Sunday November 18, 2018
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Re-Wilding : Win or loss

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https://youtu.be/vfgDKOn84r4

Something extraordinary is happening at the Pleistocene Park in Siberia.

For the first time in ten thousand years – Wild horses, oxen and reindeers are returning to their new abode. The initiative is taken by the Russian scientist Sergei Zima who is creating an ecosystem from the Ice-Age through the process called Re-Wilding.

Zima says that these animals will eventually break the bushes and devour them and thus will fertilize the soil, which will make the grass grow and the trees to dry up. The result will be a creation of new meadowlands with steep vegetation.

Still the goal is far away as the presently the park is supporting only a meager number of 200 animals.

On the flip side of it, David Nogez of University of Copenhagen warns about the consequences of the Re-wilding methodologies. He mentions that to fully grasp the way in which the system works, one will have to consider the effect it will have when introducing the species to a new environment and also to keep in mind the alternatives such as the classic conservation approaches.

For instance, one can take the examples of the recovery of the wolf population in the USA’s Yellowstone National Park, which can very well be considered as a Re-Wilding success story. They were first introduced in the mid 1990s from where they have increased up to fivefold of their numbers.

The wolves are monitored closely in the park, but their spread off in the adjacent areas has created a rivalry with the ranchers.

One of the Ranchers, Richard Kinki, tells us they are helpless against taking any action towards the wolves as they are federally protected. The main problem lies in the fact that the cattle loss has increased with their population.

According to a study at the University of Copenhagen, the report argues that the decision makers should consider more of the wildlife and environmental sciences while implementing their laws of the Re-wilding program.

The video is brought to you by NewsGram in collaboration with Voice of America.

 

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The Aborted Mission To Relaunch In December: NASA

In August, a hole appeared in a Soyuz capsule docked to the ISS that caused a brief loss of air pressure and had to be patched.

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Russian Rocket
Astronaut Anne McClain, left, is seen during training at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston, Texas. VOA

The American astronaut who will hitch the first ride on a Russian rocket since last month’s aborted launch and dramatic emergency landing is confident that her scheduled trip in December on a rocket that she calls a “workhorse” will go smoothly.

Astronaut Anne McClain, along with a Russian cosmonaut and a Canadian astronaut, will man the Dec. 3 mission. It will be the Russian-made Soyuz-FG’s first crewed flight since Oct. 11, when U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and a Russian cosmonaut landed unharmed on the Kazakh desert steppe after the rocket bound for the International Space Station failed in mid-air two minutes after liftoff.

NASA, rocket
Specialists watch broadcasts from the Soyuz spacecraft showing astronaut David Saint-Jacques of Canada, Oleg Kononenko of Russia and astronaut Anne McClain of the U.S. attending the final qualification training for their upcoming space mission in Star City near Moscow, Russia. VOA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has relied on Russian rockets to ferry astronauts to the space station since the United States retired its Space Shuttle program in 2011, though the agency has announced plans for test flights carrying two astronauts on commercial rockets made by Boeing and SpaceX next April.

“I do see the incident that happened on Oct. 11 with our launch abort not as a failure but as a success,” McClain told Reuters in a telephone interview from Russia. “It actually bolsters my confidence in the rocket and in the processes that we have.

“We’re confident in the vehicle and getting back to it,” McClain said of the Soyuz rocket, which she called “the workhorse of the space program.”

After lifting off from Kazakhstan’s Soviet-era cosmodrome of Baikonur last month, a damaged sensor caused one of the rocket’s three booster stages to separate improperly, falling inward on the rocket and jolting it off its ascent two miles above ground, Russian investigators announced earlier this month.

Russian Rocket
The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft carrying the crew of astronaut Nick Hague of the U.S. and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Russia blasts off to the International Space Station (ISS) from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. VOA

During Assembly

Video from inside the capsule showed the two men being shaken around at the moment the failure occurred, their arms and legs flailing. Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin can be heard saying, “That was a quick flight.”

The accident was the first serious launch problem experienced by a crewed Soyuz space mission since 1983, when a crew narrowly escaped before a launchpad explosion.

Also Read: NASA Grants $7 Mn For New Life Detection

In August, a hole appeared in a Soyuz capsule docked to the ISS that caused a brief loss of air pressure and had to be patched. Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, has said that it could have been made deliberately by someone during manufacturing or while the craft was in space.

McClain and two other crewmates will launch from the same launchpad in Baikonur, joining the space station’s current three-person crew. (VOA)