Space may be the final frontier, but it’s an expensive one to explore. There are ample problems with which to contend here on Earth, and that leads some people to wonder if space exploration is worth the hassle.
The satellite may be small, but it packs a major science punch. TESS is following in the footsteps of NASA's famed Kepler space telescope and is expected to surpass its predecessor in the number of exoplanets detected. Over the course of its two-year mission, TESS will monitor the brightness of more than 200,000 stars, waiting to observe tiny dips in starlight known as transits.
Chairman Smith: "The NASA Authorization Act of 2018 is a crucial step in restoring the greatness of American space exploration. With this bill, we ensure that NASA will focus on its priority missions, effectively leverage private sector partnerships and entrepreneurship, and continue space research that will launch America toward new scientific discoveries and worlds.
Advances in a technology called CRISPR -- which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats -- give scientists something like a pair of "scissors," so they can snip away at genetic material with the goal of treating disease, growing new crops and more.
You have undoubtedly seen the moon, but have you ever seen it up close in glorious 4K resolution? Probably not, but you can see it right now on YouTube. NASA has uploaded a new video, created mostly from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) observations. The video takes you on a tour of several different regions, some of which still present tantalizing mysteries for future exploration.
The U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing last week for the National Science Foundation's proposed 2019 fiscal year budget, and what the agency's leaders heard was a blistering assessment of the agency's spending. Still, committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said, things have improved significantly in the past year, though challenges remain.
The James Webb Space Telescope is intended as the successor to Hubble, which is now more than 25 years old. Hubble was last services during one of the final Space Shuttle missions, and there are no plans to make another visit. When it stops working, that will be the end of the mission. The JWST was already supposed to be in space at this point, but it’s a complicated project costing more than $8 billion to date. NASA wants to get it right, and that has led to the latest delay.
As educational opportunities, science fairs let students tackle the scientific method hands on. Classically that process begins with identifying a question, developing a hypothesis to answer it and then devising an experiment to test that hunch. In principle, kids who participate will not only learn about science but may be inspired to join the next generation of scientists and engineers. But the fairs also have problems.
Scientists have linked hundreds of genes to intelligence. One psychologist says it’s time to test school kids. A year ago, no gene had ever been tied to performance on an IQ test. Since then, more than 500 have, thanks to gene studies involving more than 200,000 test takers. Results from an experiment correlating one million people’s DNA with their academic success are due at any time.
Junk science is no longer welcome at the Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Scott Pruitt has declared war on what he calls “secret science” - the process whereby EPA regulators have been able to craft rules using non-publicly-available science data.