Space Women in 2013

The earth has made yet another round around the sun. And what a year it was.

The highlight was of course the spaceflights of Karen Nyberg and Wang Yaping. Karen Nyberg launched on the 28th of may on her first long duration mission to the International Space Station. She spend a total amount of 166 days adn a little over 6 hours in space and landed safely back on earth on the 11th of November. She had the position of flight engineer and amongst other captured and docked the HTV-4 and the Cygnus capsule to the space station.

During this mission Wang Yaping also flew into space on the Shenzhou X mission to the Chinese space station Tiangong-1. The mission launched on 11th of June and lasted 14 days. She became the second Chinese woman to fly into space and the 57th women overall. On the 20th of June she gave a lesson from space which was followed by over 60 million Chinese students.

In 2013 NASA also introduced a new astronaut class, giving hope for the future. This was the first astronaut class which was composed of 50% males and 50% females.  Jessica Meir, Christine Hammock, Nicole Mann and Anne McLain were the lucky women to be picked. along with their male counterparts Tyler Hague, Victor Glover, Andrew Morgan and Josh Cassada they will be training to become the new astronauts of NASA.

NASA was not the only one with plans to send people into space. Axe held a competition to send people into space on a Lynx suborbital spaceplane. Out of the 23 worldwide winners, 2 were female. Norwegian Tale Sundlisæter and Malaysian Pirada Techavijit have succeeded to secure their seats into space. Tale and Pirada are true space enthusiast, they both studied satellite space systems and are working in the space industry. On top of that Tale is the Norwegian national point of contact for the Space Generation Advisory Council.

As it goes with live, people have also passed away this year. Most notably astrophysicist Margherita Hack passed away on June 29th. She was the first women to head the Trieste Astronomical Observatory and a passionate science advocate. There was also the loss of Jerri Truhill, female test pilot and part of NASA’s Mercury 13 program. After Mercury 13 she spent her time flying around in a pink World war 2 fighter.  

A number of the women we have seen working in space have also changed jobs. Lori Garver, previously Deputy Administrator of NASA, started work as General Manager of the Air Line Pilots Association in September. Astronaut Kathryn Sullivan was appointed Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting NOAA Administrator early in 2013. Canadian astronaut Julie Payette has become the Chief Operating Officer for the Montreal Science Centre. NASA Astronaut Pamela Melroy had worked for the FAA, but this year decided to join DARPA as Deputy Director of the Tactical Technology Office. Astronaut Susan Helms was nominated to become vice commander of the US Air Force Space Command, however she decided to retire, which caused the nomination to be withdrawn. 

As a last highlight of 2013 we should not forget that Sally Ride received the Presidential Medal of Freedom as well as the Space Foundations General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award posthumously.

Hopefully next year will be just as exciting. There are 2 women, Yelena Serova and Samantha Cristoforetti, scheduled for missions to the space station. And, if we’re lucky, Virgin Galactic or the Chinese will surprise us.

Happy 2014 to everyone, make it a good one!

Dogs first domesticated in China

Beijing, April 27 (IANS) Dogs were first tamed in China, Chinese scientists claim, disputing research that domesticated dogs first evolved 15,000 years ago in Central Asia.

A research team led by Zhang Yaping from Kunming Institute of Zoology in Yunnan province has questioned previous research, the China Daily reported on Wednesday.

The team’s conclusion was published as a letter by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a US-based research journal, and previously by Cell Research, a publication of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Wang Guodong, an associate professor from the academy’s Zoology Institute, said: “For the first time, our study unravels an extraordinary journey that the domestic dog has travelled on Earth.”

The Chinese research disagrees with conclusions reached in October by a team of scientists led by Adam Boyko of Cornell University in the US.

The Cornell research, which analysed more than 185,800 genetic markers for 4,600 purebred dogs from 165 breeds, along with more than 540 village dogs from 38 countries, said the earliest dogs appeared in Central Asia 15,000 years ago.

Wang said: “First, the definition of Central Asia in the previous research is wrong, because they assigned Mongolia and Nepal to Central Asia. Second, despite its large scale, the research did not include data on dog populations from southern China, which has always been believed to be an important place of origin for domesticated dogs.”

The team also sequenced 12 grey wolves - 27 primitive dogs from Asia and Africa and 19 diverse breeds from across the world.

The scientists said Chinese dogs have significantly more genetic diversity than other populations, and are genetically the closest to grey wolves, indicating that dogs were domesticated in southern East Asia about 33,000 years ago.



Dogs first Domesticated in China

Dogs were first tamed in China, Chinese scientists claim, disputing research that domesticated dogs first evolved 15,000 years ago in Central Asia.A research team led by Zhang Yaping from Kunming… http://dlvr.it/L97xc2

Track climate pledges of cities and companies

Track climate pledges of cities and companies

Nature 532, 7599 (2016). doi:10.1038/532303a

Authors: Angel Hsu, Yaping Cheng, Amy Weinfurter, Kaiyang Xu & Cameron Yick

Data transparency is key to accounting for how local governments and the private sector are contributing to global emissions reduction, say Angel Hsu and colleagues.

External image

Track climate pledges of cities and companies

ALFOMBRA ROJA EN ZAPATILLAS. Los Premios Laureus World Sports, los “Oscar del deporte”, reconocen a los mejores deportistas del mundo según la Academia Laureus, quien reunió a los grandes en una gala en Berlín donde las zapatillas de deportivas “tomaron el mando”. Muchos de los asistentes las han combinado con impecables trajes y esmóquines ellos y elegantes vestidos de largo y carteras ellas, dándole un color atípico a la velada. Novak Djokovic y Serena Williams conquistaron los premios Laureus como los mejores deportistas del mundo en 2015. (EFE, AFP)

Fredi Bobic y su esposa, Deng Yaping y Alex y Patricia Schultz