3 top stories from home and away
By P.M. Fadden
WORLD VIEW – What Goes Up…
China’s first prototype space station, Tiangong-1 is to crash to Earth over Easter scientists expect, amid rumours that the Chinese space agency has lost control of the craft.According to SKY News, “heavenly palace”–the station’s name in English– is expected to drop out of orbit over the next week and plummet through Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of seven kilometers per second.
Although the bus-sized spacecraft is most likely to burn up upon re-entry, some scientists fear that debris, such as dense rocket engines, could survive the atmosphere and land anywhere 43 degrees either side of the equator.
Tiangong-1 was launched by China’s National Space Administration (CNSA) in 2011 as a prototype ahead of a Chinese large modular space station, the core module of which is expected to launch next year.
Meanwhile, the European Space Agency stated that there have never been any confirmed casualties due to falling space debris.
NATIONWIDE – Posting Doubt
Tough to love tech. jugernaut, Mark Zuckerberg took out full-page ads in several British and American newspapers Sunday apologizing for a “breach of trust” regarding on-going U.S. election scandal at data management firm Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook has announced its suspension of Cambridge Analytica’s account over concerns the firm violated site policies. This follows reports from The New York Times and UK’s The Observer that Cambridge Analytica allegedly harvested personal information of more than 50 million users for data strategizing during the 2016 U.S. election.
CNN reports the embattled analytics company suspended its CEO, Alexander Nix last week. And the company’s London offices were searched by enforcement officers from the United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office on week’s end.
Cambridge Analytica the creation of billionaire Robert Mercer and activist turned chief White House strategist, Steve Bannon, has denied any wrongdoing.
FRONTIER FOCUS – Change of Academic ‘Climate’
Officials at Juneau schools are considering adopting national science education standards that include teaching middle and high school students about climate change.
Alaska’s KTUU reports the Juneau School District is borrowing some core ideas from the Next Generation Science Standards, which include providing students with an understanding of the relationship between human activity and the Earth.
The oft-debated topic of climate change is already included in the state’s science education standards. The Alaska Department of Education says it’s largely up to the school districts to decide how the topic is taught.