Distant cosmic body renamed over Nazi backlash

The object, originally dubbed "Ultima Thule," was renamed to "Arrokoth" due to the connection between the word "Thule" and the Nazis.

NASA
  • When the New Horizons probe originally visited Arrokoth, the most distant celestial body to have ever been visited by a spacecraft, NASA researchers nicknamed the body "Ultima Thule."
  • Thule refers to a distant mythological civilization. Although it originated in ancient Greek and Roman literature, the Nazis co-opted the term to refer to a mythological homeland of the Aryan people.
  • The new name, Arrokoth, is Powhatan for "sky."
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Insects on Mars? Ohio scientist claims NASA images show life on Red Planet.

Entomologist William Romoser of Ohio University says NASA images depict insect- and reptile-like creatures on Mars.

Image source: NASA/JPL; William Romose / Ohio University
  • Entomologist William Romoser gave a presentation this week in which he claimed NASA photos show evidence of creatures, some still living, on the red planet.
  • Romoser has worked as a professor of entomology at Ohio University for four decades.
  • It's likely that the real phenomenon in Romoser's work is pareidolia — the tendency to "see" recognizable shapes among random visual data.
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New space dangers found by NASA in astronaut blood

A study found alarming changes in the bodies of astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA
  • A NASA study reveals new dangers to the human body in space.
  • The absence of gravity caused changes in people's blood flows.
  • Some had blood going in reverse while others developed clots.
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Why would NASA outsource missions to SpaceX?

When it comes new PR disasters, NASA isn't taking any risks.

  • Tragedies at NASA, such as Challenger and Columbia disasters, have impeded the organization from taking risks, critics say. Indeed, in terms of PR, these tragedies were particularly baleful.
  • Although NASA was once a contractor, its staff spearheading missions, today they are more a client. SpaceX is basically selling NASA a ride to the ISS.
  • Essentially, NASA has put the risk on private companies — if anything bad happens, it's on SpaceX, for example. This switch may better further space colonization goals, though, because the private sector has more flexibility, in terms of how business is conducted. Also, NASA, as a national entity, avoids the pall of a possible disaster.
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Top 4 candidates in our solar system for terraforming

When it comes time for humanity to pick a new home, where will we go?

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  • Regardless of whether you think the Earth will suffer some catastrophe or not, most individuals believe that humanity will eventually have to live on another planet.
  • There is no nearby planet that can support human life, however; we'll have to pick a good candidate and terraform it.
  • Each celestial body presents its own unique challenges and requirements. Some need more carbon dioxide, others need less; some would become water worlds, others more Earth-like; and so on.
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