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Why it matters: A look at the scientific breakthroughs changing the world, explorations in space and in worlds beyond our own and the threats posed to us by our own planet, both out of our control and of our own making.

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$100 million project to hunt for alien life releases trove of data

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A privately funded hunt for intelligent extraterrestrial life has turned up empty so far, but a newly released trove of data could aid in the search.

The big picture: The search for alien life has gone mainstream in recent years, with multiple scientific ventures looking for radio signals that could signify the presence of intelligent civilizations somewhere else out there.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Science

Heavy rain expected to pummel already-flooded Mississippi

This drone photo shows flooding on Feb. 15. Photo: Melvin Martin/Hardin County Fire Department, Savannah, Tennessee, via AP

More rain is expected to barrage Mississippi's already-flooded capital city of Jackson later on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

The state of play: Heavy rain is projected to strike eastern Louisiana, central parts of Mississippi, Alabama and even into far western Georgia, the Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, predicts, per AP. As much as 2 inches is expected to fall rapidly in Mississippi, prompting flash flood warnings.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Science

Cosmic rays change atmosphere of Saturn's moon, Titan

Hazes above Titan's atmosphere. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SScI

Galactic cosmic rays from outside of the solar system may change the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan, according to a new study.

Why it matters: Titan is one of the most intriguing objects in the solar system — with a thick atmosphere and liquid lakes of hydrocarbons — and scientists think it could harbor the ingredients necessary to support life in some form.

Go deeperArrow5 hours ago - Science

SpaceX inks deal to fly space tourists to orbit

NASA astronaut Suni Williams inside a mockup of a Crew Dragon capsule. Photo: SpaceX

SpaceX has penned a deal with the space tourism outfit Space Adventures to launch private citizens to orbit aboard the company's Crew Dragon capsule.

Why it matters: SpaceX is building and testing the Crew Dragon to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, but this announcement shows they're thinking about orbital space tourism as a possible driver of revenue for them in the future.

Go deeperArrow5 hours ago - Science

Trump's improbable moonshot

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NASA is unlikely to meet its deadline of sending astronauts to the surface of the Moon by 2024, even with a large influx of funding.

Why it matters: The Artemis mission to send people back to the Moon is the Trump administration's flagship space policy, and its aggressive, politically-motivated timeline is its hallmark.

Go deeperArrow5 hours ago - Science

SpaceX botches 50th Falcon rocket booster landing

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk after an in-flight abort test of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule on Jan. 19. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

What would have been SpaceX's 50th successful Falcon booster landing was foiled on Monday, after the booster missed its touchdown point in the Atlantic Ocean, the Washington Post reports.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Miriam Kramer: The most remarkable thing about SpaceX's failure to land one of its boosters is that this is the exception and not the rule.

Go deeperArrowFeb 17, 2020 - Science

What we know: Deadly Storm Dennis whips at England, Wales and Ireland

Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.

At least two deaths are being attributed to Storm Dennis on Monday as it continues to strike at parts of England, Wales and Ireland, per AccuWeather.

The big picture: Dennis is the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains have caused widespread flooding across the United Kingdom. The army has been deployed in the U.K. to help with flood relief.

Go deeperArrowFeb 17, 2020 - Science
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