Watch This Net Capture Orbital Space Debris for the First Time in History

The RemoveDEBRIS satellite consists of a large, 220-pound main satellite that carries two smaller cubesats and a net. The mission involves deploying these cubesats as artificial space junk and them capturing them to demonstrate the effectiveness debris removal technology. The first cubesat was successfully captured on Sunday evening with a net after six years of testing the technology on Earth.

Source: Watch This Net Capture Orbital Space Debris for the First Time in History – Motherboard

San Francisco threatens to block access to Millennium Tower

The problem is that the 60-to-90-foot-long friction piles underpinning the building were driven into sandy soils rather than bedrock at 200 feet down. While no concrete explanation has been given for continued sinkage, developer Millennium Partners has blamed construction of the neighboring Salesforce Tower for pumping out too much groundwater and causing the soil to settle.

Source: San Francisco threatens to block access to Millennium Tower – Archpaper.com

Chinese Researchers Are Outperforming Americans in Science

For decades, China’s growth was driven by shifting workers from agriculture to manufacturing. As the country started to approach the so-called Lewis turning point, when such shifts no longer raise overall productivity, the government made an increasingly concerted effort to build the scientific base to provide another vector for growth. The results of those efforts are showing up in both the rankings of Chinese universities (11 of the top 100 globally) and in scholarly output.

Source: Chinese Researchers Are Outperforming Americans in Science – Bloomberg

Plan to tow icebergs from Antarctica to parched Dubai

Alshehi told NBC that even if 30 per cent of the iceberg melts on the journey, it will still be able to provide between 100 million and 200 million cubic metres of fresh water – enough for 1 million people to stay hydrated for five years.

Private investors have bankrolled the project to the tune of US$60 million (NZ$91 million), according to NBC.

Source: Plan to tow icebergs from Antarctica to parched Dubai | Stuff.co.nz

Papers on this subject matter here.

Going up! Japan to test mini ‘space elevator’

The test involves a miniature elevator stand-in—a box just six centimetres (2.4 inches) long, three centimetres wide, and three centimetres high.

If all goes well, it will provide proof of concept by moving along a 10-metre cable suspended in space between two that will keep it taut.

Source: Going up! Japan to test mini ‘space elevator’

NASA’s newest spacecraft will fly through the Sun’s scorching hot atmosphere

Plans to send a probe into the Sun’s corona date back to 1958 and the very start of NASA. At the space agency’s inception, a special committee listed 14 different missions that NASA should pursue, including visiting all the planets of the Solar System. All 14 missions have been accomplished in some form apart from one: a probe to visit near the Sun.

Source: NASA’s newest spacecraft will fly through the Sun’s scorching hot atmosphere – The Verge

More Recycling Won’t Solve Plastic Pollution

The real problem is that single-use plastic—the very idea of producing plastic items like grocery bags, which we use for an average of 12 minutes but can persist in the environment for half a millennium—is an incredibly reckless abuse of technology. Encouraging individuals to recycle more will never solve the problem of a massive production of single-use plastic that should have been avoided in the first place

Source: More Recycling Won’t Solve Plastic Pollution – Scientific American Blog Network

This Man Is Building an Armada of Saildrones to Conquer the Ocean

This plan rests on Richard Jenkins, an engineer, sailor, and adventurer who invented the saildrone more or less by accident. Jenkins doesn’t act like one of Silicon Valley’s world-conquering capitalist nerds. For starters, he tends to skip the usual platitudes about disruption to focus on sailing, beer, and sailing with beer. “What’s the definition of a sailor?” he asks while launching one of the drones off the Alameda dock. “A primitive organism for turning beer into urine.”

Source: This Man Is Building an Armada of Saildrones to Conquer the Ocean – Bloomberg

Why selling off the International Space Station would be a tricky mission for the U.S.

The Trump administration’s proposed 2019 budget says the U.S. will end its funding of the International Space Station by 2025. The news led to speculation the goal is to simply sell off the ISS to private enterprise. But experts say it’s not so simple.

Source: Why selling off the International Space Station would be a tricky mission for the U.S.

“There is a democratization of space going on … that you could never imagine 10 years ago.”