Saturday, November 30, 2019

Paleolithic Papers #33

Genus Homo:

Were the other hominins the first victims of the Sixth Mass Extinction?

45,000 year old projectiles have been found in Europe.

45,000 year old microlith tools have been found in Sri Lanka.

How long range endurance evolutionary pressure shaped the modern human heart.

Teeth from modern humans and possibly Neandertals have been found in the Manot Cave in Israel.

Foot bones from the Manot Cave appear to be both Neandertal and modern human.

What was the environment of the Manot Cave in?

Analysis of premolar teeth roots suggest a very complex demographic situation in China during the Pleistocene.

Modern Melanesians have introgressed genes associated from Denisovans and Neandertals.

There are genetic traces of paleolithic populations in North Africa.

There are potential adaptations to bipedalism in H. sapiens in the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae.

John Hawks questions whether or not the 3 root teeth found in east asians is really an introgression from Denisovans.

H sapiens:

What would a truly modern human look like?

The coastal paleoecology of modern humans in Easter Africa from the Pleistocene to Holocene.

Humans have been harvesting clams along the coast of British Columbia since at least the Terminal Pleistocene.

Was modern humanity's original home the wetlands of Botswana?

Modern humans may have followed the monsoons out of Africa.

These Yana Culture (modern humans) lived above the arctic circle 30,000 years ago.

H. neanderthalensis:

A spat over Upper Paleothic tech has begun.

Some dispute Neandertals were the source of cave art in Spain.

However, an eagle talon necklace was found in for the first time in Spain and has been ascribed to the Neandertals.

The Neandertal teeth of Marillac get examined.

H. erectus:

Hamadryas baboons are used as a proxy to understand H erectus behavioral evolution.

H. erectus could have been a persistence hunter based on estimated water loss.

Genus Australopithecus:

How Australopithecus changed how we thought humanity evolved.

Cerebral blood flow rates in Australopithecines was lower than in modern great apes for similar brain sizes.

Studying the origination and extinction of hominin species using A. anamesis, A afarensis, and Aridopithecus ramidus.

Genus Orrorin:

The environment of the site where Orrorin died was swampy.

Genus Danuvius:

A new bipedal brachiator ape from the Miocene recently found from Germany may usurp the Dryopithecus from the ancestral position for hominins.


The hominiod to hominid difference in third molar enamel.

How human brains develop differently than great ape.

How scientists know human ancestors ate bugs.

Differences between human and other primate saliva might be because of diet.

The brain was considerably reorganized during hominin evolution.

When did hominins become behaviorally and psychologically modern?

Studying stone flakes can tell a lot about hunter gatherer behavior.

Friday, November 29, 2019

China is Planning Voyager-like Interstellar Space Missions

China is planning a Voyager-like mission to the outer solar system that includes a flyby of Neptune, measurements of the electrically charged gas bubble surrounding our solar system, and a journey to interstellar space.

The mission is currently named IHP, which stands for Interstellar Heliosphere Probe. It consists of two spacecraft that would explore the heliosphere, the solar-wind-created region around our Sun that separates us from interstellar space as the solar system travels through the Milky Way.

Zong Qiugang, the director of the Institute of Space Physics and Applied Technology at Peking University in China, said the mission “will allow us to discover, explore, and understand fundamental astrophysical processes in the largest plasma laboratory—the heliosphere.” Zong gave an overview of the mission at EPSC-DPS 2019, an international gathering of planetary scientists in Geneva, Switzerland.

