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Watch Live: Rocket Lab makes another attempt at rocket launch in New Zealand

Watch Live: Rocket Lab makes another attempt at rocket launch in New Zealand

Science
Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Aerospace startup company Rocket Lab will make another attempt to launch its Electron rocket tonight. Its last attempt was scrubbed when the International Space Station got in the way.The launch window will reopen Monday night at 8:30 p.m. EST -- 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday in New Zealand -- where the launch will take place."The Rocket Lab launch team is on console and readying Electron for the push to orbit today from Launch Complex-1," the company tweeted.The launch will be streamed live on Rocket Lab's website.Rocket Lab is based in the United States but operates a New Zealand subsidiary. If and when the Electron blastoff happens, the rocket will release a trio of satellites belonging to the startup's first clients, the companies Planet and Spire.The payload includes Planet's ...
Pacific 'baby island' is natural lab to study Mars

Pacific 'baby island' is natural lab to study Mars

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceIt is one of Earth's newest landforms and it could just tell us where to look for evidence of life on Mars. The tongue-twisting volcanic island of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai exploded out of the Pacific Ocean in 2015, and its shape has been evolving ever since as it has been lashed and bashed by waves. Scientists are watching this slow erosion very closely. They think they see the remnants of many such water-birthed islands on the Red Planet. If that is true, it is really intriguing. On Earth, we know that wherever you get submarine volcanic processes, you also very often get conditions that support microbial communities. What the researchers see occurring at Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai (HTHH) therefore may be a kind of template to help them understa...
Mt Hope installed as 'UK's highest peak'

Mt Hope installed as 'UK's highest peak'

Science
Britain has a new tallest mountain. Mt Hope, which is sited in the part of the Antarctic claimed by the UK, was recently re-measured and found to tower above the previous title holder, Mt Jackson, by a good 50m (160ft). Hope is now put at 3,239m (10,626ft); Jackson is 3,184m (10,446ft). The map-makers at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) were prompted to take another look at the mountains because of concerns for the safety of pilots flying across the White Continent. "In Antarctica there are no roads, so to get around you have to fly planes. And if you're flying planes you really need to know where the mountains are and how high they are," explained Dr Peter Fretwell. Ben Nevis gains a metre thanks to GPSAntarctic's hidden world revealedMt Paget on South Georgia island is the highest moun...
Scientists revamp 'Out of Africa' model of early human migration

Scientists revamp 'Out of Africa' model of early human migration

Science
Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The "Out of Africa" model of early human migration and dispersal is outdated. As a new survey of research on the subject confirms, humans left Africa in waves, not in a single exodus.In the new survey, published this week in the journal Science, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany and the University of Hawai'i at Manoa detail early human evolution revelations reported from Asia over the last decade.Improved genetic analysis technology, fossil recognition abilities and an emphasis on interdisciplinary research has helped scientists confirm the presence of humans in various parts of Asia much earlier than previously thought.According to genetic analysis, humans moving into Eurasia interbred with hominins along the way, including...
Tiny ocean creatures can shred a plastic bag into 1.75 million pieces

Tiny ocean creatures can shred a plastic bag into 1.75 million pieces

Science
Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The ocean's miniature inhabitants can shred a small plastic bag -- the type used to hold groceries -- into 1.75 million microscopic fragments, according to a news study.When scientists from University of Plymouth in England fed a plastic bag to Orchestia gammarellus, a tiny species of amphipod abundant in the coastal waters of Northern Europe, they were surprised at the rate at which the trash was consumed and broken down.But while the amphipods broke down the plastic bag with tremendous speed and efficiency, they didn't exactly remove the trash from the environment. They simply turned one piece of plastic pollution into a lot of tiny pieces of plastic pollution -- 1.75 million microscopic fragments, to be exact.The findings -- detailed this week in the journal Marine Pollu...