We all know that Triceratops defended territory, fought and defended with three huge horns on top of their heads, and now scientists have found evidence of Triceratops fighting each other through fossil traces.
Triceratops is a plant-eating dinosaur with a total length of about 7 to 10 meters and a weight of 6 to 12 tons. It can be said to be a representative dinosaur of the late Cretaceous period. As the name suggests, Triceratops has three huge horns, which are located in the Above the eye sockets of the eyes and the bridge of the nose, many studies over the years have shown that Triceratops fought with the horns on the top of the head, and now Italian scientists have more direct evidence.
D’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy (D’Annunzio University of Chieti – Pescara) inspected the largest Triceratops fossil in history “Big John Big John)” and found a large hole on the right side of Big John’s neck, presumably injured by a similar species.
The Big John fossil is 66 million years old and is 8 meters high. The skull is 2.62 meters long and 2 meters wide. The two longest horns are about 1.1 meters long and over 30 cm wide, enough to withstand 16 tons of pressure. It was bought by an anonymous American collector on October 21 last year at Drouot, an auction center for art and antiques in Paris.
A team from the University of Chiedi-Pescara, Italy, found bone growth and signs of inflammation at the edge of the wound, showing that John was severely injured during his lifetime, and the wound was partially healed before his death, but why was John injured? The team speculated that it was another Triceratops, because no matter the size of the wound or the shape of the lesions, all the signs were completely consistent with the “horns” of the Triceratops, representing that Big John was fighting another Triceratops, and the opponent’s long horns stabbed the giant. John’s neck.
It’s just that the team doesn’t know whether the other Triceratops is “he” or “she”, and why they fight each other. After all, both male and female Triceratops may have horns. Unlike moose, only males can grow antlers. Male moose can grow antlers. To mate with a female, you also need to compete fiercely with other males. Scholar Ruggero D’Anastasio points out that other cases need to be studied to understand Triceratops’ behavior, but as far as he knows, other dinosaurs don’t fight each other.
According to foreign media, Apple will update the product obsolescence list on April 30, officially releasing three laptops including MacBook Air 11-inch (2014), MacBook Air 13-inch (2014), and MacBook Pro 13-inch (2014). Officially included in the elimination list.
According to Apple’s official definition, a product will be regarded as an outdated product 5 to 7 years after its launch; if the user still needs to repair the obsolete product, it depends on the official inventory of replacement parts. If the parts are out of stock, Apple will Repair service will not be provided. But if the product has been launched for more than 7 years, then the official will stop all hardware repair services, but the above products may be able to obtain battery repair services in certain markets.
“MacRumors” reported that Apple announced the discontinuation of the 11-inch MacBook Air after a press conference in October 2016, and launched the first MacBook Pro product with Touch Bar at the press conference; The 13-inch MacBook Air continues to be sold.
However, according to a previous post on Twitter by Ross Young, CEO of research firm DSCC, Apple is expected to launch a 15-inch MacBook Air in 2023.
Paleontologists are happy to say that ancient fossil skulls of sea monsters have been dug up in the rock formations of the Peruvian desert. This is a ferocious-looking sea monster, and it is likely to be a species that has not been found in the past.
Dig a sea monster On March 17, Peruvian paleontologists announced that they had unearthed the fossilized skulls of ancient marine predators in the dry rock layers of the Ocucaje Desert.
Ancestors of whales and dolphins Similar to the ancient sea monsters described by people, this large marine creature living in prehistoric times not only has a terrifying sharp tooth, but also has four feet about 1.2 meters long and a body length of 12 meters. The bus is big.
It lived in the ocean 36 million years ago, probably in the geological age of the Eocene epoch, and was the top and most ferocious predator at that time, as well as the ancient ancestor of modern whales and dolphins.
Destructive Creature Rodolfo Salas-Gismondi, who studies paleo-spine zoology at the Museum of Natural History Lima, Peru, said: “This is a sea monster! When it goes out to feed , it must have done a lot of damage.”
One-of-a-kind discovery Paleontologist Mario Urbina, who is also the discoverer of this skull fossil, said that the skull is in a very good state of preservation. The skull fossil was dug up at the end of 2021, and it is speculated that it is derived from tuna, sharks and adults. Group of sardines for food.
Urbina stressed: “This discovery is very important because no specimens of similar species have been seen before.”
Gismondi added: “It has a different body size and teeth from the ancient whale species, and from these clues, it is at the top of the food chain.”
