The Daily Dose: America’s grim milestone; Breathtaking video from Mars.

The United States crossed a very tragic milestone yesterday. Per the Associated Press, “After a year that has darkened doorways across the U.S., the pandemic surpassed a milestone Monday that once seemed unimaginable, a stark confirmation of the virus’s reach into all corners of the country and communities of every size and makeup… Experts warn that about 90,000 more deaths are likely in the next few months, despite a massive campaign to vaccinate people. Meanwhile, the nation’s trauma continues to accrue in a way unparalleled in recent American life, said Donna Schuurman of the Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families in Portland, Oregon.” There are no words to describe the stunning loss of life. https://bit.ly/2NBky4F


In the wake of the natural disaster that has struck Texas during the past couple of weeks, attention has been focused on the energy industry and the options available for power generation. Just about everything failed to a certain degree. Science describes a possible alternative for the future, fusion power plants. According to the article, “Plans to build a prototype fusion power plant in the United States have come into tighter focus, as a new report lays out a rough timeline for building the multibillon-dollar plant and a strategy for developing its design. The United States should strive to start construction of the pilot by 2035 and to have it running by 2040, according to a report released this week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). To meet that tight schedule, the report calls for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help fund two to four teams that, in collaboration with private industry, would develop by 2028 different conceptual designs.” https://bit.ly/3aMa5Mz


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The search for the mysterious Planet Nine in our solar system is the subject of an infinitely interesting article in BBC Future. Unfortunately, for all of the Pluto fans out there, it’s not about the beloved dwarf planet. Instead, it’s about a yet-unseen massive planet out in the Kuiper Belt that can be inferred by the odd orbits and tilts of other objects far out in the solar system. https://bbc.in/3qP3fvg

We recognize that a description doesn’t do the video any justice, so here it is… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4czjS9h4Fpg&feature=emb_title


Last but definitely not least, NASA provided an actual video of Perseverence’s final descent onto the surface of Mars. Nature provides a description of the heartstopping video: “The video shows the drama of the spacecraft’s final descent, from the 21.5-metre-wide parachute billowing overhead to slow it down, to the dusty orange landscape of Jezero gently rocking below as Perseverance drifted downward, to the final moments when the rover’s six corrugated wheels touched down on a flat, rock-studded surface.” https://go.nature.com/2ZI9G7x

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.


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