Spiders Spread, Satellites Soar: Science Headlines

Current science news includes the spread of large, shy Joro spiders in the U.S., Rocket Lab receiving $23.9 million to enhance satellite semiconductors, health effects of space travel studied by an all-civilian crew, elephants possibly calling each other by name, and NASA's delayed Starliner mission.

Reuters | Updated: 12-06-2024 18:26 IST | Created: 12-06-2024 18:26 IST
Spiders Spread, Satellites Soar: Science Headlines
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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."

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.

NASA, Boeing push back Starliner's crewed return to June 18

NASA and Boeing said they expect to bring Starliner and its first astronaut crew back to Earth from the International Space Station as soon as June 18, later than previously scheduled as mission analysts examine issues that could affect its return. Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft was originally expected to undock on Friday and return to Earth after launching its inaugural crew of two NASA astronauts from Florida on June 5. The mission is a crucial test before the U.S. space agency can certify Starliner for routine flights.

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

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