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Mike Wehner

Articles 5,410
voyager

Voyager 1, now in interstellar space, hears an ominous hum

May 11th, 2021

The vast majority of NASA’s most interesting projects are ones that are fresh and new, like the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter. As technology advances, NASA can do more and more interesting and revolutionary things, but sometimes decades-old technology can still provide scientists with novel insights, especially when that technology was blasted into space with …

asteroid probe

NASA is now bringing asteroid samples back to Earth

May 11th, 2021

It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating the arrival of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe at the space rock known as Bennu. Bennu is a big, beefy, messy rock with lots to see, and NASA’s probe spent a good deal of time studying its surface before it ever attempted to snatch a sample of material. …

neanderthal diet

Neanderthals had huge brains and ate a lot of carbs

May 11th, 2021

Neanderthals and ancient Homo sapiens were similar in many important ways, but it’s long been believed that our ancestors thrived because of their ability to adapt, and in some ways control, a changing environment. Homo sapiens are often depicted as omnivorous hunter-gatherers, while Neanderthals are usually seen as being primarily savage hunters, feasting on meat …

falcon 9

SpaceX just set a ridiculous record with its Falcon 9 rocket

May 11th, 2021

SpaceX’s entire business model revolves around its ability to recover its hardware, refurbish it without much effort, and then use it again. Rockets are incredibly expensive, so any component that can be used again — like the pricey first stage booster — dramatically impacts the cost of each launch. The company spent a great deal …

vehicle recall

If you own one of these popular SUVs, you need to read this

May 11th, 2021

The Jeep brand has been around for a very, very long time. Jeeps gained popularity due to their promise of being able to get you where you need to go, even if there’s a flooded roadway or maybe some boulders in your way. Reliability (or at the very least, the appearance of ruggedness) is one …

ingenuity

The first sounds of the Mars helicopter have made it to Earth

May 10th, 2021

We’ve seen NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity sitting on the Red Planet’s surface. We’ve seen it fly and hover. We’ve even seen it kick up dust and travel horizontally in a demonstration of its usefulness. The only thing we haven’t done is hear what the helicopter sounds like on Mars. Now, thanks to NASA’s Perseverance rover …

fossils

Researchers found a fossil of three sea creatures eating each other

May 10th, 2021

Finding fossils of creatures that lived 180 million years ago isn’t easy. The vast majority of the fossilized remains that are found from millions of years ago are of animals doing their own thing on their own. On rare occasions, fossils of animals interacting have been found. These are often animals of the same species …

ingenuity flight

NASA nails fifth Mars helicopter flight

May 10th, 2021

NASA has had a great deal of success with its Mars helicopter Ingenuity. The aircraft took the long trip from Earth to the Red Planet while strapped to the belly of the Perseverance rover, and once it was dropped off at its first Mars “airstrip” it didn’t take long for the helicopter to begin its …