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Science News
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European Mars probe destroyed after plunging to surface

A full-size model of the European ExoMars entry, descent and landing module, Schiaparell is seen during a press conference at the European Space Agency (ESA) Headquarters in DarmstadtImages taken by a NASA Mars orbiter indicate that a missing European space probe fell to the Red Planet's surface from a height of 2 to 4 kilometers (1.2 to 2.5 miles) and was destroyed on impact, the European Space Agency said on Friday. The disc-shaped 577-kg (1,272 lb) Schiaparelli probe, part of the Russian-European ExoMars program to search for evidence of life on Mars, descended on Wednesday to test technologies for a rover that scientists hope to send to the surface of the planet in 2020. The U.S. space agency's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling Mars for about 10 years, took low-resolution pictures that show a bright spot that ESA believes is the 12-metre parachute that Schiaparelli used to slow down.

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 13:39:04 -0400
Spaceship carrying three-man crew docks with ISS, NASA TV reports

The Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft carrying the crew of Shane Kimbrough of the U.S., Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Russia blasts off to the ISS from the launchpad at the Baikonur cosmodrome(Reuters) - A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts docked with the International Space Station on Friday, NASA TV reported, two days after blasting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The spaceship with NASA's Shane Kimbrough and Russians Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko on board completed the docking maneuver at 0952 GMT. ...

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 06:44:56 -0400
Smart mouth: Chinese fish fossil sheds light on jaw evolution

An illustration shows the fish called Qilinyu that lived 423 million years ago during the Silurian PeriodBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bottom-dwelling, mud-grubbing, armored fish that swam in tropical seas 423 million years ago is fundamentally changing the understanding of the evolution of an indisputably indispensable anatomical feature: the jaw. "Now we know that one branch of placoderms evolved into modern jawed vertebrates," said study co-leader Zhu Min, a paleontologist at Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology.

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 17:03:05 -0400
Spiders can 'tune' webs for good vibrations, researchers say

Dr. Beth Mortimer from the Zoology Department at the University of Oxford tests the web of the garden cross spiderSpiders can control the tension and stiffness of their webs to optimize their sensory powers, helping them locate and identify prey as well as partners, according to researchers at Oxford University. "Spiders use vibrations not only from prey which is caught in their web, where obviously it's important that they know ...where it is and what it might be," researcher Beth Mortimer told Reuters. "But vibrations are also important in courtship ... A lot of males will actually generate a very specific kind of musical pattern which the females can use to determine not only that they're a male but they're the right species and whether she might want to mate with them as well." Spiders can also use the information to assess their web's condition, she said.

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:45:23 -0400
NASA spacecraft loses computer before close encounter with Jupiter

File photo of artist's rendering depicts NASA's Juno spacecraft above Jupiter's north pole in this undated handout imageBy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - NASA's Juno spacecraft lost its main computer and science instruments shortlybefore itwas due to make an orbital pass near Jupiter on Wednesday, scuttling highly anticipated close-up observations of the largest planet in the solar system. The U.S. space agency said the glitch followedan unrelated problem last week that promptedit to skip firing Junos braking engine, to steer the probe into a tighter regular orbit around Jupiter. Juno's computer restartedafter Wednesday's shutdownand the spacecraftwas "healthy,"NASAsaid in a statement.

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 20:09:26 -0400
The Most Interesting Science News Articles of the Week

Mysterious Bison Hybrid Revealed from Ancient DNA and Cave PaintingsEach week we uncover the most interesting and informative articles around, here are 10 of the coolest stories in Science this week.

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 09:41:00 -0400
Fact-Checking Trump: Can Abortions Really Happen on the 'Final Day' of Pregnancy?

Fact-Checking Trump: Can Abortions Really Happen on the 'Final Day' of Pregnancy?At last night's presidential debate, Donald Trump said abortions could happen "on the final day" of a pregnancy if Hillary Clinton becomes president, but experts say this is very unlikely and does not accurately reflect the reality of abortions in the United States. However, an abortion so late in pregnancy is "incredibly unlikely," said Elizabeth Nash, the senior state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization. "That just isn't the experience around abortion that women have" in the United States, Nash said.

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:06:00 -0400
Rich People Really Do Ignore You When They Walk By

Rich People Really Do Ignore You When They Walk ByWealthy people appear to spend less time looking at other human beings, compared with how much time people in lower social classes look at others, according to a new study that used Google Glass headsets to track people's gazes. Because the time people spend looking at something may be related to how much motivational relevance the object or person holds, the "findings make a compelling case that social classes differ in their judgments of other people's significance," the researchers wrote in their paper, published Oct. 3 in the journal Psychological Science. In the study, the researchers asked 61 people to wear a Google Glass headset while walking around in New York City.

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:05:00 -0400
Spaceflight Is Entering a New Golden Age, Says Blue Origin Founder Jeff Bezos

Spaceflight Is Entering a New Golden Age, Says Blue Origin Founder Jeff BezosEarly Monday (Nov. 23), the private spaceflight company Blue Origin made a major stride in the pursuit of fully reusable rockets, when it launched an uncrewed vehicle into space and then soft-landed the rocket booster on the ground. "It was one of the greatest moments of my life," said Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin's founder, speaking about the landing in a press briefing yesterday (Nov. 24). "And my teammates here at Blue Origin, I could see felt the same way.

Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:40:42 -0500
Turkey and Football: How Astronauts Celebrate Thanksgiving in Space

Turkey and Football: How Astronauts Celebrate Thanksgiving in SpaceThanksgiving in space will be a lot like the holiday down here on the ground minus the gravity, of course. Like most Americans, NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren have Thanksgiving (Nov. 26) off, and they'll spend the day aboard the International Space Station (ISS) watching football and enjoying a turkey-centric feast, agency officials said. Kelly and Lindgren gave viewers a look at that feast in a special Thanksgiving video this week, breaking out bags of smoked turkey, rehydratable corn, candied yams and potatoes au gratin.

Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:40:32 -0500
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