William Robinson writes: NASA's main engine for Exploration Mission-1 in 2018 RS-25 was test fired. The test was the sixth of seven planned hot-fire trials for the RS-25, which also served as the main engine for NASA's now-retired space shuttle fleet. In future, four RS-25s will power the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket that will launch astronauts in the Orion spacecraft on missions to deep space and eventually on the journey to Mars.
William Robinson writes: The government of India has blocked through a secret order. Among the sites that are banned include some of the world's biggest porn sites like Pornhub and Xvideos. The ban has provoked debates in the country about extreme and unwarranted moral policing by the government. The action has come after the Supreme Court of India had refused to ban porn sites in India.
William Robinson writes: Clive R. Neal, associate professor of civil engineering and geological sciences at the University of Notre Dame has reached conclusion that there are quakes on Moon too, after he and his team of 15 scientists re-examined the data collected by seismometers placed on moon between 1969 and 1972. He found that there are at least four different kinds of moonquakes: (1) deep moonquakes about 700 km below the surface, probably caused by tides; (2) vibrations from the impact of meteorites; (3) thermal quakes caused by the expansion of the frigid crust when first illuminated by the morning sun after two weeks of deep-freeze lunar night; and (4) shallow moonquakes only 20 or 30 kilometers below the surface. Moonquakes last much longer than earthquakes, he found, probably because of presence of water on earth.
William Robinson writes: While using a laser to cut a sponge made of crumpled sheets of Graphene oxide, Researchers accidentally discovered that it can turn light into motion. As the laser cut into the material, it mysteriously propelled forward. Baffled, researchers investigated further. The Graphene material was put in a vacuum and again shot with a laser. Incredibly, the laser still pushed the sponge forward, and by as much as 40 centimeters. Researchers even got the Graphene to move by focusing ordinary sunlight on it with a lens.Though scientists are not sure why this happens, they are excited with new possibilities such as light propelled spacecraft that does not need fuel.
William Robinson writes: Under the direction of Latha Venkataraman, associate professor of applied physics at Columbia Engineering, researchers have designed a new technique to create a single-molecule diode, that has rectification ratio as high as 250, and 'ON' current as high as 0.1 microamps. The idea of creating a single-molecule diode was suggested by Arieh Aviram and Mark Ratner who theorized in 1974, which has been the 'holy grail' of molecular electronics ever since its inception to achieve further miniaturization, because single molecule represent the limit of miniaturization.
William Robinson writes: One day, when humans go to Mars, they might find that, occasionally, the Red Planet has green skies. In late Dec. 2014, NASA's MAVEN spacecraft detected evidence of widespread auroras in Mars's northern hemisphere. According to the MAVEN data, solar particles that caused the "Christmas lights" penetrated deeply into the Martian atmosphere---sparking auroras less than 100 km from the surface. That's lower than auroras on Earth, which range from 100 km to 500 km high. Auroras occur, both on Earth and Mars, when energetic particles from space rain down on the upper atmosphere. On Earth, these particles are guided toward the poles by our planet's global magnetic field. That's why auroras are seen most often around the Arctic and Antarctic. On Mars, there is no organized planetary magnetic field to guide the particles north and south—so they can go anywhere. The European Space Agency's Mars Express had also found ultraviolet glow coming from "magnetic umbrellas" in the southern hemisphere, ten years ago.
William Robinson writes: The spacecraft called Mangalyaan (“Mar’s craft”) which was launched in November last year, slowed down just enough to touch the orbit early Wednesday (Indian Time), securing India a place in the elite global space club of Martian explorers. More than half of the 51 Mars missions launched globally have failed. India’s Mars entry is the fourth, after the United States, Europe and Russia. But India’s mission cost a fraction of NASA’s $670 million Maven which entered Mars on Sunday. The Curiosity Rover, which touched down on Mars in 2012, cost nearly $2 billion. By comparison, India’s $72 million Mars orbiter is the cheapest inter-planetary mission in the world.
