Guess what: Elon Musk has a new crazy idea.Â This time, thankfully, it doesn't have to do anything with boring tunnels. The SpaceX CEO now wants to "bring rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon". SEE ALSO: SpaceX gains approval for largest satellite internet service, ever Musk said this in a tweet late Sunday, and if it came from anyone else, we'd disregard it â heck, even Musk himself said that the idea sounds "crazy". But Musk has a track record of following through and delivering on seemingly insane ideas, sometimes even turning them into successful business endeavours.Â SpaceX will try to bring rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon â Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 15, 2018 Still we have lots of questions. What happens to a party balloon in the vacuum of space? How does it withstand the forces that happen during atmospheric re-entry? Can the balloon be shaped like an animal? Is this going to be the reverse of the balloon scene in Pixar's
Up? Well, Musk has answers, but not answers we can understand.Â Yeah, but great for creating a giant object that retains its shape across all Mach regimes & drops ballistic coefficient by 2 orders of magnitude â Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 15, 2018 We already do targeted retro burn to a specific point in Pacific w no islands or ships, so upper stage doesnât become a dead satellite. Need to retarget closer to shore & position catcher ship like Mr Steven. â Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 16, 2018 After all this, we're still not sure whether this is going to work or even whether it can work â though something similar has been tried before.Â In any case, if Musk and SpaceX do follow through with this plan, we're certain it will be glorious to watch. Also, can the balloon be red? Thanks.Â WATCH: Man carried off into the clouds in 'UP'-style stunt
A 13-year-old boy and an amateur archaeologist have unearthed a "significant" treasure trove in Germany which may have belonged to the legendary Danish king Harald Bluetooth who brought Christianity to Denmark. Rene Schoen and his student Luca Malaschnitschenko were looking for treasure using metal detectors in January on northern Ruegen island when they chanced upon what they initially thought was a worthless piece of aluminium. A dig covering 400 square metres (4,300 square feet) that finally started over the weekend by the regional archaeology service has since uncovered a trove believed linked to the Danish king who reigned from around 958 to 986.
Former F.B.I. director James Comey revealedÂ SundayÂ night that he was advised by his chief counsel that President Trump could wind up a target of the bureauâs investigation into suspected links between Trump campaign operatives and the Kremlin.
Darren Aronofsky signed on to the docuseries
One Strange Rock to give viewers a glimpse of planet Earth like they've never seen before. The ten-part National Geographic series, which is produced by Aronofsky and hosted by Will Smith, tells the story of Earth and explores the fragility of Earth and explores how everyone on the planet has something in common, with the help of astronauts who have traveled to outer space. "I've always loved these kinds of portraits of ourâŚ
Netflixâs reimagining of the classic 1960s sci-fi TV show âLost in Spaceâ sees the Robinson family marooned on a distant alien planet and encountering all kinds of dangerous hazards. In the first episode, the Robinsons confrontÂ one such life-threatening space problem when they crash-land on an alien planet and their ship, the Jupiter 2, melts its way into a glacier. Judy (Taylor Russell) dives in, hoping to retrieve a battery from the crash, but itâs so cold that the water quickly freezes, and Judy is trapped in the ice in her space suit.
STANFORD, Calif.Â â NASA has been looking for life on Mars for more than 40 years, but the quest could get a lot more complicated when earthly life arrives en masse, perhaps within the next decade. âThere is a ticking clock now,â Princeton astrobiologist Chris Chyba said at last weekâs Breakthrough Discuss conference, conducted at Stanford University. The issue has the potential to pit scientists like Chyba against rocketeers like SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk, who wants to start sending settlers to Mars by the mid-2020s. When humans and all the supplies they need start arriving by the tons, thereâs a riskâŚ Read More
Girl power is blooming across India. Clubs intended to boost adolescent girlsâ sense of worth are sprouting in remote villages. In Thennamadevi, a village sheltered by banana trees and nestled amid rice paddies and sugar cane fields in Indiaâs southern Tamil Nadu state, girls have moved beyond discussions of the challenges they face in India.
The discovery of potentially millions of tons of valuable "rare earth" elements in sea sludge off Japan has raised hopes that Asia's number-two economy can reduce its dependence on Chinese supply. A Japanese study published last week revealed an estimated 16 million tons of rare earths, enough to feed global demand on a "semi-infinite" basis, with deposits to last hundreds of years. The news made headlines internationally and in Japan, which is the world's second-largest consumer of these minerals but relies heavily on imports from China, which controls 90 percent of the highly strategic market.
HONOLULU (AP) â A key decision on whether to place a $1.4 billion telescope in Hawaii to further astronomy research has been delayed, leaving open the possibility the project may be moved to Spain, a panel said Friday.
