Sunday, January 23News That Matters
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ULA launches two new Space Force tracking satellites into orbit

ULA launches two new Space Force tracking satellites into orbit

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 21 (UPI) -- United Launch Alliance sent two space tracking satellites into orbit for the U.S. Space Force from Florida on Friday afternoon. The Atlas V rocket lifted off as planned at 2 p.m. EST into a mostly cloudy sky from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station near Kennedy Space Center. The single solid rocket booster strapped to the rocket also ignited, contributing to the rocket's fiery plume. The satellites, GSSAP-5 and GSSAP-6, are to join four similar spacecraft in a high orbit around the Earth. They are designed to track manmade objects, or other spacecraft, in orbit. Two minutes after liftoff, ULA launch commentator Patrick Moore said the rocket was "38 miles in altitude, 35 miles downrange in distance and traveling at 4,200 miles per hour." The la...
Plastic crisis needs binding treaty, report says

Plastic crisis needs binding treaty, report says

Science
Getty ImagesPollution from plastics is a global emergency in need of a robust UN treaty, according to a report.The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) says there's a cascade of evidence of harm from plastics.It argues that the plastic pollution threat is almost equivalent to climate change.The air we breathe now contains plastic micro particles, there’s plastic in Arctic snow, plastic in soils and plastic in our food.It's reported, for instance, that about 20 elephants in Thailand have died after eating plastic waste from a rubbish dump.The authors urge nations to agree a UN treaty with binding targets for reducing both plastic production and waste."There is a deadly ticking clock counting swiftly down," said the EIA’s Tom Gammage. "If this tidal wave of pollution continues unchecked,...
SpaceX successfully completes first launch of 2022 from Florida

SpaceX successfully completes first launch of 2022 from Florida

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- SpaceX kicked off a surge in launch activity Thursday with the successful launch of 49 of the company's Starlink communications satellites from Florida, heading south along the state's coastline. Five SpaceX missions may launch in the next month on the southern polar trajectory, flying closer to the Florida coast toward Miami than most launches, according to the U.S. Space Force. The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off as planned at 4:49 p.m. EST from Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. Nine minutes after launch, the first-stage booster landed successfully on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean. "Starlink is now live in 25 countries and regions currently servicing over 145,000 users worldwide," SpaceX engineer Jessie Anderson said during a live broadcast of the launch. "...
James Webb telescope begins crucial sun shield tensioning

James Webb telescope begins crucial sun shield tensioning

Science
Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The James Webb Space Telescope began one of the most complicated parts of its deployment Monday as NASA sent commands to fully extend the first layer of the observatory's critical five-layer sunshield. The $ 10 billion space telescope -- the largest and most powerful in history -- still is in the first half of its 29-day deployment schedule as it flies through space to a position over one million miles from Earth. Mission controllers worked through two minor issues Sunday that could have degraded performance of the spacecraft over time, according to NASA. But the agency said the space telescope was never in danger and the extra day allowed it to return Webb to optimal performance. On Tuesday and Wednesday, NASA intends to extend the remaining five layers of the shield, whi...
World’s oldest family tree created using DNA

World’s oldest family tree created using DNA

Science
Corinium Museum © Cotswold District CouncilScientists have compiled the world's oldest family tree from human bones interred at a 5,700-year-old tomb in the Cotswolds, UK.Analysis of DNA from the tomb's occupants revealed the people buried there were from five continuous generations of one extended family.Most of those found in the tomb were descended from four women who all had children with the same man.The right to use the site was based on descent from one man. But people were buried in different parts of the tomb based on the first-generation matriarch they were descended from.This suggests that the first-generation women held a socially significant place in the memories of this community. The Neolithic tomb, or "cairn", at Hazleton North in Gloucestershire has two L-shaped chambers, ...