Developing a Foreign Policy for Earth's Orbit
Even before a U.S. communications satellite and a long-defunct Russian orbiter ran into each other last week and created millions of smaller pieces of debris, the space around Earth was full of junk. Officials might take some time to tally and track the newly-created wreckage, but Jean-Francois Kaufeler of the European Space Agency says there are already more than 13,000 man-made objects in Earth's orbit.
The near space zone in which satellites orbit is much larger than humans can easily comprehend, so satellite crashes won't become a constant occurrence. But they are becoming more likely as more and more stuff goes into orbit, and the ESA is trying to make a preemptive strike. The agency launched a program in January aimed to try to track objects in orbit more accurately. The crux of it, they say, is getting the world's space agencies, who track their own objects, to share navigation information across borders.
Will it help? Maybe. There were reports the European space-watchers knew the U.S. and Russian satellites would make a close pass last week, but current monitoring systems couldn't tell them exactly how close. But given the world's increasing reliance on satellites—and their growing importance for defense—convincing nations to reveal the speed and location of their orbiters might be easier said than done.
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A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.
- Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
- Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
- All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
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