More than 30 years after the worldâs worst nuclear accident, the area around Chernobyl has evolved from a disaster zone into a nature reserve, teeming with bison, mooseÂ and wolves. The remarkable turnaround in the area, which was declared a permanent no-go zone for people after the accident in 1986, suggests radiation contamination is not hindering wildlife from breeding and thriving, but underscores the negative impact humans have on populations of wild mammals. âWhen humans are removed, nature flourishesâeven in the wake of the worldâs worst nuclear accident,â Jim Smith, a specialist in earth and environmental sciences at Britainâs University of Portsmouth, told Reuters.
Excerpts from former FBI Director James Comeyâs upcoming memoir, and from an interview Comey gave to ABC News, set off a Sunday-morning tweetstorm of accusations, corrections and annotations from President Trump, including the bizarre assertion that âI hardly even knew this guy.â
Dame Daphne Sheldrick, a conservationist famous for her work rearing baby elephants in Kenya and fighting for the protection of the species, has died aged 83, her family said Friday. "Daphne passed away the evening of the 12th April after a long battle with breast cancer, a battle she finally lost," her daughter Angela wrote in a statement. Sheldrick was born in Kenya in 1934, and spent nearly 30 years working with her husband David who founded Kenya's biggest National Park, Tsavo East.
Enceladus,Saturnâs sixth largest moon, is increasingly being recognized by scientists as the most promising place in the Solar System to search for life. Furthermore, the presence of hydrothermal activity and organic materials may provide the warmth and materials needed for organisms, as we understand them, to evolve. Carolyn Porco, one of the worldâs foremost planetary scientists, is among those who thinks Enceladus should be our top priority in the search for extraterrestrial life.
A faithful male flying thousands of miles each year to join his handicapped female who cannot fly -- the story of two storks in Croatia, Klepetan and Malena, is one of love and devotion beating the odds. By late March, Klepetan was back in the tiny village of Brodski Varos in eastern Croatia for the 16th year in a row, after leaving his winter home in southern Africa. There he again met the love of his life, white stork Malena -- "Little One" in Croatian -- who was waiting to start having more babies, to add to the 62 the pair already have.
The apocalypse is upon us. If conspiracy theorists are to be believed, a giant mysterious planet is set to wreak destruction across Earth, the UK's Daily Express reports. Predicted to appear in theÂ skies on April 23, it should setÂ off earthquakes and volcanic eruptions withÂ its massive gravitational pull.
A new study into a phenomenon known as the ventriloquist illusion has shown thatÂ simply imagining an object while you hear a soundÂ can change how you later perceive that sound. The brain must constantly process the sensory information it is bombarded withÂ in order to present us with a picture of reality. Instead, the brain sometimes creates something that psychologists call the ventriloquist illusion.
Why are we so obsessed with productivity? Itâs a question Sam Altman is well-fit to answer. The 32-year-old Stanford dropout is president of Y Combinator, arguably the most successful startup incubator in the world. Altman is also the co-chairman, along with Elon Musk, of OpenAi, a nonprofit research company intended to advance artificial intelligence, andâŚ
The Environmental Minister of the Marshall Islands, David Paul, left the low-lying tropical islands last week and flew to London. He journeyed all that way to stand in front of a packed room at the United Nations International Marine Organization (IMO) and emphasize that Marshallese children may have to one day desert their ancestral islands and "set sail across the oceans to an uncertain future." The reason, Paul noted, is the "scientific fact" that rising sea levels stoked by human-caused global warming could put the Marshall Islands underwater sometime later this century. Â SEE ALSO: Locals call it 'The Tomb': What's in the Marshall Islands' concrete dome? Many of the inhabited Marshall Islands don't even reach 6 feet above the ocean. The airport sits 6 feet above sea level; the highest point in the capital is 10 feet above the water. After a week of negotiations, the IMO decided Friday on a plan to significantly slash the amount of carbon dioxide â a potent greenhouse gas â emitted from the world's shipping sector. Most large ships burn a notoriously thick, dirty fuel, known as "heavy fuel oil." In fact, if the shipping sector was its own country, it would be the sixth largest carbon emitter in the world â contributing around the same amount of emissions into the atmosphere as industrial Germany. The broad plan is to slash carbon emissions from ships to at least 50 percent of 2008 levels by the year 2050. The carbon-reduction strategy will be truly finalized by the IMO in 2023. Of the plans on the table, this was considered one of the more ambitious options, though Minister Paul had been pushing for even more aggressive cuts. Satellite imagery of Mili Atoll in the Marshall Islands, taken in 2016.Image: DigitalGlobe/Getty Images"We must leave here in no doubt. History has been made in the IMO," Paul said in a statement Friday. Though, he noted that the "job is far from over," as nothing has yet to actually be implemented.