NASA will work with two aeronautical firms, Boeing and SpaceX, in a taxi contract to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in the coming years to perform important science research and other related tasks on ISS. NASA is also thinking to use the same technologies to take astronauts to other places in space such as Mars and asteroids in the future.
This contract would reduce the U.S.’s dependence on Russia to take and bring astronauts to and from the space station. At this time, Russian Soyuz takes at least four astronauts of NASA in a year at the price of $71 million per seat. On the other hand, SpaceX noted the cost $20 million per seat in the future after the success of technological contract. Read more…
Scientists have opened a new window in science by finding that an effective magnetic field can exist for light. Read more…
Crowdsourcing and Citizen Oceanography: Indigo V Expedition Pioneers Cost-Effective Ocean Health Monitoring
Pioneering work by a collaboration of leading scientists from twelve universities across Australia, Singapore, Denmark and the USA publishing in the open access journal PLOS Biology on September 9 demonstrates how the rise of citizen oceanography will help dramatically advance global ocean health and will aid in gaining a better understanding of the world’s valuable marine resources.
While much attention is placed on macro-fauna in our seas (mammals and fish, for example), it is the tiny, marine microbes that underpin the nutrient cycle and form the foundation of the food web. Collectively known as the marine microbiome, they are the most abundant organisms in the oceans, and they are perhaps the most vulnerable in a changing global ocean.
Because the ocean is a dynamic and tremendously large eco-system, millions of observation points are required. However, traditional oceanographic research vessels are unable to cover this vast space. “By using what’s known as ‘citizen science’, Indigo V Expeditions set out to prove that the concept of crowdsourcing oceanography can solve the great data collection bottleneck” said Professor Federico Lauro, Director of Indigo V Expeditions, the not-for-profit organisation behind the S/Y Indigo V concept cruise. Read more…
Scientists overcame equipment failure, space constraints and shark-infested waters to do real-time DNA sequencing in a remote field location.
Daylight was breaking over the central Pacific and coffee brewing aboard the MY Hanse Explorer. Between sips, about a dozen scientists strategized for the day ahead. Some would don wetsuits and slip below the surface to collect water samples around the southern Line Islands’ numerous coral reefs. Others would tinker with the whirring gizmos and delicate machinery strewn throughout the 158-foot research vessel. All shared a single goal: Be the first research group to bring a DNA sequencer out into the field to do remote sequencing in real time. Against an ocean of odds, they succeeded.
This three-week, five-island expedition took place last year with a research crew including San Diego State University computer scientist Rob Edwards, biologist Forest Rohwer, postdoctoral scholar Andreas Haas and graduate student Yan Wei Lim. They were accompanied by several other researchers from the San Diego region and around the world. The researchers published an account of their trip and methods today in the journal PeerJ. Read more…
UMD and NASA astronomers track an intermediate-mass black hole from syncopated flares of light.
The universe has so many black holes that it’s impossible to count them all. There may be 100 million of these intriguing astral objects in our galaxy alone. Nearly all black holes fall into one of two classes: big, and colossal. Astronomers know that black holes ranging from about 10 times to 100 times the mass of our Sun are the remnants of dying stars, and that supermassive black holes, more than a million times the mass of the Sun, inhabit the centers of most galaxies. Read more…