Science

Two American astronauts conduct spacewalk to upgrade ISS

Two American astronauts conduct spacewalk to upgrade ISS

Two NASA astronauts ventured outside the International Space Station (ISS) last Friday and successfully upgraded the orbiting laboratory’s electrical system, the U.S. space agency announced.

Astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson spacewalked for around six-and-a-half hours and their expedition ended at 1855 GMT. It may be noted here that Kimbrough, 49, is the commander of the 6-person crew aboard the ISS, and 56-year-old Whitson is a flight engineer.

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Beijing police to combat toxic smog

Beijing police to combat toxic smog

Beijing authorities have confirmed that police officers have been assigned with the additional responsibility of looking for local sources of air pollution, including dusty roads and open-air barbeques.

Cai Qi, mayor of the city, has also promised to trim down consumption of coal by 30 per cent this year as part of the city efforts to cut air pollution, which has become a big issue in the national capital in the recent past.

Unfavorable weather conditions have played a major role in aggravating the issue of air pollution by preventing pollutants from dispersing.

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Deepest-ever X-ray image shows 1,000 black holes

Deepest-ever X-ray image shows 1,000 black holes

A newly unveiled “deepest” X-ray image of the universe shows as many as 1,000 supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies swirling billions of light-years away from Earth.

The X-ray image is 7-million-second exposure of a patch of sky around two-thirds the size of the full Moon. It was created using data collected by American space agency NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory during more than one hundred pointing sessions between 1999 and 2016.

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New fishing rule aims to protect marine mammals

New fishing rule aims to protect marine mammals

A new fishing rule that takes effect this week aims to protect marine mammals from becoming bycatch by requiring foreign fisheries that export seafood to the United States to make sure that they don’t hurt or kill marine mammals.

Many marine creatures like the vaquita, a small porpoise that is found only in the northern Gulf of California, in Mexico, are in danger because of fishing nets that are set to catch fish and shrimp but accidentally catches creatures like vaquita.

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NASA announces two new missions to study strange asteroids

NASA announces two new missions to study strange asteroids

U.S. space agency NASA has announced two new low-cost missions that will attempt to unravel the mysteries of some critically strange asteroids.

The mission “Lucy” will probe the Trojan asteroids, which share an orbit with our solar system’s largest planet Jupiter; while the mission Psyche will travel to the asteroid belt to study a massive metallic asteroid dubbed 16 Psyche.

NASA has selected the two projects via its Discovery Program, which provides funding for the agency’s highly focused space probes to destinations throughout the solar system.

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Trump could disrupt NASA’s planned missions

Trump could disrupt NASA’s planned missions

As President-elect Donald Trump hasn’t said much about space during his election campaign, the future of NASA’s space missions apparently remain in the doldrums.

Trump’s transition team has a number of people who have already shown interest in returning to the Moon. Thus, or only natural satellite could be back in play.

Currently, the government-run space agency has plans to send astronauts around the Moon in a chain of missions scheduled to take place in the 2020s. The Trump administration can actually change those plans to land Americans again on the Moon.

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NASA’s chief scientist Ellen Stofan leaves agency

NASA’s chief scientist Ellen Stofan leaves agency

NASA’s chief scientist Ellen Stofan has left the government-run space agency to move on and seek “new adventures,” according to emerging reports.

As per the reports, Stofan first announced her decision to part ways with NASA during a National Academies’ Space Studies Board conference held in California last December, and she left on or around December 20, 2016.

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China’s space program aims to gain ‘strength and size’

China’s space program aims to gain ‘strength and size’

China has plans to expedite the development of its space program in the next five years and become the world’s first country to conduct a controlled landing of a probe on the far side of the Moon in 2018.

A senior official form the China National Space Administration said recently that the country wanted to develop “strength and size” in its space program to achieve its space exploration ambitions, which includes plans to launch a probe to Mars by 2020.

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Periodic comet to streak through night sky on Dec. 31

Periodic comet to streak through night sky on Dec. 31

A periodic comet will be streaking through the night sky as Earthlings will be bidding farewell to 2016 and saying hello to the New Year, American space agency NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said.

The 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova is set to appear near the Moon on Dec. 31, as people will be welcoming 2017. However, it will be difficult to see this comet with naked eyes as it is not a particularly bright comet.

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Wisconsin DNR says climate change ‘debatable’

Wisconsin DNR says climate change ‘debatable’

Earth’s climate has changed throughout the centuries and the reason for the changing climate is a matter of debate, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ altered text from an agency webpage on the Great Lakes.

Wisconsin DNR made the controversial changes to the text on December 21st, striking out previous sentences that had attributed global warming and the resultant climate change to human activities and increasing levels of CO2.

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