NASA Releases 360-Degree Video Of Martian Surface

Curiosity panarama Today, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory released a new 360-degree video, giving you a virtual tour of the Martian surface. The video was created by stitching together images taken by the Mars Curiosity Rover on December 18th, 2015. The scene takes place at Namib Dune with a view of Mount Sharp on the horizon. Curiosity’s Mast Camera took the images on the 1,197th sol (a Martian… Read More

Could mini black holes power Earth? Stephen Hawking thinks so



Quick, what’s the best way to provide an alternative source of energy for the Earth?

If you answered, “Get a mini black hole to orbit Earth,” then you and physicist Stephen Hawking may be thinking on the same wavelength.

In a lecture on Feb. 2, the famed scientist said tiny black holes, about as massive as the average mountain, could power all of the world’s energy needs.

The trick? Proving they exist, finding them and then figuring out how to harness all of that energy safely

“There is nothing technically wrong with this idea, but it is not very practical, at least within the next 10,000 years,” said Sabine Hossenfelder, a physicist at the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics, who blogs at Read more…

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North Korea’s rocket test stokes fears of a growing ballistic missile program



In 2012, the government of North Korea successfully launched a satellite to space, signaling that it was honing its rocket technology. On Saturday, the secretive nation did it again, delivering a new Kwangmyongsong “Bright Star” Earth-observing satellite to orbit.

Except this time, the launch comes after the Jan. 6 underground test of what North Korea claimed was a hydrogen bomb, thereby raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

U.S. Strategic Command tracked the rocket launch beginning at about 7:29 p.m. ET on Saturday night (Sunday local time in North Korea), while South Korean officials and others in the region were following it closely. Read more…

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SpaceX Sets Feb. 24th Target Date For Next Launch

Rei writes: After some consternation about the pacing of Falcon 9 upgrades, SpaceX has announced that it plans to launch again from Cape Canaveral with a target date of February 24th. While the primary mission will be to place the SES-9 communications satellite in orbit, this will also mark their fourth attempt to land the first stage on an autonomous drone ship, after their last launch touched down softly but fell over when one leg failed to latch. SpaceX is working to significantly accelerate the rate of production and launches — they are reportedly moving the factory from 6-8 cores produced per year to 18 at present, and expect to reach 30 by the end of the year. After the upcoming launch, they expect to launch one rocket every two to three weeks.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Indian man could be the first person to be killed by a meteorite in recorded history



A 40-year-old Indian man may have become the first person to be killed by an object from space. Identified as a meteorite, the rock left a four-feet deep crater after falling into the campus of a private college in the state of Tamil Nadu at 12.30 p.m. on Saturday

The powerful explosion also injured three gardeners and shattered window panes, but the students who were attending classes at the time were safe. On Sunday, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa said that the death of the man named Kamaraj, who worked as driver working in the Bharathdasan Engineering College Campus in Vellore district, had been caused by a meteorite Read more…

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A Mars One candidate is spending 5 days in a box in Australia



Remember the Mars One hype of 2013? Those heady days when an enigmatic Dutch man, Bas Lansdorp, convinced the world he was going to send a bunch of people on a one-way trip to Mars.

The project has received a beating in the press in the years following, with claims the trip will be scientifically and financially unfeasible, as well as potentially unethical. But for some of the 100 remaining candidates who nominated themselves to forsake life on Earth for a ticket into the unknown, the project is still vital and tantalisingly real

More about Space, Australia, Mars, Sydney, and Us World

Here’s the view of Super Bowl 50 — from space



You’ve probably seen plenty of Super Bowls in your life. But have you ever seen the Super Bowl … from space?

American astronaut Scott Kelly has — and he shared his epic (albeit very temporary) vantage point for Super Bowl 50 with the rest of us on Sunday

Kelly has been blowing earthbound minds for months by posting photos from aboard the International Space Station. Here’s one he shared on Super Bowl Sunday from high above Levi’s Stadium in the Bay Area

Kelly’s Super Bowl party, however, wasn’t exactly a hit on the ISS, which currently hosts a crew of six including himself Read more…

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Thirty Meter Telescope Likely Never Gets Built<nobr> <wbr></nobr>… In Hawaii

An anonymous reader writes: After years of its backers of doing everything the state of Hawaii demanded in order to get permission to build the Thirty Meter Telescope, a state judge today ordered that the whole process should start over again. Since this order was instigated by the protesters, and that it appears the government favors those protesters, it appears that there is no chance TMT will ever get approval to build in Hawaii. We’ve been following the back and forth, back and forth story of this telescope for a while.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NASA Announces That Pluto Has Icebergs Floating On Glaciers of Nitrogen Ice

MarkWhittington writes: The most recent finding from New Horizons show that icebergs have broken off from the hills surrounding the Sputnik Planum, a glacier of nitrogen ice, and are floating slowly across its surface, eventually to cluster together in places like the Challenger Colles, informally named after the crew of the space shuttle Challenger, which was lost just over 30 years ago. The feature is an especially high concentration of icebergs, measuring 37 by 22 miles. The icebergs float on the nitrogen ice plain because water ice is less dense than nitrogen ice.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

North Korea thumps its chest over rocket launch



SEOUL, South Korea — For North Korea’s propaganda machine, the long-range rocket launch Sunday carved a glorious trail of “fascinating vapor” through the clear blue sky. For South Korea’s president, and other world leaders, it was a banned test of dangerous ballistic missile technology and yet another “intolerable provocation.”

The rocket was launched from North Korea’s west coast only two hours after an eight-day launch window opened Sunday morning, its path tracked separately by the United States, Japan and South Korea. No damage from debris was reported.

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