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China’s Mars Probe Tianwen-1 Sends Home Selfies Captured 15 Million Miles From Earth

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KEY POINTS

  • The CNSA released new selfies of Tianwen-1 captured 15 million miles away from Earth
  • The Mars probe took images of itself using a tiny camera ejected from the spacecraft
  • Tianwen-1 is expected to reach the red planet in February 2021

Talk about a clever way to take self-portraits in space! Tianwen-1 has snapped some selfies while in outer space using a camera ejected from its spacecraft.

While on its way to Mars, Tianwen-1 sent home new images of itself captured 15 million miles away from Earth. They were released by the China National Space Administration earlier this month as part of the country’s national day celebrations.

The small camera the Mars probe used to snap selfies had wide-angle lenses on each side and took one photo every second. It sends the images it takes to Tianwen-1, which would then transmit the pictures to Earth.

One of the many photos snapped by the camera is a close-up of the Tianwen-1 spacecraft that shows its two silver solar arrays and the conical aeroshell containing the mission’s rover. Another photo was taken from farther away and showcases the vastness of outer space surrounding Tianwen-1 as it makes its way to its mission.

The little photoshoot went both ways as the Tianwen-1 also took images of the tiny camera while it was being jettisoned into outer space and leaving the spacecraft.

Tianwen-1 was launched by China on July 23 aboard the Long March 5 rocket from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island. This mission is considered to be China’s first attempt at reaching and eventually landing on the red planet.

If all goes according to plan, Tianwen-1 should arrive on Mars in February 2021. The rover will land on the red planet’s surface somewhere along Utopia Planitia, a large empty

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Blue Origin launches, lands NASA moon landing sensor experiment

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Oct. 13 (UPI) — Blue Origin successfully launched a NASA moon landing experiment aboard the company’s reusable New Shepard rocket Tuesday morning in Texas.

Liftoff took place from the company’s launch facilities about 150 miles east of El Paso.

The capsule separated from the rocket minutes into the flight and spent about three minutes at the height of an arc just over the Kármán line, the altitude at which space begins.

The rocket booster, with NASA sensors mounted on the exterior, landed smoothly about 7 minutes, 30 seconds after launch. The capsule landed with the aid of parachutes a few minutes later, kicking up a cloud of dust and sand.

The NASA experiment is part of the agency’s Tipping Point program, which seeks to demonstrate technology that can be adopted by private industry.

The project includes a collection of sensors designed to help locate a safe site on the moon for upcoming landings, according to NASA and Blue Origin’s mission description. Some of the sensors use LIDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging technology, which uses laser light to map out the surface.

“A NASA-developed sensor suite could allow robotic and crewed missions to land precisely on the lunar surface within half the distance of a football field,” NASA said of the project. “The rocket’s flight path is relevant to lunar landings, providing a unique opportunity to mature sensors and algorithms for potential use on Artemis [moon] missions.”

Those sensors require clear skies to function properly, which is why the mission had been delayed once in September due to cloudy weather at the launch site. But Tuesday’s weather was ideal, Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said.

“It’s a great day for us to actually try that new type of experimentation on the outside of the vehicle,” Smith said during a prelaunch

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Pufferfish may be carving mysterious ‘crop circles’ near Australia

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Japan’s white-spotted pufferfish are renowned for producing complex, ringed patterns in the sand. Now, 5,500 kilometers away in Australia, scientists have discovered what appear to be dozens more of these creations.

While conducting a marine life survey out on Australia’s North West Shelf near subsea gas infrastructure with an autonomous underwater vehicle, marine ecologist Todd Bond spotted a striking pattern on the seafloor, more than 100 meters deep.  “Immediately, I knew what it was,” recounts Bond, of the University of Western Australia in Perth. Bond and his colleagues continued the survey, ultimately finding nearly two dozen more.

Until now, these undersea “crop circles” were found only off the coast of Japan. First spotted in the 1990s, it took two decades to solve the mystery of what created them. In 2011, scientists found the sculptors — the diminutive males of what was then a new species of Torquigener pufferfish. The patterns are nests, meticulously plowed over the course of days and decorated with shells to entice females to lay their eggs in the center. 

