Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds
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The planet Venus

By Shannon StironeKenneth Chang and 

High in the toxic atmosphere of the planet Venus, astronomers on Earth have discovered signs of what might be life.

If the discovery is confirmed by additional telescope observations and future space missions, it could turn the gaze of scientists toward one of the brightest objects in the night sky. Venus, named after the Roman goddess of beauty, roasts at temperatures of hundreds of degrees and is cloaked by clouds that contain droplets of corrosive sulfuric acid. Few have focused on the rocky planet as a habitat for something living.

Instead, for decades, scientists have sought signs of life elsewhere, usually peering outward to Mars and more recently at Europa, Enceladus and other icy moons of the giant planets.

The astronomers, who reported the finding on Monday in a pair of papers, have not collected specimens of Venusian microbes, nor have they snapped any pictures of them. But with powerful telescopes, they have detected a chemical — phosphine — in the thick Venus atmosphere. After much analysis, the scientists assert that something now alive is the only explanation for the chemical’s source.

Some researchers question this hypothesis, and they suggest instead that the gas could result from unexplained atmospheric or geologic processes on a planet that remains mysterious. But the finding will also encourage some planetary scientists to ask whether humanity has overlooked a planet that may have once been more Earthlike than any other world in our solar system.

“This is an astonishing and ‘out of the blue’ finding,” said Sara Seager, a planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an author of the papers (one published in Nature Astronomy and another submitted to the journal Astrobiology). “It will definitely fuel more research into the possibilities for life in Venus’s atmosphere.”

“We know that it is an extraordinary discovery,” said Clara Sousa-Silva, a molecular astrophysicist at Harvard University whose research has focused on phosphine, and another of the authors. “We may not know just how extraordinary without going back to Venus.”

Sarah Stewart Johnson, a planetary scientist and head of the Johnson Biosignatures Lab at Georgetown University who was not involved in the work, said, “There’s been a lot of buzz about phosphine as a biosignature gas for exoplanets recently,” referring to the search for life on worlds that orbit other stars. “How cool to find it on Venus.”

Continue on to The New York Times to read the complete article. 

Photo by: Photo12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

It Was His Day Off. Then the Space Station Went for a Spin.
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A new Russian module, named Nauka, suddenly fired its thrusters after docking at the International Space Station on Thursday.

The International Space Station, with a mass of more than 900,000 pounds and spanning an area as large as a football field, is not designed to do back flips like an Olympic gymnast.

But when a newly attached Russian compartment suddenly fired its thrusters on Thursday, NASA said on Twitter that the station tipped by 45 degrees. Actually, it was much more than 45 degrees. “That’s been a little incorrectly reported,” said Zebulon Scoville, the flight director who was in charge at NASA’s mission control center in Houston during Thursday’s tumbling incident. In an interview, Mr. Scoville described how the International Space Station spun one-and-a-half revolutions — about 540 degrees — before coming to a stop upside down. The space station then did a 180-degree forward flip to get back to its original orientation.

The seven astronauts aboard were never in danger, Mr. Scoville said, and the situation did not spiral out of control. Still, in seven years as a NASA flight director, this was the first time that Mr. Scoville had declared a “spacecraft emergency.”

Mr. Scoville was not even scheduled to work on Thursday. Another flight director, Gregory Whitney, led the operations on NASA’s side during the docking of the 23-ton Russian module named Nauka — “science” in Russian.

But Mr. Scoville had led earlier preparations for Nauka’s arrival, and he was curious. “So I decided to put on a tie and just go and watch it from the viewing gallery behind the control room,” he said. “And I was there with Holly Ridings, who’s the chief flight director, and Reid Wiseman, the chief of the astronaut office.”

After the docking, Mr. Whitney had some meetings to attend, so Ms. Ridings asked Mr. Scoville to take over the second half of Mr. Whitney’s shift. “And I’m like, ‘I’d be happy to. The docking — the hard part — is over. Let me go get a handover from him,’” Mr. Scoville said. “And so kind of impromptu, I went in and took the shift from him. He unplugged, I plugged in, and I turned around, and the caution warning board lit up.”