Thinking about ancient Peru “Thanks to these fossils, we know that the Peruvian ocean was warm at the time, and we can reconstruct what the historical Peruvian ocean looked like,” Gismondi said.
The Okucaye Desert in Peru is rich in fossil remains, where whale ancestors, dolphins, sharks and other ancient creatures have been unearthed.
Tentative name: Predator of Okukaye Paleontologists call this prehistoric creature “Ocucaje Predator” for now, and first classify it as a species of Basilosaurus. In the future, the research team will publish a scientific report on this species. And after peer review, further official names will be given.
Ancient dragon king whale The researchers said that the Peruvian desert is now a shallow sea in ancient times. About 41 million to 34 million years ago, the dragon king whale and its ferocious relatives were the top predators in that area, appearing like a giant snake in the ocean.
However, the dragon king whale does not look like a snake at all. The difference between it and the snake is that it has two huge webs near the head.
Snake whales are difficult to distinguish? Researchers in the past have also made similar mistakes, mistaking it for a reptile because its skeleton is too similar to a sea snake. According to the Smithsonian (Smithsonian), the scientific name of the dragon king whale, Basilosaurus, actually means the king lizard, but fortunately, researchers later figured out its true identity and learned that it is a marine mammal: the aquatic cetacean family (aquatic cetacean family). cetacean family).
Millions of years of evolution The most ancient mammalian ancestors of whales lived on land and evolved into a semi-aquatic state after millions of years of evolution. Ten million years after the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, these ancestors eventually evolved into fully aquatic marine life, and the first cetaceans were born, and gradually developed into the 90 species of whales and dolphins known today.
In order to defeat the inflation behemoth, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) announced on March 16 that it would raise interest rates by one yard (0.25 percentage points), suggesting that it will raise interest rates 6 times this year! The Fed has finally opened its trump card, but investors are worried: Will raising interest rates be detrimental to the performance of U.S. stocks?
According to Fortune, in theory, higher interest rates should make stocks less attractive, as that means raising borrowing costs for companies and consumers and lowering overall spending.
However, it is clear that the market has long abandoned this old thinking. Even as prices skyrocketed and geopolitical anxiety continued to spread, investors flocked to U.S. stocks. The news that the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in 2018 and oil prices pulled back from their highs drove the three major U.S. stock indexes to their biggest gains in more than a year.
Raising interest rates is not a bad thing for U.S. stocks “The stock market will reflect what’s best for the economy, so if a rate hike is best for the economy, then the stock market will respond,” said Andrew Hiesinger, chief executive of Quant Data, a U.S. market investment firm. In fact, “Forbes” pointed out that if historical data is used as a guide, it can be found that the Fed raising interest rates is not a bad thing.
According to data from Dow Jones Market Data from 1989 to January this year, U.S. stocks performed better during the rate hike cycle – the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 55%, and the S&P 500 index was 62.9% , the Nasdaq index is as high as 102.7%; U.S. stocks also rose during the rate cut stage, but the rise was not as strong as the rate hike. The average increase of the first three indexes was only 23%, 21%, and 32%, respectively.
Market agency Truist Advisory Services further dismantled 12 interest rate hike cycles in U.S. history and found that the S&P 500 had an average annual return of 9.4%, and only one of them had a negative annual return, that is, between 1972 and 1974, The United States was facing a disastrously stagnant inflation crisis at the time.
Forbes also pointed out that rate hikes will weigh on the market in the short term, with mixed performance. Market research firm Evercore ISI analyzed that in the first month after the start of the rate hike cycle, although the S&P 500 fell by an average of 4%, it eventually recovered its lost ground, rising by an average of 3% after half a year, and up to 5% a year later.
The fundamentals of US companies are good, and the impact of war is limited Keith Lerner, co-chief investment officer of Truist Advisory Services, explained that the reason why U.S. stocks generally rise during the Fed rate hike is that it is usually accompanied by a healthy economic environment and rising profits.
Although the war between Russia and Ukraine continues, inflation continues to deteriorate, and the complex environment makes the market panic, but the “Wall Street Journal” reported that the fundamentals of American companies are strong, which has swept away the anxiety of many investors, even in the face of soaring costs and geopolitical conditions. Political uncertainty, but still profitable. A strong job market will also continue to support U.S. economic growth.
