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Harpoon to pierce junk tested in space for first time

Harpoon to pierce junk tested in space for first time

Technology
A harpoon designed to clear harmful space junk has been tested for the first time.The British-led RemoveDebris mission aims to tackle the problem of waste material in space left by rockets and other deployments. Scientists say between 16,000 and 20,000 pieces of junk have been tracked orbiting the Earth.The test was carried out by Airbus and involved a harpoon piercing through sample pieces of debris that were dangled on a boom about one-and-a-half metres from the spacecraft.When the harpoon hits debris, a barb is deployed to secure it. Image: The harpoon pierces through the skin of debris Although the harpoon is still a number of years away from operational use, the experiment is a major step towards making it possible to cl...
Nasa calls time on silent Opportunity Mars rover

Nasa calls time on silent Opportunity Mars rover

Science
The US space agency (Nasa) has called time on its Opportunity Mars rover.The six-wheeled robot last contacted Earth in June last year, just before it was enveloped in the darkness of a global dust storm. Engineers hoped Oppy would power back up when the skies cleared and sunlight hit its solar panels again - but there has not been a peep out of the rover.The routine prompt commands that have been sent to Opportunity will now end. The mission has been declared over."We tried valiantly over these last eight months to recover the rover, to get some signal from it," explained project manager John Callas. "We've listened every single day with sensitive receivers, and we sent over 1,000 recovery comma...
'This time we'll stay': NASA to send humans to the moon

'This time we'll stay': NASA to send humans to the moon

Technology
By Ajay Nair, news reporter NASA is planning to take the "next giant leap in deep space exploration" as it looks to send astronauts to the moon who are able to stay there.The space agency's administrator, Jim Bridenstine, called for American firms to help develop human lunar landers - "reusable systems for astronauts to land on the moon" - as he said scientists had been given a mandate by President Donald Trump and Congress to return to the moon for the first time since 1972. He said NASA was planning to send astronauts "to the moon and eventually to Mars and beyond" and that it was "an exciting time to be leading America's space programme"."As a lifelong NASA supporter, I am thrilled to be talking once again about landing humans on the moon," he said, wr...
Baffin Island landscapes ice-free for first time in 40,000 years

Baffin Island landscapes ice-free for first time in 40,000 years

Science
Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Rapidly retreating Arctic glaciers have revealed ancient moss and lichens, ice-free for the first in 40,000 years, according to new analysis by researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The survey of newly thawed plants, contextualized by temperature records gleaned from Greenland ice cores, suggests the Arctic is experiencing summer highs warmer than any century in 115,000 years. "The Arctic is currently warming two to three times faster than the rest of the globe, so naturally, glaciers and ice caps are going to react faster," Simon Pendleton, doctoral researcher at Boulder's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, said in a news release. Pendleton and his colleagues radiocarbon dated plants found near the edges of 30 ice caps on Baffin Island, the fifth-larg...
Wayne Rooney spoke in ‘broken English’ and smelt of alcohol at time of arrest, says police report

Wayne Rooney spoke in ‘broken English’ and smelt of alcohol at time of arrest, says police report

Sports
INTOXICATED The former Manchester United and England captain was arrested last month in USA for public intoxication Wayne Rooney was speaking ‘broken English’ and had a ‘strong odour of alcoholic beverage about his person’ when he was arrested for public intoxication last month. The former Manchester United and England captain was left disorientated after mixing sleeping pills with alcohol while on a flight from Saudi Arabia. Rooney’s mugshot provided by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office from his arrest in December Rooney was then arrested in Virginia last month by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police (MWAA) for public intoxication. The 33-year-old, who plays for DC United in the Sta...