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Category Archives: Transhuman News

SpaceX to build floating spaceports for rockets bound for the Moon and Mars, and for hypersonic Earth travel – TechCrunch

Posted: June 17, 2020 at 1:49 am

SpaceX is hiring experts in Offshore Operations in Brownsville, job ads revealed on Tuesday and the purpose is to help the company develop and build floating spaceports that will provide launch sites for the companys Super Heavy-class launch vehicles. SpaceX will use these larger rockets to get its forthcoming large payload rockets to the Moon, to Mars and also for point-to-point travel right here on Earth, according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

Musk said on Twitter that this was the purpose behind the new job posting, which was originally spotted by Dan Paasch. SpaceX has previously shown concepts of its forthcoming Super Heavy rocket booster, paired with its Starship spacecraft, launching for hypersonic Earth travel which would reduce the trip time for long-haul flights to merely a couple of hours. Those concepts have thus far consisted only of renders, however, and we didnt know what the plan was in terms of how and from where those spacecraft would launch until today.

Starship and Super Heavy are primarily being developed to help SpaceX and Musk realize their goal of delivering human to Mars, in order to colonize that and other interstellar destinations including the Moon to make humans an interstellar species. But while those goals may seem out of reach to most people, the companys aims of using the same fully reusable spacecraft to greatly decrease the cost of point-to-point supersonic travel here on Earth are likely to be much more relevant.

Point-to-point space-based transportation is not a new concept, and others beyond SpaceX are working on developing ways to make this happen. The idea is that by traveling at the edge of, or beyond Earths atmosphere, you can greatly reduce the fuel cost and duration of flight traveling the distance between New York and Paris, for instance, in under an hour. In fact, SpaceX claimed during a presentation in 2017 that point-to-point transportation with its Starship could reach any city on Earth from any other city in less than an hour.

SpaceX has been developing Starship in Texas, near Brownsville where this new job posting is seeking Offshore Operations Engineers. The company has been expanding its testing and development site in the area, and has also sought to increase the resources dedicated to its operations in the state.

Musk didnt share much more about the plans, but did say in response to another tweet that claimed this amounted to Referb[ushing] oil platforms with a hyperloop to transport from land was pretty much part of the plan, so that could be involved in shuttling passengers back and forth to and from their departure and destination spaceports.

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SpaceX to build floating spaceports for rockets bound for the Moon and Mars, and for hypersonic Earth travel - TechCrunch

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Scientists developed a polymer that can deliver oxygen for germination on Mars – ZME Science

Posted: at 1:49 am

Although its little more than a barren wasteland nowadays, our planetary neighbor Mars is similar in many ways to Earth. Its length of day, dry surface area, and general relief are similar to those on Earth, which makes the Red Planet a prime target for an eventual colonization attempt.

But if we want to set up a permanent settlement on this telluric planet, there are many challenges we need to overcome one of them, the sustainable cultivation of edible crops, has just made a revolutionary leap forward.

In a recently published paper, researchers John G. MacDonald, Karien Rodriguez and Stephen Quirk developed an oxygen delivery polymer that enabled the first successful germination in a Mars-like environment.

On Mars, there already are already some resources that we can use to grow harvestable plants. For instance, the layer of loose, soil-like material called regolith contains chemical elements such as phosphorous, iron, and potassium all of which are needed for most plants to grow. However, until now, it has not been possible to successfully germinate plants conditions such as those on Mars.

The problem or at least, part of the problem is oxygen.

While plants are able to supply their own oxygen after some time, it is needed in molecular form for most plants to develop from seed to seedling. Unfortunately, the Martian atmosphere consisting of 95% carbon dioxide, contains mere traces of oxygen.

While there are types of plants capable of anoxic germination (most noticeably rice) this adaptation comes with some major drawbacks like a reduction of cellular respiration which is why they have to rely on the little efficient fermentation as an energy source.

Molecular oxygen is also needed for the redox reactions that produce generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) with essential signaling functions.

There are two ways of obtaining oxygen in a Mars-like environment: extract it from regolith metal oxides, and electrolysis. Both have some major downsides, namely time consumption and proximity to water respectively.

In a recent paper, scientists propose a different approach: they developed a polymer system. When combined with sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide, the polymer becomes an oxygen infused foamed hydrogel which can deliver controlled amounts of gaseous oxygen. The foamed matrix can be mixed into the regolith or coated around the seed and can be used to grow plants.