In addition, history shows that war has little impact on U.S. stocks. In the long run, it is corporate revenue and profits that drive stock prices, and geopolitical conflict is not enough to change stock valuations. Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at LPL Financial, an American brokerage, analyzed the Pearl Harbor incident and a total of 22 major geopolitical conflicts that followed, and found that the S&P 500 fell by an average of 4.8%, taking 19.7 days to correct and another 43.2 days to recover lost ground. Shows that the stock market always has a way to quickly get out of the war.
Therefore, JPMorgan global market strategist Gabriela Santos believes that thanks to strong economic momentum and corporate balance sheets, the United States will not repeat stagnant inflation! But while predicting a rebound in U.S. stocks, investors still need to pay careful attention to three major market risks: the war in Russia and Ukraine affecting commodities, China’s blockade disrupting supply chains, and the ups and downs caused by the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike.
The United States, Britain and the European Union have imposed a series of sanctions on Moscow after U.S. President Joe Biden set the tone for Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, and targeted several Russian banks to hamper their ability to raise funds in financial markets. Experts believe that bank sanctions, although old-fashioned and common, are the most powerful measure the United States can implement in the short term.
Internationally used sanctions The Ukrainian crisis is heating up. After Russia announced that it recognized the two separated areas of eastern Ukraine as independent states and signed an agreement to give the Russian army the right to establish military bases, US President Biden has set the tone for Russia to start invading Ukraine and coordinating partners such as the United Kingdom and the European Union. , announced sanctions against Russia. Among them, Washington completely blocked Russia’s state-owned Development Bank (VEB) and the military bank PSB (Promsvyazbank), London locked up five banks including Bank of Russia (Bank Rossiya), and Brussels also offered to restrict Russia’s access to EU capital and financial markets s method.
Indeed, sanctions appear to have become the West’s main weapon in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. According to the legal professional body LexisNexis, since the United Nations Security Council established the first sanctions regime in Southern Rhodesia, today Zimbabwe, global sanctions actions have become increasingly complex. The purpose of sanctions is mainly to prevent the escalation of conflicts, resolve conflicts, curb nuclear proliferation, or combat terrorism and human rights violations.
Killer trump to block dollar transactions In the face of a pushy Russia, experts believe that restricting the use of the dollar by Russian state-owned banks is the most powerful sanction; that is, bank sanctions are the most influential measure the U.S. can impose in the short term. Brian O’Toole, a former senior adviser to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), said such sanctions would prohibit Russian banks from conducting any transactions in U.S. dollars, essentially freezing any dollar-denominated bank transactions at home and abroad. assets or liabilities.
The purpose of the bank sanctions is to block international payments between locked Russian banks and U.S. banks, in order to hit the Russian economy. Kay Georgi, an international trade lawyer, said that since most global trade transactions are conducted through the U.S. dollar, once the currency exchange is cut off, it may make it difficult for the target bank to conduct U.S. dollar transactions, which is an effective sanction.
Risk of financial instability In fact, part of the purpose of the bank sanctions was to force Russia’s central bank to use its strong currency reserves to get out of trouble. Chris Weafer, head of Macro Advisory, believes that Russia has some defensive weapons against foreign attacks on financial stability in the face of sanctions: strong currency reserves, high oil prices, and 2021 With only 18% of its debt-to-GDP ratio in 2018, Russia is well-positioned to withstand tightening of existing sanctions.
But while Russia has large reserves of a strong currency, currently worth $635 billion, that could help counteract potential shocks, Elina Ribakova, an economist at the Institute of International Finance, said that even if Russia had enough Reserves, sanctions could still lead to a run, which would definitely have a severe impact on the domestic financial system, which would raise the risk of financial instability, including widening spreads and a sell-off in the ruble.
Whether it works or not depends on history However, Igor Yurgens, vice-president of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, a powerful lobbying group, said the Russian central bank has been working on a current account program in China through which Converting cash would help mitigate the impact of sanctions, and while the situation is difficult, authorities have conducted technical stress tests and should be able to cope for a while. Sergey Aleksashenko, a former deputy governor of the Russian Central Bank, believes that the threat of Western sanctions is nothing more than an escalating virtual or information war between Russia and the West. In this confrontation, Putin’s weapon is the chariot, and the West is the sanctions.
So can bank sanctions really work? The Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank, draws some conclusions from the history of U.S. economic sanctions, which is that sanctions alone are unlikely to have the desired effect if the goals are large or short-lived. Even if sanctions are comprehensive and have almost universal international support, they may not achieve their goals. The Persian Gulf War is an example, until the U.S.-led coalition launched Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Sanctions alone did not bring Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein out of invading Kuwait. .
