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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 7 declined, 2 accepted (9 total, 22.22% accepted)

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Submission + - An Anomaly During a SpaceX Test Flight Triggered the Self-Destruct

SpaceMika writes: A SpaceX test flight at the McGregor test facility ended explosively on Friday afternoon. A test flight of a three-engine Falcon 9 Dev1 reusable rocket ended in a rapid unscheduled disassembly after an unspecified anomaly triggered the Flight Termination System, destroying the rocket. No injuries were reported.

Submission + - NASA's new Orbital Carbon Observatory will track carbon dioxide distribution

SpaceMika writes: The Orbital Carbon Observatory will track spacial and temporal changes in carbon dioxide concentrations, highlighting the locations and processes most important to carbon sequestration. The original satellite launched in 2009, but failed to separate from its rocket and slammed into the ocean. The replacement observatory, OCO2, ended its first launch attempt with a cliffhanger when a problem with the launch pad water flow system scrubbed the attempt with less than a minute left in the countdown timer. Engineers scrambled to fix the problem, successfully launching the satellite into orbit at 2:56 am on July 2nd.

The satellite passed its initial milestones, extending solar panels and establishing communication with ground stations. In the next few weeks, it will move up to its final position at the head of a constellation of Earth-observing satellites and undergo verification and calibration testing.

Submission + - NASA's New Satellite Will Track Changes in Carbon Sequestration

SpaceMika writes: NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory will soon be joining the A-train of Earth-observing satellites. Tasked with monitoring atmospheric carbon, it will track global carbon sequestration changes with the seasons. This data will not only provide key observations to constrain climate models, but it will also identifying the locations and processes most important to carbon sequestration.

That is, if it can just get into orbit. Originally scheduled for 2:56am on July 1st, the launch was scrubbed with less than a minute in the countdown.

Submission + - The Andromeda Galaxy Just Had a Bright Gamma Ray Event (

SpaceMika writes: We just saw something bright in the Andromeda Galaxy, and we don't know what it was. A Gamma Ray Burst or an Ultraluminous X-Ray Object, either way it will be the closest of its type we've ever observed at just over 2 million light years away. It's the perfect distance: close enough to observe in unprecedented detail, and far enough to not kill us all.

Submission + - Psychology, Psychics, and Statistics

SpaceMika writes: Bem 2010 used the standard statistical methods of social psychology to prove that people are psychic, but only women predicting erotic imagery. The researcher is highly respected with decades of experience; the statistical techniques follow all the accepted practices of the field. This means either psychics exist (but only in specific situations not hinted at in psi mythology), or psychology uses flawed statistical techniques. Wagenmakers et al. 2010 responded with a paper stepping through the logical fallacies, statistical missteps, and the value of following the scientific method common to their psychology, using psi studies, and Bem's paper in particular, to illustrate the point. The fallout from this pair of papers will at least impact decades of psychology research dependent on these statistical techniques, but potentially has all-sciences consequences as a compact case study on the value of the scientific method, and the hazards associated with inappropriate use of statistical techniques.

Submission + - Best of the Earth Observatory (

SpaceMika writes: To celebrate the 10th anniversary of NASA's Earth Observatory, readers are voting on the most beautiful, most fascinating, or most unusual images from the Image of the Day collection. In the tradition of Apollo's "earthrise," do any of the images resonate as cultural icons? Browse now for the 50 best photos, or check back on 29 April for the winner.

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