Outer space comfort
The prospect of space tourism is growing ever more real. If you’re able and willing to shell out an estimated $250,000 for a ticket aboard Blue Origin’s spacecraft New Shepard, you could soon ride above Earth in comfort (tentatively beginning in 2018). The cabin holds six passengers, and it’s spacious enough for each chair to recline. To boot, “Every seat’s a window seat,” wrote Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, in a company e-mail. At the center of the cabin lies an elegant looking pod, but it’s actually an emergency engine. Should something go awry during the launch, it will motor away from the damaged rocket booster.
An Earth-orbiting, asteroid-dangling tower
Buildings have been wedded to the Earth for far too long, or so thinks the design firm Clouds Architectural Office. This indisputably cool conceptual image depicts an ambitious building idea that has yet to be attempted – in our solar system, anyway. A 104,987 foot tower hangs from a massive asteroid, which has been brought into Earth’s orbit for this very purpose. Such a novel idea naturally comes with some seemingly insurmountable challenges, and PopSci touches upon some of them here.
Colossal Dino Prints
The Goolarabooloo people kept their big secret for thousands of years. But to protect their heritage from the proposed construction of a gas processing plant, they finally revealed the largest known dinosaur print in the world. It’s a five-foot-nine-inch long footprint from a sauropod, a giant long-necked dino. And this isn’t the only print embedded into the sandstone. Paleontologists found 21 other types of dinosaur prints in the area. With so many dinos running around, the sauropods must have needed to step carefully.
Drugging your prey
Cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter is not the only predator who drugs his prey. The fang blenny, a small fish with a terrifying skull, employs two fangs to inject venom into its prey. A new study shows that unlike snake venom, which can cause pain and death, the fang blenny’s venom acts like heroin, stunning and slowing its prey before the fang blenny starts munching.
A centuries-long nap, interrupted
The Kambalny Volcano is asleep no more. After a few centuries of slumber, it awoke on March 24, 2017, and the next day a camera on the NASA Terra satellite caught this image of its southwesterly ash plume. Kamblany lies on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, one of the most volcanically active regions on Earth – a place where salmon-munching brown bears cohabitate with volcanoes.