The BBC has created a monster infographic illustrating “every attempt to leave Earth’s orbit and reach a destination in extraterrestrial space – be it with probes, orbiters, rovers, or of course manned missions.”
The graphic shows successful and failed missions, country of launch origin and type of mission (eg., fly-by, rover, actual landing).
Related: How Big is Space?
Image: Screenshot, detail from Spacial Awareness: Ultimate guide to exploring space, via the BBC. Select to embiggen.
The computer, tablet, or smart phone you’re reading this post on comes from a factory in Asia on a cargo ship. In fact, most things you buy come on such ships - and because of rising demand in Europe and the US, cargo ships get bigger and bigger.
Few international journalists are present and conditions are difficult and dangerous. Reports of violence often comes via accounts posted on social networking sites, accompanied by grainy camera phone footage.
But based on detailed analysis of rebel and regime activity since October 2011, a map showing an assessment of the general situation on the ground has been produced by Washington-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Olympic athletes come in all shapes and sizes, from the lithe limbs of Japan’s Asuka Teramoto to the gargantuan frame of China’s Zhaoxu Zhang. But how do you measure up in comparison? Try our app below and find out. Why not then share your results with your friends?
Using UN data on population size in 177 countries, together with estimates of global weight from the WHO and mean height from national health examination surveys the team were able to calculate average BMI figures for each country.
Irish mathematicians may have solved the mystery of why bubbles in stout beers such as Guinness sink: it may simply be down to the glass.
Simulations suggest an upward flow at the glass’s centre and a downward flow at its edges in which the liquid carried the bubbles down with it.
But the reasons behind this flow pattern remained a mystery.
There is more and more speculation that Greece is about to leave the euro. The country has been unable to form a government, and new elections seem set to give power to parties that reject the spending cuts that have been agreed with other eurozone governments and the International Monetary Fund.
But without those spending cuts, the Greek government will receive no more bailout loans, it won’t have the money to pay its debts, the Greek banks will probably go bust, and the European Central Bank may be forced to cut Greece loose from the single currency. What would this mean for Greece and the rest of Europe?
UK scientists have detected a huge dome of freshwater that is developing in the western Arctic Ocean.
The bulge is some 8,000 cubic km in size and has risen by about 15cm since 2002.
The team thinks it may be the result of strong winds whipping up a great clockwise current in the northern polar region called the Beaufort Gyre.
This would force the water together, raising sea surface height, the group tells the journal Nature Geoscience.
Orbital tracking reports suggest Russia’s failed Mars probe, Phobos-Grunt, fell back to Earth on Sunday, to be destroyed over the Pacific.
Russian, US and European sources announced the demise of the craft within minutes of each other.
It brings to an end the sorry story of this mission, which promised to return rocky samples from Mars’ biggest moon.
Instead, after its launch in November, Phobos-Grunt could not get more than 345km from Earth before stalling.
Once it became clear that controllers could not establish contact with the probe and diagnose its faults, a fiery dive back to Earth was inevitable.
The spacecraft’s last orbit took it over Japan, and the Solomon Islands, and to the east of Australia and New Zealand. Conflicting reports then had the final re-entry point across a great swathe of the Southern Ocean. Certainly, it seems Phobos-Grunt was down and destroyed before it could have passed over South America.
The world’s population is expected to hit seven billion in the next few weeks. After growing very slowly for most of human history, the number of people on Earth has more than doubled in the last 50 years. Where do you fit into this story of human life? Fill in your date of birth below to find out.
Farewell Space Shuttle and all your crews. Here’s to the long journey still ahead.
Every day, hundreds of endangered species get closer to extinction. By working together, we can help save them.
The BBC Wildlife fund works to raise funds and awareness to help threatened wildlife and places.