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Japanese space agency launches hopping probes

Japanese space agency launches hopping probes

Technology
A hopping space probe which will land on the surface of a large asteroid has been launched by the Japanese Space Agency. The agency's spacecraft released two small exploration robots in a research project to find clues to the origin of the solar system.Both Minerva-II rovers were lowered from the unmanned Hayabusa2, on to the asteroid Ryugu.The rovers move around by hopping, because the gravity on the asteroid makes rolling difficult. Each hop lasts 15 minutes. Image: The probe can be seen as a shadow on the asteroid The spacecraft travelled to the asteroid, which is 170 miles (280m km) from Earth, and arrived in June.The space agency (JAXA) said it would know if the robots have landed on Saturday, when they will send...
California becomes 1st state to restrict restaurants on handing out plastic straws

California becomes 1st state to restrict restaurants on handing out plastic straws

Technology
California has become the first state in the nation to pass a law that will ban restaurants from automatically giving out plastic straws to help protect the environment. “Plastic has helped advance innovation in our society, but our infatuation with single-use convenience has led to disastrous consequences,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement upon signing the bill Thursday. “Ocean plastic is estimated to kill millions of marine animals every year." The law, which will go into effect Jan. 1, applies only to full-service, dine-in restaurants, not fast-food establishments or other businesses. It sets a fine of $ 25 per day for restaurants that violate the rule, with the total not to exceed $ 300 annually. The initiative is the first of its kind, officials said. ...
Ivanka Trump tours NASA center in Houston, calls space crew

Ivanka Trump tours NASA center in Houston, calls space crew

Technology
Ivanka Trump made a telephone call to the International Space Station and spoke to the crew while touring NASA's Johnson Space Center. Trump, who is an adviser to her father, President Donald Trump, talked to the space station crew whose members are flying 250 miles (402 kilometers) above the Earth's surface. She also spoke to students from nearby public schools who are participating in an international robotics competition. Her visit to the center Thursday in Houston came during a stop on her campaign tour of Texas for Republican candidates in the Nov. 6 midterm elections. The White House said her appearance was intended to draw attention to students learning about science and technology. She was accompanied by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, U.S. Rep. Brian Babin and state Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, al...
Internet regulator considered for UK

Internet regulator considered for UK

Technology
The UK government is considering "all options", including a regulator, as part of new legislation governing the internet.It has previously said it will publish a White Paper in the coming months, laying out its proposals.According to Buzzfeed News, the White Paper will propose a regulatory body similar to Ofcom, which regulates broadcasters and telecoms companies.The government told the BBC it would publish the White Paper this winter.But a spokesman for the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said it had nothing to share at this time.A cross-party committee investigating misinformation and fake news has already suggested areas for new legislation ahead of the White Paper.In July, it recommended: reforming electoral law for the digital...
Bye bye bugs? Scientists fear non-pest insects are declining

Bye bye bugs? Scientists fear non-pest insects are declining

Technology
A staple of summer — swarms of bugs — seems to be a thing of the past. And that's got scientists worried. Pesky mosquitoes, disease-carrying ticks, crop-munching aphids and cockroaches are doing just fine. But the more beneficial flying insects of summer — native bees, moths, butterflies, ladybugs, lovebugs, mayflies and fireflies — appear to be less abundant. Scientists think something is amiss, but they can't be certain: In the past, they didn't systematically count the population of flying insects, so they can't make a proper comparison to today. Nevertheless, they're pretty sure across the globe there are fewer insects that are crucial to as much as 80 percent of what we eat. Yes, some insects are pests. But they also pollinate plants, are a key link in the fo...