Shy Joro Spiders Spread, Rocket Lab's Boost, Starliner Achievements, Elephants' Names

Recent science news covers the spread of Joro spiders across the U.S., a $23.9 million award to Rocket Lab for semiconductor production, Boeing's Starliner spacecraft milestones, health data from SpaceX's Inspiration4 crew, and a study suggesting elephants may call each other by unique names.

Reuters | Updated: 12-06-2024 02:30 IST | Created: 12-06-2024 02:30 IST
Shy Joro Spiders Spread, Rocket Lab's Boost, Starliner Achievements, Elephants' Names
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Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Scary but shy Joro spiders spread to US gardens, parking lots

Scary Joro spiders the size of a human hand are spreading across the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and heading north. The East Asian species is named after the mythical Japanese creature Jorogumo, which can turn into a beautiful woman and trap men with silk. With blue-black and yellow stripes, long legs and sometimes a splash of red, Joros may look terrifying but are actually quite shy.

US to award Rocket Lab $23.9 million to boost satellite, spacecraft chips

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday it planned to award Rocket Lab $23.9 million to dramatically boost the production of compound semiconductors used in satellites and spacecraft. The award for Rocket Lab unit SolAero Technologies Corp "would help create a more robust and resilient supply of space-grade solar cells that power spacecrafts and satellites", the department said, adding it would "increase Rocket Lab's compound semiconductor production by 50% within the next three years."

Starliner flight is one big step for Boeing's space capsule, but many hurdles remain

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft scored a crucial achievement last week with the delivery of two astronauts to the International Space Station, but problems encountered along its journey in space and more hurdles that lie ahead make the aerospace giant's goal toward routine missions a distant prospect. The CST-100 Starliner capsule's first crewed docking with two astronauts to the International Space Station on Thursday marked a long-sought safety demonstration for two audiences: NASA, which wants a second U.S. spacecraft for rides to orbit, and the nascent market for private astronaut missions that is currently dominated by Elon Musk's SpaceX and its Crew Dragon capsule.

Data from all-civilian crew details health effects of space travel

When pediatric cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux and a trio of crewmates spent three days in space in 2021 as part of SpaceX's Inspiration4 mission, they made history not only as the first all-civilian team to orbit Earth. They also provided the most in-depth data on record regarding the effects of space travel on the human body. New research based on this data details changes in the brain, heart, muscles, kidneys and skin, immune regulation and stress levels and a breakdown in the activity of subcellular structures called mitochondria amid the microgravity environment, increased radiation and other factors in space.

Study shows elephants might call each other by name

Over the years, researchers who study elephants have noticed an intriguing phenomenon. Sometimes when an elephant makes a vocalization to a group of other elephants, all of them respond. But sometimes when that same elephant makes a similar call to the group, only a single individual responds. Could it be that elephants address each other by the equivalent of a name? A new study involving wild African savannah elephants in Kenya lends support to this idea.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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