Tag Archives: NASA

Iran to restart uranium enrichment program

Iran has ordered its nuclear chief to begin enriching uranium. Iran says the enriched uranium will be used in a research reactor, BBC News.

55 nations submitted their plans for reducing carbon emissions this week, New York Times.

U.S. President Barack Obama released his proposed 2011 budget. One of the cuts will scrap plans by NASA to sends humans back to the moon by 2020, CNN.

The British medical journal, The Lancet, retracted publication of a 1998 study that suggested the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine was linked to autism, Boston Herald.

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Copenhagen Accord is Weak Progress

  • A deal, to be known as the Copenhagen Accord, has been reached at the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Summit, but it is much weaker than anticipated when the summit began two weeks ago. The Accord is an “agreement” between 193 nations which means it will not be legally binding and it merely recognizes that rising global temperatures are a concern rather than fixes targets for limiting temperature increase. Key points, BBC News.
  • NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (Wise) launched on Monday. The probe will use infrared light to see objects in space in a way that’s never been possible before, BBC News. Wise will survey the entire sky, CNN.
  • A new planet, GJ1214b, has been discovered 40 lightyears from Earth. It is 6 times bigger than Earth and scientists think it may be covered with water and ice, Register.
  • The regulations in the U.S.’s Safe Water Drinking Act are woefully out of date and only regulate 91 contaminants even though 60,000 chemicals are used regularly in the United States, New York Times.
  • Residents of the area near the Mayon volcano in the Philippines may be facing months away from their homes after they were evacuated earlier this week when the volcano began to show signs it may erupt, AFP.
  • Amazing video shot 4,000 feet below the surface of the ocean shows an underwater volcano erupting from the ocean floor, Times Online.
  • A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit the island of Taiwan this morning, Reuters.
  • Fish oil supplements often come from the menhaden, an algae-eating fish that may be endangered, New York Times.

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President Obama Meets with Asian World Leaders

U.S. President Barack Obama is 2 days into a 10 day trip to Asia. President Obama held a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, whitehouse.org. Full coverage of the trip, whitehouse.gov.

President Obama will meet with leaders of member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including the Prime Minister of Myanmar, in Singapore today. Obama called for Myanmar to release its political prisoners, including pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, Reuters.

President Obama will be in China from November 15-18 where he will hold a town hall meeting with Chinese students. Chinese news agency Xinhua has been soliciting questions for President Obama online, Xinhua.

NASA confirms that it has found a significant quantity of water on the moon, CNN.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has called for a world hunger strike today to highlight the issue, FAO. Follow on Twitter: @faonews. Sign a petition to stop world hunger, 1 billion hungry.

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Iran Accuses Pakistan of Aiding Suicide Attack

Iran has accused Pakistani agents of aiding a suicide attack in Sistan-Baluchistan that killed at least 35 people. The attackers targeted a group of Revolutionary Guards and at least six officers were killed, BBC News.

Colorado officials have confirmed that they believe the story of a six-year-old being trapped in a runaway balloon was indeed a hoax. The boy was found safe in his home hours after a desperate search and rescue operation was launched. Authorities say they realized the story was false while watching the boy’s family on Larry King Live, where the boy said “You guys said we did this for the show.” Sheriff Jim Alderden of Larimer County called the story a “publicity stunt,” CNN.

Two aid workers from the Irish agency Goal have been freed after being kidnapped in Darfur over 100 days ago. The conflict in Darfur began in 2003 and has claimed more than 300,000 lives, Reuters.

NASA says it has discovered a stripe of hydrogen that surrounds our solar system. Much about the ring is a mystery, such as why it’s there and what it does, NPR.

Hot Topic: How easy is it to target the Taliban?

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The Future of Manned Space Travel

NASA has delivered the space shuttle Atlantis to its launch pad in anticipation of a planned November 12 launch date to take a team of six astronauts to the International Space Station for an 11-day mission, MS-NBC.

NASA is considering cutting jobs in an effort to save enough money to keep a manned mission to the moon in the works, Houston Chronicle.