The first spacecraft, IHP-1, would launch towards the head of the heliosphere in 2024. A second probe, IHP-2, would go in the opposite direction to explore the tail. The heliosphere is hypothesized to resemble a comet’s tail, but whether or not the tail “closes” behind the Sun is an open question. The Voyagers exited the heliosphere on the head side, and the tail has never been explored.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Russian Scientific Community Consensus on Genetically Engineering Humans

The Russian community of geneticists, clinicians and bioethicists have reached a consensus on the use of genome-editing technologies on human embryos and germ cells for clinical purposes. They consider that such experiments are premature at this point. Their view aligns with the position of the Russian ministry of health and sets the social context for further discussion of the technology.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

China' 2nd Aircraft Carrier Traversed the Taiwan Straight

China’s first domestically-built aircraft carrier is on its way to the South China Sea for tests and to take part in exercises, the Chinese navy said on Monday, after sailing through the Taiwan Strait in a mission denounced by Taipei as intimidation.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Sunday a Chinese carrier group led by the ship passed through the sensitive strait with U.S. and Japanese vessels tailing it.

Self-ruled Taiwan, regarded by China as a wayward province, said Beijing was trying to intimidate the island ahead of a presidential election in January.


And is now in Hainan.

The pendant number appears to be being painted on.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Stealth Saga #55

6th Generation Fighter:

The USAF thinks it has a 5 year window to reinvent the fighter industry in the US.

The FCAS team reports good progress on the concept study phase.  They will be defining the requirements before the demos start.


Airbus unveiled its stealthy UAV test article paid for by Germany.

XQ-58A Valkyrie:

The USAF is testing the Valkyrie as a comm link between the F-22 and F-35.

Loyal Wingman:

Australia's Loyal Wingman program has surrogate UAVs flying.


South Korea's KF-X will use the meteor missile.


The Su-57 has been given the awesome NATO code name of 'Felon.'

And there are some stunning photos from MAKS'19.

The first production Su-57 is supposedly ready to deliver to the Russian aerospace forces and supposedly will be delivered before the end of the year.

Russia will not sell the Su-57 to Turkey until demand from the Russian aerospace forces is met.

Russia claims the UAE may help produce the SU-57.


Even on schedule, the B-21 is under pressure.

A report to congress on the B-21.


China has been testing a wind tunnel model of the B-2.


The Reagan Library is getting an F-117 for display.  Here are some pictures and videos of its preparation for display.  And more pix.

F-117s continue to fly over Nevada.


Congress is cooling to the idea of multi year production contracts for the F-35.

The Pentagon has made an agreement with Lockheed for Lots 12, 13 and 14 for the F-35 that puts the price for the F-35A lower than $80M each.

The Pentagon is in a bun fight with Lockheed over ALIS, the logistics system.  The bun fight is a legacy of how the contract was awarded,

The Pentagon has found replacement manufacturers for all but a dozen parts as part of removing Turkey from the F-35 program.

The recent problems with the F-35 have been tied to the scaling up of production.

F-35 readiness has increased to 75%.

F-35s can now talk to F-22s.

The USAF 4th Fighter Squadron returned home after combat deployment.

F-35As were flying with MQ-9 Reapers near Area 51.

Two USAF pilots were the first to fly the USMC's F-35B operationally on the USS America.

More on the USMC's test of the Lightning Carrier concept on the USS America.

USMC F-35Bs returning from Afghanistan have interesting bomb markings.

The USS America is steaming to its new homeport in Japan.

Brits were qualing their F-35Bs for night ops on the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The Brits are planning on integrating their new carriers into US Navy carrier ops.

Israeli F-35Is will be participating in Exercise Blue Flag and have.

Japan has ordered more JSM for its F-35s.

Japan is being pitched the next gen amphibious ship, which may carry F-35s.

Netherlands greeted their first F-35A to be based in their country with an accidental foam bath.

Norway declared IOC for its F-35As.

The first sale of the F-35 tot he UAE could be a long way off.

Lockheed won a $25M contract for a new GPS for the F-35.

Lockheed also won a $114M contract for durability testing on the F-35B.

Lockheed won a $184.6 M contract mod for depot work for the F-35.

Lockheed foresees potential sales in Portugal and Spain of the F-35.

Raytheon's JSOW is getting certified for the F-35.


