¡¡¡¡An uncrewed spacecraft was launched from China and successfully docked with the Tianhe space station. Along with fuel and unspecified ¡°equipment¡± for the space station, the cargo spacecraft ferried space suits various odds and ends that astronauts will need when they travel to the spacecraft in the not-so-distant future.
¡¡¡¡The fact that China is building its own space station can be strongly linked to U.S.-China relations. The two countries cooperate on some things but when it comes to defense, they are strongly opposed in many ways. When the International Space Station was launched, the United States demanded that China be banned from sending anyone to it. Even in recent years when the two countries have appeared slightly more cordial, and Russia made it known that it was fine with China sending its own scientists to the ISS, the United States said no.
¡¡¡¡Now that China is building its own space station, the United States is worried about what that means for the country¡¯s military ambitions. It¡¯s a complicated situation with a lot of ins and outs, but you have to appreciate the humor in the U.S. banning China from the ISS and then wringing its hands over China building its own space station.
¡¡¡¡In any case, the space station is currently just one-third of the size that China currently has plans for. The space station will see the addition of at least two more modules before it receives a crewed mission. China has said that it plans on crews of three astronauts, but if the country continues to build out the space station with additional modules, that could change.
¡¡¡¡China is expanding its space exploration efforts on multiple fronts right now. The country just successfully landed its first Mars rover, has plans to build a base on the Moon with the help of Russia, and now it¡¯s building its own space station. It¡¯s clear that China wants to be a major power in space, and it¡¯s doing everything it can to make that happen. Whether the United States likes it or not, China is poised to break new ground in the cosmos, and it¡¯ll do it with or without the help of the West.
¡¡¡¡Starting this week, Knockout City is free to play until you reach level 25 in-game.
¡¡¡¡SpaceX is already underway on building its first floating spaceport platform, and the plan is for it to start hosting launches as early as next year. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared those details on the progress of its build for Deimos, one of two converted oil rigs that SpaceX purchased earlier this year in order to transform them into floating launch and landing sites for its forthcoming Starship reusable rocket. SpaceX’s purchase of the two rigs at the beginning of this year was for the creation of Deimos and Phobos, two floating spaceports named after the moons of Mars.
¡¡¡¡Nomads along the India-China border in the Galwan Valley are still living under the shadow of war.
¡¡¡¡Scientists have released the most precise map of dark matter to date, but it only serves to highlight mysteries in the universe.
¡¡¡¡The BBC’s Justin Rowlatt explains why we are accelerating towards an electric car future.
¡¡¡¡SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Saturday said there wasn’t a “bottleneck” in Raptor rocket production, as his company works on its Starship prototypes.
¡¡¡¡Photos from Mars are often eye-catching but rarely do the Martian clouds provide visual splendor. The rusty hues that cover the ground and most of the sky are often due to winds carrying dust, which happens a lot on Mars, and rovers sometimes have a tough time capturing what the clouds in the thin Martian ¡
¡¡¡¡NASA¡¯s Hubble Space Telescope has delivered so many incredible images of objects and structures in space that it¡¯s easy to forget that NASA has a whole lot of other space-scanning hardware working overtime to make new discoveries of their own. One of those is the Chandra X-ray Observatory which, as you can tell by the ¡
¡¡¡¡Photographers didn’t miss out on the chance to capture the most spectacular full moon of the year.
¡¡¡¡The theory that the coronavirus leaked from a Wuhan lab was initially dismissed, but intelligence agencies are reconsidering, the Sunday Times said.
¡¡¡¡Peru on Monday announced a sharp increase in its COVID-19 death toll, saying there have been more than 180,000 fatalities since the pandemic hit the country early last year. The announcement was made in the presidential palace during the presentation of a report by a working group commissioned to analyze and update the death toll. ¡°What is being said is that a significant number of deaths were not classified as caused by COVID-19,¡± Health Minister Oscar Ugarte said, adding that the criteria for assigning the new coronavirus as a cause of death were changed.
¡¡¡¡A three-man crew of astronauts will blast off in June for a three-month mission on China¡¯s new space station, according to a space official who was the country’s first astronaut in orbit. The plans for the station¡¯s first crew were confirmed to state television by Yang Liwei, the manned space program¡¯s deputy chief designer, as an automated spacecraft was launched with fuel and supplies for the Tianhe station. The Tianhe, or Heavenly Harmony, is the third and largest space station launched by China¡¯s increasingly ambitious space program.
¡¡¡¡”With unknown faces, we are not particularly good at telling them apart,” said Ge?za Gergely Ambrus, a postdoctoral researcher at Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany. The enormous rift between our recognition of unfamiliar versus familiar faces led Ambrus and his colleagues to wonder about how the brain’s response evolves when a person goes from unknown to known. The findings emphasize the importance of in-person interactions, while virtual, one-way observations have less of an impact on facial recognition.