On March 23, 2001, the Russian Mir space station fell after 15 years of operation, and its wreckage fell in the South Pacific; on March 4, 2011, after the launch of the US Earth observation satellite Glory, the launch vehicle failed and crashed into the South Pacific. ; On April 2, 2018, China’s Tiangong-1 space laboratory fell into the South Pacific; on December 27, 2021, the launch test of the Russian Angara-A5 heavy rocket failed, and the rocket debris fell into the South Pacific.
If you look more closely, you will find that the landing points of these aircraft are very uniform, all at 48°52.6′ south latitude and 123°23.6′ west longitude in the central South Pacific, which is about 2,685 kilometers away from any land. Such a special place naturally has its own name – the ocean is hard to reach, also known as “Nemo’s Point” (Latin for “no one”).
Nemo Point, the point on Earth’s surface that is furthest from land.
Point Nemo is recognized as a “spacecraft graveyard”. Since 1971, nearly 300 space debris has been received. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced on December 31, 2021 that the International Space Station (ISS) will be officially decommissioned in 2031, after which the wreckage will be thrown here.
life extension The all-powerful ISS is getting old. On November 2, 2000, NASA astronaut William Schaeffer and two Russian astronauts, Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev and Yuri Gidzinko, aboard the “Soyuz TM-” 31″ The spacecraft arrived at the ISS and became the first astronauts. Here, they can watch the sun rise or set every 45 minutes.
Over the next 20 years, more than 200 astronauts from 19 countries have enjoyed the wonders, and used this stable microgravity environment stolen from space to conduct about 3,000 scientific researches, involving biology, physics, biomedicine, materials, earth and space. Science and many other fields: climate sensors verify climate models and provide information on changes in the Earth’s climate environment; space science instruments deepen human understanding of phenomena such as neutron stars and dark matter; ISS staff volunteer to be test subjects to record human life in a microgravity environment and work, etc.
Another special significance of the ISS lies in the in-depth cooperation between the United States and Russia in the space field. ISS is led by NASA and Roscosmos, and is joined by European, Japanese, Canadian, and Brazilian space agencies. The R&D team includes 25 space agencies around the world.
This is currently the largest man-made object in space, carrying more than 10 humans at the same time. However, with the accumulation of time, the ISS began to have frequent loopholes, ranging from the cooling system and oxygen system failure, to the loss of experimental subjects, broken windows, and toilet “strikes”.
The ISS was originally designed to have a short lifespan of 15 years. In 2015, the U.S. and Russian aerospace departments signed an agreement to extend the life of the ISS from 2020 to 2024. In July 2020, NASA awarded Boeing a $916 million contract to support ISS life extension work until September 2024. Under the contract, Boeing provides engineering support services, resources and personnel for ISS activities and is responsible for managing the systems.
Seeing that the day of “retirement” is approaching, NASA issued a statement on December 31, 2021, announcing that the US government will support the operation of the International Space Station for another 6 years, and the retirement time will be extended to 2031. At the same time, it hopes to cooperate with Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe. Wait for international partners to continue working together until the end of the decade.
On February 1, NASA released the International Space Station Transition Report, which is regarded as the specific decommissioning plan for the ISS. However, compared with what was expected 6 years ago, there are many doubts about the extension of ISS’s retirement this time.
According to the “International Space Station Transition Report”, the technical life of the International Space Station is limited by the main structure, namely modules, radiators and trusses. Other systems such as power, environmental control and life support and communications can all be repaired or repaired in orbit. replace. According to a public interview with Vladimir Solovyov, the engineer in charge of the Russian part of the ISS, at least 80% of the infrastructure systems on the Russian part of the ISS have expired. The cargo compartment “Zalya” (one of the oldest modules of the ISS) 1) There are many small cracks on the surface, “with the passage of time, the cracks may expand.”
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov also publicly stated that the ISS is seriously aging, and because the space station operation contract expires in 2024, Russia may withdraw from the project after 2025. However, Rogozin, general manager of Roscosmos, said that the overdue service of individual sections of the ISS is serious, but it is too early to end the project, and the specific plan after 2024 can be finalized after discussions with other partners. However, the “other partners” in his mouth have not reached a consensus on what to do with the ISS after 2024, and until 2022.
In addition to crashing or paying to maintain the ISS in low-Earth orbit, it has also been proposed that propulsion equipment can be used to push the ISS to outer space for reuse. From a dynamic point of view, this may not be impossible, but considering that the ISS’s radiation protection system is developed based on an orbit 400 kilometers above the ground, once the protective power of the thin atmosphere of thousands of kilometers in low-Earth orbit against cosmic rays is lost, the radiation intensity in the cabin will be high. There is no guarantee of astronaut survival. Considering the investment in reshaping the radiation protection system, the feasibility of the plan is almost zero.