The June 2009 issue of IEEE Spectrum, was devoted to Mars, with articles including: why, despite past predictions, we’re not there yet, Mars Is Hard; the psychology of astronauts, The Kind of People Who Will Go to Mars; and new ideas for how to get there, Rockets for the Red Planet.

In an editorial for the New York Times, Lawrence M. Krauss, the director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University, made a bold suggestion: a manned mission to Mars can be undertaken soon if there’s no plan to bring the astronauts back to Earth. Predicting that exposure to radiation from the sun during the journey to Mars would shorten an astronauts lifespan anyway, Krauss suggests sending older astronauts to Mars where they can spend their last years carrying out experiments and setting up bases for future exploration, New York Times.

NASA’s Mars homepage, NASA.

Check NightSky for information on what you can see from your area, Space.com. How to spot satellites, Space.com.

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Militants Attack Pakistan Military HQ

Six gunmen disguised as military attacked Pakistan’s military headquarters in the city of Rawalpindi earlier today. 4 of the men were killed and 2 were able to escape. 6 troops were killed in the attack, Voice of America. The 2 escaped men are now said to be holding military personnel hostage in the compound, BBC News.

3 people arrested during the protests that followed Iran’s disputed presidential election last June have been sentenced to death, Al Jazeera.

Turkey and Armenia are expected to sign an agreement today that will reestablish diplomatic ties and reopen the border. The two countries have been in conflict for over a century.  A key issue, Armenia’s insistence that the killing of 1.5 million Armenians near the end of the Ottoman Empire was genocide, was not explicitly addressed but the agreement calls for a scientific review of historical events, Associated Press.

In a search for water, NASA crashed two spacecraft on the surface of the Moon, Scientific America.

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NY Times Journalist Rescued in Afghanistan

A British journalist working for the New York Times, Stephen Farrell, who was captured by Taliban militants while he was reporting on the airstrikes that struck two fuel tankers outside Kunduz in northern Afghanistan earlier this week, has been rescued in a dramatic mission by Nato forces. Mr. Farrell’s translator Sultan Munadi, an Afghan journalist, was killed during the rescue as well as a British Nato soldier. Farrell had previously been kidnapped in 2004 in Fallajuh, Iraq, New York Times. Stephen Farrell’s NY Times Blog. A moving essay by Sultan Munadi on his committment to Afghanistan, Hell? No. I Won’t Go.

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case involving the release of a documentary about Hillary Clinton. Filmmakers attempted to release “Hillary: The Movie” during Clinton’s 2009 primary run for the Democratic nomination but were blocked because of campaign finance laws. The decision of the Court will have far-reaching implications, including whether political speech by unions and corporations is protected, Associated Press. Video is not allowed in Supreme Court arguments, but C-SPAN will have audio. Oral arguments are scheduled to start at 11:30 am EDT. C-SPAN’s Supreme Court Homepage. Discussion of the case and its significance, Bill Moyers Journal.

Heavy rains have caused intense flooding in Istanbul, Turkey. 28 people have died, CNN International.

NASA is considering supplementing its budget with private funds, BBC News.

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Featured: Science Saturday

Not much news today, so check out what’s going on in the science world this week.

  • The BBC takes a look at the interesting dynamic between humans and wildlife – specifically monkeys – on the island of Bali.
  • Funny story: the Apollo 11 astronauts had to go through customs after returning from their mission to the moon.
  • Read the Science Channel’s list of the top 10 accidental inventions (preview: plastic and Coca-Cola make the list).
  • The United Kingdom is considered creating their own space agency akin to NASA. They’re holding a 12-week public consultation where the public, academics, etc. can voice their opinions on the proposal. Read more here.
  • This year’s ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico is actually smaller than initial predictions said, according to new reports. The dead zone, an area where there is not enough oxygen for plant and animal life to develop, is half the size it was originally believed to be, but is still about 3,000 square miles.
  • New images from the Hubble Telescope show debris from an object that hit Jupiter (likely a comet or asteroid). The large impact from the crash is very rare and appears to have left a gash in the planet. See the photo here.
  • Earlier this month, three new dinosaur species were discovered in Australia. They include two plant-eating and one carnivorous dinosaur, with the carnivore beating the Velociraptor in size.


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