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Posts Tagged ‘Pacific Ocean’

Swimming Robot Reaches Australia After Record-Breaking Trip

December 5th, 2012 12:14 admin View Comments

Science

SternisheFan writes A self-controlled swimming robot has completed a journey from San Francisco to Australia. The record-breaking 9,000 nautical mile (16,668km) trip took the PacX Wave Glider just over a year to achieve. Liquid Robotics, the US company behind the project, collected data about the Pacific Ocean’s temperature, salinity and ecosystem from the drone. The company said its success demonstrated that such technology could ‘survive the high seas.’ The robot is called Papa Mau in honor of the late Micronesian navigator Pius ‘Mau’ Piailug, who had a reputation for finding ways to navigate the seas without using traditional equipment. ‘During Papa Mau’s journey, [it] weathered gale-force storms, fended off sharks, spent more than 365 days at sea, skirted around the Great Barrier Reef, and finally battled and surfed the east Australian current to reach his final destination in Hervey Bay, near Bundaberg, Queensland,’ the company said in a statement. Some of the data it gathered about the abundance of phytoplankton -plant-like organisms that convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and provide food for other sea life -could already be monitored by satellite. However, the company suggested that its equipment offered more detail, providing a useful tool for climate model scientists.”

Source: Swimming Robot Reaches Australia After Record-Breaking Trip

Fukushima Ocean Radiation Won’t Quit

November 14th, 2012 11:38 admin View Comments

Earth

mdsolar writes with an update on how the oceans around Fukishima are doing. From the article: ” The Fukushima disaster caused by far the largest discharge of radioactivity into the ocean ever seen. A new model presented by scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts estimates that 16.2 petabecquerels (1015 becquerels) of radioactive caesium leaked from the plant — roughly the same amount that went into the atmosphere. Most of that radioactivity dispersed across the Pacific Ocean, where it became diluted to extremely low levels. But in the region of the ocean near the plant, levels of caesium-137 have remained fixed at around 1,000 becquerels, a relatively high level compared to the natural background. Similarly, levels of radioactive caesium in bottom-dwelling fish remain pretty much unchanged more than 18 months after the accident.” The article suggests run-off from contaminated land and possibly a leak in the plant itself are to blame for the levels not dropping as expected.

Source: Fukushima Ocean Radiation Won’t Quit

Dragon Capsule Heads Home From ISS

October 28th, 2012 10:47 admin View Comments

Space

An Anonymous Coward send word that the SpaceX Dragon capsule is heading home from the International Space Station. From the article: “The unmanned Dragon space capsule set off from the International Space Station Sunday for the cargo-laden return trip to Earth after successfully delivering its first commercial payload, NASA said. Using a robotic arm, an astronaut aboard the floating laboratory detached and released the capsule at 1329 GMT after an 18-day mission to resupply the space station, the first ever by a privately-owned company, SpaceX. The next step will be to bring the capsule out of orbit by intermittently firing its onboard engines to slow its speed. It is then supposed to parachute into the Pacific Ocean off the California coast at 1920 GMT.”

Source: Dragon Capsule Heads Home From ISS

NASA Orion Splashdown Safety Tests Completed

September 28th, 2012 09:22 admin View Comments

NASA

DevotedSkeptic sends this news from NASA: “The 18,000-pound test article that mimics the size and weight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft crew module recently completed a final series of water impact tests in the Hydro Impact Basin at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The campaign of swing and vertical drops simulated various water landing scenarios to account for different velocities, parachute deployments, entry angles, wave heights and wind conditions the spacecraft may encounter when landing in the Pacific Ocean. The next round of water impact testing is scheduled to begin in late 2013 using a full-sized model that was built to validate the flight vehicle’s production processes and tools.”