Based on the above reasons, some people believe that the ISS is postponed until 2031 to retire, which is most likely to compete with China’s Tiangong Space Station. The Tiangong space station is expected to be completed around 2022, with a design life of 2032. Once the ISS crashes, it will be the only human space station. A one-year gap will at least make the current ISS partners hesitate when they turn around.
From hegemony to cooperation Before the creation of space vehicles, people experienced the feeling of taking a spaceship to the sky in the 1911 paper. The process of manned spacecraft from launch to orbit is presented in detail, so people can see the magical effects of overweight and weightlessness on people, the strange performance of objects in weightlessness, and the fascinating views of the earth and sky at different heights.
The author of the paper, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, later became the founder of modern astronautics. He was the first to demonstrate the possibility of using rockets for interstellar transportation, artificial earth satellites and low-Earth orbit stations.
“The earth is the cradle of mankind, but it is impossible for people to live in the cradle forever.” For hundreds of years, the famous saying of the father of aerospace has continued to inspire researchers in the field of aerospace.
More than 60 years later, the former Soviet Union launched the world’s first space station, “Salute 1”, and space exploration has entered a new journey. As of April 11, 1982, the former Soviet Union launched a total of 7 Salyut space stations. Huge aerospace laboratory.
The success of the Salyut space station helped the Soviet Union to expand its political prestige, and also pushed the US-Soviet space hegemony to a fever pitch.
The father of the Apollo program, Warner von Brown, proposed the concept of a wheel-shaped space station in 1956, thinking that this configuration could artificially create gravity. Two years after the successful launch of Salyut 1, the United States used the remaining materials of the Apollo program to develop the military background “Sky Lab” (Sky Lab). But due to a fuel docking error, Sky Lab fell into the atmosphere ahead of schedule on July 11, 1979.
On January 25, 1984, then-President Ronald Reagan directed NASA to develop a “permanently manned space station to be built within ten years.” NASA is determined to establish a space station consisting of three independent orbiting platforms for microgravity research, Earth and celestial observations. This is the Liberty space station. In order to control costs, the Liberty space station design has undergone several major revisions.
The former Soviet Union began building the Mir space station in 1986. This is the first truly modular space station for mankind. As the number of modules increases, the research and habitation capabilities will continue to improve, but the fate is largely independent of technological evolution. After the collapse of the former Soviet Union a few years later, the United States and Russia began to drastically cut their aerospace budgets.
In order to maintain the development of the aerospace field, and driven by political and economic factors, the space field has a tendency to shift from competition to cooperation.
In 1993, the United States had a big discussion about whether to let Russia join the space station. “In the post-Cold War era, space policy is foreign policy,” said Sagdiv, the former director of the Institute of Space Studies of the former Soviet Academy of Sciences who moved to the United States. He cited reasons why the United States should allow Russia to join the space station, including helping Russia maintain its national “space power” “The image is beneficial to win over Russian leaders, push Russian scientists beyond domestic work, and provide impetus for Russia to reduce the use of nuclear weapons. This is largely the reason why the U.S. government promotes aviation cooperation.
This discussion gradually deepened, and in this context, the ISS project was officially born.
On January 29, 1998, representatives of the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada and the participating countries of the European Space Agency signed the latest intergovernmental agreement on space station cooperation. According to the agreement, U.S.-Russian cooperation will be carried out in stages: the first step will be the landing of U.S. aerospace planes on the Mir space station that was operating in Russia at the time, followed by the joint construction of the space station by the United States and Russia, and finally the participation of U.S. allies in the construction of the international space station. space station.
Ten months after the agreement was signed, Russia launched the first module “Dawn” module in the orbit of the International Space Station. Three weeks later, the first U.S. segment, Unity, arrived via the Endeavour spacecraft, and ISS construction began. It took another 12 years for the entire ISS to be assembled.
The main structure of the ISS is integrated by the Soviet Union’s “Peace 2” and the US Space Station Liberty, which respectively extend to the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) operated by Russia and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS) operated by the United States and other countries. It circles the earth 15.5 times a day and consists of 17 cabins, 10 trusses, 3 external loading platforms and 3 maintenance systems. There are two bathrooms, fitness facilities and a 360-degree external window inside. It is the largest satellite in low earth orbit. Compared to astronauts, the living space of the ISS is equivalent to the cabin of a Boeing 747 jumbo plane.