William Robinson writes: Before the spacecraft is scheduled to enter Mars orbit, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) scientists reignited the Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft's main engine for four seconds as a trial. The liquid apogee motor (LAM) engine has been idle for about 300 days since the spacecraft left the Earth's orbit on a Martian trajectory on December 1, 2013. The short-duration test was to ensure that the engine is in good shape for the 24-minute crucial manoeuvre on Wednesday.
William Robinson writes: India's Mars Orbiter Mission, known as Mangalyaan is now at a distance of just nine million kilometres from the red planet, and is scheduled to enter the orbit of Mars at 7.30 am on September 24. Mangalyaan was launched on 5th November 2013 by ISRO, presently busy planning to reduce the speed of the spacecraft through the process of firing the LAM engine and bring it to 1.6 km/sec, before it is captured by the planet's gravity.
William Robinson writes: Scientists from Temple University School of Medicine have achieved a way to snip out the integrated HIV-1 genes for the very first time. They created molecular tools to delete the HIV-1 proviral DNA. When deployed, a combination of a DNA-snipping enzyme called a nuclease and a targeting strand of RNA called a guide RNA (gRNA) hunt down the viral genome and excise the HIV-1 DNA. From there, the cell's gene repair machinery takes over, soldering the loose ends of the genome back together – resulting in virus-free cells.
William Robinson writes: Astronomers from Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, have discovered three closely orbiting supermassive black holes in a galaxy more than 4 billion light-years away. This is the tightest trio of black holes known to date. Researchers say the discovery will help astronomers hunt gravitational waves, the ripples in the curvature of spacetime that propagate as a wave, travelling away from the source.
William Robinson writes: A team of NASA scientists has successfully replicated the process of formation of interstellar dust occurring in the atmosphere of a dying star in a specialized facility called the Cosmic Simulation Chamber (COSmiC). Scientists believe that dust grains are the building blocks of universe, enveloping dying stars and then getting eventually ejected into "interstellar medium lead" to be part of the formation of planet. During the COSmiC experiments, they could simulate gas-phase with high radiation environment by using cold argon gas filled with hydrocarbons sprayed into a vacuum, similar to the cosmic space that has average temperatures of less than negative 270 degrees Fahrenheit or about 100 degrees in Kelvin. The researchers formed and detected nanoparticles on the order of 10nm size grains varying from 100-500 nanometers and combined grains up to 1.5 micrometers in diameter
William Robinson writes: According to thesereports, A globular cluster of several thousand stars, compressed into a space just a few dozen light years apart, is thrown out of galaxy M87. The cluster, named as HVGC-1, is traveling at a rate of 2 million miles per hour. The discovery was made by Nelson Caldwell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and his team while studying the space around the supergiant elliptical galaxy M87. Caldwell and colleagues think M87 might have two supermassive black holes at its center. The star cluster wandered too close to the pair, which picked off many of the cluster’s outer stars while the inner core remained intact. The black holes then acted like a slingshot, flinging the cluster away at a tremendous speed.
William Robinson writes: The Astronomers at XMM-Newton have detected a pair of supermassive black holes at the center of an inactive galaxy. Most massive galaxies in the Universe are thought to harbor at least one supermassive black hole at their center. And a pair of black holes is indication of strong possibility that the galaxies have merged. Finding black holes in quiescent galaxies is difficult because there are no gas clouds feeding the black holes, so the cores of these galaxies are truly dark. It can be only detected by this ‘tidal disruption event’,.
William Robinson writes: A new study from researchers at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has proposed the "water world" theory as the answer to our evolution, which describes how electrical energy naturally produced at the sea floor might have given rise to life. While the scientists had already proposed this hypothesis called "submarine alkaline hydrothermal emergence of life" the new report assembles decades of field, laboratory and theoretical research into a grand, unified picture.