Good fit— All the planets in the Solar System can fit back to back into the distance from the Earth to the moon — about 384,400km — with 8030kms to spare. Seeing it visualised (above) really gives you a good idea of how much empty space is out there.
~ And with another million kms, the sun fits too.
Mars Orbiters survive unprecedented encounter with comet Siding Spring— Last week, comet Siding Spring hurled past Mars at half the distance between the Earth and moon, bringing a massive cloud of dust along with it. To protect its space-based assets, space agencies employed precautionary measures, and they appear to have worked.
~ They did this by tweaking their orbits.
Mission to Mars suits women — A mission to Mars should have an all-female crew, says Kate Green, who participated in a simulated expedition. Over five weeks, the female crew members expended less than half the calories of the men and at mealtimes, the women ate smaller portions. Less food means a lighter spacecraft payload and reduced fuel.
~ And how about the food for the rest of their lonely and stranded lives?
Aussie tractor beam — Laser physicists from Australia built a reversible tractor beam capable of retrieving tiny particles. It’s nowhere near as strong as the beams portrayed in scifi, but it’s the first long-distance optical tractor beam capable of moving particles one fifth of a millimetre in diameter a distance of up to 20cm.
~ Scale it up a few thousand times and it might be useful. Or you could just pick something up with your hands.
Old paper may have had clues to Dark Matter — A paper from an experiment conducted 32 years ago may shed light on the nature of dark matter, the mysterious stuff whose gravity appears to keep the galaxies from flying apart.
~ I am happy or the subject to remain Dark.
British military seeking gamers to pilot tanks — The British branch of the global defense firm General Dynamics is working on a futuristic state-of-the-art smart-tank to replace the British Army’s ageing armoured vehicles, for 2020. The Scout SV will be the first fully-digitised armored fighting vehicle built for the British Army, and is far bigger and more durable than any of its existing tanks, now at least 20 years old. So they’re looking for the type of people who play Xbox games: “tech-savvy people who are able to take in a lot of information and process it in the proper way”.
~ The gamer’s ultimate justification has arrived.
Engineered cells to fight cancer — Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have successfully cultivated stem cells that will kill brain cancer cells in mice without damaging healthy cells.
~ Mice get all the breaks.
Buildings to sweat for cooling — Our reliance on air conditioning, however magical an innovation, has become a serious environmental burden. So researchers in Barcelona have designed a material they say can naturally cool rooms by about 5C using a moisture-absorbing polymer that “sweats” much like our own bodies.
~ Welcome to my hydroceramic home.That smell is deodorant.
ATLAS getting faster and faster at simple human tasks — ATLAS Is Getting Faster and Faster At Simple Human Tasks
Oh, sure, we all pointed and laughed at ATLAS when it was first revealed, stumbling over simple obstacles. But deep down we knew that, like our original iPods, it would quickly evolve into something far more capable. Just over a year later, ATLAS is already tackling simple obstacles with ease.
~ Ah, the fascination with making things do what we do easily.
Highest Ice Age settlement — Researchers working in the Peruvian Andes have found an ice age camp located 14,760 feet (4,500 meters) above sea level. It’s so high the archaeologists were surprised ancient humans could survive up there.
~ I’m even surprised archaeologists can survive up there.
2500 year old mummy smoked dope and was covered in tattoos — In 1993, Russian scientist Natalia Polosmak discovered the remains of a 25-year-old woman covered in tattoos who came to be known as the Ukok Princess. An MRI has now revealed the young woman was suffering from breast cancer, a bone marrow infection at the time of her death, and scientists have stated she most likely used cannabis to treat herself.
~ Somehow I suspect the tats weren’t a rose, and anchor and ‘Mum’.