What is in heaven is also decided on earth Under the common interests of the United States and Russia, the construction of the ISS is completed, and its fate is also affected by the relationship between the two countries. There are also many differences between the two countries on how to treat or deal with the ISS in the next decade. Russia has always been critical of the ISS. Rogozin has repeatedly criticized the United States for being “overly self-centered.” Shortly after NASA awarded Boeing with the lucrative contract in 2020, he said: “The United States is deviating from the ISS principle of mutual support. They see this as NATO, not an international project – with the United States there, everyone else has to help and pay.”
Russia hopes to focus on the construction of its own projects, intends to expand the on-orbit capability of the Russian module before the ISS is retired, and use the Proton and Soyuz carrier rockets to launch the Science multi-functional experimental module, the Mooring node module and the scientific power module, and consider waiting for the ISS to be retired. Later, the Russian independent space station ROSS was established based on part of the in-orbit module.
On September 2, 2021, Rogozin publicly stated that the ROSS deployment plan will be launched within 5 to 6 years, and the independent construction of the space station plan will be launched in 2025, and the first core module will be launched, which is expected to run around 2030. Of course Russia is also prepared. At the Global Space Exploration Conference held on June 15 of the same year, Rogozin said that Russia may also send astronauts to the Chinese space station in the future, and China and Russia are discussing the matter.
On January 13, TASS reported that Roscosmos and NASA were in talks to extend ISS operations until 2030. Rogozin said that the two sides have reached an agreement on the engineering support of the Zarya module, which will be continued by Russia after 2024.
America’s Last Thoughts on ISS – Help NASA Get Back Some Blood The United States has promoted the commercialization of the ISS for many years, hoping that it will be completely run by private companies. “We want to maximize space station returns by 2030 while transitioning to commercial space destinations,” Robin Gattens, director of the ISS at NASA Headquarters, said on Jan. 31.
In addition to aging, another issue with the ISS is funding, according to NASA. Under the premise of extending the life of the space station, billions of dollars need to be frozen every year to keep the space station running. This is undoubtedly a huge expenditure. Once commercialized, NASA will be one of the commercial space station customers, at least spreading the cost of maintaining the space station.
In order to promote the commercialization of the ISS, NASA has been preparing for a long time. As early as the late 1990s, the ISS business development plan was formulated, and even a price list was listed, but there has been no substantial progress. In June 2019, NASA once again launched the ISS commercialization plan, including policy adjustments, reserving docking ports for commercial modules, and also issued a minimum long-term demand forecast for low-Earth orbit services to encourage private companies to invest.
On April 29 last year, NASA said that related companies are very interested in sending private visitors to the ISS, and the demand is so high that it even exceeds the capacity of the ISS. Using this as an excuse, NASA adjusted its pricing strategy for future private astronaut missions to the ISS, saying the new prices reflect the actual costs of supporting those missions and “reflect full compensation for the value of resources beyond the station’s baseline capabilities.” Probably similar to the abolition of official subsidies.
According to the original price policy in June 2019, ISS charges US$11,250 per person per day for life insurance and toilets, and US$22,500 per person per day for other crew supplies such as food and air. There are also some smaller fee items such as storage, electricity and data usage.
According to the new price policy, in addition to the cost of $88,000 to $164,000 per person per day, private astronauts will also pay $5.2 million for space station crew hours per mission and $4.8 million for mission integration and basic services.
However, the specific price is still negotiable. “Given the complexity and different plans of private astronaut missions, the value of compensation for the mission will also vary.”
As for the commercial operation rights of the ISS, NASA once selected two companies, Axiom Space and Bigelow Aerospace. Bigelow plans to use the resources of the International Space Station to carry out space tourism projects, while Axiom Space tries to use the gravity-free, ultra-clean environment of the International Space Station to produce special materials.
Before the epidemic, Bigelow’s progress was far ahead. The BEAM module launched in 2016 has been connected to the actual use of the International Space Station, but the epidemic has hit Bigelow hard. It declared bankruptcy in the first half of 2020, and the ownership of the module was also transferred to NASA.
The Axiom project is progressing steadily, signing a separate agreement with NASA, and the agreement will begin at the end of 2024, Axiom will launch multiple modules to the ISS. These modules will eventually separate from the ISS to form civilian-operated “free-flying vehicles” in orbit. Axiom received approval for its maiden flight to the ISS on February 2, and could launch into space on March 30. The mission will carry three paying customers, each reportedly paying $55 million.