In other words, for the first time in history, scientists succeeded in germinating plants in a martian environment. Cress, a typical test object for plant research, grew almost identically in the uninviting environment when the polymer system was used in comparison to the control group.

The findings of the scientists from Georgia, US, could mean a big step forward towards the distant possibility of a human colony on Mars.

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Could Mars Science City in Dubai be the future for life on other planets? – DubaiLAD

Posted: at 1:49 am

Architects have started to come up with possible designs for Mars Science City in Dubai as the UAE plans for life on Mars within 100 years.

Back in 2017, the UAE announced that it wanted to colonize Mars within the next 100 years. And so they created Mars Science City, a 176,000 square meters of desert where a simulation of life on Mars could be created.

And that $135 million is starting to come through as prototype designs have been released by the Dubai Media Office of what Mars Science City could look like.

.@CNN: The planned Mars Science City is only one part of the ambitious space program run by #Dubai's @MBRSpaceCentre. Last year it sent its first astronaut into space; this summer it will launch a probe to Mars, and in November it will undertake its first-ever analog mission.

The UAEs space mission has gone into lightspeed since 2017.

The UAE are launching the Hope probe to Mars later this year. The Hope will study the atmosphere on Mars for two years from a high altitude position. While there, it will take in vital weather readings across a full Martian weather cycle.

While in 2019, they sent Hazza Al Mansouri to space, becoming the first Emirati in space. In total, he spent eight days on board the ISS last year.

While there, he notched up a number of inter-galactic firsts including the first to give a tour of the ISS in Arabic. And he was the first to eat Arabic food in space. Which, we can all agree, is legendary behaviour.

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Yes to Space Exploration. No to Space Capitalism. – The Wire

Posted: at 1:49 am

Elon Musk. Photo: Reuters.

On May 30, SpaceX finally launched astronauts into space more than two years behind schedule. President Donald Trump was on hand for the launch. After pushing for the militarisation of space with the formation of the US Space Force, Trump fused his own vision with that of SpaceX founder Elon Musk, declaring, Well soon be landing on Mars and well soon have the greatest weapons ever imagined in history.

Early in Trumps presidency, Musk faced criticism for being part of the administrations advisory council and refusing to step down even as Trump signed his signature Muslim ban. It was believed Musk was hoping to benefit from greater public subsidies, on top of the billions NASA gave to SpaceX, and hes set to do so as part of Trumps plan to get astronauts back on the moon by 2024. More recently, the two have found themselves of the same mind on the pandemic as they shared misleading health information and Musk echoed Trumps calls to open the economy and give people their freedom back.

The May 30 launch symbolised both Trumps desire to project an image of revived American greatness and Musks need not only to bolster the myth that makes his wealth possible, but to set the foundations for a privatised space industry.

The space billionaires Musk and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos foremost among them have little stake in the wellbeing of the majority of the population. Their space visions are designed for wealthy people like themselves, with little mention of where the working class would fit in. Theyve built their wealth on exploitation, and their visions of the future are little more than an extension of their present actions.

A history of violence

The business practices of Musk and Bezos are increasingly well known and have been on clear display during the pandemic. Musk tried to claim Teslas Fremont, California factory was essential until authorities forced him to close it; then he reopened it in defiance of health orders. As Tesla CEO, Musk has a long history of opposing the unionisation of workers, presiding over a high rate of worker injuries (which the company tried to cover up), and even having a former worker hacked and harassed after he became a whistleblower.

Meanwhile, Bezos has a similar history of abusing Amazon workers. Amazons warehouses are known for having higher injury rates than the industry average, the company has fought unionisation, and the stories of the terrible conditions experienced by workers are legendary. During the pandemic, that has continued, with the company failing to enforce social distancing or provide adequate protective equipment until workers began walking out, refusing to be open about infection information, and firing workers who dared criticise the company, all while Bezoss wealth has increased by more than $30 billion.

But it goes beyond that, because the worldviews of these billionaires began to be formed long before they started the empires they currently lord over.

Musk did not have a regular childhood, but rather a wealthy upbringing in apartheid South Africa. His father was an engineer and owned part of an emerald mine in Zambia, telling Business Insider, We were very wealthy. We had so much money at times we couldnt even close our safe. In Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Ashlee Vance describes how Musk got money from his father when he was starting one of his original ventures. He also had a particular admiration for his grandfather, who moved to apartheid South Africa from Canada after rallying against government interference in the lives of individuals.