It was 11:34 a.m. Houston time.

“We had two messages — just two lines of code — saying that something was wrong,” Mr. Scoville said.

The messages said the space station had lost “attitude control” — that is, it had begun to tip. Usually, four large, heavy gyroscopes spinning at 6,000 revolutions a minute keep the space station steady, but some force appeared to be overpowering them.

“And so at first I was like, ‘Oh, is this a false indication?’” Mr. Scoville said. “And then I looked up at the video monitors and saw all the ice and thruster firings. This is no kidding. A real event. So let’s get to it. You get about half a breath of ‘Oh, geez, what now?’ and then you kind of push that down and just work the problem.”

Nauka’s thrusters had started firing, trying to pull away from a space station it was securely docked to.

Worse, there was no way to turn them off.

His counterparts at the mission control in Russia told him that Nauka was configured so that it could receive commands directly only from a ground station in Russia. The next pass over Russia was 70 minutes away.

The new Russian module is docked on the underside of the space station. When Nauka tried to move, it pulled down the rear of the space station, and the front pitched upward. “It’s exactly like doing a back flip,” Mr. Scoville said.

The rate of rotation reached a maximum of 0.56 degrees a second, Mr. Scoville said. That spinning is not nearly fast enough to generate significant artificial gravity — he said the astronauts reported almost no noticeable change in conditions within the station.

However, a spinning space station imparts stresses on the structure, and antennas are no longer pointing where they are supposed to. Mission controllers quickly informed the astronauts what was going on and gave them instructions.

“We knew we had a limited amount of time,” Mr. Scoville said.

Declaring a spacecraft emergency activated additional antennas in the United States that could communicate with the space station. But still, the connection between the ground and space was lost twice, once for four minutes, the other time for seven minutes.

Commands from the ground stowed and locked the station’s solar arrays. The astronauts took care of locking down the radiators, which emit heat from the station to space.

Click here to read the full article on The New York Times.

Google’s time crystal discovery is so big, we can’t fully comprehend it
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Google corporate office. Google recently found time crystals that can change the computer world

By , BGR

Forget Google Search and Fuchsia. Researchers from Google, Stanford, Princeton, and other universities might have made a computer discovery so big we can’t fully comprehend it yet. Even Google researchers aren’t entirely sure that their time crystal discovery is valid. But if it turns out to be accurate, then Google might be one of the first companies to give the world a crucial technological advancement for the future. Time crystals will be an essential building block in quantum computers, the kind of computers that can solve complex problems with incredible speed and power technologies that aren’t even invented.

What is a quantum computer?
Google isn’t the only company building quantum computers, and these types of machines keep popping up in the news with regularity. Quantum computers won’t reach your phone, and they’re not going to play games. Even if they did, Nintendo will totally ignore the latest computer technology when designing future consoles.

As The Next Web explains, we plan on using quantum computers for challenging problems. Examples include warp drives that could make fast interstellar travel possible. And medical technology that could cure virtually any disease.

But quantum computers are really hard to build, maintain, and even use. That’s where Google’s time crystals might come into play. As it stands now, quantum computers feature qubits, computer bits in the quantum world. These qubits act differently when someone observes them than when they’re left alone. That’s what makes it difficult to measure qubit states. And that instability makes using a quantum computer problematic. That’s where time crystals come in.

Google’s time crystals
Theorized in 2012, the time crystal concept is a new phase of matter. The Next Web explains that time crystals contradict one of Sir Isaac Newton’s famous laws. The first law of motion says that “an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion.”

In our universe, there’s something called high entropy (disorder). Something always happens thanks to energy exchanges. Entropy remains the same if there are no processes but increases in their presence. But that’s not valid for time crystals. They can maintain entropy even when they’re used in a process.

