Space Policy, NASA & The Dragon

The Dragon, a new privately funded spacecraft, should revolutionize American space exploration. And make clear the ability to commercialize innovation.

Under Obama's new and sensible space policy, the U.S. government is planning to focus on flying to Mars and so-called "near-Earth objects," purchasing routine transportation to the International Space Station from companies such as SpaceX (instead of from the Russian space program at $60 million or so per astronaut for every round trip). What the Dragon moment makes clear is that the ability to commercialize innovation, not just to create it, is what has made the U.S. economy so robust over the long run.

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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