Bezos has a not-dissimilar story. His father was a well-off oil engineer in Cuba while Fulgencio Batista was in power. In Bit Tyrants, Rob Larson explains that Bezoss father left the island after the Cuban Revolution and passed his libertarian views down to his son. Bezoss parents invested nearly $250,000 in Amazon in 1995 as it was getting started.

These space barons made their billions through the exploitation of their workers and came from well-off backgrounds made possible from resource extraction. When digging into their visions for a future in space, its clear that they seek to extend these conditions into the cosmos, not challenge them in favour of space exploration for the benefit of all.

The future they want

Musk and Bezos are the leading drivers of the modern push to privatise and colonise space through their respective companies, SpaceX and Blue Origin. Their visions differ slightly, with Musk preferring to colonise Mars, while Bezos has more interest in building space colonies in orbit.

In 2016, Musk claimed he would begin sending rockets to Mars in 2018. That never happened, but it hasnt ended his obsession. Musk is determined to make humans a multi-planetary species, framing our choice as either space colonisation or the risk of extinction. Bezos says that Earth is the best planet in our solar system, but if we dont colonize space we doom ourselves to stasis and rationing.

These framings serve the interests of these billionaires, and make it seem like colonising space is an obvious and necessary choice when it isnt. It ignores their personal culpability and the role of the capitalist system they seek to reproduce in causing the problems they say we need to flee in the first place.

Billionaires have a much greater carbon footprint than ordinary people, with Musk flying his private jet all around the world as he claims to be an environmental champion. Amazon, meanwhile, is courting oil and gas companies with cloud services to make their business more efficient, and Tesla is selling a false vision of sustainability that purposely serves people like Musk, all while capitalism continues to drive the climate system toward the cliff edge. Colonising space will not save us from billionaire-fuelled climate dystopia.

But these billionaires do not hide who would be served by their futures. Musk has given many figures for the cost of a ticket to Mars, but theyre never cheap. He told Vance the tickets would cost $500,000 to $1 million, a price at which he thinks its highly likely that there will be a self-sustaining Martian colony. However, the workers for such a colony clearly wont be able to buy their own way. Rather, Musk tweeted a plan for Martian indentured servitude where workers would take on loans to pay for their tickets and pay them off later because There will be a lot of jobs on Mars!

Bezos is even more open about how the workforce will have to expand to serve his vision, but has little to say about what theyll be doing. His plan to maintain economic growth and dynamism requires the human population to grow to a trillion people. He claims this would create a thousand Mozarts and a thousand Einsteins who would live in space colonies that are supposed to house a million people each, with the surface of Earth being mainly for tourism. Meanwhile, industrial and mining work would move into orbit so as not to pollute the planet, and while he doesnt explicitly acknowledge it, its likely thats where youll find many of those trillion workers toiling for their space overlord and his descendants.

Space shouldnt serve capitalists

In 1978, Murray Bookchin skewered a certain brand of futurism that sought to extend the present into the future and desired multinational corporations to become multi-cosmic corporations. Much of this future thinking obsesses about possible changes to technology, but seeks to preserve the existing social and economic relations the present as it exists today, projected, one hundred years from now, as Bookchin put it. Thats at the core of the space billionaires vision for the future.

Space has been used by past US presidents to bolster American power and influence, but it was largely accepted that capitalism ended at the edge of the atmosphere. Thats no longer the case, and just as past capitalist expansions have come at the expense of poor and working people to enrich a small elite, so too will this one. Bezos and Trump may have a public feud, but that doesnt mean that their mutual interest isnt served by a renewed US push into space that funnels massive public funds into private pockets and seeks to open celestial bodies to capitalist resource extraction.

This is not to say that we need to halt space exploration. The collective interest of humanity is served by learning more about the solar system and the universe beyond, but the goal of such missions must be driven by gaining scientific knowledge and enhancing global cooperation, not nationalism and profit-making.

Yet thats exactly what the space billionaires and American authoritarians have found common cause in, with Trump declaring that a new age of American ambition has now begun at a NASA press briefing just hours before cities across the country were placed under curfew last week. Before space can be explored in a way that benefits all of humankind, existing social relations must be transformed, not extended into the stars as part of a new colonial project.

This article was first published on Jacobin. Read the originalhere.

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The Expanse Season 5: Congressional Republic on Mars and the Outer Planet Alliance … – Next Alerts

Posted: at 1:49 am

The Expanse is an American science fiction TV series which is created by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby. The series is based on the novel of the same name by James S.A. Corey. The series is about a future where humanity is in a solar system, it shows us what will happen in the future and how it is colonized.

