Wreckage from Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo in the Mojave desert following the crash on 31 October 2014.  Courtesy: CNN
  • Tragic Desert Crash Raises Questions About Commercial Activities In Space

    Tragedy struck billionaire Sir Richard Branson's space business last month with the crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane leaving one pilot dead and another injured.

    This was the second space disaster in less than a week to hit the private sector space industry following the explosion, shortly after blast off, of the Antares space station resupply rocket.

    What is the future for private enterprise in space?

    Image courtesy CNN.

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Wreckage from Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo in the Mojave desert following the crash on 31 October 2014.  Courtesy: CNN

Private Enterprise Will Deliver Our Future In Space

Tragedy struck billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space business last month with the crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane leaving one pilot dead and another injured. This was the second space disaster in less than a week to hit the private sector space industry following the explosion, shortly after blast off, of the Antares space … Continue reading

Yesterday's x-1.6 flare from Active Region 12192 as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. Courtesy: NASA.

Fingers Crossed As Massive Sun Spot Points At Earth

  Keep your fingers crossed for the next few days. A massive growing belching sunspot that has been firing off solar flares in all directions is slowly coming round to point at the Earth bringing with it the risk of a major solar flare hurling billions of tonnes of super heated star stuff straight at … Continue reading

Created by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) microbiologist Frederick Murphy, this artificially coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) image reveals some of the structure displayed by an Ebola virus. Courtesy: CDC/ Frederick A. Murphy

Ebola: The Nightmare Scenario Of A New Black Death

With transmission of the deadly Ebola occurring outside of west Africa, the world is belatedly waking up to the very real risks posed to the entire world by this terrible virus. The longer that Ebola is allowed to circulate in West Africa then the greater the risk that the virus will evolve into an even … Continue reading

artificial sweetener roadsign image

Diet Foods Make You Fat: Research Shows Artificial Sweeteners Can Trigger Illness, Diabetes And Obesity

Diet foods and drinks can cause illness, diabetes and obesity, according to major new research published tomorrow (Thursday 18 September 2014) in the leading science journal Nature. Experiments on mice and humans have shown that artificial sweeteners change the make-up and behaviour of bacteria in the gut resulting in raised blood sugar levels. This is … Continue reading

The long term remorseless rise in atmospheric CO2. This has been rising consistently throughout the whole period of the global warming pause rasing questions about the nature of the link between CO2 and climate change. Courtesy: NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Record CO2 Levels Reported As Global Warming Pause Reaches 19 Years

Today the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed that in 2013 the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2)  and other so called greenhouse warming gases rose at the fastest rate since 1984. Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, including CO2, methane and nitrous oxide, reached record levels in 2013. WMO Secretary General Michel Jarraud warned that … Continue reading

This painting by Thomas Cole, called Destruction, is part of his Course Of Empire series and depicts the sack and destruction of a great city following the decline of a glorious empire. 
History teaches that the end of empire is often accompanied by division, civil strife and conflict.

Chaos Reigns When A Great Empire Declines

Disorder seems to be erupting all around the globe. Wars burn in Europe, the Middles East and Africa while tensions grow between China and Japan and on the Korean peninsula, as civil unrest festers in many other places. It was not supposed to be like this. The end of the Cold War was – in … Continue reading

An eruption on April 16, 2012 was captured here by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in the 304 Angstrom wavelength, which is typically colored in red. The venet on 23 July 2012 was even more powerful than this. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

Solar Storms Threaten Global Nuclear Nightmare

Nuclear Reactors Worldwide Are At Risk From A Solar Super Storm That Could Disable Cooling Systems And Emergency Back-Ups Causing Meltdowns And Explosions Our planet came within a whisker of disaster two years ago. On 23 July 2012, an eruption exploded on the face of the sun blasting a stream of material into space that … Continue reading

Front

Ebola Death Rate Much Higher Than Press Reports Suggest

Ebola in West Africa is almost certainly far more deadly than press reports indicate. Simplistic analysis of the regular updates issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has led many reputable news outlets to underestimate the true death rate of this killer disease while the WHO itself avoids issuing an ongoing analysis of what it … Continue reading

scale solar

Time To Reassess The Role Of The Sun In Climate Change

As the so called pause in global warming continues, space scientists may be giving climate scientists some pause for thought. Global surface temperatures have remained statistically flat for over a decade following a rapid rise in the second half of the 20th century despite the fact that the long-term increase in carbon dioxide associated with … Continue reading

Evidence of airborne transmission of Ebola between animals presented in a scientific paper in 2012. The authors wrote that "Segmental attenuation and loss of respiratory epithelium in the bronchiolar wall (large arrow) with some areas of the lungs relatively unaffected (arrowhead). Immunostaining for Ebola virus antigen was detected in occasional respiratory epithelial cells (small arrow) as well as within alveolar and septal macrophages. Bar = 50 μm." Courtesy: authors and Scientific Reports.

WHO Chief Warns Of Ebola Mutation Risk

Note (added 11 October 2014): a more up to date article reviewing these issues appears here. Please see important note at the foot of this report. The longer that Ebola is allowed to circulate in West Africa then the greater the risk that the virus will evolve into an even more virulent form. This unprecedented … Continue reading

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