Anyone willing to travel to remote places for the sake of science has to accept some health problems, be it frostbite in Antarctica or bone loss in space. To make matters worse, these people also have to accept self-diagnosing and self-treating these health problems, not to mention others that may arise in the course of their missions.
Lonely Earth-like planets with tumultuous cores could conceivably support life even if they had no stars, a new study says. Researchers Dorian Abbot and Eric Switzer at the University of Chicago have dubbed these theoretical worlds “Steppenwolf planets,” because “any life in this strange habitat would exist like a lone wolf wandering the galactic steppe.” And because they were born to be wild.
Among NASA’s top priorities is the goal of locating life in the universe and it has – on Earth. But in doing so, NASA may have found a new tool to help it seek out life elsewhere in our solar system. An imaging satellite has located microbial life on the ground from space for the first time. And if it can do that here, it stands to reason that the technology might be able to do so on other planets as well.
Water bears, the tiny creatures that have already been proven to survive direct exposure to the vacuum of space, were slated for launch to a Martian moon this month. But Russian officials chose to delay their first interplanetary mission in more than a decade due to safety and technical issues, until the next launch window opens in 2011.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.