Private Ventures to Replace Space Shuttles
N.A.S.A. is turning to private companies to replace the space shuttles, and it will give four proposals from the likes of Boeing and SpaceX $269 million this year to develop space taxis.
What's the Latest Development?
N.A.S.A. has turned to private industry in order to maintain America's presence on the International Space Station (I.S.S.). Recently awarding $269 million in contracts to four companies, the government space agency is seeking a national solution to ferrying astronauts to and from the I.S.S. Contracts were given to established companies and upstarts alike; Boeing received the most at $92.3 million while SpaceX came second with $75 million in new contracts. Because there are no immediate plans to replace the soon-to-be decommissioned space shuttles, American astronauts will hitch rides into orbit with the Russians until 2016.
What's the Big Idea?
On April 29, the final space shuttle mission is scheduled for liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. As N.A.S.A. has no plans to replace the two currently functional shuttles, American astronauts will rely on the Russian space program to reach the I.S.S. until 2016. It is yet another sign of a transitional period for America as a nation. Once the undeniable world leader in space exploration, when the shuttles are permanently grounded, a lull will set in that will last at least five years. Some argue that that lull makes good economic sense and that the U.S. should continue to cooperate with the Russians in order to save money.
These modern-day hermits can sometimes spend decades without ever leaving their apartments.
- A hikikomori is a type of person in Japan who locks themselves away in their bedrooms, sometimes for years.
- This is a relatively new phenomenon in Japan, likely due to rigid social customs and high expectations for academic and business success.
- Many believe hikikomori to be a result of how Japan interprets and handles mental health issues.
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
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