Apr 7, 2009
A powerful, magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook the Kuril Islands off of Russia’s Pacific coast today as deaths from the 6.3 quake in Italy surpassed 200.
The Kuril Islands temblor, which occurred at 4:23 P.M. local time (12:23 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time), was in a sparsely populated area, according to CNN. It didn’t prompt the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to issue a tsunami warning.
Meanwhile, 207 people were declared dead, 1,000 were injured and 15 people were still missing following yesterday's devastating quake in the Abruzzo region of Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said during a tour of the region today, according to The New York Times. At least 280 aftershocks have hit the area since yesterday’s early morning quake, the newspaper said.
Jan 5, 2009 | 6
President-elect Barack Obama may put NASA to work with the Defense Department to better compete in space.
Unidentified sources tell Bloomberg News that Obama may tap Defense rockets for space travel because they may be cheaper and available before NASA's new Orion crew capsule and boosters, which won't be ready until 2015. The current shuttle fleet is scheduled to be retired next year, though some, such as the Center for American Progress (CAP), have advocated extending their use until a replacement is ready.
Obama has alluded to using Defense money for the space program, and has said he would like to close the five-year gap between the current fleet's retirement and the completion of Orion. Pentagon boosters have been suggested as a way to speed up the Orion program to more quickly replace the shuttle — and possibly avoid the cost of developing a new booster.
Aug 15, 2008
Here's a scenario that might be going through the minds of NASA astronaut Greg Chamitoff and his two fellow Russian crew members on the International Space Station (ISS).
Lawmakers warned this week that escalating tensions with Russia may leave the U.S. without ready transport to the ISS after NASA retires the space shuttle fleet in 2010.
The space agency does not expect the shuttle's replacement, the Orion—an Apollo-like craft being developed as part of the Constellation program—to be ready to fly until 2015. NASA's plan was for the interim was to use Russian Soyuz craft (left) to send up crew and cargo to the $100 billion station.
Jul 14, 2008 | 4
It looks as though global warming will cut short a study of… global warming.
That’s what happens when your lab sits on a melting ice floe. Adrift on ice in the Arctic Ocean, 21 Russian scientists (and two dogs) will need an early rescue thanks to global warming. The ice chunk supporting North Pole-35—a project designed to study Arctic flora and fauna, environmental conditions and even geography—has dwindled from 3 square miles to just 0.7 square miles.
That's still 2 million square feet, but it brings the floe's edge too close to the expedition's huts and equipment for comfort. So instead of abandoning the floe in September, as planned, scientists will climb aboard a research vessel towed by the nuclear ice-breaker Arktika in coming days. Just when depends on ice conditions, of course.
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