A hovering autonomous underwater vehicle (HAUV) deployed along subsea natural gas infrastructure off Australia’s coast in September 2018 captured footage of something surprising: a rippled ring carved into the sand. Researchers eventually discovered nearly two dozen of these circles, similar to the elaborate nests crafted by white-spotted pufferfish males near Japan, making it the first such find outside Japan. While it’s not known what species created the Australian rings, an unidentified pufferfish was seen fleeing the site of one of them.
 

While there’s no video confirmation that pufferfish are building the nests in Australia, the structures are nearly identical to those in Japan, even sharing a similar number of ridges, Bond and his colleagues report in the November 2020 Journal of Fish Biology. And when a

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Applied DNA Secures $1.0+ Million in COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Annualized Revenue, Builds Sales Pipeline for Test Kit and Testing-as-a-Service

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– Announces Completion of Initial New York State Department of Health Inspection of Clinical Lab Subsidiary –

Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: APDN) (“Applied DNA” or the “Company”), a leader in Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based DNA manufacturing that enables in vitro diagnostics, pre-clinical nucleic acid-based therapeutic drug candidates, supply chain security, anti-counterfeiting, and anti-theft technology, announced that Applied DNA Clinical Laboratories, LLC (“ADCL”), its wholly-owned subsidiary, has secured COVID-19 surveillance testing contracts under its testing-as-a-service (“TaaS”) offering that are estimated to generate more than $1.0 million in total annualized revenue beginning October 1, 2020. The Company’s surveillance testing revenue expectation is contingent on full-term participation by TaaS customers, including:

  • Private schools based in Long-Island, N.Y., including Harbor Country Day School. Education customers comprise the bulk of the Company’s current testing volume;

  • Several New York State-based small enterprises and private clients.

Unlike diagnostic testing, which looks for the occurrence of COVID-19 at the individual level, surveillance testing looks for infection within a defined population or community and can be used for making health management decisions at the population level. Surveillance testing does not require a prescription. In surveillance testing, pooled test results are returned to the sponsoring organization in the aggregate, not directly to the individual, and may be performed without CLIA certification.

Concurrently, the Company is executing on a sales and marketing strategy to build a pipeline of LineaTM COVID-19 Diagnostic Assay Kit (“Assay Kit”) and TaaS opportunities through:

  • Outreach to independent and hospital laboratories in COVID-19 hotspots nationally and regionally to offer an additional diagnostic kit supply line;

  • Outreach to local laboratories to construct a reference laboratory relationship for overflow testing;

  • Deployment of testing at Stony Brook University in accordance with a recently signed Master Services Agreement.

“Our capacity to perform COVID-19 surveillance testing is grounded in self-collection

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Two Massive Asteroids, 1 Smaller NEA To Zip Past Earth On Tuesday

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KEY POINTS

  • The NEAs will pass by Earth on Tuesday, Oct. 13
  • 2018GD2 has been included in the ESA’s Risk List
  • 2020TN3 is expected to be three times as big as the Statue of Liberty in New York

A total of three Near-Earth Asteroids (NEA) are expected to pass by the planet this Tuesday in varying times, the same day when Mars will be in opposition. One of the NEAs to zip by is three times the size of the Statue of Liberty in New York.

The first of the three to zip past Earth on Tuesday is also the largest. 2020TN3 is about 278 ft in diameter and is expected to zip by early in the morning, at 5:12 a.m. EDT. The giant asteroid will be three times the size of the Statue of Liberty. NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies claims the NEA will be flying by at a safe distance of about 5 million kilometers away from the planet’s surface and luckily has not been included in the European Space Agency’s Risk List.

About an hour after 2020TN3 passes by Earth, a 101-foot asteroid is anticipated to zip by the planet. Asteroid 2020TA3, recently discovered on Oct. 10, will be as long as an adult blue whale and will reach its closest approach to Earth at a distance of 5 million kilometers from the planet. The said NEA is set to fly by at 6:32 a.m. EDT, at a speed of 6 kilometers per second. Asteroid 2020TA3’s next Earth close approach is expected by Oct. 8, 2036, according to the ESA and has also not been included in its Risk List.

The last asteroid to zip by the home planet on Tuesday is called 2018GD2. Although only 25 feet in diameter, this NEA has been included

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