Science

Russian Progress resupply mission docks with ISS hours after launch

Russian Progress resupply mission docks with ISS hours after launch

The ISS had a resupply mission recently that lifted off in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz-2.1a booster. The resupply mission was Progress MS-09. About nine minutes after liftoff, the three-stage rocket released the Progress MS-09 spacecraft to continue its trip to the ISS.

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Scientists find the oldest pigments in the world

Scientists find the oldest pigments in the world

A group of scientists from The Australian National University (ANU) have discovered the oldest colors in the geological record. The pigments they have discovered are 1.1 billion years old and are bright pink. The pigments were extracted from rocks deep under the Sahara Desert in Africa.

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Airbus Mars rover will send samples back to Earth

Airbus Mars rover will send samples back to Earth

The United Kingdom has announced a new deal with Airbus that will have it develop a special Mars rover for the European Space Agency (ESA). Unlike the two rovers NASA currently has operating on Mars, Airbus' rover will be able to ship samples back to Earth, giving scientists physical access to soil and rock dust from the Red Planet. This will mark the first time Mars samples have been delivered to our own planet.

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Sunday meteor fireball was visible over 10 US states

Sunday meteor fireball was visible over 10 US states

If you live in or near the Midwestern United States, you may have noticed a streaking fireball yesterday evening. The blazing line was spotted streaking across the sky by people in ten states, according to witness reports. The brief event was caused by a meteor blasting past a little before sunset, etching a bright line in the dim evening sky.

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NASA’s lost Apollo moon heat probe data: True science is real boring

NASA’s lost Apollo moon heat probe data: True science is real boring

Today we're having a peek at the recovery of recordings of heat data from NASA's Apollo moon missions in 1971 and 1972. A study published just this week explored data from probes installed on our Earth's Moon during those missions, revealing heat sensor data for the first time ever, publicly. The study is at once both engaging and boring, inspiring and entirely unspectacular. Let's talk about why all of this is good.

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Airbus Fetch Rover could return Mars rocks to Earth

Airbus Fetch Rover could return Mars rocks to Earth

The European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA are working together to get specs for a rover that could one day cruise the surface of Mars. Aircraft maker Airbus is conducting feasibility studies on a rover called the "fetch rover." This concept rover is meant o be able to mine Martian rocks and send it back to Earth for hands-on study.

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Virgin Galactic plans Italy spaceport for future space travelers

Virgin Galactic plans Italy spaceport for future space travelers

Richard Branson's space company Virgin Galactic has announced a new deal that with bring spaceflights to Italy, where the company plans to build a spaceport for future suborbital launches. The company is keeping its headquarters in New Mexico, where it has its Spaceport America facility. ENAC, Italy's aviation authority, has already chosen a location for the future flights.

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NASA Kepler spacecraft very low on fuel, put into hibernation mode

NASA Kepler spacecraft very low on fuel, put into hibernation mode

NASA has announced that its Kepler team has put the spacecraft into a state similar to hibernation. The decision to put Kepler into the hibernation-like state was due to a recent "indication" that it is "very low" on fuel. During this low-power state, the space agency's team will prepare to download scientific data gathered by the spacecraft, after which point it may continue onto a new mission.

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Sunscreens that kill coral: Hawaii’s chem-ban now law

Sunscreens that kill coral: Hawaii’s chem-ban now law

When last we spoke about Hawaii and their plans to ban some sunscreens, proposed law SB 2471 wasn't yet live. As of this week, and thanks to Governor David Ige's final signature, that law is in full effect. The law's writing says that there's a layover until January 1st, 2021*, at which point none of a certain set of sunscreens can be sold in or transported to Hawaii's chain of islands - the entire state, that is.

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Ancient American dogs were nearly eradicated after Europeans arrived

Ancient American dogs were nearly eradicated after Europeans arrived

A new study sheds light on the history of dogs and their role in human life, though many mysteries remain. According to the study, indigenous dogs in the Americas experienced some sort of catastrophe likely after the arrival of Europeans settlers, who are believed to have brought their own dogs with them. However, a trace of these ancient canine remain in the DNA of modern dogs, and it comes in the form of a transmittable cancer.

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Wasp species with massive stinger found lurking in the Amazon

Wasp species with massive stinger found lurking in the Amazon

A new wasp species with a giant stinger has been discovered in the Amazon, according to researchers in Finland. The species, called Clistopyga crassicaudata, was found to exist in the range between the Amazonian lowlands and the Andes mountains. The insect's most notable element is its giant stinger, which it uses to both inject venom into its victims and lay eggs.

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This baby missing link had very odd toe bones

This baby missing link had very odd toe bones

An ancient human ancestor dubbed Selam was written about in a paper published this week in Science Advances. This very young Australopithecus afarensis's foot is the oldest hominin foot ever found with all of its tarsals preserved - those are effectively the bones in a foot that do not include the toes - basically the ankle. This tiny humanoid had a foot with a toe that allowed it to grip, in a position similar to that of the blade claw on the foot of Jurassic Park's velociraptor.* UPDATE: Not exactly, but sort of.

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