In December 2021, NASA awarded another $415 million to three companies (Blue Origin, Nanoracks and Northrop Grumman) to encourage them to build commercial space stations in Earth orbit.
According to the International Space Station Transition Report, NASA’s agreement with Blue Origin, Nanoracks, Northrop Grumman, and Axiom is the first of two phases of a transition program to stimulate the commercialization of low-Earth orbit destinations (CLD) in the 1930s. “The first phase is expected to last until 2025,” the report noted. “As for the second phase of the ISS’s transition to CLD, NASA intends to provide NASA crew members and other potential entrants with certification to use CLD at a later date and then purchase services from destination providers for crew use as needed.” This is to replicate NASA’s current proposal for private astronaut transportation to and from the ISS.
A big reason for the CLD program is the success of SpaceX. SpaceX has the only commercial space vehicle currently capable of transporting astronauts to and from the ISS, freeing NASA from the dilemma of relying on Russia to send astronauts to the ISS after it terminated the spacecraft program in 2011. NASA and SpaceX have been working together for several years.
In 2014, NASA had awarded two multi-billion-dollar contracts, one to veteran airline Boeing and the other to SpaceX. Since May 2020, SpaceX has completed multiple crewed round-trip orbital missions via the Falcon9 rocket and CrewDragon capsule. As for the Boeing manned spacecraft CST-100Starliner, it still needs to conduct an unmanned test flight before actually carrying astronauts.
How much money will the transition from the International Space Station to a commercial outpost really save NASA?
According to the report, “by 2031, savings are expected to be around $1.3 billion; by 2033 this will increase to $1.8 billion”. These funds will eventually go to NASA’s deep space exploration program. Some argue that no matter how successful the commercialization efforts end up being, NASA must maintain a presence in low-Earth orbit. After all, according to public data, the ISS in the United States costs more than $100 billion, and this money “can all come from taxpayers.”
The source of Earth’s water has been debated. Recently, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) made a new discovery by studying lunar rocks, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The mainstream theory holds that the Earth-Moon system was formed by the collision of two large celestial bodies in the early stage of the evolution of the solar system, so the formation histories of the Earth and the Moon are closely related. The Moon’s lack of plate tectonics and weathering makes it a good place to look for clues about the history of Earth’s water sources.
Although nearly 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, scientists believe that where the Earth is relatively dry compared to other celestial bodies in the solar system, the Moon is drier. Conventional wisdom holds that the Earth and Moon were formed by violent impacts that depleted volatile materials (such as water).
But studying the isotopic composition of lunar rocks, scientists found that the impacting bodies involved in the formation of the Earth-Moon system had very low levels of volatiles before they hit. The team found that based on the analysis of the composition of rubidium 87 and strontium 87, the celestial bodies that participated in the impact were believed to be relatively dry at the beginning. “Either the Earth was born with water, or was struck by an object composed of pure water, there is no other option,” said Greg Brennecka, co-author of the paper.
This statement, combined with the results of the team’s paper, is equivalent to removing meteorites or asteroids as a possible source of water for Earth, and strongly points to the “innate” argument.
On February 1, the U.S. Treasury Department released data showing that the total U.S. national debt exceeded the US$30 trillion mark for the first time, a record high that greatly exceeded the total U.S. economy last year (US$23.04 trillion).
According to the New York Times, as of Jan. 31, the total outstanding public debt of the U.S. was $30.01 trillion, an increase of nearly $7 trillion from the end of January 2020. The $30 billion national debt includes $23.487 trillion held by the public, $6.525 trillion held by government accounts such as the Federal Trust Fund, and nearly $8 trillion from foreign investors, of which Japan and China are the top two overseas creditors of the United States, and these debts will eventually need to be repaid with interest.
The report said that the 30 trillion dollar mark came earlier than expected. In December 2007, before the 2008 financial crisis, the total amount of U.S. debt was $9.2 trillion. Starting from the Great Recession in 2008, the U.S. debt soared in the past few years, especially during the new crown epidemic, the federal government adopted a huge fiscal and monetary incentives – a large number of additional U.S. dollars and Treasury bonds to inject sufficient liquidity into the market to cushion the impact of the crisis on the economy, making the total amount of U.S. debt grew rapidly.
In response, Michael Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, issued a dire warning that “breaking the $30 trillion mark is clearly an important milestone in our dangerous fiscal trajectory.
