Space the Final Frontier

Brazilian Fisherman Finds Chunk of Space Rocket In Remote Amazonian River

Here's a scene from a river in Salinópolis, the town where the debris was found. (Wikimedia Commons)

A 73-year-old Brazilian fisherman was going about his day in a remote Amazonian river when lo and behold, he discovered a massive piece of “space junk” submerged in the water, the Guardian reports.

Turns out, the wall-sized panel was a piece of debris from the Ariane 5 rocket, one of Europe’s most sophisticated satellites. The rocket had reportedly launched from the Kourou base in French Guyana last July, the UK Space Agency said. The panel had been part of the satellite’s covering, and probably drifted inland after landing in the Atlantic. Read More

Space Invaders

Betabeat Is Going To Space, You Guys

Your new ride, OSIRIS-REx (Facebook)

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. Read More

3D printing

NASA Funds Mother of All 3D Printers to Build Equipment in Space

(Photo: Tethers.com)

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. Read More

mars attacks

New Research Claims We All Actually Came to Earth on a Meteorite from Mars

This is where I spent my childhood, you guys.

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. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Hulu’s Bidders Down to 3, Russian Rocket Falls Out of Space

He's not included. (Photo: Hulu)

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]

Linkages

Booting Up: Hope You Like Fireworks, ‘Cuz They’re All Over Your Instagram

(Photo: instagram.com/shanegboa)

Privacy watchdogs in three European countries have ordered Google to rewrite its privacy policy or else they’ll be forced to pursue legal sanctions. [The Guardian]

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]