The series was renewed for a fifth season on July 27, 2019, by Amazon.

The series got renewed for a fifth season but the production stopped because of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Since the production was delayed and we do not know when the situation will be normal again there is no official announcement regarding the releasing date of the series. It was decided that the episodes will be out by the end of 2020 but now due to the situation we do not know any confirmed date.

The plot of the series is about a future where humans have colonized the entire solar system. The Martian, The United Nations Security Council of Earth, and Luna are the three main powerful organizations.

The plot of the fifth season is based on the fifth part of the novel called NEMESIS GAME. Those who have read the series already know what the fifth season will be about. No spoilers for those who do not know but here is a hint. This season will show us some old well-established structures like the Congressional Republic on Mars and The Outer Planet Alliance.

The series was nominated for The Best Drama of the season awards, Saturn Awards, and also for the Best Science Fictional Series Award. The series shows clear vision and characters and have received a great response till now.

For the fifth season fans expectations is huge Lets wait together until any further updates from the production !!! Till then you can watch all the four seasons If you still have not watched !!!

The Expanse Season 5: Congressional Republic on Mars and the Outer Planet Alliance ... - Next Alerts

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Stop looking to the stars, we must protect our home – The Tide

Posted: at 1:49 am

Since the Industrial Revolution, our planet has been on a path towards environmental destruction. Humans are responsible for this due to our tampering with the Earths air cycle, naturally alternating between 160 and 300 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For hundreds of thousands of years, the cycle continued uninterrupted, however, after 1900 CO2 levels have skyrocketed to all-time highs (420ppm) and show no signs of returning to manageable amounts.

If the human race does not wean itself off non-renewable resources in the next ten years and drastically reduce emissions, the planet will slip past the point of no return and an extinction-level event will follow. But, the COVID-19 pandemic has given much hope regarding the planets future, showing to the world that humanity is capable of repairing Earth and halting climate change. When nations reopen the economies of the world, they must do so with a new mindset, focusing on healing the only home life has.

But many organizations and people, such as Elon Musk and Mars One, are calling for Mars to become the new home of the human race, encouraging many to consider this an alternative to climate recovery. However, this would be a grave mistake as the world neither has the capability to do so nor is it likely to be successful. Although space travel and exploration are essential components of human advancement, our primary mission must be mending our current planet and increasing funding for environmental cleanup efforts.

Life in the form we are familiar with can only survive in small regions of select star systems dubbed Goldilocks Zones. The zone consists of a thin invisible ring containing planets that can host liquid water on their surfaces. Temperatures are neither too hot to boil water, nor cold enough to freeze it all.

Out of the 100 billion exoplanets in the Milky Way, scientists speculate a sizable 40 billion are Earth-sized and orbit stars in their Goldilocks Zones. Though, NASA has only identified 20 planets to be suitable for human life. Even if these planets are suitable for life, they are situated thousands of light-years away from Earth. With current technology, humans would never be able to colonize these celestial bodies. One may argue that humans can develop light-speed starships, but the creation of these technologies would take centuries, and there simply is not enough time.

The aforementioned individuals and companies claim Mars is suitable for life in the future due to its position in the suns Goldilocks Zone, though its harsh landscape and thin atmosphere means humans would never be able to live outside protective suits and vacuum-sealed pods. If humans were to try and migrate to this planet, we would likely go extinct, or shrivel down to a measly number of inhabitants, greatly threatening the future of our species.

Some propose a solution of terraforming Mars, which involves growing plants and other organisms on the surface so they can produce carbon dioxide and thus, create a breathable atmosphere similar to Earths. However, there is no foolproof method of doing so and it would cost trillions of dollars, taking centuries to complete. Ironically, humans will be trying to create a new world via a method that destroyed our original home, possibly destining us for the same fate.

Due to the sheer insanity and low chances of success for the terraforming process, Mars shouldnt even be an option for our future home as a species. Our best bet would be to focus humanitys attention on our current planet that we have been engineered for. As stated before, scientists claim we have ten years to halt climate change and save our planet. Many, including NASA, have demonstrated the effectiveness of combating climate change through their efforts in monitoring the sea levels, changes in ice and keeping a record on the overall temperature of the surface.

