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Organic compounds found by Saturn moon mission

Organic compounds found by Saturn moon mission

Technology
Scientists have urged caution after finding organic compounds around Saturn's moon Enceladus.Enceladus was discovered by the British astronomer William Herschel in 1789 using what was then the largest telescope in the world, measuring 1.2m across.Almost 230 years later, the Cassini spacecraft conducted another fly-past of its southern pole, travelling through one of the mysterious cryovolcanic plumes which had been discovered to be erupting from the moon.Cassini sampled the water-rich plumes, suspected to originate from a vast liquid ocean beneath the surface of Enceladus, and discovered organic compounds - molecules which contain carbon and are essential to all known life.These compounds, including the molecule methanol, have now been detected in a much more massive quantity than previous...
New Reaper drone variant performs first combat mission

New Reaper drone variant performs first combat mission

Business
June 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force reported Thursday that its new Block 5 variant of the MQ-9 Reaper drone has performed its first combat mission against Islamist terrorists.The recent 16-hour sortie, flown June 23 in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, involved the unmanned aerial vehicle dropping a GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions bomb and firing two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles in support of ground forces in the Middle East.Operation Inherent Resolve is the U.S. military name given to operations against ISIS fighters."Working in conjunction with coalition joint terminal attack controllers, other MQ-9 aircraft and crews, our aircrews employed two Hellfires and one GBU-38," Maj. Dan, the 432nd Wing director of operations, said in a press release. "All three strikes met the ground for...
Europe selects grand gravity mission

Europe selects grand gravity mission

Science
It is set to be one of the major science projects of the 2030s. The European Space Agency has just given the green light to the LISA mission to detect gravitational waves. This will see lasers bounced between three identical satellites separated by 2.5 million km. By looking for tiny perturbations in these light beams, the trio hope to catch the warping of space-time that is generated by cataclysmic events such as the merger of gargantuan black holes. Ground-based laboratories in the US have recently begun detecting gravitational waves from coalescing objects that are 20-30 times the mass of our Sun. But by sending an observatory into space, scientists would expect to discover sources that are millions of times bigger still and to sense their activity all the way out to the edge of the ob...
NASA scientists name Martian crater after Apollo 16 moonwalk mission

NASA scientists name Martian crater after Apollo 16 moonwalk mission

Science
June 16 (UPI) -- Earlier this spring, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover, also known as the Opportunity rover, discovered a small Martian crater. The discovery was made on the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 16 mission, NASA's 10th moon landing.This week, NASA scientists announced the name of that newly discovered crater. They call it "Orion Crater" -- an homage to the lunar module that carried astronauts John Young and Charles Duke to the moon and back.The rover's Panoramic Camera snapped photos of Orion Crater on April 26. The depression measures 90 feet across. It's a relatively young crater, no older than 10 million years old."It turns out that Orion Crater is almost exactly the same size as Plum Crater on the moon, which John Young and Charles Duke explored on their first of three moonwalks...