Source: NASA Orion Splashdown Safety Tests Completed

Boeing’s X-51 WaveRider Jet Crashes In Mach 6 Attempt

August 15th, 2012 08:35 admin View Comments

Transportation

An anonymous reader writes “Boeing’s experimental hypersonic X-51 WaveRider aircraft crashed today during an attempt to hit Mach 6 while traveling over the Pacific Ocean. The cause of the crash was a faulty control fin, which compromised the test before the Scramjet engine could be lit. A vehicle traveling at Mach 6 (six times the speed of sound) would be able to travel from New York to London in just one hour.”

Source: Boeing’s X-51 WaveRider Jet Crashes In Mach 6 Attempt

The Pacific Ocean Is Polluted With Coffee

August 6th, 2012 08:01 admin View Comments

Earth

An anonymous reader writes in with this excerpt from Inhabitat:“People aren’t the only ones getting a jolt from caffeine these days; in a new study published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, scientists found elevated concentrations of caffeine in the Pacific Ocean in areas off the coast of Oregon. With all those coffee drinkers in the Pacific Northwest, it should be no surprise that human waste containing caffeine would ultimately make its way through municipal water systems and out to sea – but how will the presence of caffeine in our oceans affect human health and natural ecosystems?”

Source: The Pacific Ocean Is Polluted With Coffee

50th Anniversary of the Starfish Prime Nuclear Weapon Test Today

July 9th, 2012 07:17 admin View Comments

The Military

The Bad Astronomer writes “50 years ago today, the US detonated a nuclear weapon 240 miles above the Pacific Ocean. Called Starfish Prime, it was supposed to help US scientists and the military understand how the Soviets might try to stop incoming nuclear missiles. What it actually did was blow out hundreds of streetlights in Hawaii 900 miles away, damage a half dozen satellites, and create artificial aurorae and intense radiation zones above the Earth. It taught the world what an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) was, and what the effects might be from a powerful solar flare, a nearby supernova, or a gamma-ray burst.”

Source: 50th Anniversary of the Starfish Prime Nuclear Weapon Test Today

After Trip to ISS, SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule Returns Safety To Earth

May 31st, 2012 05:17 admin View Comments

ISS

thomas.kane writes “SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has successfully reentered and is now safely in the waters of the Pacific Ocean after more than 9 days in space. The Dragon capsule became the first commercial spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station on May 25; SpaceX is contracted by NASA for at least 12 more flights in the coming months bringing supplies to the space station and returning science done on board back to Earth.” Reader MightyMartian adds a link to coverage at the BBC.

Source: After Trip to ISS, SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule Returns Safety To Earth

After Trip to ISS, SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule Returns Safely To Earth

May 31st, 2012 05:17 admin View Comments

ISS

thomas.kane writes “SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has successfully reentered and is now safely in the waters of the Pacific Ocean after more than 9 days in space. The Dragon capsule became the first commercial spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station on May 25; SpaceX is contracted by NASA for at least 12 more flights in the coming months bringing supplies to the space station and returning science done on board back to Earth.” Reader MightyMartian adds a link to coverage at the BBC.

Source: After Trip to ISS, SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule Returns Safely To Earth

Slo-mo Microbes Extend the Frontiers of Life

May 18th, 2012 05:19 admin View Comments

Mars

ananyo writes “A newly-discovered microbial community living tens of meters beneath the Pacific Ocean floor uses so little oxygen that researchers believe they may be living at the absolute minimum energy requirement needed to subsist. For years, scientists thought that the ascetic conditions of the deep sub-seabed — high pressure, minimal oxygen and a low supply of nutrients and energy — made such environments uninhabitable to any form of life. The discovery extends the lower bound for life (abstract). The surface of Mars, for instance, may be inhospitable, but there may be conditions below the surface that are reminiscent of the deep subsurface on Earth. As microbiologist Bo Jørgensen comments in the Nature piece, while the discovery does not mean there is life on Mars, ‘it’s now really challenging to show where there is no life.’”

Source: Slo-mo Microbes Extend the Frontiers of Life

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