The F-35 and B-21 buys must continue, but where's the money, some ask.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Electric Propulsion Module for NASA's Gateway Station Tested at Full Power

Aerojet Rocketdyne and NASA recently demonstrated an Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS) thruster at full power for the first time, achieving an important program milestone. Aerojet Rocketdyne-developed AEPS thrusters are slated to be used on the Power and Propulsion Element of NASA’s Gateway, the agency’s orbiting lunar outpost for robotic and human exploration operations in deep space.

The state-of-the-art AEPS Hall thruster operated at 12.5 kilowatts (kW) as part of its final conditioning sequence during testing at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The thruster demonstrated stable operation at power levels ranging from 4.2 kW to 12.5 kW. Full electric propulsion thruster string integration will take place early next year.

“Our AEPS thruster has demonstrated the high levels of power needed to operate the Power and Propulsion Element, and by extension, the entire Gateway,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “With a successful full power test complete, Aerojet Rocketdyne is ready for the next phase of our advanced electric propulsion system in support of NASA’s Artemis program.”

The Gateway’s Power and Propulsion Element is a high-power solar electric propulsion spacecraft capable of producing 60 kW – which is three times more powerful than current capabilities. Two Aerojet Rocketdyne AEPS thruster strings will be employed on the spacecraft. Each string is comprised of a Xenon Hall thruster, a power processing unit that controls the electric power to the thruster, and a Xenon flow controller which controls the flow of Xenon to the thruster.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Merkel Agrees to let Putin Carve off the Donbass From Ukraine, ahem, Grant it Special Status

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed on Monday that Ukraine should give its separatist-led Donbass region a special status set out in Ukrainian law, the Kremlin said.

It gave no further details of the leaders’ discussions on the future of Donbass during a phone call, but agreement on its status would be a step toward convening a four-nation summit on ending five years of conflict in the eastern region.

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy said last month that Kiev had agreed to grant Donbass special status and let local elections go ahead there. The breakthrough raised hopes that a date would be set for the summit involving Kiev, Moscow, Berlin and Paris.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Terminator Times #65

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones):

DARPA has selected 8 companies to do dogfight air to air combat.

The RQ-4D has received its military certification.

The RQ-4s have been redeployed from Japan to Guam.

The USAF is going to test using the XQ-58A Valkyrie as a com link between F-35 and F-22s.

A USAF F-35A worked with a MQ-9 Reaper near Area 51.

The US Army is integrating drones with its Hololens tech.

The US Navy is placing Link-16 on its MQ-8C FireScouts.

Australia and America have been testing drone delivered medical supplies.

The Brits gave a contract mod to General Atomics for their SkyGuardians.

The Brit's Royal Navy has begun mini UAV training.

China may be exporting autonomous UCAVs.

The Czech Army formed a UAV battalion.

France is starting to arm its MQ-9 Reapers.

France has completed integration of the S-100 camcopter with its LHD.

Airbus unveiled its stealthy UAV test article paid for by Germany.

Hezbollah fired on an Israeli drone.

Houthis claim to have downed a ScanEagle in Yemen.

Iran claims to have shot down a drone over one of its port cities.  The US has stated its not one of theirs.

An Israeli shot down a drone over the Gaza Strip.

The Koreans are studying the results of their unmanned 500MD tests.

Russia has started testing the Orion-2 UAV with strike capabilities.

The Russians are testing Flock 93, a 100 drone strong swarm with individual explosives to attack convoys.  Russia claims they bombed and attacked air defenses with their Flock 93 during an exercise.

Airbus has started testing its VSR700 unmanned helicopter.

Bell plans an unmanned demo of the V-280 by year's end.

FLIR Systems is enhancing tethered UAV ops.

General Atomic is developing an attritable drone called the SparrowHawk that can be launched from and recovered by a Reaper.

General Atomics will also demo MQ-9s for maritime patrols in Europe.

HAPSMobile Hawk30 solar powered UAV conducted a 1.5 hour flight.

Leonardo has invested in the Skydweller electric UAV.

Northrop got a contract mod for supporting the MQ-4C Triton.

