Proof of life: how would we recognise an alien if we saw one?

What would convince you that aliens existed? The question came up recently at a conference on astrobiology, held at Stanford University in California. Several ideas were tossed around – unusual gases in a planet’s atmosphere, strange heat gradients on its surface. But none felt persuasive. Finally, one scientist offered the solution: a photograph. There was some laughter and a murmur of approval from the audience of researchers: yes, a photo of an alien would be convincing evidence, the holy grail of proof that we’re not alone.

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Carie Lemack: A Dreamer-and a Doer-on Behalf of the New Space Age

Making room for space requires preparing students for the challenges of outer space. It requires outfitting classrooms with the resources necessary for a new space age. It requires honoring teachers with a curriculum that respects the talents of all students, whose dreams of exploring space are attainable, whose hopes of sending experiments into space are achievable, whose opportunities to learn more about space are easily accessible.

It requires an advocate, whose expertise is proof of what is possible, whose experience is a triumph against the seemingly impossible. It requires a woman of diminutive physical height to inspire men-and women-to aspire to reach the heights of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). It requires the leadership of Carie Lemack.

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Freshwater Is Disappearing. Can Technology Save Us?

Fresh water is the most important resource for human life on earth. People can survive far longer without food than without water, and virtually all of our food sources require fresh water to grow or create.

Global climate change and the exponential increase in population has led to water scarcity and recent headline-grabbing water shortages in major urban centers like Capetown and Sao Paulo.

As water scarcity or cleanliness continue to present major issues to humanity’s survival, communities across the globe are turning to technology to help access more fresh water–or create it using seemingly ‘magic’ techniques.

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Astronaut Chris Hadfield explains the Soyuz MS-11 launch

Canadian retired astronaut, engineer, and former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot Chris Hadfield explains the Soyuz MS-11 launch which happened on December 3, 2018. It is great to listen to such an experienced astronaut explaining what happens during the launch, what astronauts feel, etc.

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Soyuz MS-11 Launch and Dock as seen from the ISS

On December 3, 2018, a Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko. It was the first manned launch since the Soyuz MS-10 spaceflight aborted shortly after launch on 11 October 2018 due to a failure of the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle boosters. Notes 1 It was the 100th orbital launch of 2018.

Soyuz MS-11 successfully docked to the ISS about six hours after the launch.

European Space Agency astronaut aboard the International Space Station, Alexander Gerst photographed the launch and the docking from the ISS and published these amazing photos on his Twitter account.

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5 Ways Software Helps to Save the Planet

We all have heard about the influence that our technology-driven world is having on our planet – from industrialization to excessive resource consumption and carbon emissions. And when it comes to saving our planet from constant climate change, there are tons of main schools of thought. Some believe that with innovative economic and technological development, we’ll find a way to protect the ecological balance and clear out our environmental messes. The people on the other end of the spectrum believe that we should let nature takes its course and integrate only environmentally sustainable practices. Also, we should instead focus on reducing our resource consumption and conserve the natural environment.

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Watch: Neil Armstrong’s Parents at I’ve Got a Secret

On September 17, 1962, Neil Armstrong’s parents, Stephen Koenig Armstrong and Viola Louise Engel Armstrong joined “I’ve Got a Secret”, a panel game show produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman for CBS television. They had a “secret” that their son just became an astronaut for NASA on that day, one of the nine newly chosen men for the future space missions.

Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong whispers the Host Garry Moore’s ears their secret: “Our Son became an astronaut today”.

A few minutes later, Moore asks an incredible question: “Now, how would you feel, Mrs. Armstrong, if it turned out – of course, nobody knows – but if it turns out that your son is the first man to land on the moon? What, how do, how would you feel?” He asks this nearly seven years before it actually happens on July 20, 1969! Neil’s mother’s reply is priceless, “Well, guess I’d just say god bless him and I wish him the best of all good luck.”

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InSight Mission Raw Images are available on the web

NASA’s InSight Mars Lander (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport – InSight) was launched on 5 May 2018 at 11:05 UTC aboard an Atlas V-401 rocket. It traveled 483 million kilometers (300 million miles) in almost six months and successfully landed at Elysium Planitia on Mars on 26 November 2018 at 19:52:59 UTC. Shortly after landing, it has sent back the first photo. Now, NASA publishes InSight Mission raw images on its website, you can see them any time you want on the mission’s multimedia webpage.

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