Bigelow Aerospace – First Commercial Space Company Seeks Professional Astronauts

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Bigelow Aerospace advertising for experienced astronauts

An American space holiday firm, Bigelow Aerospace, has become the first commercial company to advertise for professional astronauts.  The firm, founded by Bob Bigelow, the head of a budget motel chain in the US, wants experienced spacemen working in orbit and on the ground.

 

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Invisible ‘Death Star’ Shooting Comets at Earth?

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Invisible star may be shooting deadly comets towards Earth.

In what sounds like a chilling script of a Hollywood science fiction, scientists have claimed that an invisible star, five times the size of Jupiter, might be lurking near our solar system, occasionally kicking deadly comets towards the Earth.

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Stunning Photos of the Sun’s Corona During a Solar Eclipse

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This image shows the solar corona that makes up the sun’s ‘atmosphere’ in amazing detail as the sun passes behind the Moon

Shooting a million miles or more out into the hard, cold vacuum of space, this fiery halo is one of the wonders of the universe.  Whipped into gigantic swirls by the Sun’s ferocious magnetic fields, the shell of super-hot gas is as beautiful as it is dangerous.

 

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Chile Earthquake Moves Concepcion More Than 10 Feet to the West

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A destroyed building in Concepcion, Chile.

According to a recent study done by Chilean and American researchers at the Ohio State University, the magnitude-8.8 earthquake that rocked the west coast of Chile on February 27th was strong enough to move the city of Concepcion at least 10 feet/3.04m to the west and the capital, Santiago, about 11 inches/28cm to the west-southwest. The quake also shifted other parts of South America, as far apart as the Falkland Islands and Fortaleza, Brazil.

 

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Mega-Cities in Earthquake Zones Await Disaster

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Construction at the Atakoy Lisesi school.  Istanbul has a program to secure its schools against earthquakes.

As Mustafa Erdik, the director of an earthquake engineering institute in Istanbul, surveys the streets of this sprawling mega-city, he says he sometimes feels like a doctor scanning a crowded hospital ward.

It is not so much the city’s modern core, where two sleek Trump Towers and a huge airport terminal were built to withstand a major earthquake that is considered all but inevitable in the next few decades. Nor does Dr. Erdik agonize over Istanbul’s ancient monuments, whose yards-thick walls have largely withstood more than a dozen potent seismic blows over the past two millenniums.

 

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Caves Suggest Climate Change Stranger Than We Thought

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Encrusted stalactites at present sea level, Vallgornera Cave, Spain.

Most scientists believe that ocean levels dropped for the past 100,000 years as Earth cooled, but a new study of these stalactites in ancient undersea caves suggests otherwise. Today’s temperatures are similar to Earth’s 81,000 years ago.

 

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Is Seeding the Universe with Life Our ‘Moral Obligation’?

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Directed panspermia missions could target interstellar clouds such as the Rho Ophiuchus cloud complex located about 500 light-years away.

Eventually, the day will come when life on Earth ends. Whether that’s tomorrow or five billion years from now, whether by nuclear war, climate change, or the Sun burning up its fuel, the last living cell on Earth will one day wither and die. But that doesn’t mean that all is lost. What if we had the chance to sow the seeds of terrestrial life throughout the universe, to settle young planets within developing solar systems many light-years away, and thus give our long evolutionary line the chance to continue indefinitely?

 

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UN To Discuss International Air Traffic Control For Outer Space

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Debris objects in Earth’s orbit is an increasingly troublesome issue.

An international air traffic control for outer space should be set up to prevent damage to satellites and spacecraft orbiting the Earth, according to proposal to be discussed at the United Nations next week.  Space experts from around the world will discuss ways of tackling the growing problem of space debris in orbit around the Earth. It comes just a year after an American satellite collided with a Russian satellite.

 

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Six Cultural Trends Not Saving The Planet

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India: fast food nation

Live and let live, right? We’ve all heard the phrase a million times, and it connotes that true-blue American sentiment of accomodation and freedom of choice. But what about when our choices are trashing the earth? Then it seems the only remedy is pointing out our own foibles again and again until we realize how damaging and destructive they are. Scanning the globe for recent trends we find a lot that seems to be going in the opposite direction of environmental protection. (Pics)

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Man To Break Sound Barrier By Jumping From Edge of Space in 2010

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Felix Baumgartner to jump from the edge of space

This man—looking as badass as Ed Harris in The Right Stuff—is Felix Baumgartner. He actually has The Right Stuff: The cojones to reach the edge of space in a weather balloon. Up to 120,000 feet—and then jump. Video and pic)

 

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Trees Invading Arctic Will Enhance Warming Over Entire Region

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Denali National Park is one area where once-treeless tundra will be invaded by trees

Contrary to scientists’ predictions that, as the Earth warms, the movement of trees into the Arctic will have only a local warming effect, University of California, Berkeley, scientists modeling this scenario have found that replacing tundra with trees will melt sea ice and greatly enhance warming over the entire Arctic region.

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