UAV Turbines is developing micro turbines for UAVs.

UAVOS has flown its 14m wingspan.

Unmanned Ground Vehicles (Bolos, Ogres and Terminators, oh my):

The US Army selected the GD MUTT UGV to carry combat troops' loads.

The US Army has down selected to four teams for the RCV-L.  The teams are preparing their proposals.

The US Army has given the $106M contract for its Common Robotic System - Heavy to FLIR.

South Korean companies displayed prototype UGVs.

BAe has a 'Rolling Lab' UGV.

The Textron RIPSAW M5 gets touted for the RCV contracts.

Three teams are moving in on the US Army's RCV-M program.

Unmanned Surface Vehicles (Ro-boats):

The USMC and US Navy will move forward with their unmanned vessel programs.

LIG Nex1 unveiled its Sea Sword II USV.

Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (Robo Subs):

Hanwha displayed a ASW UUV.

Software Bots (Skynet!):

A set of ethical rules have been proposed for AI in war by a panel for the Pentagon.

The Pentagon's biggest problem with AI is dirty data.

The US may be falling behind in its use of AI in war.

US Army researchers are working on bots to cooperate with people.

The US Navy is pleased by the COTS focus of the Pentagon AI office (sigh).

Software bots will be used for target detection in a 2020 wargame.

Time is not on the US' side when it comes to AI in warfare.

China may be seeking military AI without ethics or limits.

Japan is going to use AI to study the data gathered by maritime patrol craft.

Google is back to working with the US military again.

Can Microsoft's AI work both for peaceful purposes and the US Military?


Drone wars are here.

A bipartisan commission suggests the US military should consider purely autonomous weapons.

Are we well on our way to a terminator style uprising?

The US Navy is working on refining the unmanned surface and underwater command structures.

Friday, November 15, 2019

All Four RS-25 Engines Installed on First SLS Rocket

In a major milestone for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), all four RS-25 engines – veterans of the Space Shuttle Program (SSP) – have been installed into the core stage of the rocket that will conduct the maiden flight of NASA’s new monster rocket on the Artemis-1 mission.

SLS will use the full inventory of flight-proven Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSMEs), or RS-25Ds, before exhausting the stock and moving to the RS-25E.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A Chinese Air Launched Ballistic Missile may be Entering Service Soon (or Already)

An article published in the Chinese bi-monthly magazine Modern Ships illustrating how a Xian H-6N strategic bomber would carry an air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) may indicate that this capability is in the final stages of development, or may even have entered service.

The 1 November issue of the magazine shows on its cover a high-quality computer-generated (CG) image of an H-6N, the latest variant of the H-6 bomber, carrying an underslung missile. The cover features the headline ‘Bombers rule the waves’ and more CG images of the ALBM-carrying bomber are included inside the magazine.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Robopocalypse Report #121


Would you trust a self landing passenger plane?

Drone swarms could protect airports from intruding drones.

The US Department of the Interior has grounded all its DJI drones due to Chinese government spying concerns.  DJI is aware and China is not happy.

Aircraft pilots mostly miss seeing drones.

Drones are mapping Iceland's receding glaciers.

DJI's palm sized Mavic is small enough it doesn't need to be registered with the FAA and can fly for 30 minutes.

Google's Wing has started doing deliveries in the US.

Harvard's Robobees now use soft robot muscles for its powered flight.

Skydio has an autonomous, self charging drone.

A swarm of search and rescue drones could function without people.

Uber has unveiled its new VTOL drone for Uber Eats and hopes that will push the company into profitability.

UPS and CVS have teamed up to deliver prescriptions by drone.  It has done so in Cary, North Carolina for the first time.

Volvocopter has a massive drone that can lift 200 kg as cargo.

Self Driving Cars:

Would you let a self driving car drive you?

Why are parking lots so tough for self driving cars?

Self driving cars could make traffic worse.

