A Chinese space mining start-up launched a robot prototype that can scoop up debris left behind by other spacecraft with a big net. The NEO-01, which will also peer into deep space to observe small celestial bodies, was launched on the government’s Long March 6 rocket along with a handful of satellites. NEO-01 will use a net to capture debris and then burn it with its electric propulsion system. The robot developed by Shenzhen-based Origin Space will pave the way for future technologies capable of mining on asteroids. Origin Space plans to launch dozens of space telescopes and more spacecraft to achieve the first commercial mining of asteroids by 2045.
Maldives is getting the world’s first truly floating island city – appropriately called, Maldives Floating City. Maldives Floating City will be built in a lagoon in a series of hexagonal maze rows that are aimed to have the look of coral. The floating rows system will be attached to a ring of islands that form the base and to a stabilizing breaker wall. With some cool engineering, island barriers around the lagoon will act as breakers below the MFC while the city floats up top. The floating complex will include homes, stores, hospitals, schools, recreational facilities, and public spaces. The construction is scheduled to start in 2022.
Researchers assessed the behaviour of nearly all documented ice streams on the planet. The researchers found them to have lost almost 270 billion tonnes of ice a year over the opening two decades of the 21st Century. “So, if we take that amount of water and we divide it up across the island of Ireland, that’s enough to cover all of Ireland in 3m of water each year.” The meltwater produced now accounts for about a fifth of global sea-level rise. “This data-set has been validated with an immense amount of additional, independent measurements and is highly accurate so that the uncertainties of previous studies are strongly reduced.”
Scientists have found a microfossil which contains two distinct cell types and could be the earliest multicellular animal ever recorded. The fossil reveals a new insight into the transition of single celled holozoa into more complex multicellular animals. “The discovery of this new fossil suggests to us that the evolution of multicellular animals had occurred at least one billion years ago and that early events prior to the evolution of animals may have occurred in freshwater like lakes rather than the ocean.” The fossil was found at Loch Torridon in the Northwest Scottish Highlands and has been formally named Bicellum Brasieri.
Canopy Growth has agreed a large distribution deal with Southern Glazers, one of the largest alcohol wholesale distributors America. The agreement comes hard on the heels of Canopy introducing its first CBD-infused beverage line, Qautreau, to the US market. Initially Southern Glazer’s will distribute the cannabis drink in seven states, with plans to expand in the coming months. Constellation Brands holds a US$4 billion stake in Canopy Growth and recently revamped its US distribution so that Southern Glazers handles 70% of its wines and spirits. Constellation will hope that further relaxation of cannabis laws in US states will see its investment begin to pay off.
The number of electric cars, buses, vans and heavy trucks on roads is expected to hit 145 million by 2030. If governments ramp up their efforts to meet international energy and climate goals, the global electric vehicle fleet could increase further still, hitting 230 million by the end of the decade. The IEA said consumer spending on electric cars in 2020 totaled $120 billion, a 50% increase compared to 2019. Roughly three million new electric cars were registered last year, a record amount and a 41% rise compared to 2019. In the first quarter of 2021, sales were almost two and a half times higher than during the same period in 2020.
Two YouTubers are facing deportation from Bali after they made a prank video that depicted one of them breaking local mask laws. Josh Paler Lin and Leia Se have reportedly had their passports seized by local government and risk being forced to leave Indonesia as a result of the video. Indonesia has been strictly enforcing its mask mandates. Police are allowed to issue fines on the first offense and deport foreigners on the second offense. Though this was Lin’s and Se’s first known offense, the hubbub surrounding the video drew so much attention that Balinese authorities seized both of their passports.
Environment and Climate Change Canada has ordered work to stop after the discovery of an Anna’s hummingbird nest in a tree felled during construction of the pipeline. The migratory bird is not endangered, but it is protected under federal law, and community groups had raised the alarm that TransMountain was chopping down trees in vulnerable nesting areas. “Our members have confirmed eight active nests on this site, but there are hundreds, likely thousands more bird nests along the 1,500km of the pipeline route. And yet, construction continues without adequate government monitoring or protection.”