Столиця Шляхта

ISW: Росія намагається посіяти паніку щодо наступу на Харків і може спробувати знищити місто

«ISW оцінює, що ймовірність успішного наземного наступу Росії проти Харкова є дуже низькою, якщо Україна швидко отримає нову військову допомогу США»,

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‘Green’ Energy Observer vessel docked in NYC for Earth Day

Before the creation of engines, the ocean was full of low-emission vessels — they were called sailboats. Now a next-generation zero-emissions laboratory vessel called the Energy Observer recently docked in New York City to show off what this team hopes is the next generation of earth-friendly boats. Elena Wolf has the story, narrated by Anna Rice. Videographer: Max Avloshenko 

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European Space Agency adds new astronauts in only fourth class since 1978

cologne, germany — For the past year, five fit, academically superior men and women have been spun in centrifuges, submerged for hours, deprived temporarily of oxygen, taught to camp in the snow, and schooled in physiology, anatomy, astronomy, meteorology, robotics, and Russian.

On Monday, the five Europeans and an Australian graduated from basic training with a new title: astronaut.

At a ceremony in Cologne, Germany, ESA added the five newcomers to its astronaut corps eligible for missions to the International Space Station, bringing the total to 11.

ESA has negotiated with NASA for three places on future Artemis moon missions, although those places will likely go to the more senior astronauts, according to ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher. The agency is also supplying the service module for the Orion crew capsule. ESA relies on NASA and others to get its astronauts to space.

It is only the fourth astronaut class since 1978 for the 22-country agency, chosen from among 22,500 applicants. Another 12 were selected as reservists, but were not sent to basic training. Not surprisingly, the five have resumes studded with advanced scientific and medical degrees, military training, experience flying planes, helicopters, gliders and balloons, and “leisure” activities like rowing, scuba diving, hiking, skydiving, cycling, sailing, and kayaking.

The group formed “a very good team” devoid of personal rivalry, said Aschbacher. “I told them, one of you will fly first and one will fly last, and they accepted that of course, but from the heart, not just lip service … the team spirit is very pronounced.”

Sophie Adenot, a French air force helicopter test pilot, said the group was “a fantastic crew and a fantastic team.” The moment that struck her the most was leaving the airlock for underwater spacewalk simulation when the instructor said, “Welcome to space.”

“And for me it was mind-blowing, I had goosebumps. … In a few years it is going to be me in space, not in the water with safety divers.”

When she was a girl dreaming of space travel, “I couldn’t count the number of people who told me, this dream will never come true. ‘You have unrealistic dreams, and it will never happen.’ … Listen to yourself and don’t listen to people who don’t believe in you.”

In addition to Adenot, the ESA class consists of:

— Pablo Alvarez Fernandez, a Spanish aeronautical engineer who has worked on the Rosalind Franklin Mars rover intended for a joint mission with Russia that was suspended after the invasion of Ukraine;

— Rosemary Coogan, a British astronomer who has researched radiation emissions from black holes;

— Raphael Liegeois, a Belgian biomedical engineer and neuroscientist who has researched degenerative diseases of the nervous system, and also flies hot-air balloons and gliders;

— Marco Alain Sieber, a Swiss emergency physician who achieved sergeant rank as a paratrooper during his service with the Swiss army.

The group was joined by Katherine Bennell-Pegg from Australia, who underwent training under a cooperation agreement between Australia and ESA. She remains an employee of the Australian Space Agency. It’s up to the Australian agency to find a way for her to travel in space.

Their yearlong basic training included preparation for the hostile environment encountered in space. They were exposed to multiple times the force of gravity in a centrifuge and spent hours underwater using scuba gear to float around mockups of space station modules to simulate working in zero gravity.

They learned how to recognize symptoms of hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, by experiencing it themselves in a low-pressure chamber. Survival training included dealing with potential splashdown in the ocean and staying warm in winter while waiting to be recovered in case a landing goes off course. On top of that came academic work on scientific topics and learning about the space station’s modules and equipment.

Intensive Russian language is still part of the program, even though ESA has suspended work with Russia except for the space station, where one of the working languages is Russian.

Політика Столиця Шляхта

Буданов: ситуація найближчим часом буде «досить важка», але «Армагеддон не відбудеться»

«Нас чекає досить важка, за нашою оцінкою, ситуація найближчим часом. Але вона не катастрофічна, це теж треба розуміти. Армагеддон не відбудеться, як багато хто зараз починає казати»

Політика Столиця Шляхта

«Через брак боєприпасів втратили Авдіївку»: нардеп розповів, коли Україна може отримати зброю від США

Зі слів Чернєва американські партнери знають, яка зброя необхідна нині ЗСУ на полі бою і сподівається, що саме вона невдовзі дістанеться України

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Ancient snake might have been 15 meters long, weighed 1,000 kilos

WASHINGTON — A ancient giant snake in India might have been longer than a school bus and weighed a ton, researchers reported Thursday.

Fossils found near a coal mine revealed a snake that stretched an estimated 11 meters to 15 meters. It’s comparable to the largest known snake at about 13 meters that once lived in what is now Colombia.

The largest living snake today is Asia’s reticulated python at 10 meters.

The newly discovered behemoth lived 47 million years ago in western India’s swampy evergreen forests. It could have weighed up to 1,000 kilograms, researchers said in the journal Scientific Reports.

They gave it the name Vasuki indicus after “the mythical snake king Vasuki, who wraps around the neck of the Hindu deity Shiva,” said Debajit Datta, a study co-author at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee.

This monster snake wasn’t especially swift to strike.

“Considering its large size, Vasuki was a slow-moving ambush predator that would subdue its prey through constriction,” Datta said in an email.

Fragments of the snake’s backbone were discovered in 2005 by co-author Sunil Bajpai, based at the same institute, near Kutch, Gujarat, in western India. The researchers compared more than 20 fossil vertebrae to skeletons of living snakes to estimate size.

While it’s not clear exactly what Vasuki ate, other fossils found nearby reveal that the snake lived in swampy areas alongside catfish, turtles, crocodiles and primitive whales, which may have been its prey, Datta said.

The other extinct giant snake, Titanoboa, was discovered in Colombia and is estimated to have lived around 60 million years ago.

What these two monster snakes have in common is that they lived during periods of exceptionally warm global climates, said Jason Head, a Cambridge University paleontologist who was not involved in the study.

“These snakes are giant cold-blooded animals,” he said. “A snake requires higher temperatures” to grow into large sizes.

So does that mean that global warming will bring back monster-sized snakes?

In theory, it’s possible. But the climate is now warming too quickly for snakes to evolve again to be giants, he said.