Science

NASA solar probe is getting closer than ever to the Sun

Dr. Eugene Parker announcing the solar probe
Dr. Eugene Parker announcing plans for the solar probe. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

NASA is preparing to send a probe closer to the sun than ever before with August 6 as the targeted launch date, reports Reuters.

The details: The probe, called the Parker Solar Probe, is set to fly into the sun's corona and get within 3.8 million miles of the star's surface — seven times closer to the sun than any other spacecraft and the mission is projected to take seven years. It's goal is to study the part of the sun's atmosphere giving rise to solar wind.

Go deeper: Experts argue the Missouri boat tragedy was avoidable

A child places a candle on the floor during a vigil.
A candlelight prayer vigil in Branson, Missouri. Photo: Michael Thomas/Getty Images

The fatal duck boat tragedy in Missouri that killed 17 on Thursday could have been prevented, director of the University of Georgia's Atmospheric Science Program, Dr. Marshall Shepherd, writes in Forbes.

The big picture: President of Ripley Entertainment Inc., which owns the duck boat tours, said that the storm responsible for capsizing the boat "came out of nowhere," per CNN. But a thunderstorm warning was issued around Branson, where the incident occurred, approximately 30 minutes before the boat sank.

Robots are stepping in to help solve the worker shortage

Reproduced from a National Bureau of Economic Reserach chart; Data extracted with WebPlotDigitizer; Chart: Axios Visuals

As the workforce ages in some countries and middle-aged workers are in short supply, industrial robots are stepping in to perform their jobs, according to a recent paper by economists Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo.

The big picture: Today, Asian countries have about eight workers for every person over the age of 65, and Europe and North America have 4 or fewer, according to the UN. But by 2050, seven Asian countries, 24 European and four Latin American will have a ratio of less than 2 workers per retiree, the UN projects. Experts say the U.S. social security system is stable at a ratio of 3 workers per retiree. When it falls to 2 to 1 it becomes unsustainable.