Science

Rocket Lab’s Electron mission failure takes out seven satellites

Rocket Lab’s Electron mission failure takes out seven satellites

Rocket Lab experienced a mission failure on July 4th for reasons that remain unclear, resulting in the loss of both the launch vehicle and the seven satellites carried as payload. The company aims to offer rapid launches for small payloads like CubeSats; it has already had a dozen successful missions and had several launches planned for later this year.

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NASA remembers July 4 Mars milestone that made its rovers possible

NASA remembers July 4 Mars milestone that made its rovers possible

NASA is remembering one of its most notable July 4th events: the arrival of its Sojourner on Mars in 1997. Depending on your age, you may not be familiar with Sojourner, having instead learned about Curiosity, the now-defunct Opportunity, and perhaps even the Spirit rover, which was active on the Red Planet from 2004 to 2010. Lesser known is the space agency's Sojourner, a rover that paved the way for NASA's latest and greatest Mars missions.

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UCLA researchers create a wearable glove that translates sign language in real-time

UCLA researchers create a wearable glove that translates sign language in real-time

Bioengineers at UCLA have designed a glove that can translate American Sign Language into English speech in real-time using a smartphone application. The goal of the project is to facilitate an easy way for people who use sign language to communicate directly with those who don't understand the sign language without needing a person there to translate.

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BionicSwift robotic bird has artificial feathers

BionicSwift robotic bird has artificial feathers

Researchers at Festo have announced the creation of a new bionic project called the "BionicSwift." The robotic bird can fly using artificial feathers. The researchers used radio-based indoor GPS with ultra-wideband technology to allow the robotic birds to fly safely in a coordinated pattern inside a defined airspace. One feature that gives the birds their agility is that the wings are modeled on the plumage of real birds.

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Scientists drilled Antarctica’s largest ice shelf to get key climate data

Scientists drilled Antarctica’s largest ice shelf to get key climate data

As the climate warms, sea levels rise. This increase in water levels is caused by melting sea ice, something that includes melt that typically happens on the underside exposed to the ocean, at least when it comes to ice shelves. A new study has leveraged modern technologies to get new measurements from the center of the underside of Antarctica's biggest ice shelf, shedding new light on the processes driving the melting.

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NASA researchers say the Moon is more metallic than previously believed

NASA researchers say the Moon is more metallic than previously believed

A team of researchers at NASA who were hunting for ice inside of polar craters made an unexpected finding that researchers believe could help clear up some of the mystery behind the Moon's formation. The researchers are the members of the Miniature Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) instrument team on the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The researchers found evidence that the subsurface of the Moon might be more abundant in metals such as iron and titanium than previously believed.

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Researchers discover the first exposed planetary core

Researchers discover the first exposed planetary core

Researchers at the University of Warwick have led a team that has discovered the first exposed core of a planet. The scientists describe the planet as highly unusual, and it was found in the Neptunian Desert where such massive objects are rarely seen. The researchers believe that the planetary core could be a failed gas giant or one that had its atmosphere ripped away.

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NASA’s TESS enables astronomers to improve their understanding of KELT-9 b

NASA’s TESS enables astronomers to improve their understanding of KELT-9 b

NASA scientists have used measurements taken from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite known as TESS to improve their understanding of the environment of one of the hottest planets in the known universe called KELT-9 b. That planet is bizarre in that it is a giant planet and very close, nearly polar orbit around a rapidly rotating star. KELT-9 b is about 670 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus.

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Researchers say an asteroid impact is what caused dinosaurs to go extinct

Researchers say an asteroid impact is what caused dinosaurs to go extinct

There has been a debate amongst scientists on what exactly caused the planet to become uninhabitable for dinosaurs millions of years ago. One team believes that a giant asteroid struck the Earth off the coast of Mexico 66 million years ago and caused the demise of all dinosaur species except birds. However, some researchers believed that large volcanic corruptions might have been the actual cause of the extinction event that killed 75% of life on Earth.

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CSAIL robot disinfects a warehouse facility using UV-C light

CSAIL robot disinfects a warehouse facility using UV-C light

Never has disinfecting and killing germs in businesses at home been more on the minds of people than it has during the coronavirus pandemic. For many years hospitals and other medical facilities have used UV light to kill germs and bacteria to keep people from getting sick. A new robot created by MIT's CSAIL is being used at the Greater Boston Food Bank to disinfects the warehouse using UV-C light.

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Flying snake mystery solved by science

Flying snake mystery solved by science

The latest study published by Virginia Tech on flying snakes revealed a key point in the process. With motion capture technology and high-speed cameras aplenty, researchers created a three-dimensional mathematical model of snake flight that incorporates aerodynamic and inertial effects. They confirmed that it's not any one element that allows this flight, but a combination of the shape the snakes makes, the locomotion of the snake, and other elements that make the glide function. This work shows "a different function than known uses of undulation in other animals" - which COULD be used to make new dynamic flying robots!

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Betelgeuse’s supergiant star dimming mystery may finally have been solved

Betelgeuse’s supergiant star dimming mystery may finally have been solved

A mysteriously dimming star in the Orion constellation, normally visible to the naked eye in the night sky, could have been explained, with scientists tapping new astronomical data to figure out what's going on almost 500 light years away. Betelgeuse is usually the tenth-brightest star in the sky at night, a red supergiant much larger than our own Sun.

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