Satellite shoots geckos into space to study development in zero gravity

A group of geckos joined the 350-mile-high club for some very important reasons

Earlier this month Russia launched a satellite carrying five geckos into space to observe their mating activities in the zero-gravity conditions of Earth’s orbit. Various other organisms, including insects and plants were also placed on board for experiments. The satellite, called Foton-M, was launched on July 19th from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and is scheduled to re-enter Earth in September.

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The Foton-M satellite.

Last week, after making its first few orbits, the satellite stopped responding to commands from mission control, though the equipment on board was still sending scientific data back down to Earth. The biological experiment was thought to be lost, but on Saturday night communication was once again made with the spacecraft, and everything is now going according to plan. Read More

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Simplify star-gazing with a remote-controlled robotic Wi-Fi telescope

Telescope connects wirelessly to your mobile device to simplify space navigation

It can be pretty simple to pinpoint certain stars with a regular old telescope, but if you’re just gazing into the night sky, all those constellations and planets can be harder to identify. With Celestron’s NexStar Evolution Wi-Fi-enabled telescope, you can figure out exactly what you’re looking at overhead.

Because it shows up as an access point in a smartphone or tablet’s list of available networks, the Celestron NexStar telescope lets you control it by tapping areas on a star-map app once connected. Simply choose a celestial body and the telescope’s motorized mount and fork arm will automatically position the scope.

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The Celestron NexStar telescope wirelessly connects to your mobile device. Image via WiredRead More