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Watch the countdown to SpaceX’s historic launch of NASA’s first Dragon riders

Nearly nine years after the last space shuttle flew, NASA and SpaceX are counting down to the next launch to put astronauts into orbit from Florida. The launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will mark the first-ever use of a privately owned spaceship for a crewed orbital launch, and a renaissance for U.S. spaceflight. "We are once again launching American...

Cuckoo stuns scientists with longest migration ever recorded

A cuckoo has completed one of the longest migrations ever recorded by any land bird after flying more than 7,500 miles (12,000km) from southern Africa to its birthplace and breeding grounds in Mongolia.The bird, named Onon, crossed 16 countries in his “mammoth journey”, facing down ocean crossings and high winds on the way. He arrived at the Church Bird Banding Station in Mongolia at 3.22pm...

A-Alpha Bio wins $620,000 grant to work on ‘molecular glue’ for treating disease

A-Alpha Bio, a Seattle venture that began at the University of Washington, has won a $620,472 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a system that identifies molecules capable of taking disease-causing proteins out of circulation. The Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant, awarded on April 30, follows up on an earlier Phase I grant focusing on molecular glue. Such...


TUESDAY 26. MAY 2020


Musk's SpaceX set for debut astronaut mission, renewing NASA's crewed launch program

Entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX is set to launch two American astronauts to the International Space Station on Wednesday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, ending the U.S. space agency's nine-year hiatus in human spaceflight. California-based SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule carrying astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken and its Falcon 9 rocket is due to lift off at 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033...

NASA signs off on historic SpaceX crewed launch, leaving weather as final uncertainty

Mission managers have cleared the final paperwork for SpaceX's first-ever crewed launch, aimed at sending two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. The stage is now set for the first NASA mission to send humans into orbit from U.S. soil since the retirement of the space shuttle fleet in 2011. Only one big question remained after today's...


MONDAY 25. MAY 2020


Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket misses going to space during its first air launch

A new breed of launch vehicle had a shaky first outing today when Virgin Orbit released its LauncherOne rocket from a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet flying over the Pacific Ocean for its first blastoff. "We've confirmed a clean release from the aircraft," Virgin Orbit reported in a tweet. "However, the mission terminated shortly into the flight." In a follow-up Twitter...

New study links air pollution to increased risk of multiple sclerosis

New European research has found that living in urban areas and being exposed to air pollution could increase the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). The researchers assessed the participants' exposure to air pollution in winter, which is the season with the highest pollutant concentrations, and focused on two types of air pollutants known as particulate matter: PM10, which are particles...

China space programme targets July launch for Mars mission

China is targeting a July launch for its ambitious plans for a Mars mission which will include landing a remote-controlled robot on the surface of the red planet, the company in charge of the project has said. Beijing has invested billions of dollars in its space programme in an effort to catch up with its rival the United States and affirm its status as a major world power. The Mars mission is...


SUNDAY 24. MAY 2020


SpaceX's 1st astronaut launch breaking new ground for style

The first astronauts launched by SpaceX are breaking new ground for style with hip spacesuits, gull-wing Teslas and a sleek rocketship — all of it white with black trim. The color coordinating is thanks to Elon Musk, the driving force behind both SpaceX and Tesla, and a big fan of flash and science fiction. “It is really neat, and I think the biggest testament to that is my 10-year-old son...

NASA and SpaceX rehearse for big launch day, complete with a Tesla ride to the pad

NASA and SpaceX put astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken and the rest of the team at Kennedy Space Center in Florida through a "dry dress rehearsal" today in preparation for next week's historic launch to the International Space Station. The simulated countdown covered all of the steps on the timeline for sending the two astronauts on the first-ever crewed trip into space aboard...


SATURDAY 23. MAY 2020


Climate crisis: Tropical rainforest ‘tipping point’ identified as scientists call for immediate action to tackle global warming

Tropical rainforests’ vital ability to store carbon is under threat due to rising global temperatures, and the Amazon is particularly at risk, scientists have warned.Calling for “immediate steps” to conserve forests and stabilise the global climate, the authors of a study based on research from 600 sites around the world said that beyond a maximum daily temperature of 32.2C, trees get too...

SpaceX crewed mission is a 'go' for launch next week

NASA and SpaceX have confirmed that they’ve had “a very successful launch readiness review” at a virtual press conference. SpaceX has just test-fired the Falcon 9’s first-stage engines as part of the final series of tests needed before...


FRIDAY 22. MAY 2020


NASA gives crucial thumbs-up to SpaceX’s historic crewed flight to space station

NASA today signed off on the first launch to send a crew into orbit from U.S. soil in nearly nine years, and the rocket for that launch had its final test firing. After reviewing mission plans for a day and a half, mission managers cleared SpaceX to send NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station at 4:33 p.m. ET (1:33 p.m. PT) Wednesday. "We had a very...

'Expect More': Climate Change Raises Risk of Dam Failures

The dam that failed in central Michigan on Tuesday gave way for the same reason most do: It was overwhelmed by water. Almost 5 inches of rain fell in the area in the previous two days, after earlier storms had saturated the ground and swollen the Tittabawassee River, which the dam held back.No one can say yet whether the intense rainfall that preceded this disaster was made worse by climate...


THURSDAY 21. MAY 2020


NOAA selects Univ. of Washington to host regional institute for climate and ocean research

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has selected the University of Washington to host a Pacific Northwest research institute focusing on climate, ocean and coastal challenges, supported by a five-year award worth up to $300 million. The Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean and Ecosystem Studies, or CICOES, will be a collaboration involving UW as well as the University of Alaska...

‘Science by press release’: Sudden rise of vaccine developer Moderna rankles some in scientific establishment

Moderna Inc., a nearly 10-year-old Massachusetts-based biotech company, is suddenly the talk of the scientific community after they announced this week "positive" indications from their early work on a potential vaccine against the novel coronavirus. In April, Moderna received $483 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the government agency charged with...

For first time, scientists spot an alien planet as it is being formed

Astronomers have gazed into what appears to be a planetary maternity ward, observing for the first time within a huge disk of dense gas and dust surrounding a newly formed star a planet in the process of being born. This large young planet is forming around a star called AB Aurigae that is about 2.4 times the mass of the sun and located in our Milky Way galaxy 520 light years from Earth,...

Astronauts arrive in Florida to set new NASA traditions for crewed spaceflight

Two NASA astronauts landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida today to go through a set of pre-launch traditions that haven't been followed for nearly nine years — and create a few new traditions as well. When Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken walked out of a NASA Gulfstream jet and met the press, they began a routine that's due to climax next week with the first orbital launch from...


WEDNESDAY 20. MAY 2020