Science News Roundup: Mongolia in talks with SpaceX to launch first national satellite; Saturn's 'Death Star' moon has a hidden secret - a subsurface ocean and more


Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 09-02-2024 11:02 IST | Created: 09-02-2024 10:28 IST
Science News Roundup: Mongolia in talks with SpaceX to launch first national satellite; Saturn's 'Death Star' moon has a hidden secret - a subsurface ocean and more
Representative Image Image Credit: Wikipedia

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

China opens Antarctic station south of Australia, New Zealand

China on Wednesday inaugurated its Ross Sea scientific research station, the official Xinhua news agency reported, starting operations in an outpost in a part of the Antarctic due south of Australia and New Zealand for the first time. Resembling a crucifix, like the Crux constellation or the Southern Cross, the Qinling station will be staffed year-round with quarters sufficient to house as many as 80 people in the summer months, official media has previously said.

Mongolia in talks with SpaceX to launch first national satellite

The Mongolian government said on Thursday it is in talks with Elon Musk's SpaceX to launch the country's first national telecommunications satellite, its latest move to improve connectivity and develop its "domestic space economy." The satellite, currently being constructed by French company Thales Alenia Space, is tasked with improving Mongolia's disaster management and emergency response, increasing broadband internet access and supporting its scientific research and education among other purposes, the government said in a statement.

Saturn's 'Death Star' moon has a hidden secret - a subsurface ocean

Saturn's moon Mimas is known for its uncanny resemblance to the dreaded Death Star in the original "Star Wars" movie. But it has another intriguing distinction as well, according to researchers - a subsurface ocean hidden under its icy and crater-scarred outer shell. Astronomers said on Wednesday that data obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on the rotational motion and orbit of Mimas confirm the presence of an ocean of liquid water beneath an ice layer 12-19 miles (20-30 km) thick. This ocean, they said, appears to have formed recently, in cosmic terms - less than 25 million years ago and likely between 5 and 15 million years ago.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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