¡¡¡¡WHO-affiliated expert: US must share Covid inteligenceCoronavirus ¨C latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage Matthew Pottinger, Trump¡¯s former deputy national security adviser who persuaded him to start using the controversial term ¡®Wuhan virus¡¯, welcomed the development. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP Allies of Donald Trump took the unusual step of speaking out on Sunday in support of Joe Biden, regarding efforts to pinpoint the source of Covid-19 and find out if China knows more about the origins of the pandemic than it is letting on. Biden said on Thursday he was expanding an investigation into the outbreak, following a departure from previous thinking by at least one US intelligence agency now leaning towards the theory that the virus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan. Michael McCaul, a Republican congressman from Texas, and Matthew Pottinger, Trump¡¯s former deputy national security adviser who persuaded him to start using the controversial term ¡°Wuhan virus¡±, both welcomed the development. ¡°It¡¯s absolutely essential to find out what the origin of this thing is, it¡¯s essential for us to head off the next pandemic, it¡¯s essential for us to better understand the variants of the current pandemic that are emerging,¡± Pottinger told NBC¡¯s Meet the Press. ¡°Both of these hypotheses that President Biden spoke of are valid, it could have emerged from a laboratory, it could have emerged from nature. Neither is supported by concrete evidence but there¡¯s a growing amount of circumstantial evidence supporting the idea that this may have leaked from a laboratory.¡± The Wuhan lab theory was dismissed by many scientists and the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Trump¡¯s advisers was that the weight of evidence supported natural origins. The World Health Organization said in February it was ¡°extremely unlikely¡± Covid-19 began in a laboratory. But the theory has gained traction. On Thursday, the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence said: ¡°The US intelligence community does not know exactly where, when or how the Covid-19 virus was transmitted initially but has coalesced around two likely scenarios: either it emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals or it was a laboratory accident. ¡°While two elements of the IC lean toward the former scenario and one leans more toward the latter ¨C each with low or moderate confidence ¨C the majority of elements within the IC do not believe there is sufficient information to assess one to be more likely than the other. ¡°The IC continues to examine all available evidence, consider different perspectives, and aggressively collect and analyze new information to identify the virus¡¯s origins.¡± On Sunday, a WHO-affiliated health expert speaking to the BBC said the lab theory was ¡°not off the table¡± and called on the US to share any intelligence. Pottinger said he believed researchers in China had more to say. ¡°If this thing came out of a lab, there are people in China who probably know that,¡± he said. ¡°China has incredible and ethical scientists, many of whom in the early stages of the pandemic suspected that this was a lab leak. [A researcher at] the Wuhan Institute of Virology said her first thought was, ¡®Was this a leak from my lab?¡¯ ¡°These people have been systematically silenced by their government. Now that the world knows how important this is, that might also provide moral courage to many of these ethical scientists for whom I think this is weighing on their consciences. I think that we¡¯re going to see more information come out as a result of this inquiry.¡± The Wall Street Journal reported last week that three members of staff at a laboratory in Wuhan became sick with Covid-like symptoms before the first Covid patient was recorded in December 2019. McCaul, a former chair of the House homeland security committee, told CNN¡¯s State of the Union he believed Biden¡¯s 90-day intelligence review would likely be inconclusive because Chinese authorities ¡°have destroyed everything in the lab¡±. But he said he welcomed the new investigation. ¡°It more likely than not emerged out of the lab, most likely accidentally,¡± said McCaul, who has long argued that China and the WHO are culpable.
¡¡¡¡MADRID (Reuters) -Spain is considering easing rules on wearing face masks outdoors, as early as in mid-June, officials said on Monday, as falling transmission and rising vaccination rates have lowered the risk of COVID-19 infection. Masks have been mandatory indoors and out across most of Spain, regardless of social-distancing, since last summer. But daily case numbers and the nationwide infection rate have been declining for months and nearly 40% of the population has received at least one vaccine shot, prompting some authorities to reconsider the rules.
¡¡¡¡During the show, led by the French rock band Indochine, artificial intelligence was used to monitor people’s behavior and respect of protocol, such as whether they kept their masks on, but no social distancing was in place. After similar scenes in Barcelona and Liverpool, Paris authorities are spending over a million dollars in organizing one of the biggest experiment of its kind in Europe. Concerts in France have been at a complete standstill since March 2020 because of pandemic lockdown measures.
¡¡¡¡The World Health Organization announced Monday a new naming system for COVID-19 variants that uses letters from the Greek alphabet.Why it matters: Health officials have been concerned that the strains’ scientific names, comprising numbers and letters, are leading people to refer to them by the place they were detected, such as the “U.K. variant” for B.1.1.7, which the WHO notes in a Twitter post “is stigmatizing & discriminatory.”Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.Today, @WHO announces new, easy-to-say labels for #SARSCoV2 Variants of Concern (VOCs) & Interest (VOIs)They will not replace existing scientific names, but are aimed to help in public discussion of VOI/VOCRead more here (will be live soon): https://t.co/VNvjJn8Xcv#COVID19 pic.twitter.com/L9YOfxmKW7¡ª Maria Van Kerkhove (@mvankerkhove) May 31, 2021 The WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove said in a statement Monday, “No country should be stigmatized for detecting and reporting variants.”The WHO said that while the labels don’t replace the scientific names, referring to them with letters of the Greek alphabet in public discussions makes it easier for people to say and remember.How it works: Under the new system the WHO is encouraging countries to call variants of concern by the following names during public discussions:B.1.1.7 as “Alpha;” B.1.351, first detected in South Africa, as “Beta;” P.1, first found in Brazil, as “Gamma and; B.1.617.2, first detected in India, as “Delta.” “Variants of interest” new public names:B.1.427/B.1.429, first detected in the U.S., takes the name “Epsilon;” P.2, first found in Brazil, becomes “Zeta;” B.1.525 first detected in “multiple countries,” is called “Eta;” P.3, which originated in the Philippines, is “Theta;” B.1.526, first identified in the U.S., is “Iota” and; B.1.617.1, first detected in India, is now “Kappa.”Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.