Peterson also stressed that the federal government’s accumulating debt is the result of a long history of fiscal irresponsibility on the part of both the Democratic and Republican parties in Congress. Over the past few decades, Washington politicians have repeatedly opted for tax cuts or government spending programs rather than thinking about America’s future. He urged U.S. policymakers to get serious about addressing the government’s debt and reshaping fiscal sustainability.
On the other hand, many of the federal epidemic assistance programs authorized by Congress have now expired, leaving Americans with less financial assistance than they had in the early days of the epidemic, and the Federal Reserve has signaled that it is raising interest rates to combat high inflation in the United States.
Lunar New Year is a traditional festival not only for the Chinese, but also for many countries. Especially because of the large number of overseas Chinese and the large scale of the Chinese Spring Festival, Lunar New Year is often a festive and lively day that is celebrated around the world every year. However, in English, whether it should be translated as “Chinese New Year” or “Lunar New Year” has become more and more controversial in recent years.
The Korean online media WOW Korea reported that the VANK (Voice of Korea Network Diplomatic Mission) has been actively promoting the Lunar New Year to foreign countries, asking them to “correct the name” of the Chinese New Year, not as “Chinese New Year”, but as “Lunar New Year”.
If the United Nations still uses the commemorative stamps to celebrate the Lunar New Year this year, the mission has sent a letter to protest against it. The mission said that Lunar New Year is not only celebrated in China, but also in other Asian countries, so it cannot be characterized as Chinese New Year.
The dispute over which New Year should be named has become a focus in recent years. Lunar New Year is a traditional Chinese name, and in mainland China it is often referred to as the “Spring Festival”. In other countries where New Year is celebrated, including Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other places, they all have their own ways of calling the New Year.
In Korea, it is called “설날”, in Vietnam, it is called “Tet” or “năm mới âm lịch” (Vietnamese New Year), and in Japan, there is no custom of celebrating Lunar New Year, but in some areas where it is still celebrated (such as Okinawa), it is called “Old New Year”.
Lunar New Year to become Chinese New Year However, with the rise of Chinese nationalism in recent years, “Chinese New Year” is gradually being promoted, especially in English-speaking regions. For example, in 2018, Xinhua’s English article translated Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s Indonesian Happy Lunar New Year, “Selamat Tahun Baru Imlek”, as “China’s New Year”. The original text only contains the Lunar New Year, but when translated into English, it becomes the Chinese New Year.
In the same year, Liu Wen, a famous Chinese model, was criticized by netizens for “forgetting she was Chinese” and “being unpatriotic” when she used “Happy Lunar New Year” on her Instagram page to wish for the Chinese New Year.
Leo Suryadinata, a Chinese Indonesian scholar, pointed out that the term Chinese New Year is called Spring Festival in China and has never been associated with nationalism. However, the emphasis on nationalism in China in recent years has led some people to believe that the New Year should be celebrated as “Chinese New Year”. They even think that with the rise of China, Chinese people should be more “confident” and not using Chinese New Year is an act of “insulting” China.
Although the Chinese Lunar Calendar began in ancient China and the Lunar New Year is a traditional Chinese custom, Liao Jianyu pointed out that today’s Lunar New Year is no longer the monopoly of China or Chinese people. In the case of the Chinese in Southeast Asia, who all have their own national identity, the Chinese New Year should return to its original meaning, rather than using it to emphasize anything national or ethnic.
There are now 1.08 million Swedes living in the United States, Canada, Finland and Denmark.
In recent years, the number of immigrants has exceeded the number of emigrants. Immigrants account for about 15% of the Swedish population.
The majority of immigrants come from Scandinavian countries, with the largest number of immigrants coming from Finland.
The proportion of refugees from Southern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Central America has increased in recent years, making it difficult for them to integrate with the local population.
The increase in immigration has also led to an increase in crime in Sweden, and the Swedish government has tightened restrictions on immigration since the 1970s.
Swedish is the official language of Sweden. Sweden has a long distance between the north and the south, so each region has its own dialect.
English and Swedish are the common business languages.
Swedish is an Indo-European language belonging to the Scandinavian branch of the Germanic language family.
Swedish is related to Danish and Norwegian, but is pronounced and written differently
English is a second language. English has been a compulsory course in high schools since 1849, and in the late 1940s it became compulsory for all Swedish students. Most Swedes also have a command of one or more other languages, and there are classes in foreign languages other than English, such as Spanish, German, French, Italian, etc.