To understand Google’s time crystals, The Next Web offers a great analogy with snowflakes. They have unique designs, as the atoms are arranged in specific ways. Snow falls, melts, water evaporates, and then it’ll eventually become snow again. All these processes involve energy exchanges. A time crystal would be like having a snowflake that can change between two configurations back and forth with no energy usage or energy loss. Time crystals can have their cake and eat it too, and they can do it perpetually.

Click here to read the full article on BGR.

Animals Emerged 350 Million Years Earlier Than Previously Thought, Fossil Discovery Suggests
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A fragment of the spongin skeleton from a modern keratose sponge—literally a bath sponge from Greece.

By George Dvorsky, Gizmodo

Ancient rocks from northwestern Canada have been found to contain structures consistent with sea sponges. At 890 million years old, they could be the oldest known animal fossils on Earth.

Simple, single-celled life forms first appeared on Earth about 3.4 billion years ago, but it took a while for more complex animal life to emerge. The Cambrian Explosion of complex lifeforms happened around 540 million years ago, which coincides with the oldest undisputed sponge fossils on record.

In 2018, the discovery of steroids—a known biomarker—in rocks dated to between 660 million and 635 million years ago pushed the emergence of sponges to the Neoproterozoic, which is at least 100 million years before the Cambrian. Genetic analyses of modern sponges likewise suggests an early origin for these sea creatures, further reinforcing the notion that sponges were the first animals to appear on Earth.

Paco Cardenas, a biologist at Uppsala University in Sweden who wasn’t involved in the new study but is an expert on sponges, said this discrepancy between the fossil record and the chemical and DNA evidence “has been highly debated these past years.” Hence the importance of the newly reported discovery, which has implications for how we understand the origin of all animal life on Earth.

Elizabeth Turner from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Canada, is the sole author of the new Nature paper, and she reports on the discovery of fossil-like structures found in rocks pulled from the 890-million-year-old Little Dal reefs in the Stone Knife Formation of Canada’s Northwest Territories.

“If these fossils are confirmed to be sponge fossils, they would definitely be the first fossils of animals in the fossil record, thus pushing back the emergence of animals to 350 million years before the Cambrian,” Cardenas explained in an email. This recent discovery “may finally reconcile those [previous] lines of evidence,” but it “also raises new questions,” he added.

Peering at the rocks with a microscope, Turner noticed tube-shaped structures covered by mineral calcite crystals. These features bore a striking resemblance to the fibrous skeletons of horny sponges, and they formed from the decay of these ancient creatures, she argues. Horny sponges are still around today, and you might even be using one as a bath sponge (so yeah, humans might actually be descended from bath sponges, and as a dedicated fan of Spongebob Squarepants, I’m actually very cool with that).

Turner was able to rule out other interpretations of the microstructures owing to the configuration of the fossil material.

“It consists of little tubes that branch divergently and then rejoin to form a complex, three-dimensional meshwork,” she said in an email. “Of the branching organisms that could be considered as alternative interpretations, none of them have that kind of three-dimensional meshwork—not true algae, not bacteria, and not fungi.”

Click here to read the full article on Gizmodo.

50 Years Ago, NASA Put a Car on the Moon
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The lunar rovers of Apollo 15, 16 and 17 parked American automotive culture on the lunar surface, and expanded the scientific range of the missions’ astronaut explorers.

By Rebecca Boyle, New York Times

Dave Scott was not about to pass by an interesting rock without stopping. It was July 31, 1971, and he and Jim Irwin, his fellow Apollo 15 astronaut, were the first people to drive on the moon. After a 6-hour inaugural jaunt in the new lunar rover, the two were heading back to their lander, the Falcon, when Mr. Scott made an unscheduled pit stop.

