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Blog Profile / Cosmic Log


URL :http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/
Filed Under:Academics / Astronomy
Posts on Regator:2674
Posts / Week:9.8
Archived Since:June 30, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Scientists see three promising blips in underground dark matter search

Three potential signatures of exotic dark matter particles have been found hidden in the readings from an underground lab in Minnesota — and although the results are too tentative to be classified as a discovery, scientists say they provide promising new clues to the …

SpaceShipTwo creates a cool contrail – first blastoff coming soon

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane successfully glided through a test on Friday that sent oxidizer flowing through its engine — a sight that led observers to speculate that the suborbital spacecraft's first powered flight could be imminent. SpaceShipTwo's aerodynam …

Crick's Nobel Prize medal sold for $2 million; will boost science in China

The Nobel Prize medal that Francis Crick won for his role in a historic DNA discovery was sold Thursday for more than $2 million to a Shanghai biotech executive who plans to use it to promote science in China, the auction house behind the sale said. The buying spree at Heritage …

Why you better not cry in space

Is there anything Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield can't do? He's the commander of the International Space Station, a guitar-strumming space troubadour, a prolific orbital photographer and a frequent commentator about life in space. Hadfield seems to do it all, but apparent …

Francis Crick's DNA letter to his son sells at auction for a record $6 million

A 60-year-old letter in which biologist Francis Crick told his son about DNA's double-helix structure, weeks before the Nobel Prize-winning discovery was revealed to the world, sold at a New York auction on Wednesday for a record price of $6 million. The $6,059,750 sale price re …

NASA touts plan to grab asteroid as 'unprecedented technological feat'

NASA plans to begin work on an ambitious mission to capture a near-Earth asteroid and bring it to a stable orbit in the Earth-moon system within a $17.7 billion budget, which is roughly the same amount that was sought a year ago. The budget request for fiscal year 2014, unveiled …

17 years in the making, this spring's cicada invasion generates early buzz

After hanging around underground for 17 years, billions of flying bugs known as cicadas are due to sweep over the East Coast starting sometime in the next month. And although it's too early to predict exactly where and when the brood will appear, this spring's emergence should ra …

Written in the stars: How an alien planet helped a man woo his true love

Zeb Gray thought naming an exoplanet after his girlfriend would be the perfect tribute to "the eternal love that we share for each other" — and whether or not the name sticks, the decision arguably changed his life. On Friday, Gray asked Amara Somers to marry him, and …

Poop in space revisited: Apollo 10's floating turds pop up 44 years later

Bathroom rituals in outer space are a perennial favorite, particularly when they go wrong — as evidenced by the latest wave of hilarity over the runaway poop that prompted rude remarks during the Apollo 10 round-the-moon mission in 1969. A 500-page-plus transcript of t …

Readings from NASA's Curiosity rover show how Mars is losing its air

Scientists say new readings from NASA's Curiosity rover have confirmed how Mars lost its once-thick atmosphere. The measurements from Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars instrument, or SAM, provide fresh support for the view that a high-velocity stream of electrically charged par …

When DNA pioneer's Nobel Prize and mementos are sold, science profits

The descendants of Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA's double helix, are likely to receive a seven-figure sum from this week's sales of the late researcher's Nobel Prize and a handwritten letter describing the structure of the DNA molecule — but the geneticists who are ca …

A new rocket rises: Orbital's Antares prepared for its first test launch

Orbital Sciences Corp. raised the first fully integrated Antares rocket on its Virginia launch pad on Saturday, setting the stage for its maiden flight to orbit later this month. A successful test launch would mark a giant leap toward using the Antares and Orbital's Cygnus cargo …

Administration confirms NASA plan: Grab an asteroid, then focus on Mars

NASA's accelerated vision for exploration calls for moving a near-Earth asteroid even nearer to Earth, sending out astronauts to bring back samples within a decade, and then shifting the focus to Mars, a senior Obama administration official told NBC News on Saturday. The official …

NASA chooses all-sky planet hunter, neutron star watcher for liftoff in 2017

NASA has selected two new space missions for launch in 2017: a satellite that can scan the entire sky for exoplanets and a space station experiment that can monitor cosmic X-ray emissions. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and the Neutron-star Interior Composi …

Scientists develop fusion rocket technology in lab – and aim for Mars

Researchers at the University of Washington say they've built all the pieces for a fusion-powered rocket system that could get a crew to Mars in 30 days. Now they just have to put all the pieces together and see if they work. "If we can pull off a fusion demonstration in a year, …

Incoming! Asteroid miners are getting financial boost from NASA cash

Commercial ventures are planning to send out profit-hunting missions to asteroids by the year 2020 — but in the shorter term, they're bringing in money by developing technologies that may show up on NASA spacecraft before they're put to use commercially. For example, N …

Parachute flaps in the Martian breeze

NASA's Curiosity and Opportunity rovers aren't the only human-made objects that have been on the move on Mars: The Red Planet's winds have set Curiosity's discarded parachute rolling around on the surface, as seen in a series of images captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter …

Internet takes education to new level: Will universities make the grade?

More and more universities have made a place for the Internet in today's educational offerings, but will universities still have a place in tomorrow's educational environment? "We're about to undergo a tectonic transformation in education," Caltech astrophysicist George Djorgovsk …

Space station's antimatter detector finds its first evidence of dark matter

Scientists say a $2 billion antimatter-hunting experiment on the International Space Station has detected its first hints of dark matter, the mysterious stuff that makes up almost a quarter of the universe. The evidence from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, revealed Wednesday at …

Questions swarm around synthetic biology's impact on Mother Nature

Conservationists say it's high time to consider whether synthetic biology can solve the problems that beset endangered species, or whether emerging technologies in genetic engineering will raise their own problems. "Synthetic biology brings with it a powerful attraction, causing …

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