A better algorithm has been created for autonomous vehicles in merging traffic/

Lyft is collaborating with Uber and Ford on self driving car safety.

MIT is teaching self driving cars to watch shadows so it can 'see' around corners.

Sony's Social Cart is a self driving shuttle with lots of advertising.

Tesla's summon capability might be glitchy.

Tesla's Autopilot now recognizes traffic cones.

Toyota's self driving e-Palette vehicles will shuttle people around at the 2020 Olympics.

Uber laid off 350 people, including from their self driving division.

An auditor found that Uber does, in fact, use Waymo code in its self driving cars.  This will force Uber to either license it or completely rewrite chunks of the code.  It will be expensive and setback Uber's plans nontrivially either way.

The Uber self driving car that killed the homeless woman in Phoenix, AZ, could not detect jaywalkers and had other serious software flaws.

Uber's self driving cars were in 37 accidents before hitting and killing the woman.  3 were caused by the self driving car.

VW has set up self driving car tech offices in Silicon Valley and China.

Waymo is close to unleashing its self driving cars with no backup driver.

In fact, Waymo seems to have in Phoenix.

Waymo's self driving cars will start mapping Los Angeles.

Waymo is complaining that California rules for purely self driving taxi services must be, for now, for free.

Waymo blames the media for overhyping self driving cars.  (hahahaha)

Waymo will deliver parts by self driving cars to repair shops.

3d Printing:

3d printing coral could help reefs.

3d printing has been proposed for refugee shelters in Syria.

3d printed polymer concrete gets assessed.

A bioprinted pancreas is expected to be implanted within 5 years.

Bio inks can 3d print into implantable blood vessels.

A father/son team has 3d printed a Lamborghini.

Kent State 3d printed a sculpture that will be installed on Ellis Island.

The Kraken 3d printing system is huge, 6 meters by 8 meters.

Local Motors has teamed up Airbus to develop 3d printing for flying taxis.

Massive 3d printers are printing rockets.

NWU is developing HARP, a high speed, large sized 3d printer.

Open source bioprinting for cell cultures?

A pediatric surgeon 3d printed an aorta replacement valve.

Prusa i3s can 3d print with 316L stainless steel filaments.

Qrons is developing 3d printable implants to repair brain injuries.

Researchers have 3d printed bacterial cellulose for use in medicine.

SUTD has a new method of 3d printing chocolate without heating it.

WASP will 3d print structures in Bologna.

You can 3d print the Youbionic robotic arm at home.


Irobot is suing a startup.

MIT has developed BILL-E, a construction bot.

Biologically inspired skin increases robot senses.

A chameleon's tongue is inspiring new robots.

A new algorithm created by Ford and MIT helps robots find the front door.

Machines are learning to smell.

MIT is working to give robots a faster grasp.

OpenAI's robot hand can solve a rubics cube one handed.

People are likely to blame robots for workplace accidents, but only if the robots are autonomous.

A new robot is designed to "mimic" how plants grow when it moves.  This will allow it to move through tight spaces.

If you want a robot to learn better, be a 'jerk' to it.

A telepresence travel bot for the infirm.

University of Houston has developed a soft robot with a neurologic like system.

A UIUC robot has human-like reflexes.

University of Toronto roboticists have created a soft robot that moves like an inch worm.


Tilly Lockey spoke at the Singularity University summit.

A software bot can interpret a paralyzed person's mind sufficient to allow writing.

Software bots:

The US DOE is about to embark on a multibillion dollar AI push.

The US is urged to invest more in AI as China is catching up.

California's anti Deep Fake law is pretty weak sauce.

An AI pioneer wants his algorithms to understand WHY they make the decisions they make.

Adobe has added more 'AI' tools to Photoshop.

Chinese researchers are using software bots to improve 3d printing.

Deep3dFly is a software bot designed to create insect inspired UAVs.

Researcher Anca Dragan wants robots to understand humans.

Why are deep learning software bots so easy to trick?

Facebook's software bots can change a person's face enough in video to hide it from facial recognition software.