Â âIMO took a big step this week by agreeing to a mid-century emissions cap,â Dan Rutherford, the International Council on Clean Transportation's (ICCT) program director for marine and aviation, said via email. How will dirty shipping emissions be cleaned up? The IMO's lofty emissions targets might be three decades away, but achieving these ambitious cuts requires prompt action.Â âNext up is to start decarbonizing shipping by tightening energy efficiency requirements for ships this fall," said Rutherford. There are a few ways to begin slashing the carbon emitted from massive shipping vessels. A quick solution that doesn't require new technology is requiring all ships to slow down as they voyage across the oceans.Â "Speed factor has a strong influence on how much fuel burns and how much carbon ships emit," said Rutherford. A concrete dome, called 'The Tomb' by locals, caps radioactive waste from 1940s nuclear testing on low-lyingÂ RenitÂ Island in the Marshall Islands.Image: GIFF JOHNSON/AFP/Getty ImagesOther solutions, which could be implemented on ships by around 2025, involve adding innovative technologies to newly built vessels. This includes "wind assists" aboard ships, which essentially act as modern sails. Another option is "air lubrication," which involves blowing air bubbles below ships to reduce friction, lessening the amount of dirty fuel needed for cross-world voyages.Â Longer-term efficiency changes mean completely decarbonizing ships, so they're not running on oil at all, but fuels of the future, like hydrogen.Â Previously, 196 nations met in Paris in 2015 and agreed to a global effort to combat climate change, agreeing to cap future warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperatures. But global leaders did not include the marine, or shipping, sector in these climate plans. "Marine is the last group that doesnât have a climate framework," said Rutherford, before the IMO's Friday agreement.Â How big of a threat is sea-level rise to the Marshall Islands? Right now, sea levels are rising by between three and 3.5 centimeters (over an inch) per decade, Josh Willis, an oceanographer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in an interview.Â "We also know that this rate is accelerating," said Willis.Â Depending on how emissions are limited and how the world's massive ice sheets melt, this could mean 2 or 3 feet by century's end, said Willis. Or it could mean a devastating 6 feet. The Thwaites Glacier, a rapidly melting portion of the West Antarctic ice sheet.Image: nasa"Thatâs a difference between existing as a nation and evacuating to go live somewhere else," said Willis.Â He noted that the science here is indisputable. "We know it's
caused by global warming and human emissions of these greenhouse gases. The basic physics of the warming planet have been known for over a century," said Willis.Â But precisely estimating how much the world's ice sheets will melt into the ocean â specifically those on Greenland and Antarctica â is difficult to precisely predict.Â "Weâre watching them melt for the first time in scientific history," said Willis. "Weâve never watched something like this happen before.Â NASA is already seeing a rapid melting of Antarctic ice at its precarious edges. Here, ocean water beneath glaciers, like the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers, can amplify melting. "They're melting like gangbusters," said Willis. "These are massive rivers of ice that are dumping just huge amounts of ice into the oceans." Big ships mean big emissions.Image: AFP/Getty ImagesLow-lying Pacific Island nations are especially vulnerable to this added water. The Marshall Islands are relatively thin rings of coral reef that once surrounded volcanic mounts â mounts that have long since eroded away. It's not hard to see why Paul pushed for such ambitious emission targets. "Climate change is an existential threat for them, and they have been pressing the case strongly," said Rutherford. Sea level rise itself isn't yet drowning the islands in water â though this may very well be the case on many islands by the century's end. However, the rising seas cause damaging floods during recurrent storms and high tides. "The storms are getting more intensive, weâre getting more cyclones," Jimmy Nuake, the Under Secretary Technical of the Solomon Islands' Ministry of Infrastructure Development, said in a statement at the IMO.Â "Weâre going to lose more islands," he said, citing the fact that almost five Solomon Islands have been lost since 1980.Â If global emissions aren't controlled, Willis said low-lying Pacific Islands will no longer be safe from storms that once weren't a threat. The impact to the islands won't be gradual, he said. It will come suddenly, when the right merging of sea level rise and storm whop the islands.Â "Eventually, theyâre going to get you," said Willis. WATCH: NASA needs you to send them pictures of clouds
Layers of squirming black soldier fly larvae fill large aluminum bins stacked 10-high in a warehouse outside of Vancouver. Enterra Feed, one of an emerging crop of insect growers, will process the bugs into protein-rich food for fish, poultry - even pets. After being fattened up, the fly larvae will be roasted, dried and bagged or pressed to extract oils, then milled into a brown powder that smells like roasted peanuts.