Posted in Science & Nature


In 1977, NASA launched into space two unmanned probes named Voyager 1 and 2 respectively. These probes were designed to study Jupiter and Saturn and were not expected to function past this point. The original Voyager mission officially ended in 1989 when Voyager 2 did a close flyby of Neptune. However, as of 2014, both Voyagers are still travelling ever onward into interstellar space, sending back crucial data about our solar system and what is inside it, along with beautiful photographs of the planets.

The two Voyager probes greatly outlived their expected lifespan and exceeded what they were expected to do. Thanks to the Voyager program, we now have a far better understanding of our own Solar System, such as the fact that it is asymmetrical, or that Neptune had three rings. Voyager 1 is now the most distant man-made object from Earth – with its closest neighbour, Voyager 2, being billions of kilometres away from it. Yet it continues to strive onwards into the unknown, exploring the depths of space all alone.

The Voyagers also carry a golden record on which scientists recorded pictures, sounds and music (such as Bach and Mozart) that represented scenery found on Earth. It also includes various languages, mathematic formulas, a representation of our Solar System and our DNA, anatomy and reproduction. It is meant to be a time capsule of Earth, for our future descendants or whatever else may be out there.

Posted in Science & Nature


In September of 1999, NASA ambitiously launched a Mars weather satellite. But the satellite did not even reach its destination, instead exploding in the atmosphere soon after launch. Why was this? The reason was so stupidly simple. The failure was because of units.

The satellite that was designed by Lockheed Martin was designed using the imperial system (pounds, feet and yards), whereas NASA’s systems used the internationally-used metric system. Because of this simple error, the pride of the USA space program fell to the ground and an astronomical amount of money was burnt to ashes in the air.


Posted in Science & Nature

Water Bear

A water bear, also called a tardigrade, is actually an insect and not a bear. The nickname is due to its slow, bear-like gait. It ranges in size from 0.1 to 1.5mm and resembles a short caterpillar with eight legs.
The reason for the water bear’s fame is its amazing survivability. In short, a water bear can live anywhere.

Water bears are capable of cryptobiosis. This can be seen as an extension of hibernation and it is an organism’s ability to lower its metabolism to near-death rates in order to survive a harsh environment. In this state, a water bear can survive for indefinite amounts of time.

Why is cryptobiosis useful? The answer can be found from the water bear’s natural habitats. The water bear is found on the highest point of the Himalayas, the deepest oceans, hot springs and virtually any location from the North Pole to the South Pole. It can survive temperatures from 151°C to minus 273°C, the intense pressures in deep seas and even vacuum states.
Furthermore, water bears can survive in space. A recent experiment by NASA on the International Space Station found that not only can they live in space, but they also mated and laid eggs that later hatched. They can even survive heavy doses of radiation and toxic chemicals.

Ergo, if a cockroach can survive a nuclear war, water bears can survive even if the Earth was split in two. If we took a leaf out of the water bear’s book and lead a slower life, could we live a longer and happier life?