West of a crater called Rhysling, Mr. Scott scrambled out of the rover and quickly picked up a black lava rock, full of holes formed by escaping gas. Mr. Scott and Mr. Irwin had been trained in geology and knew the specimen, a vesicular rock, would be valuable to scientists on Earth. They also knew that if they asked for permission to stop and get it, clock-watching mission managers would say no. So Mr. Scott made up a story that they stopped the rover because he was fidgeting with his seatbelt. The sample was discovered when the astronauts returned to Earth, Mr. Scott described what he’d done, and “Seatbelt Rock” became one of the most prized geologic finds from Apollo 15.

Like many lunar samples returned to Earth by the final Apollo missions, Seatbelt Rock never would have been collected if the astronauts had not brought a car with them. Apollo 11 and Apollo 13 are the NASA lunar missions that tend to be remembered most vividly. But at the 50th anniversary of Apollo 15, which launched on July 26, 1971, some space enthusiasts, historians and authors are giving the lunar rover its due as one of the most enduring symbols of the American moon exploration program.

Foldable, durable, battery-powered and built by Boeing and General Motors, the vehicle is seen by some as making the last three missions into the crowning achievement of the Apollo era.

“Every mission in the crewed space program, dating back to Alan Shepard’s first flight, had been laying the groundwork for the last three Apollo missions,” said Earl Swift, author of a new book about the lunar rover, “Across the Airless Wilds: The Lunar Rover and the Triumph of the Final Moon Landings.”

“You see NASA take all of that collected wisdom, gleaned over the previous decade in space, and apply it,” Mr. Swift said. “It’s a much more swashbuckling kind of science.”

Once Neil Armstrong’s small step satisfied Project Apollo’s geopolitical goals, NASA emphasized science, said Teasel Muir-Harmony, curator of the Apollo collections at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington. While the first moon-walkers retrieved samples near their landing sites, scientists had long hoped for a lunar road trip that promised rare rocks. Plans for a lunar rover were finally given the green light just two months before Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans on the moon.

Though moon buggies had been imagined for years, driving a car on the moon is more complicated than it sounds. Throughout the 1960s, engineers studied a variety of concepts: tank-like tracked vehicles, flying cars, even a rotund monstrosity shaped, as Mr. Swift describes it, “like an overgrown Tootsie Pop, with its spherical cabin up top of a single long leg, which in turn was mounted on a caterpillar-tread foot.” Ultimately, a carlike buggy came out on top.

“There were other outlandish ideas, like a pogo stick, or a motorcycle — things that I am glad they didn’t pursue,” Dr. Muir-Harmony said. “The lunar rover is, in some ways, relatively practical.”

The moon car was also quintessentially American. The rover’s exposed chassis, umbrella-like antenna and wire wheels meant it looked like no car on Earth, yet its connection to the American auto industry and the nation’s love affair with the automobile captivated public attention like nothing since Apollo 11, Dr. Muir-Harmony said.

Starting with Project Mercury in the 1960s, a Florida car dealer allowed astronauts to lease Chevrolet cars for $1, which were later sold to the public. The Apollo 15 crew chose red, white and blue Corvettes. A photo spread in Life magazine showed the astronauts posing with their iconic American muscle cars alongside the moon buggy, making the lunar rover look cool by association, Dr. Muir-Harmony said. “There’s a lot to unpack in that picture,” she added.

Click here to read the full article on the New York Times.

Scientists Are Using a Balloon to Launch a Telescope
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An image of the Rotten Egg Nebula captured by the Hubble Space Telescope and released by NASA in August 2001.

By Jake Dean, Slate

Exploring space requires scientists to get a little creative. One of my professors at Arizona State University once proposed a mission to smash a copper ball into Mars to examine the ejecta and subsurface of the planet. (ASU is a partner with Slate and New America in Future Tense.) Sometimes, the simplest and cheapest solutions are best in a field where high-tech offerings can pose a significant chance of failure.

