The Year for Private Space Travel
Private companies Virgin Galactic and SpaceX are likely to dominate headlines in the coming year, and may make 2011 the most exciting yet for private space flight.
NASA, facing the retirement of the shuttle fleet in 2011, is actively encouraging the development of private space taxis. In 2010 alone it distributed $50 million to private space firms, including SpaceX, and Congress is considering spending hundreds of millions more in 2011. So what do we have to look forward to in 2011? SpaceX plans two more demonstration flights, the first of which will likely blast off mid-year and is expected to fly within a few kilometres of the ISS. The second would actually dock with the station, marking another first for a non-governmental spacecraft.
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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.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
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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