A Formerly Hibernating Spacecraft Joins The Asteroid Hunt
First launched in 2009, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft has been asleep in polar orbit for two years. Next month, it'll be turned back on to help locate potentially dangerous near-Earth objects.
What's the Latest Development?
To help in the search for asteroids and other near-Earth objects (NEOs), NASA has announced that it will bring the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft out of a two-year hibernation next month. The craft, which is still in a polar orbit, will spend at least the next three years looking for objects that could pose a danger to Earth as well as those that could become candidates for NASA's asteroid retrieval initiative.
What's the Big Idea?
First launched at the end of 2009, WISE's initial mission involved scanning the skies in infrared light, searching for hard-to-find objects both near and far and capturing over 2.7 million images before two of its four infrared cameras quit working. With the remaining two, it performed a complete scan of the solar system's main asteroid belt before going into hibernation in early 2011. By calling the spacecraft into service again, NASA associate administrator John Grunsfield says the agency "is now extending [WISE's] record of success...Reactivating WISE is an excellent example of how we are leveraging existing capabilities across the agency to achieve our goal."
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this happens in the pharmaceutical world, certain companies stay at the top of the ladder, through broadly-protected patents, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation — "tweaks" — the same as product invention.
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