Google's DeepMind appears to be better at deciphering damaged Greek clay tablets than people are.

Google's DeepMind can now beat Grandmasters at Starcraft II.

Google's software bot training tool can speed up the process.

IBM believes AI will leave no job untouched.

Microsoft wants to use software bots to bleep out bad words in XBOX chat.

Microsoft previewed its no coding tools to create chatbots.

Microsoft's Cortana can now read your emails in IOS.

Nvidia's deep fake work continues with being able to transplant your pet's smile onto any other pet.

Nvidia's software bots will help the USPS sort mail faster.

OpenAI has released the software bot that can write disturbingly good fake news.

Pinterest has stated software bots have vastly reduced the self harm content on the website.

USC has been using software bots to study how people react to music.

Wells Fargo stated big banks will automate away 200,000 jobs by 2030.

Software bots are being used in botany to study leaves.

Software bots can identify collapsed lungs from Xrays.

Software bots can help small holder corn growing.

Software bots can warn about drug-drug interactions.

Software bots can detect diabetic eye disease.

Software bots can't compete with humans in Angry Birds yet.

Software bots for health care discriminated against black people.

Software bots will soon study human feces.

A software bot can analyze whether you are confused or nervous.

There is also a bird watching software bot.

Software bots have been using CT scans to learn muscle anatomy.

Software bots are being used to predict whether a cancer patient should use immunotherapy.

Software bots are being used to study RNA/protein interactions.

Software bots can make realistic characters in 3d.

Software bots can make better ozone warnings.

Software bots can also give fashion advice.

Software bots are good at picking out catalytic properties when examining xrays.

Software bots are able to detect what the brain likes to see.

A software bot 'figured out' the earth orbits the sun.

Software bots could help diagnose canine disorders.

Software bots are learning to design structures.

There is an attempt to predict where lightning will strike with software bots.

Facial recognition bots can be fooled by a shirt?!  Antagonistic design may be a real thing.

Some startups are writing software to watch the bots.

A new technique can make software bots understand videos better.


A software bot included in a cytometer detects rare cells in the blood.

Hackers might have compromised a hotel that uses robots and watched guests through bedside robots.

Software bots are being used to improve beam quality at LBNL's Advanced Light Source.


The robopocalypse is underway.  It's just happening quietly.

Worker pay is stagnant and economists are blaming the robopocalypse.

The US has blacklisted Chinese AI researchers from getting visas.

40% of the money given out in an experiment of universal basic income was spent on food, clothing and other basic necessities.

US Presidential candidate Andrew Yang is stating robots are taking our jobs.  Is he wrong?

Friday, November 08, 2019

China to Launch Lunar Sample Return Mission in Late 2020

China is aiming to launch its complex Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission in late 2020, following launch vehicle-related delays.

The ambitious mission is now scheduled to launch atop the fifth Long March 5 heavy-lift rocket. The mission will launch from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center situated on Hainan island.

Chang’e-5 will attempt to collect and return around two kilograms of lunar samples from a site close to Mons Rümker, a volcanic formation situated in the Oceanus Procellarum region of western edge of the near side of the moon.

The mission will involve the first robotic lunar orbit rendezvous. After the lander collects samples, an ascent vehicle will liftoff and dock with an orbiter module above the moon. A return capsule will then perform a ‘skip reentry’ following separation from the orbiter close to Earth. The return capsule will deliver the samples to the same site as where the country’s Shenzhou crewed missions land.

The complexity of the mission is considered by observers to be related future crewed lunar landing ambitions. The last lunar sample return, the Soviet Union’s 1976 Luna 24 mission, utilised a much simpler direct return approach.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Russia may Help With India's Gaganyaan Space Capsule

Glavkosmos JSC, part of Roscosmos State Space Corporation, and Human Space Flight Centre of Indian Space Research Organization (HSFC of ISRO) on Friday signed a contract to review a project to assess the possibility of using Russian flight equipment in life support systems and providing thermal regime for the manned spacecraft Gaganyaan.

