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10 of the Most Exciting Space Explorations to Look Forward to in 2018

Will this year’s space explorations give us a much better understanding of the universe?

2017 was a blast. And with another year, there is a lot of things people are hoping to see. Such is actually true in the field of space missions, from highly-anticipated launched to deep space explorations. Indeed, this year is a going to be as exciting as ever.

We here at Elite Readers compiled a list of exciting space missions to look forward to this 2018. This year is definitely expected to be more thrilling. Well, without further ado, here they are!

#1. January

Source: electrek

This month will feature the inaugural launch of SpaceX’s long-awaited Falcon Heavy rocket. Although the company has yet to announce an official date, it is expected to launch between late January and early February.

It is worth noting that this launching is set to be the most powerful rocket in operation today. More importantly, it will be taking Elon Musk’s very own Tesla car to the orbital path of Mars.

#2. February

Russia is all set to send a so-called Progress cargo spacecraft to ISS (International Space Station) for three hours. In comparison, it is shorter than a normal flight from New York to Los Angeles. However, it is half the quickest time humanity has ever sent anything to the ISS.

#3. March

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which is NASA’s newest planet hunter, is scheduled to launch no earlier than the middle of March. It aims to find more than 30,000 planets outside the Solar System, including Earth-sized worlds.

#4. April

Source: Wikipedia

SpaceX is expected to perform an unmanned test flight of its Crew Dragon spacecraft for the very first time, though there is also a planned crewed flight later this year. China, on the other hand, will have its Tiangong-1 space station re-enter the atmosphere.

#5. May

Source: SciNews

Delayed from a few years back, the InSight Lander will finally be launched on a mission to the Red Planet. As soon as it lands in Mars, it will attempt to study the planet’s interior using seismology.

#6. June

China will soon launch its Chang’e-4 relay satellite directly to the Moon, as it is intended to the very orbital component of a planned lunar lander. The latter is expected to set foot on the far side of the Moon later this year.

#7. July

Source: NASA

The Parker Solar Probe of NASA will be launched in a goal to study the Sun. Interestingly, it will be set at a much closer distance than any spacecraft has ever managed to do. It is believed to be 17 times farther than the width of the Sun itself.

#8. August

Source: NASA

Boeing is set to perform an uncrewed test of its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. It also plans to launch humans sometime in November this year. SpaceX is also expected to conduct a crewed test of its Crew Dragon.

#9. October

Source: SGF

The joint mission involving Europe and Japanese – called BepiColombo – will be launched to Mercury. The mission is composed of two orbiters, though it will not really arrive into orbit around the said planet until December of 2025.

#10. December

The launch of one of the final modules of the ISS is expected this month. It is none other than the Russian-built Nauka module, which was actually delayed a couple of years ago.

Sci/Tech

Stellar Could Be the Next Big Thing In Cryptocurrency And The Future of Banking

Stellar is considered the best-performing cryptocurrency of this year.

Bitcoin talk has been all the rage last year, especially toward the end of 2017 but this year another cryptocurrency is making its way up the digital currency market. Founded in 2014 by Jed McCaleb, the same guy who founded another currency, Ripple, Stellar’s cryptocurrency value is surging. Jed McCaleb, an American programmer, is known for creating the peer-to-peer technologies eDonkey and Overnet, as well as the first ever bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox.

Since Friday, Stellar’s value soared to more than 65 percent by market capitalization. By Wednesday, the cryptocurrency landed on the 6th spot as the largest digital currency, with a market cap of $16.4 billion. Developed by a non-profit organization, Stellar is an open source blockchain targeting enterprise clients and financial institutions with high volumes of cross-border transactions.

It is believed that Stellar could be the next big cryptocurrency.

Stellar is considered the best-performing cryptocurrency of this year, according to Nasdaq. Stellar Lumens, between March 20 and Dec. 10, it's gained over 6,300%! And about 150% for the first three days of January. This less popular currency took over litecoin, taking the 6th spot as the largest cryptocurrency value. The reason? Look no further than its blockchain....

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Sci/Tech

Smallest Mobile Phone In The World Is Tinier Than A USB Flash Drive

This tiny phone lets you send and receive calls and messages.

There was a time when the smaller the size of a mobile phone, the cooler or better it is. With the advent of smartphones, it has become the opposite -- people were looking for bigger phones with wider screen displays.

One company, however, believes that a tiny phone, in a world dominated by smartphones, can still work and be usable. But this small phone isn’t just any phone -- it’s the smallest in the world with a size smaller than that of a flash drive.

Introducing, Zanco tiny t1, the smallest mobile phone in the world.

It’s capable of doing all of the basic things that a mobile phone can do.

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Sci/Tech

Japan Creates Bananas With Edible Skin, Using Ice Age DNA Method

The fruits are still so rare that only 10 are going on sale each week.

For those who can't live without bananas, there's no way one can improve on such a superb fruit. Bananas are rich in potassium, making it one of the healthiest fruits one can eat. They also have a delicate sweetness that makes them a staple from drinks to pastries.

Bananas are awesome just the way they are, but the Japanese think otherwise. How can they improve on such perfection? Well, they actually made bananas with edible skin!

Called the Mongee Banana (produced mon-gay), the fruit is grown by D&T Farm in the Okayama Perfecture. The name is an Okayama slang for "incredible."

They used an ancient DNA method, called 'Freeze Thaw Awakening,' that goes back to the ice age. 20,000 years ago, plants would emerge from the winter condition to grow. During this period, plants start to grow as temperatures increase gradually, with maximum daytime temperatures at just 12 to 13°C. At night, the mercury would drop below zero. In order to recreate these conditions, the darm froze the banana saplings to -60°C, waiting for them to be thawed before planting again....

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