Cheap solutions like, say, launching a telescope via a stadium-sized high-tech helium balloon instead of a rocket. That’s the idea behind the Super-Pressure Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope—or SuperBIT, which is expected to make its operational debut in April 2022. On June 21, at the Royal Astronomical Society’s annual National Astronomy Meeting, the team (consisting of scientists from NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, and universities in Canada, the U.S., and England) shared results from testing. This balloon will soon provide telescope imagery to rival (and possibly surpass) that of the Hubble Space Telescope—along with reducing the backlog of imagery requests. As useful as Hubble is, it simply can’t meet the demand of every scientist who wants to task it for a scientific query. It is just one telescope, after all.

So, this telescope isn’t exactly going to space; it will work at an altitude of roughly 25 miles above the surface, according to a Royal Astronomical Society press release. That’s above 99.5 percent of Earth’s atmosphere—so, as you may have recently learned from Bezos and Branson’s childish spat, it’s technically not in space. But unlike Bezos and Branson, it’s actually going to produce useful science. This balloon setup will get the telescope above the atmospheric interference that is critical to ensure good imagery. The atmosphere protects Earth from the harmful effects of various electromagnetic radiation, but it can also blur the images telescopes capture.

Now you may be wondering: How long will this helium balloon stay aloft? We’ve all seen birthday balloons slowly drop to the floor after a few days of clinging to our ceiling. Well, that’s where NASA’s ingenuity comes in. The super-pressure balloon maintains enough internal pressure to stay aloft day or night and should stay airborne for weeks, possibly even months if it needs to. This is quite an improvement when compared with NASA’s past attempt at this design: In late 2014 it planned to keep an Antarctic telescope aloft for 100 days. But the balloon quickly sprung a leak and was forced to land just two days into the mission.

So, given the technical issues NASA has faced in the past, why use a balloon? Three key reasons. First, the cost. The construction and operation budget for the SuperBIT’s first telescope was roughly $5 million, which is insanely cheap by space standards. For context, the Royal Astronomical Society estimated that this is .1 percent of the cost of a similar satellite mission. Second, the ability to bring the balloon back to the surface for repairs and upgrades makes this telescope system uniquely flexible. Given this, the SuperBIT setup isn’t married to one set of hardware forever once launched. As Mohamed Shaaban, a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto and a central member of the project, explained for Space.com, “SuperBIT can be continually reconfigured and upgraded.” When Hubble becomes obsolete, well, Hubble is no longer useful. And as we recently learned, it’s quite a bother to repair its 1980s technology when it breaks. If a telescope aboard SuperBIT becomes obsolete or runs into technical issues, you just bring the balloon back to the surface and put a new telescope on it. Finally, the use of balloon removes the necessity of burning rocket fuel to launch a telescope. (Rocket fuel is predictably terrible for the environment.)

Click here to read the full article on Slate.

Blue Origin Launch: Jeff Bezos reaches space on company’s 1st flight with people
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Bezos, 57, who also owns The Washington Post, claimed the first seat.

By Marcia Dunn, ABC 7

VAN HORN, Texas — Jeff Bezos blasted into space Tuesday on his rocket company’s first flight with people on board, becoming the second billionaire in just over a week to ride his own spacecraft.

The Amazon founder was accompanied by a hand-picked group: his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and an 82-year-old aviation pioneer from Texas – the youngest and oldest to ever fly in space.

“Best day ever!” Bezos said when the capsule touched down on the desert floor at the end of the 10-minute flight.

Named after America’s first astronaut, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket soared from remote West Texas on the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, a date chosen by Bezos for its historical significance. He held fast to it, even as Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson pushed up his own flight from New Mexico in the race for space tourist dollars and beat him to space by nine days.

Unlike Branson’s piloted rocket plane, Bezos’ capsule was completely automated and required no official staff on board for the up-and-down flight.

Blue Origin reached an altitude of about 66 miles (106 kilometers), more than 10 miles (16 kilometers) higher than Branson’s July 11 ride. The 60-foot (18-meter) booster accelerated to Mach 3 or three times the speed of sound to get the capsule high enough, before separating and landing upright.

