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NASA asteroid warning: A skyscraper-sized rock will skim Earth in less than one hour – Express.co.uk

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“That’s because the gravitational tug of the planets could, over time, cause an object’s orbital path to evolve into an Earth-crossing orbit. This allows for the possibility of a future collision.”

When Asteroid WH1 approaches Earth, it will reach speeds of around 11.77km per second or 26,328mph (42372km/h).

Thankfully, NASA does not expect the space rock to approach Earth close enough to pose any real threat.

At its closest, the asteroid will arrive within about 0.03904 astronomical units.

One astronomical unit describes the average distance from Earth to the Sun – about 93 million miles (149.6 million km).

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How to watch historic SpaceX rocket launch more Starlink satellites Friday – CNET

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The Falcon 9 rocket booster that sent NASA astronauts to the International Space Station in May is scheduled to get recycled again Friday, when SpaceX plans to send 60 more Starlink satellites to orbit atop its column of fire. 

Elon Musk’s trademark reusable rocket will be making its third flight when it lifts off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at 10:57 a.m. PT (1:57 p.m. ET). This specific unit sent astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to orbit in May and then launched a South Korean satellite in July. So far, SpaceX has managed to launch and land the same rocket up to six times

The launch was originally scheduled for Thursday, but it got scrubbed and pushed back a day due to a “recovery issue.” It could be that SpaceX didn’t like the look of the weather in the Atlantic where the first stage and the fairing were set to be recovered. 

One half of the nose cone, or fairing, atop the rocket has also seen two previous flights, both of them earlier Starlink missions. 

This should be a fairly routine launch. It will be the 13th Starlink mission so far, and SpaceX is ultimately planning on dozens more as it grows its broadband mega-constellation.


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Following the launch and separation of the rocket’s second stage and payload, the first-stage booster will again return to Earth to land on a droneship in the Atlantic. 

SpaceX will stream the entire thing via the feed above, starting at about 10 minutes before launch.

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Scientists Find Efficient Way to Convert Carbon Dioxide into Ethylene | Chemistry, Materials Science – Sci-News.com

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A team of U.S. researchers has developed copper nanowires with rich surface steps to catalyze a chemical reaction that reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while generating ethylene (C2H4), an important chemical used to produce plastics, solvents, cosmetics and other important products globally.

Copper represents an effective catalyst in reducing carbon dioxide to hydrocarbons or oxygenates, but it is often plagued by a low product selectivity and limited long-term stability. Choi et al report that copper nanowires with rich surface steps exhibit a remarkably high Faradaic efficiency for ethylene that can be maintained for over 200 hours. Image credit: Choi et al, doi: 10.1038/s41929-020-00504-x.

“The idea of using copper to catalyze this reaction has been around for a long time, but the key is to accelerate the rate so it is fast enough for industrial production,” said co-lead author Professor William Goddard III, a researcher in the Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science at Caltech.

“This study shows a solid path towards that mark, with the potential to transform ethylene production into a greener industry using carbon dioxide that would otherwise end up in the atmosphere.”

Using copper to kick start the carbon dioxide reduction into ethylene reaction has suffered two strikes against it.

First, the initial chemical reaction also produced hydrogen and methane — both undesirable in industrial production.

Second, previous attempts that resulted in ethylene production did not last long, with conversion efficiency tailing off as the system continued to run.

To overcome these two hurdles, Professor Goddard III and colleagues focused on the design of the copper nanowires with highly active steps — similar to a set of stairs arranged at atomic scale.

One intriguing finding of this collaborative study is that this step pattern across the nanowires’ surfaces remained stable under the reaction conditions, contrary to general belief that these high energy features would smooth out.

This is the key to both the system’s durability and selectivity in producing ethylene, instead of other end products.

The scientists demonstrated a carbon dioxide-to-ethylene conversion rate of greater than 70%, much more efficient than previous designs, which yielded at least 10% less under the same conditions.

The new system ran for 200 hours, with little change in conversion efficiency, a major advance for copper-based catalysts.

In addition, the comprehensive understanding of the structure-function relation illustrated a new perspective to design highly active and durable carbon dioxide reduction catalyst in action.

“We are at the brink of fossil fuel exhaustion, coupled with global climate change challenges,” said co-lead author Professor Yu Huang, a researcher in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Developing materials that can efficiently turn greenhouse gases into value-added fuels and chemical feedstocks is a critical step to mitigate global warming while turning away from extracting increasingly limited fossil fuels.”

“This integrated experiment and theoretical analysis presents a sustainable path towards carbon dioxide upcycling and utilization.”

The team’s paper was published in the journal Nature Catalysis.

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C. Choi et al. Highly active and stable stepped Cu surface for enhanced electrochemical CO2 reduction to C2H4. Nat Catal, published online September 7, 2020; doi: 10.1038/s41929-020-00504-x

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NASA mulls Venus mission after recent discoveries | Reuters Video – Reuters UK

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NASA is considering approving by next April up to two planetary science missions from four proposals under review, including one to Venus that scientists involved in the project said could help determine whether or not that planet harbors life. Freddie Joyner has more.

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