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Thursday, Jul 02nd

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This coronavirus mutation has taken over the world. Scientists are trying to understand why.

Coronavirus mutation is probed by scientists

When the first coronavirus cases in Chicago appeared in January, they bore the same genetic signatures as a germ that emerged in China weeks before.

But as Egon Ozer, an infectious-disease specialist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, examined the genetic structure of virus samples from local patients, he noticed something different.

A change in the virus was appearing again and again. This mutation, associated with outbreaks in Europe and New York, eventually took over the city. By May, it was found in 95 percent of all the genomes Ozer sequenced.

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Planets around nearby star are intriguing candidates for extraterrestrial life

Planets around nearby starUp to three planets - potentially rocky like Earth - have been spotted around a star located relatively near our solar system - a planetary system offering astronomers intriguing possibilities in the search for signs of extraterrestrial life.

The planets orbit Gliese 887, a so-called red dwarf star half the sun’s mass located 11 light years from Earth - right in our backyard in cosmic terms, researchers said on Friday. A light year is the distance light travels in a year, 5.9 trillion miles (9.5 trillion km).

Only 12 other stars are closer to our solar system.

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Scientists Find The Biggest Soft-Shelled Egg Ever, Nicknamed 'The Thing'

large, soft shelled dinosaur egg found

In 2018, paleontologist Julia Clarke was visiting a colleague named David Rubilar-Rogers at Chile's National Museum of Natural History. He showed her a mysterious fossil that he'd collected years earlier in Antarctica. He and his coworkers called it "The Thing."

"It was weird enough that they decided to collect it, even though it wasn't clear what it was. It definitely wasn't bone, but it was strikingly unusual," recalls Clarke, who works at the University of Texas at Austin.

The object was more than 11 by 7 inches in size, and looked like a deflated football. Clarke immediately realized that "The Thing" was a giant egg--a soft-shelled egg. And it was from 66 million years ago, around the time when an asteroid hit Earth and led to dinosaur extinction.

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NASA astronaut from historic spacewalk becomes first woman to reach deepest point in ocean

Kathryn D.Sullivan reaches deepest point in ocean

Former NASA astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space, is now also the first woman to reach the deepest point in the ocean.

Sullivan, an oceanographer and veteran of three space shuttle flights, is the first person to achieve both feats. After returning from a nearly 7 mile dive to Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, Sullivan called her colleagues at the International Space Station, which is in orbit 254 miles above Earth.

“As a hybrid oceanographer and astronaut this was an extraordinary day, a once in a lifetime day, seeing the moonscape of the Challenger Deep and then comparing notes with my colleagues on the ISS about our remarkable reusable inner-space outer-spacecraft," Sullivan said in a statement released Monday by EYOS Expeditions, the company coordinating the mission.

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SpaceX Crew Dragon delivers two NASA astronauts to International Space Station

ISSJust under 19 hours after launching from Florida, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley arrived at the International Space Station aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule on Sunday, marking the first U.S. space capsule to do so with a crew since 2011.

After a tense automatic docking sequence successfully linked Crew Dragon to the station’s docking adapter, the station’s current crew greeted Behnken and Hurley at an on-schedule hatch opening at 1:02 p.m. EDT. The critical milestone kicks off the crew’s potentially months-long stay in the orbital laboratory.

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SpaceX, NASA Launch U.S. Astronauts To International Space Station

SpaceX Dragon launches successfullyA pillar of fire tore through the skies above Kennedy Space Center on Saturday, as NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley returned to space on a historic mission nearly a decade in the making.

The flight, known as Crew Dragon Demo-2, officially bridges the gap left behind by the space shuttle program's final flight in July 2011. It's the first time a private company has sent humans into orbit — and the first time in nearly a decade that the United States launched astronauts into orbit from U.S. soil.

Ever since the space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA has relied on Russian spaceships launched from Kazakhstan to take U.S. astronauts to and from the space station.

TVNL Comment:  We send our wishes to Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley for a safe journey to the International Space Station, and a successful docking.

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Bad weather postpones historic SpaceX Crew Dragon launch

Spacex Dragon postponedBad weather postponed a SpaceX rocket launch, which was set to be the first time a private company sent humans into orbit – and the first time in nearly a decade that the United States launched astronauts into orbit from U.S. soil.

Veteran NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Doug Hurley were prepared to launch from Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39A at 4:33 p.m. aboard the brand-new Dragon capsule on top of a Falcon 9 rocket.

The planned backup dates for the mission known as Crew Dragon Demo-2 are Saturday at 3:22 p.m. EDT and Sunday at 3 p.m. EDT. The weather for both backup dates stands at 60% “go,” according to the Space Force’s latest forecast.

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