NASA's X-plane program, established in 1946 to test and evaluate new technologies and aerodynamic concepts, began with the launch of the X-1 — the first plane to break the sound barrier. Since then, the endeavor has led to numerous industry breakthroughs, including the first supersonic and hypersonic flights, and the first crewed suborbital flight.
After an extensive 14-year, $6.6 million restoration, Egypt's oldest pyramid was reopened to the public on March 5, 2020. Located in the Saqqara necropolis, northwest of the city of Memphis, the Pyramid of Djoser was built 4,700 years ago as a tomb for Pharaoh Djoser, the first king of the 3rd dynasty (2650–2575 BCE). The massive pyramidal funerary complex was neglected for centuries and almost on the verge of collapse before Egyptian officials finally decided to take action in 2006 and bring it back to its former glory.
On April 7, 2020, the skies will be lit up with a Super "Pink" Moon — the brightest and biggest full moon we will encounter all year! Though Earth's natural satellite promises to be spectacular, that night, those hoping for a pink hue will be disappointed. April's full moon gets its name from pink wildflowers called phlox that bloom in early spring. Though the moniker is misleading, it is undoubtedly better than the alternative nicknames, which include sprouting grass moon, fish moon, and hare moon!
Drones have come a long way since their first iteration, which was unsteerable and lifted a mere two feet off the ground during its first flight, was unveiled by French inventor brothers Jacques and Louis Bréguet in 1907. Modern-day quadcopters can be programmed to fly autonomously at high altitudes for long distances, swim underwater, and now, thanks to some University of Zurich researchers, even play dodgeball!
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we knew it just a few weeks ago. Millions of people worldwide are now under mandatory or voluntary lockdowns. All public attractions, including museums and aquariums, are shuttered, and the usually crowded streets of popular tourist destinations are desolate. An unanticipated silver lining during these challenging times for humans is that many of the Earth's other inhabitants are finally getting a chance to leave their normal habitats and roam freely.
For most birds, nest-building entails creating a bowl-shaped receptacle of twigs and dry leaves. However, don't tell that to the common tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius). The tiny birds, found in urban gardens across tropical ecosystems worldwide, go through extraordinary lengths to sew together a comfortable and safe home for their offspring.
Texas, the biggest of the contiguous US states, prides itself on being larger than life. Everything, from hairstyles to boot heels to food portions to mascots to convenience stores (the largest one boasts 80 soda fountains), is exaggerated. Hence, it should come as no surprise that the Lone Star State is also home to the largest signature on Earth.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the COVID-19 coronavirus global emergency is now a pandemic. The UN health agency urged countries worldwide to "double-down" on their efforts to curtail the spread of the infectious disease, which has swept into at least 114 countries and killed over 4,000 people in less than three months.