A chill wind whips down the walkways on the campus of Peking University, the selective academy that attracts China’s best and brightest students. Strolling past the stone steps and upturned roof of the university library, a law student vents about how China’s ruling Communist Party is tightening controls on information. “It’s harder this year than last year” to bypass the firewall that government censors use to block thousands of blacklisted websites, says the student.
Indeed, it’s not a reference to hurricane Michael, the Category 4 storm that slammed into the Florida Panhandle earlier this week and wrought devastation across the southeastern United States. Superstorm Sandy had just struck the New Jersey coast, and the state’s then-governor, Republican Chris Christie, greeted a visiting President Barack Obama warmly. Six years later, on the eve of President Trump’s first midterm elections, such bipartisan comity seems unimaginable.
For average Russians, a small personal hoard of US dollars has always represented a place of safety amid the wild ups-and-downs that continue to beset the country's national currency, the ruble. The Trump administration has increasingly worked to weaponize the US dollar, by using its hegemonic position as the world's “reserve currency” to punish any entity or country that attempts to defy proliferating unilateral US sanctions against Russia, Iran, and China. The idea might have sounded quixotic a decade or so ago, when Russia and China first started talking about it.
Jamal Khashoggi's friend Khaled Saffuri tells the Yahoo News podcast "Skullduggery" what the Washington Post columnist may have done to provoke the ire of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi royal family.
A new type of survey called the “Waffle House Matrix” has proved to be an odd but effective way to measure the severity of natural disasters in the United States. It looks at whether these famed 24/7 restaurants in an affected area are open or closed. Satellite images have long provided such information, but now experts are looking at the potential for artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Russian investigators have launched a probe into why a Soyuz rocket failed shortly after blast-off, in a major setback for Russia's beleaguered space industry. US astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin were forced to make an emergency landing after the incident on Thursday, but were rescued without injury in Kazakhstan. Russian officials said they were launching a criminal investigation into the accident, the first such incident on a manned flight in the country's post-Soviet history.
Just two minutes into a flight on Thursday, a booster rocket failure made it impossible to reach the space station. The spaceship went into automatic abort, and American Nick Hague and Russian Alexey Ovchinin plunged back to earth.
It's been an interesting couple of months for Russia's space program. Everything had been going quite smoothly for Roscosmos ahead of the bizarre hole discovered in one of their Soyuz spacecraft which was (and still is) attached to the International Space Station. Both Roscosmos and NASA released statements saying everything was being handled and that there was no concern that future mission would be impacted in any way.
This morning, the first launch since the possible sabotage was discovered, Russia's Soyuz booster saw its first in-flight failure in recent memory, and the first manned rocket-related emergency in decades. The crew was able to abort, and their capsule proceeded on a ballistic reentry which touched down shortly thereafter.
In statements by both Russia and NASA the crew is said to be in "good condition," and no serious injuries have been reported. The mission was carrying two crew members instead of its usual three due to Russia's delay of scientific instruments which the third passenger was trained for. The flight was carrying NASA's Nick Hague and Russia's Alexey Ovchinin.
“The Soyuz capsule is returning to Earth via a ballistic descent, which is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal,” NASA said in a brief statement via Twitter. “Search and rescue teams are heading towards the expected touchdown location of the spacecraft and crew.”
A subsequent tweet shows both astronauts boarding a plane after being recovered from the touchdown site. Both men appear understandably disappointed in the wake of what they just experienced, and the realization that they won't be headed to the International Space Station any time soon.
It's an incredibly bizarre turn of events in the wake of the strange discovery of damage on the Soyuz capsule. Neither NASA or Roscosmos will be jumping to any conclusions, but Russia has promised a full investigation and is forming a team to look into how and why the rocket failed as it did.
It's obviously worth noting that the Soyuz rocket is a completely separate piece of hardware from the Soyuz crew capsule, and something like the hole found in the crew capsule currently attached to the International Space Station couldn't possibly result in a failure of a rocket booster. Still, the two unfortunate events happening back-to-back is hard to brush off, and we'll have to wait for Russia's investigation to conclude before we know how things played out.
A Japanese probe sent to examine an asteroid in order to shed light on the origins of the solar system will now land on the rock several months later than planned, officials said Thursday. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) told reporters the Hayabusa2 probe is now expected to touch down on the Ryugu asteroid in "late January" at the earliest, rather than at the end of this month as initially expected. JAXA project manager Yuichi Tsuda said they needed more time to prepare the landing as the latest data showed the asteroid surface was more rugged than expected.
The U.S. Air Force says Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman and United Launch Alliance have won its go-ahead for the development of new rockets that could be used for national security launches — a boost that could eventually add up to billions of dollars. Blue Origin, the Kent, Wash.-based space venture founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, was awarded a launch service agreement for its New Glenn rocket, which is due to be launched from Florida starting in 2021. The agreement provides for as much as $500 million through 2024, but Blue Origin is expected to contribute to a cost-sharing arrangement.… Read More
A Russian cosmonaut and an American astronaut are in "good condition" after a booster rocket on their spacecraft failed and forced them to make an emergency landing Thursday, both countries' space agencies said. The Soyuz MS-10 rocket took off at 4:40 a.m. local time on what was supposed to be a six-hour journey to the International Space Station. Instead, the rocket suffered a malfunction shortly after taking off from Russia's spaceport in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
When insulin was first developed as a medical treatment in the early 1900s, it cost the equivalent of about $25 a month. For some of the 7 million diabetic Americans who depend on insulin and can’t afford its hefty price, desperate times have called for desperate measures.
In August, California passed a bill that abolishes cash bail and replaces it with a risk-assessment program. Although some say the existing system is unfair and costly, the new measure has faced criticism from more than one camp. Under British common law, the release of a suspect before his or her trial was granted on the basis of a surety, or guarantee, from another individual.
NASA’s Space Launch System, the rocket that’s being designed to send astronauts to the moon and Mars, seems likely to miss the schedule for its first test launch in 2020 due to poor management by Boeing and its overseers, the space agency’s auditors say. A report released today by the NASA Office of Inspector General projects that the delivery of the first Boeing-built core stage for the heavy-lift SLS rocket may slip beyond its currently scheduled date of December 2019. What’s more, the cost of SLS development is on track to amount to at least $8.9 billion, which is twice what… Read More
An American and a Russian spaceflier are in good shape after they were forced to abort their trip to the International Space Station due to a rocket anomaly, but today’s scary launch has cast a pall over orbital operations going forward. NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin were due to begin a six-month stint in orbit with their launch from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, aboard a Soyuz spacecraft that was perched atop Russia’s workhorse Soyuz-FG rocket. Just minutes after liftoff at 2:40 p.m. local time (1:40 a.m. PT), the rocket booster experienced an anomaly, and the… Read More