SpaceX will try a significantly different approach to landing its future reusable rocket boosters – it will attempt to “catch” the heavy booster using the launch tower arm used to stabilize the vehicle during its pre-takeoff preparations. The Super Heavy launch process will still involve use of its engines to control the velocity of its descent, but it will involve using the grid fins that are included on its main body to help control its orientation during flight to “catch” the booster – essentially hooking it using the launch tower arm before it touches the ground. This will allow SpaceX to save both cost and weight by omitting landing legs from the Super Heavy design.
Gazprom Neft, one of the largest oil producers in Russia, is getting into Bitcoin mining. The crypto farm is located in the Khanty-Mansiysk region of northwestern Siberia. It is utilizing gas from a nearby oil field as an energy source, which is turned into electricity for the mining process using its own power plant. The Siberian Bitcoin farm solves two problems at once. The first is that it provides a new means of generating large amounts of almost free electricity for the energy-intensive process of mining cryptocurrency. The second problem it solves is that it helps deal with a byproduct of the oil drilling process, which can result in fines.
Doctors in Europe and Israel have begun using a medical gun that spins out a protective web to cover burns and wounds, hoping the breathable “skin substitute” will help patients recover without the need for painful bandage changes. Nanomedic claims its device gives patients increased mobility – often essential for burn rehabilitation – and the ability to shower, a process that can be difficult with traditional bandages. The translucent layer it produces allows medics to examine the wound without touching it. The device employed a technique called Electrospinning which involves using electricity to create nano-fibres from a solution.
Scientists have discovered a new mechanism by which aerosols may intensify thunderstorms in tropical regions. Using idealized simulations of cloud dynamics, the researchers found that high concentrations of aerosols can enhance thunderstorm activity by increasing the humidity in the air surrounding clouds. This new mechanism, which the team has dubbed the “humidity-entrainment” mechanism, could be incorporated into weather and climate models to help predict how a region’s thunderstorm activity might vary with changing aerosol levels. “It’s possible that, by cleaning up pollution, places might experience fewer storms.”
MGM Resorts International is attempting to buy the owner of British gambling brand Ladbrokes, making it the latest US casino operator to place a significant wager on the fast-growing online betting industry during the pandemic. “The board has also asked [MGM] to provide additional information in respect of the strategic rationale for a combination of the two companies.” Ladbrokes owner Entain said in a statement that it has received an £8.1 billion ($11.1 billion) proposal from MGM. The companies have an existing relationship as joint owners of BetMGM, a sports betting and online gaming company that operates in more than a dozen US states.
Fiat Chrysler and PSA said that investors had given their blessing to a $52 billion merger to create the world’s fourth largest automaker, and shares in the new company, named Stellantis, would start trading in two weeks. With annual production of around 8 million vehicles worldwide and revenues of more than 165 billion euros ($203 billion), the newly-formed firm is expected to play a key role in the auto industry’s jump into the new era of electrification. Stellantis will have 14 brands, from FCA’s Fiat, Maserati and U.S.-focused Jeep, Dodge and Ram to PSA’s traditionally Europe-focused Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and DS.
South Korea recorded more deaths than births in 2020 for the first time ever, raising fresh alarm in the country which already has the world’s lowest birth rate. Only 275,800 babies were born last year, down 10% from 2019. Around 307,764 people died. The figures prompted the interior ministry to call for “fundamental changes” to its policies. Apart from increased pressure on public spending as demand for healthcare systems and pensions rise, a declining youth population also leads to labour shortages that have a direct impact on the economy.
Bali’s famous beaches are being strewn by plastic rubbish in what experts say is becoming an annual event thanks to monsoon weather, poor waste management and a global marine pollution crisis. Authorities are struggling to keep up with the tide of rubbish washing up on beaches at Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, where about 90 tonnes of rubbish was collected on Friday and Saturday. “The biggest problem is actually the trash handling hasn’t been effective in Indonesia. Bali has just started to reorganise it, also Java has just started.”