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4,061 articles from TIME

Why Do We Dream? A New Theory on How It Protects Our Brains

When he was two years old, Ben stopped seeing out of his left eye. His mother took him to the doctor and soon discovered he had retinal cancer in both eyes. After chemotherapy and radiation failed, surgeons removed both his eyes. For Ben, vision was gone forever. But by the time he was seven years old, he had devised a technique for decoding the world around him: he clicked with his mouth and...

Belarus and Argentina Start Vaccinations With Russian Shots

(MOSCOW) — Belarus and Argentina launched mass coronavirus vaccinations with the Russian-developed Sputnik V shot on Tuesday, becoming the first countries outside Russia to roll out the vaccine, which has faced criticism over the speed with which it was approved. The first batch of Sputnik V arrived in the former Soviet republic of Belarus on Tuesday, according to a joint statement by the...


WEDNESDAY 23. DECEMBER 2020


Pfizer and BioNTech To Supply U.S. With Additional 100m Doses of Vaccine

(WASHINGTON) — Pfizer and BioNTech will supply the U.S. with an additional 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine under a new agreement. The drugmakers said Wednesday that they expect to deliver all the doses by July 31. Pfizer already has a contract to supply the government with 100 million doses of its vaccine. Pfizer’s vaccine was the first to gain approval from the Food and Drug...


THURSDAY 17. DECEMBER 2020


The Chang’e 5 Capsule Returns to Earth Carrying Moon Rocks in the Latest Breakthrough for China’s Space Program

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese lunar capsule returned to Earth on Thursday with the first fresh samples of rock and debris from the moon in more than 40 years. The capsule of the Chang’e 5 probe landed in the Siziwang district of the Inner Mongolia region, state media reported shortly after 2 a.m. (1800 GMT). The capsule earlier separated from its orbiter module and performed a bounce off...


THURSDAY 10. DECEMBER 2020


SpaceX Launched Its Starship on the Highest Test Flight Yet. It Crash-Landed

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX launched its shiny, bullet-shaped, straight-out-of-science fiction Starship several miles into the air from a remote corner of Texas on Wednesday, but the 6 1/2-minute test flight ended in an explosive fireball at touchdown. It was the highest and most elaborate flight yet for the rocketship that Elon Musk says could carry people to Mars in as little as six...


WEDNESDAY 9. DECEMBER 2020


Why Chuck Yeager Claimed He Had No ‘Right Stuff’

Frank Borman did not expect to hear a congratulations from Chuck Yeager one day in 1962—and that’s just as well because he didn’t get one. It wasn’t a surprise that Yeager wouldn’t extend much courtesy to the likes of Borman. There were rules, after all, and there was a hierarchy after all, and Yeager, who on Dec. 7 died at the age of 97, was then the commander of...

2020 Marks the Point When Human-Made Materials Outweigh All the Living Things on Earth, a New Study Finds

In a startling sign of the impact that humans are having on our planet, a study published Dec. 9 estimates that 2020 marks the point when human-made materials outweigh the total mass of Earth’s living biomass. Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science found that the total mass of human-made materials—such as concrete, steel and asphalt—has increased rapidly...

The World Is Headed for 3 Degrees of Warming This Century, U.N. Report Warns—But a Green Pandemic Recovery Could Offer Hope

Dense U.N. reports may not make onto anyone’s must read list for the holidays, so think of the United Nations Environment Program’s 2020 Emissions Gap survey as a warning letter from Santa, on behalf of the planet. The report, released today, is published at the end of every year and measures national commitments to reduce emissions against what science says is needed to limit...


FRIDAY 4. DECEMBER 2020


Chinese Spacecraft Lifts Off From Moon Carrying Lunar Rocks

(BEIJING) — A Chinese spacecraft lifted off from the moon Thursday night with a load of lunar rocks, the first stage of its return to Earth, the government space agency reported. Chang’e 5, the third Chinese spacecraft to land on the moon and the first to take off from it again, is the latest in a series of increasingly ambitious missions for Beijing’s space program, which also...


THURSDAY 3. DECEMBER 2020


China Says Its Moon Probe Is Preparing to Return Rock Samples to Earth

BEIJING — China said Thursday its latest lunar probe has finished taking samples of the moon’s surface and sealed them within the spacecraft for return to Earth, the first time such a mission has been attempted by any country in more than 40 years. The Chang’e 5, the third Chinese probe to land on the moon, is the latest in a series of increasingly ambitious missions for...


MONDAY 30. NOVEMBER 2020


China Is Poised to Bring Home Moon Samples in Its Most Ambitious Lunar Mission Yet

The moon’s Ocean of Storms was once a busy place. Back in 1967, the U.S. successfully landed its Surveyor 3 spacecraft in the vast plain in the northern lunar hemisphere; little more than two years later, the Apollo 12 crew returned, touching down within 200 meters (656 ft.) of the Surveyor and collecting more than 34 kg (75 lbs.) of lunar rock and soil to bring back to Earth. But things...


