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Mike Wehner

Articles 5,410
life on mars

Will Perseverance find ancient ‘fossils’ on Mars?

September 24th, 2020

The Perseverance rover is currently on route to Mars, and once it gets there it will have the ability to hunt for signs of life like no other rover before it. The rover is equipped with a special X-ray scanning tool that can identify the presence of chemical signatures on rocks. Finding signs of past …

starship explosion

SpaceX blew up a Starship tank… on purpose!

September 24th, 2020

SpaceX tested the pressure capacity of one of its starship tanks the best way possible: by filling it up until it exploded. The planned explosion and failure helped SpaceX engineers better understand the limits of the hardware as they plan the next version. SpaceX’s Starship will eventually travel to Mars if everything works out as …

moon 2024

NASA’s 2024 Moon mission is in serious jeopardy

September 24th, 2020

NASA’s plans to return humans to the Moon by 2024 will depend largely on whether it can secure funding from Congress. Right now, the space agency needs several billion more dollars to make the mission a reality. Without adequate funding, the mission will ultimately be delayed, and even if funding is achieved, technical hurdles could …

asteroid flyby 2020

An asteroid just missed Earth this morning, but it’s fine

September 24th, 2020

An asteroid passed by Earth early this morning at such a short distance that it was closer to the surface than many satellites. The space rock passed our planet at a distance of 13,000 miles or so, which is a very near miss when it comes to space. Had the rock entered Earth’s atmosphere, it …

whale breath record

Whale stuns scientists by holding its breath for nearly 4 hours

September 24th, 2020

Researchers studying the diving habits of beaked whales observed one specific whale staying beneath the surface for huge lengths of time. The whale stayed underwater for nearly three hours during the first round of observations, and then a week later it nearly reached the four-hour mark. It’s possible that sonar signals from Navy activity in …

mini moon asteroid

A rocket booster from the 1960s may have come back to haunt us

September 23rd, 2020

Astronomers have spotted what appears to be an asteroid headed for Earth orbit. If the object is indeed an asteroid and inserts itself into Earth orbit, it would be considered a “mini-moon,” but not everyone is convinced. Some scientists, including members of NASA, believe the “asteroid” is really just an old rocket booster that has …

tom cruise spacex

SpaceX is going to fire Tom Cruise into space

September 23rd, 2020

Actor Tom Cruise and director Doug Liman are currently scheduled to depart Earth aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft in October 2021. The mission is reportedly related to an upcoming film, though details are rather scarce. SpaceX has been open to the notion of space tourism but has yet to launch a paying customer into …

smallest refrigerator

Scientists create ‘world’s smallest refrigerator’

September 23rd, 2020

Researchers from UCLA have harnessed the power of semiconductors to produce the “world’s smallest refrigerator” that can’t be seen by the naked eye. The “fridge” is actually just two flakes of material that either heat up or cool down depending on what forces are applied. The research could yield new advancements in cooling technology on …

space station debris

The International Space Station just dodged a collision with space junk

September 23rd, 2020

The International Space Station had to perform an avoidance maneuver to ensure it didn’t collide with a piece of unidentified debris orbiting Earth. The crew took refuge in the Soyuz spacecraft as mission controllers used thrusters to push the space station on a safer course. Space debris is a growing problem and poses a serious …