It seems as if we are ignoring what we have. Earth is our home and it makes no sense as to why we arent protecting it. Humans are far more likely to save our planet than find a new habitable one. Comparing costs alone shows stopping greenhouse gasses is far more financially viable than moving humanity to another planet.

The Earth is also the most important and vital thing for humanity in the entire universe. Not only has it created and provided a home for life over the last millions of years, but it is one of the most beautiful and unique parts of the known universe. Its mountain ranges, seas, canyons, forests and so much more must be preserved. Without Earth, humanity, or any known life for that matter, would not exist. We are forever in debt to this magical world, and in turn, must protect it.

Mankind has had the rare opportunity to jump-start its mission to save the planet due to the Coronavirus pandemic. If more people work from home, electric cars populate the roads and cleaner methods of manufacturing are implemented, there may be a chance. But action must be taken immediately, interplanetary colonization must wait.

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Stop looking to the stars, we must protect our home - The Tide

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Meet Griffin, the Lander Ferrying NASA’s Next Rover to the Moon – Popular Mechanics

Posted: at 1:49 am

NASA has selected Astrorobotic to ferry the agency's new lunar robot to the moon. In 2023, Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) will blast off for the moon's south pole in search of water ice.

NASA made the announcement during an 11 a.m. press conference on June 11. The award is part of NASA's $2.8 billion Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative; Astrobotic will receive a $199.5 million contract to deliver the robotic explorer, which NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., is developing.

"We've learned a lot from all of our missions, but maybe one of the most surprising findings of recent years was that water ice has accumulated in the extremely cold permanently shadowed regions of the moon," director of NASA's Planetary Science Division Lori Glaze said in the press conference. The India Space Research Office's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft discovered the presence of water ice when it sent an impactor to the lunar surface in 2008. NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument on the spacecraft confirmed the finding.


Water ice will become a precious commodity as we explore and colonize the moon. Water molecules can be broken down, providing both oxygen for us to breath and hydrogen to use for rocket fuel. But there's still a lot to learn about the lunar resource. "We don't know how it's distributed or what form it's in," Glaze said referring to the moon's water. "It might be distributed as ice crystals or water molecules chemically bound to other materials."

VIPER is designed to drill into the moon's surface and analyze samples of the lunar regolith for water molecules using the four science instruments on board. Over the course of its 100 Earth-day-mission, the rover will travel several miles charting the location and concentration of water ice, according to a NASA press release. Ultimately, the rover will play a key role in developing a global lunar water map, which the agency says will dictate where astronauts will land in the coming years.

Astrobotic's Griffin lunar lander, which can haul loads of up to 1,100 pounds, will be tasked with ferrying VIPER to the moon. Once Griffin lands, a ramp will unfurl and VIPER will roll onto the lunar surface, ready to explore.

"The moon can become a destination for refueling our spacecraft and to explore and maybe even go deeper into space," John Thornton, the CEO of Astrobotic said. "Understanding what that water is from a commercial perspective as well as from a science perspective could potentially truly unlock the solar system to exploration and science."

The Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic was founded in 2007. Last year, the company was selected to deliver 14 payloads to the moon aboard its Peregrin lunar lander. NASA awarded the company with $79.5 million to help them ferry materials to the moon's equator starting in 2021. And in July of last year, the company was awarded a contract for its autonomous rover, MoonRanger. The rover will explore and create 3D maps of the lunar surface.

A total of 14 companies were eligible to bid on the VIPER project. The Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative includes industry veterans like Lockheed Martin, Draper, and Sierra Nevada Corporation as well as flashier contemporaries like Blue Origin and SpaceX, which is coming off of the successful May 30 launch of its Crew Dragon capsule.

Update: We've updated the article to clarify that the 14 companies were eligible to bid on the contract. A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that those companies had bid on the contract. We apologize for the error.

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The Space Station Is Getting a New Toilet – Futurism

Posted: at 1:06 am

Astronauts on board the International Space Station will be about to sigh a big sigh of relief: the space station is getting a brand spanking new toilet, as reports.

The new system called the Universal Waste Management System (UWMS) is meant to be the (smelly) testing grounds for zero gravity toilets to be used during long space flight, such as a journey to Mars.

Its also meant to standardize the toilet experience in space and thereby reduce costs as well as lead to the development of smaller fecal canisters to improve stowage efficiency, according to NASA.

A NASA spokesperson told that the new and improved lavatory could be headed to the ISS as early as this fall, but a spacecraft has yet to be picked out for the special delivery.