The passengers had several minutes of weightlessness to float around the spacious white capsule. The window-filled capsule landed under parachutes, with Bezos and his guests briefly experiencing nearly six times the force of gravity, or 6 G’s, on the way back.

Led by Bezos, they climbed out of the capsule after touchdown with wide grins, embracing parents, partners and children, then popped open bottles of sparkling wine, spraying one another.

Sharing Bezos’ dream-come-true adventure was Wally Funk, from the Dallas area, one of 13 female pilots who went through the same tests as NASA’s all-male astronaut corps in the early 1960s but never made it into space.

Joining them on the ultimate joyride was the company’s first paying customer, Oliver Daemen, a last-minute fill-in for the mystery winner of a $28 million auction who opted for a later flight. The Dutch teen’s father took part in the auction, and agreed on a lower undisclosed price last week when Blue Origin offered his son the vacated seat.

“I got goose bumps,” said Angel Herrera after the capsule landed. “The hair on the back of my neck stood up, just witnessing history.”

Herrera, who lives in El Paso, was one of a few dozen people who watched the launch from inside Van Horn High School, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) away.

Blue Origin – founded by Bezos in 2000 in Kent, Washington, near Amazon’s Seattle headquarters – hasn’t revealed its price for a ride to space. Two more passenger flights are planned by year’s end, said Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith.

The recycled rocket and capsule that carried up Tuesday’s passengers were used on the last two space demos, according to company officials.

Click here to read the full article on ABC 7.

Humans, Neanderthals share up to 98.5 percent DNA, new study reveals
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Many humans DNA carry genes from Neanderthals, a legacy of past admixture

You’re not much different than a Neanderthal, according to your DNA. At least according to a new study published by Science Advances. The journal found that as little as 1.5 percent of our DNA is unique to modern humans, and not shared with our ancestral species.

“That’s a pretty small percentage,” Nathan Schaefer, a University of California scholar and co-author of the report, told The Associated Press. “This kind of finding is why scientists are turning away from thinking that we human are so vastly different from Neanderthals.”

The study compared modern human DNA to that extracted from the fossilized remains of extinct Neanderthals and Denisovans, two pre-human species that died off 35,000 and 50,000 years ago, respectively. Both species are believed to have bred with early humans.

“Many humans carry genes from Neanderthals, a legacy of past admixture,” the study states. “We find that only 1.5 to 7 percent of the modern human genome is uniquely human.”

Click here to read the full article on the New York Post.

NASA predicts a “wobble” in the moon’s orbit may lead to record flooding on Earth
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moon in space

By Sophie Lewis, CBS News

Every coast in the U.S. is facing rapidly increasing high tide floods thanks to a “wobble” in the moon’s orbit working in tandem with climate change-fueled rising sea levels. A new study from NASA and the University of Hawaii, published recently in the journal Nature Climate Change, warns that upcoming changes in the moon’s orbit could lead to record flooding on Earth in the next decade. Through mapping the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) sea-level rise scenarios, flooding thresholds and astronomical cycles, researchers found flooding in American coastal cities could be several multiples worse in the 2030s, when the next moon “wobble” is expected to begin. They expect the flooding to significantly damage infrastructure and displace communities.

While the study highlights the dire situation facing coastal cities, the lunar wobble is actually a natural occurrence, first reported in 1728. The moon’s orbit is responsible for periods of both higher and lower tides about every 18.6 years, and they aren’t dangerous in their own right.

“In half of the Moon’s 18.6-year cycle, Earth’s regular daily tides are suppressed: High tides are lower than normal, and low tides are higher than normal,” NASA explains. “In the other half of the cycle, tides are amplified: High tides get higher, and low tides get lower. Global sea-level rise pushes high tides in only one direction – higher. So half of the 18.6-year lunar cycle counteracts the effect of sea-level rise on high tides, and the other half increases the effect.”

But this time around, scientists are more concerned. With sea-level rise due to climate change, the next high tide floods are expected to be more intense and more frequent than ever before, exacerbating already grim predictions.

