and Spirituality, a Complicated Relationship

July 16th, 2019
The earliest days of American human spaceflight were dominated by white Christian protestants. Does religion have a place in the future of space exploration?

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Lunar Mysteries That Science Still Needs to Solve

July 16th, 2019
What scientists most want to know about our closest planetary neighbor.

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Why ‘Moon Shot’ Has No Place in the 21st Century

July 16th, 2019
Today’s challenges are vast and nebulous—and demand a different kind of ambition and approach. We need a new name for them.

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The World Watched Apollo 11 Together. Here’s the Evidence

July 16th, 2019
From the beaches of Florida and department store TVs to mission control and Parisian living rooms, everyone witnessed the mission's launch and landing.

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The Best Gear to Take to the Moon

July 16th, 2019
You're embarking on the craziest 76-hour journey of your life. What on earth (literally) do you bring?

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The WIRED Reader’s Guide to the Moon

July 16th, 2019
We sifted through dozens of new books released in honor of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. Here are the giant leaps for lunar literature.

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Measles is killing more people in the DRC than Ebola—and faster

July 15th, 2019
A man receives a vaccine against Ebola from a nurse outside the Afia Himbi Health Center on July 15, 2019 in Goma.

Enlarge / A man receives a vaccine against Ebola from a nurse outside the Afia Himbi Health Center on July 15, 2019 in Goma. (credit: Getty | PAMELA TULIZO )

As the world anxiously monitors the outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of the Congo, health officials note that a measles outbreak declared last month in the country has killed more people—mostly children—and faster.

Since January 2019, officials have recorded over 100,000 measles cases in the DRC, mostly in children, and nearly 2,000 have died. The figures surpass those of the latest Ebola outbreak in the country, which has tallied not quite 2,500 cases and 1,665 deaths since August 2018. The totals were noted by World Health Organization Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a speech today, July 15, at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

"Frankly, I am embarrassed to talk only about Ebola," Dr. Tedros said (he goes by his first name). He gave the speech in response to two new developments in the Ebola outbreak. That is that two Ebola responders were murdered in their home in the DRC city of Beni, and that officials on Sunday had identified the first case of Ebola in Goma, a DRC city of over one million at the border with Rwanda.

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SpaceX nears completion of Dragon investigation, has a “good path forward”

July 15th, 2019
A 2018 view of the clean room where the spacecraft for the first crewed Dragon mission was nearing completion. It will now be used for an In-Flight Abort test instead.

Enlarge / A 2018 view of the clean room where the spacecraft for the first crewed Dragon mission was nearing completion. It will now be used for an In-Flight Abort test instead. (credit: Eric Berger)

On Monday, officials from SpaceX and NASA provided an update on the investigation of an anomaly that occurred in April, which destroyed a Crew Dragon spacecraft. Generally, they were upbeat with their assessment: "I'm pretty optimistic right now, because we have a good path forward," said Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX's vice president of mission assurance.

After nearly three months of work—which has included the collection of debris from the ground-based incident, assessing large volumes of data, and a series of tests at SpaceX's rocket development facility in McGregor, Tex.—the company is about 80% complete with its analysis, Koenigsmann said. He characterized the findings discussed Monday as "preliminary."

The accident occurred during tests of the Crew Dragon's thruster systems in Florida. The capsule has "Draco" thrusters used to maneuver in space as well as powerful "SuperDracos." They would fire in the event of an emergency with the rocket to pull the crew safely away during a launch. Specifically, the April 20 anomaly occurred during the activation phase of the SuperDraco thruster system, when it is is pressurized and valves are opened and closed.

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A Leaky Component Caused the SpaceX Crew Dragon Explosion

July 15th, 2019
The company still hopes to send two astronauts to the International Space Station this year but says the goal will be “increasingly difficult” to reach.

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Headed to Mars? Pack Some Aerogel—You Know, for Terraforming

July 15th, 2019
Armed with the right materials, Martian colonizers could unlock frozen carbon dioxide beneath its surface, making the Red Planet warm enough to support life.

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