Science

NASA Messenger mission comes to an end, crashes into Mercury

NASA Messenger mission comes to an end, crashes into Mercury

After ten years in space, NASA's Messenger probe purposefully crashed on Mercury. The probe spent four years in a strictly elliptical orbit, using boosts of power from its engine every couple of months, before it finally ran out of fuel. After orbiting Mercury 4,104 times, NASA decided to purposefully crash the probe into the planet's surface using a string of precisely modeled manuevers. When Messenger finally crashed, it hit Mercury at 8,750 mph (14,000 kph) which is about 12 times the speed of sound on earth.

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Bezos’ Blue Origin completes successful test flight, 307,000 ft high

Bezos’ Blue Origin completes successful test flight, 307,000 ft high

Jess Bezos, founder of Amazon, has a couple of tricks up his sleeve when it comes to his private spaceflight company, Blue Origin. His latest rocket, the New Shepard, just pulled off a full hat trick with its first successful test flight, reaching an apogee of 58 miles high (307,000 ft) with a peak speed of three times the sound barrier. This especially good news for Bezos in light of Elon Musk's Falcon-9 rocket's blundered landing attempt for SpaceX.

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3D-printed splint keeps babies breathing

3D-printed splint keeps babies breathing

This isn't the first time we've seen printed bio-materials find a place in the medical sphere. Last month a bio-printer created an implantable nose made from 3D-printed cartilage. In this case, a team of researchers from the University of Michigan created tracheal splints from 3D-printed bio-material that can be inserted into a child's windpipe to treat tracheobronchomalacia, a condition that causes spontaneous airway collapse. Babies born with the condition are often given a terminal diagnosis and shortened lifespan.

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NASA’s New Horizons highlights possible Pluto polar cap

NASA’s New Horizons highlights possible Pluto polar cap

Pluto may have a polar cap, NASA has said, something that is based on data from the space agency’s New Horizons spacecraft. NASA released a bunch of information graphs yesterday, as well as images and animations taken by the spacecraft of Plus and its moon Charon. The images were snapped 13 times over the course of nearly seven days, having taken place from April 12 to April 18 from a distance of approximately 69 million miles. Shown in some of the images is a bright spot that may indicate a polar cap.

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Lake Michigan’s oddly clear water reveals old shipwrecks

Lake Michigan’s oddly clear water reveals old shipwrecks

Those of us around the Great Lakes were hit with a bitter cold winter this year, but it has turned out to have a beautiful effect on Lake Michigan in particular. The lake’s water has turned oddly clear in the transitioning period between having an icy shell and being muddied up with algae blooms and sediment, and with that clarity comes shipwrecks. Many shipwrecks. Images of old shipwrecks being spotted in the crystal clear water have surfaced via the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City, and they lend a fascinating look at what lies below the typically dark water.

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Blood Falls give hope for life on Mars

Blood Falls give hope for life on Mars

In Antarctica, Blood Falls spew forth unto the white landscape, gushing dark red liquid into the purity of the snow and ice. This unsettling image is giving scientists hope that one day they might find a mass equally strange on the Red Planet. Blood Falls belch deep water from far beneath the surface of the Antarctic dry valley, showing how areas of low resistivity can be found in areas where otherwise dry permafrost or otherwise high resistivity in glacier ice are dominant. In this brine that bursts from the ice, life can be found.

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New ‘Chilesaurus’ therapod was an adorable vegetarian

New ‘Chilesaurus’ therapod was an adorable vegetarian

Researchers have added a new Jurassic dinosaur to the roster of known dinosaurs, and it was discovered back in 2004 by a 7-year-old boy. The boy and his parents were on a hike in Southern Chile when the boy — Diego Suarez — found a couple bones, which his parents identified as belonging to a dinosaur. It has been a long while since then, but a lot of progress has been made and that dinosaur now has a name: Chilesaurus diegosuarezi. The most interesting discovery is that despite being a theropod, the dinosaur preferred to eat plants rather than other animals.

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Super-strong robot pulls 100x its own weight, even climbs up walls

Super-strong robot pulls 100x its own weight, even climbs up walls

If I could carry 100 times my own weight, I'd never need to twist the arms of all my friends to help me move. Until I gain super-strength, I'll have to settle for dreaming of borrowing these tenacious robots. A team of mechanical engineers from California's Standford University developed a collection of tiny robots which can give Marvel's Ant-Man a run for his money. Don't let the size of these tiny robots deceive you. These 'bots are incredibly strong; they can pull 100 times their own weight.

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Melting DNA allows police to identify twins

Melting DNA allows police to identify twins

Police have been using DNA evidence for a long time now to identify perpetrators of crimes and put them behind bars. There are challenges when it comes to identifying which person from a pair of twins committed a crime. The reason for the difficulty is that the DNA of twins is very nearly identical.

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Researchers: thinking causes some brain cancers to grow faster

Researchers: thinking causes some brain cancers to grow faster

Researchers have discovered something a bit terrifying: the mere act of thinking causes some cancerous brain tumors to grow faster, with a paper detailing the phenomenon pointing specifically to high-grade gliomas. These tumors are said to account for 80-percent or so of the malignant brain tumors found in humans, and they are often very difficult to treat. Discovering the role brain activity plays in fueling their growth, however, will aid in the development of future treatments and a potential cure.

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