In 2019, NOAA reported more than 600 such floods. Scientists expect three to four times that amount in the mid-2030s, after sea-level rise has another decade to progress.

According to the study, these floods will exceed flooding thresholds around the country more often, and can also occur in clusters lasting more than a month, depending on the positions of the moon, Earth and sun. During certain alignments, floods could happen as frequently as every day or every other day.

“Low-lying areas near sea level are increasingly at risk and suffering due to the increased flooding, and it will only get worse,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “The combination of the Moon’s gravitational pull, rising sea levels, and climate change will continue to exacerbate coastal flooding on our coastlines and across the world.”

Click here to read the full article on CBS News.

The Annual BDPA Technology and Career Fair – Win Scholarship in the “Design A Mobile App Showcase’!
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Man's hand holding display of mobile app design

You will design, pitch and demo the app to a panel of judges for the chance to win a scholarship.

Hi Students,

The National Mobile App showcase is a great opportunity to improve your programming skills in the language of your choice and learn about product development.

Design and build any application you are passionate about and learn how to give a compelling pitch to an audience of companies looking for students like you!

This competition is here for independent, driven students.

We will provide lightweight checkpoints to help you think through your app, troubleshoot, and finish a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) by the end of the summer.

Build your app at your own pace.

Register Here!

During the Annual BDPA Conference on August 12-14, 2021, you will pitch and demo the app to a panel of judges for the chance to win a scholarship upward We’ve got great prizes this year.

1st Place College Scholarship $3,000
2nd Place College Scholarship $2,000
3rd Place College Scholarship $1,250

1st Place High School $1,750
2nd Place High School $1,250
3rd Place High Scholarship $750

Hope to see you there!

Best,
The Mobile App Showcase Team
mobileapps@bdpa.org

NASA is actively searching for intelligent life in the universe and is looking for habitable planets, official says
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Image of the Milky Way Galaxy without intelligent life

By Emily DeCiccio, CNBC

Intelligent life may exist elsewhere in the universe besides Earth, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in an interview Tuesday, and NASA is actively searching for signs. “If you have a universe that is 13.5 billion years old — it is so big — is there another chance for another Sun and another planet that has an atmosphere like ours? I would say yes, so I think we’re going to get some indication that there’s intelligent life out there,” said Nelson during an interview Tuesday.

In a report on unidentified flying objects released June 25, the U.S. government couldn’t explain 143 of the 144 cases of UFOs reported by military planes from 2004 to 2021, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Nelson told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that NASA has been involved in searching for intelligent life for years, and noted that the agency is looking for life on the planets in our solar system and elsewhere in the cosmos to determine other Suns that have planets with a habitable atmosphere.

The former Florida Senator added that part of the search includes learning more about Mars. NASA’s experimental helicopter Ingenuity made its ninth flight on Mars on Monday. Ingenuity flew for nearly 3 minutes, going as fast as 5 meters (over 16 feet) per second, according to a tweet from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

“This particular time, it’s scouting a very sandy region in order to determine should the rover go there and possibly get stuck in the sand, so Ingenuity is just doing amazing things,” Nelson said.

NASA described Ingenuity’s latest flight as “the most nerve-wracking flight since Flight 1.”

Click here to read the full article on CNBC.

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Upcoming Events

  1. Commercial UAV Expo Americas, Las Vegas
    September 7, 2021 - September 9, 2021
  2. WiCyS 2021 Conference
    September 8, 2021 @ 8:00 am - September 10, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
  3. 2021 ERG & Council Conference
    September 15, 2021 - September 17, 2021
  4. Wonder Women Tech
    October 26, 2021 - October 29, 2021
  5. HACU’s 35th Annual Conference
    October 30, 2021 - November 1, 2021
  6. AEC Next Technology Expo & Conference, International Lidar Mapping Forum, and SPAR 3D Expo & Conference
    February 6, 2022 - February 8, 2022