The goal of the new toilet is also to make sure that we dont have to leave human waste behind and thereby risking cross-contamination on distant planets. In fact, during Apollo 11, US astronauts left 96 bags of human poop on the lunar surface. Many scientists argue we should go back and dispose of it properly.

Long-distance space travel could end up accruing a lot of waste. In fact, NASA estimates that wed need to manage about 600 pounds of solid waste on a mission to Mars.

Our future goals are to stabilize and dry the metabolic waste to make it microbially inactive and possibly reuse that water, reduce the amount of consumables for the potty, because it does really accumulate on a long mission, Jim Broyan, program manager for Environmental Control and Life Support Technology and Crew Health and Performance at NASA, said during a May 20 meeting, as quoted by

The toilet on board the ISS right now dates back to the 90s. In the past, astronauts have struggled with aim. It also proved to be clunky to use, especially for women.

In February 2019, Russian media reported that the toilet on board the ISS burst, spilling gallons of fluid. The lucky astronauts had to mop it up with towels.

The new toilet will have an adjusted shape and will include toe bars for astronauts to hook their feet into. The same model will eventually fly on NASAs Orion spacecraft thats headed to the Moon later this decade.

READ MORE: The International Space Station is getting a new toilet this year []

More on space toilet: Scientists New Goal: Make the ISS Bathroom Less Disgusting

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A Space Probe Just Took the Closest Pictures of the Sun Ever – Futurism

Posted: at 1:06 am

The European Space Agencys Solar Orbiter probe just made its first close approach of the Sun, getting within 77 million kilometers (47.8 million miles) of the stars surface about half the distance between Earth and the Sun.

During its approach, it snapped the closest images of the Sun ever captured which will be released in mid-July, according to a statement.

We have never taken pictures of the Sun from a closer distance than this, ESAs Solar Orbiter Project Scientist Daniel Mller said in the statement.

While weve been able to zoom in further using solar telescopes from Earth such as the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii, this spacecraft was able to get a much clearer look from outer space, unobstructed by Earths atmosphere.

For the first time, we will be able to put together the images from all our telescopes and see how they take complementary data of the various parts of the Sun including the surface, the outer atmosphere, or corona, and the wider heliosphere around it, Mller added.

Scientists will also be able to get an unprecedented peek at the structure and composition of solar winds, according to the scientists.

For the in-situ instruments, this is not just a test, we are expecting new and exciting results, Yannis Zouganelis, ESAs Solar Orbiter Deputy Project Scientist, said in the statement.

The Solar Orbiter will get even near to the Sun later, getting as close as 42 million kilometers (26 million miles) closer than Mercury.

The record still belongs to NASAs Parker Solar Probe, which in November 2018 became the closest man-made object to the Sun ever sent into space, at just 24 million kilometers (15 million miles) from the surface.

The images taken by the Solar Orbiter will take a week to travel the 134 million kilometers (83 million miles) back to Earth. The images will then be processed and released to the public in mid-July.

READ MORE: Solar Orbiter makes first close approach to the Sun [ESA]

More on the Sun: The Highest Def Photo of the Sun Looks Like Popcorn

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COVID Could Be Making People So Lonely That They’re Getting Sick – Futurism

Posted: at 1:06 am

As we enter another week of pandemic lockdown, scientists are working to understand the toll extended isolation takes on our minds and bodies.

The medical effects of loneliness are difficult to measure especially because loneliness is a subjective experience that varies wildly from person to person. But semantics aside, a clear trend is emerging, CNET reports, and its not great.

Extended loneliness can have serious psychological impacts, like exacerbated depression, anxiety, and increased irritability, according to 2018 research posted in the journal The Lancet. But the impacts extend far beyond psychological health.

Its very distressing when we are not a part of a group, Brigham Young University psychologist and neuroscientist Julianne Holt-Lundstad told CNET. We have to deal with our environment entirely on our own, without the help of others, which puts our brain in a state of alert, but that also signals the rest of our body to be in a state of alert.

Loneliness has been linked to all sorts of medical problems, like cognitive decline in old age, cancer, and heart disease, CNET reports. Though the causal relationship between loneliness and disease is poorly understood, there seems to be a genetic mechanism, potentially triggered by prolonged loneliness, that increases the risk of those diseases.

The subjective experience has to be translated somehow in the brain into biology, and so thats [what] were looking at now, Turhan Canli, an integrative neuroscientist at Stony Brook University, told CNET.

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