Space the Final Frontier
Mark your calendars, friends, because Betabeat is heading to space in 2016!
In September 2016, NASA will launch its OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission, a mission to bring back a pristine sample of asteroid Bennu. In honor of the mission, the Planetary Society has set up a program called “Messages to Bennu,” whereby ordinary Earth folk can send the text of their names on a seven-year round-trip ride to and from the asteroid.
Time for a bummer of intergalactic proportions: there probably isn’t life on Mars, not even in the form of microbes–because there’s no fart juice in the planet’s atmosphere.
Okay, “methane” is what nerds call it, but we here on Earth know it as the gas that is expelled in times of flatulence.
In news that may not make sense to people who are not rocket scientists, NASA has recently awarded Tethers Unlimited $500,000 to develop a robotic 3D printer that would build huge structures while in orbit, Gigaom reports.
The SpiderFab printer and assembly system would be able to throw together structures more than half a mile wide, Gigaom says. NASA would densely pack materials into existing spacecraft so that the SpiderFab could assemble it into “extremely large structures that are optimized for the space environment,” Tethers Unlimited CEO Rob Hoyt is quoted as saying.
Rise of the Drones
If a geochemist’s much-talked-about new research is true, human life began not on Earth, but on Mars—meaning that technically, we’re all Martians.
Today in Florence, Italy, at the annual Goldschmidt Conference on geochemistry, Professor Steven Brenner of the U.S.A. will attempt to prove that early life forms (like amoebas and such) originated on Mars, and then hitched a ride on a meteorite and trucked on over to Earth, which is something that maybe, definitely, probably happened on an episode of The Magic School Bus.
Today in things a third-grader probably could have figured out, it reportedly took the Indian Army six months to realize that the “Chinese aerial drones” they believed were surveilling them were actually a couple of planets.
The Final Frontier
Hulu’s suitors are down to three: DirecTV wants all of it, AT&T is partnering with Chernin Entertainment for a bid, and Time Warner has offered to purchase a minority stake. A finalized sale is expected within the next few weeks. [AllThingsD]
Foxconn is reportedly staffing up its factories for the next-gen iPhone if you’re still looking for a summer job. [CNET]
“Apple App Store marks 5 years of app-ortunity” is a real headline today. [USA Today]
Google Maps for Android gets completely revamped today with a new user interface, infused with Zagat reviews and real-time traffic reports. [TechCrunch]
A Russian rocket only lasted 34 seconds until it exploded in the air because somebody installed some of its parts “upside down” so your Ikea furniture sounds pretty sturdy right now. [Ars Technica]
Italy accomplished its first space walk at the International Space Station yesterday, and astronaut Luca Parmitano even came bearing tiramisu. But what did the ISS programme force Mr. Parmitano to do for his inaugural jaunt into the ether? Space chores. But moooooom!
Space the Final Frontier
Astronomers have detected a mysterious intergalactic radio signals, and, “in just a few milliseconds, each of the signals released about as much energy as the sun emits in 300,000 years.” Mindblown.gif. [Discovery]
A new project struck up through a partnership with Facebook and Dartmouth will analyze veterans’ opt-in social media data to determine whether it’s possible to predict suicide risk through Facebook status updates. [Naked Security]
Millions of young people in Japan are holed up in their rooms after becoming withdrawn, or “Hikikomori,” and paralyzed by social anxiety. Why? [The BBC]
Zynga accidentally put the email address of a random stranger on their customer support page. This is what happened. [Kotaku]
XX in Tech
NASA and President Obama are asking you, the people, to help them find dangerous asteroids hurtling on a death-path towards Earth. No pressure.
The initiative is the latest in Obama’s new series of 21st Century Grand Challenges, described by the White House as “ambitious but achievable goals that harness science, technology, and innovation to solve Read More
Girls already run the world, so the next logical step is for us to dominate the entire universe. The Daily News reports that on the eve of the 30th anniversary of Sally Ride’s space launch, NASA has chosen eight new astronauts to report for duty at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and four of them are women.