Dmitry Loskutov, Director General of Glavkosmos, and Dr. Unnikrishnan Nair, Head of the HSFC, signed the contract. The signing ceremony was held in the presence of Deputy Director General for international cooperation of Roscosmos State Space Corporation Sergey Savelyev.

"We hope that the signing of this document and the implementation of its provisions will serve both the development of the Indian space program and manned space flights, and in general the further strengthening of good Russian-Indian relations," Loskutov said. "We will be glad to expand our cooperation."

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Pondering the Precambrian #41


Glauconite is rare is precambrian deposits of the Bhima Basin.  Why?


There is evidence of the oxygen and other environmental conditions across the Ediacaran/Cambrian boundary from southern China.

Could the marine waters have been highly alkali at the terminal Ediacaran?

Cloudina acted as an anchor for Ediacaran reefs.

Sulfur and carbon cycles from the Ediacaran formations of the Lower Yangtze block.

Oxygen levels during the NeoProterozoic were transient.

There were two episodes of phosogenesis in the ocean water of the Doushantou formation.

The Doushantou and Datangpo formations from the Ediacaran and Cryogenian have been argued to represent evidence of photosynthetic productivity during the Snowball Earth episodes.  This is probably wrong.

There is evidence from India of biofilms from the Neoproterozoic.

The microfossils of the Katanga Supergroup are probably pseudofossils, alas.

Boxonia bearing stromatolites from Mongolia suggest variation in their formation compared to others.

Ediacaran Biota-like disc fossils have been found in the Cryogenian, 80 million years earlier than ever before.

The Cryogenian basin deposits of south China suggest massive hydrothermal activity during the Sturtian Glaciation (Snowball Earth).

What was the stratosphere of the Snowball Earth like?

The Tonian Callana Group has a carbon anomaly that does not match the one observed at Bitter Springs.


There is evidence of the breakup of the Columbia Supercontinent from Brazil.


Kimberlites from the Siderian suggest there is an isolated mantle reservoir.  And may be fingerprints of the ancient makeup of the world's geology.

There was a very long lived tectono-magmatic event 1.8 billion years ago.

The geochronology of the Hart Dolerite of Australia is documented.


There is evidence of oceanic crust subduction from the NeoArchean.

There is also evidence of mountain building from the NeoArchean.

There is evidence of a subduction/accretion/collision event at the end of the NeoArchean, confirming full blown plate tectonics were in progress at that time frame.

Mesoarchean deposits from islands suggest the pelagic environment was rich in boron.

Paleoarchean microfossils show a continuous cell wall amongst other characteristics.

Can Xenon help determine if the carbon traces in ancient rocks is biogenic or not?

The fingerprints of Ur, the earliest supercontinent, are in the Bastar Craton in India.


The energy budget and structure of the earth get modeled during and after the Thea impact.

Origin of Life:

Bacterial gene duplicates are more common in eukaryotes than expected.

Is there a relation between hydrothermal chemistry and the origin of cellular life?


Archaea's biochemistry may give hints as to ancient ocean temperature.

A large virus may have helped make the first eukaryote allow endosymbiosis allowing for the evolution of photosynthesis in eukaryotes.

Friday, November 01, 2019

NASA has Mounted the First Rocket Engine to the SLS for the First Artemis Mission

Engineers and technicians at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans have structurally mated the first of four RS-25 engines to the core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will help power the first Artemis mission to the Moon.

Integration of the RS-25 engines to the recently completed core stage structure is a collaborative, multistep process for NASA and its partners Boeing, the core stage lead contractor, and Aerojet Rocketdyne, the RS-25 engines lead contractor. To complete the installation, the technicians will now integrate the propulsion and electrical systems.

The installation process will be repeated for each of the four RS-25 engines. The four RS-25 engines used for Artemis I were delivered to Michoud from Aerojet Rocketdyne’s facility at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, in June.