TUESDAY 24. NOVEMBER 2020


For Much of the U.S., Good Weather Will Allow for an Outdoor (and Safer) Thanksgiving

Public-health officials have for weeks been urging Americans to avoid gathering for Thanksgiving this year, lest the holiday turn into a national super-spreading event. But for those who still plan on getting together, experts say an outdoor get-together is far safer than prolonged time indoors, where it’s easier for the virus that causes COVID-19 to spread. Whether an outdoor Thanksgiving...

China Launches a Mission to Bring Back Material From the Moon

WENCHANG, China — China launched an ambitious mission on Tuesday to bring back rocks and debris from the moon’s surface for the first time in more than 40 years — an undertaking that could boost human understanding of the moon and of the solar system more generally. Chang’e 5 — named for the Chinese moon goddess — is the country’s boldest lunar mission...


FRIDAY 20. NOVEMBER 2020


Exclusive: Pfizer CEO Discusses Submitting the First COVID-19 Vaccine Clearance Request to the FDA

On Friday, Pfizer CEO and chairman Albert Bourla announced that the company has filed a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine, making it the first to do so. In a discussion on TIME 100 Talks, Bourla says that if the FDA authorizes the vaccine, the company will be ready “within hours” from receiving the green...

The Renowned Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico Is to Close in a Blow to Science

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The National Science Foundation announced Thursday that it will close the huge telescope at the renowned Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico in a blow to scientists worldwide who depend on it to search for planets, asteroids and extraterrestrial life. The independent, federally funded agency said it’s too dangerous to keep operating the single dish radio...


THURSDAY 19. NOVEMBER 2020


COVID-19 Vaccines Are Coming. Here’s What to Expect

Vaccines normally take decades to develop and test, but two COVID-19 shots, from Moderna and Pfizer (in partnership with BioNTech), have gone from nonexistent to about 95% effectiveness in 10 months. Public-health officials and governments now have the dual challenge of convincing the public that the vaccines are both safe and scientifically sound, as well as figuring out how to distribute...


TUESDAY 17. NOVEMBER 2020


The SpaceX Capsule With Four Astronauts On Board Has Reached the International Space Station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX’s newly launched capsule with four astronauts arrived Monday at the International Space Station, their new home until spring. The Dragon capsule pulled up and docked late Monday night, following a 27-hour, completely automated flight from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. “Oh, what a good voice to hear,” space station astronaut Kate Rubins...


MONDAY 16. NOVEMBER 2020


SpaceX’s Crewed Launch Continues What NASA’s Gemini Astronauts Started

We’re not sure if Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin were watching Sunday when SpaceX’s Crew Dragon lifted off from Pad 39A at Cape Canaveral for its first fully operational mission—but the odds are pretty good that they were. Astronauts from past eras of space travel tend to keep up with the doings in the modern one. Either way, the overall audience for the launch was...

Early Data Suggests Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Is Nearly 95% Effective—And You Can Keep It in the Fridge

For the second time this month, there’s promising news from a COVID-19 vaccine candidate: Moderna said Monday its shots provide strong protection, a dash of hope against the grim backdrop of coronavirus surges in the U.S. and around the world. Moderna said its vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data from the company’s still ongoing study. A week ago,...

SpaceX Launches 2nd Crewed Flight, Sending 4 Astronauts to the International Space Station

(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station on Sunday on the first full-fledged taxi flight for NASA by a private company. The Falcon rocket thundered into the night from Kennedy Space Center with three Americans and one Japanese, the second crew to be launched by SpaceX. The Dragon capsule on top — named Resilience by its crew in light...


FRIDAY 13. NOVEMBER 2020


A Fond Farewell to Trump’s NASA Administrator

There were plenty of reasons to wince back in 2017 when U.S. President Donald Trump announced he was appointing Jim Bridenstine as NASA administrator. A former Republican congressman from Oklahoma, Bridenstine was a political pick—unlike most of his predecessors, who came out of the astronaut corps or the aerospace industry. Moreover, Bridenstine had previously questioned the role of human...


TUESDAY 10. NOVEMBER 2020


My Octopus Teacher Became a Viral Sensation on Netflix. Its Human Star Craig Foster Wants the Film to Inspire Change

The dense kelp forest off the southern tip of South Africa is home to an unparalleled diversity of sea animals including sharks, rays, and, once upon a time, a common octopus that has just had an uncommon run as the star of the new Netflix documentary, My Octopus Teacher. Her onetime den lies a couple of dozen feet off the coast of Cape Town suburb Simon’s Town. The Octopus is long...

As a Candidate, Biden Said Little About Space. Here’s What He Might Do as President

Charlie Bolden likes to tell the story about the time he and Joe Biden composed a sort of a song. It was back in 2010, when the former Vice President was overseeing the Obama White House push to pass a NASA budget authorization bringing private sector players like SpaceX and Boeing into the business of launching crew and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). Bolden, then head of NASA,...


WEDNESDAY 4. NOVEMBER 2020



MONDAY 26. OCTOBER 2020


NASA Found More Water On the Moon—But Don’t Plan On Having a Sip Any Time Soon

The permanently shadowed craters at the moon’s south pole are both the first and last place lunar astronauts would want to spend their time. The appeal is that they have generous deposits of water ice, a critical resource for any potential lunar base (ice means drinking water, yes, but it also means oxygen that can be used for synthesizing atmosphere and hydrogen for rocket fuel). But then...