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Inside Space (Apr 5th, 2018)

Thousands of black holes exist at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, a new study suggests. Researchers discovered 12 black holes within three light-years of Sagittarius A*. They estimated that about 10,000 black holes and up to 500 binary black hole systems could be within three light-years of the Galactic Center. Researchers gathered data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. The discovery helps to answer a decades-old prediction that small black holes surrounded massive ones. — NEWSWEEK

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A new map of Mars highlights areas of the planet that could be most suitable for human life. Researcher Wieger Wamelink of Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands has studied where crops could grow on the Red Planet, creating a map noting things such as radiation levels, climate, terrain, and soil. Wamelink suggests avoiding inactive volcano areas such as Olympus Mons and Elysium Mons. Wamelink has studied how plants could grow on Mars and suggests earthworms could help to foster a suitable environment. — BI

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Before humans or earthworms make it to Mars, robotic bees could buzz around the Red Planet. A University of Alabama in Huntsville proposal — Marsbee, a “Swarm of Flapping Wing Flyers for Enhanced Mars Exploration" — was among 25 to be funded through NASA's  Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. Each proposal will receive $125,000. Under the guidance of project lead Chang-kwon Kang, the Marsbee proposal could allow researchers to collect information as the bees fly through an ultra-low-density atmosphere. Kang said a rover could serve as a base for the bees. The proposal is a collaboration with George Washington University and Tokyo University in Japan. — GIZMODO

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California-based Relativity Space's most recent round of venture-capital funding raked in $35 million. The company, which creates orbital rockets with 3D printers, plans to use the money to build a newer version of its Stargate printer and also will hire nearly 30 additional employees. Relativity also expects to expand its facilities. The company recently partnered with NASA to test engines at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Mississippi. The private-public agreement is the first-ever Commercial Space Launch Act lease at Stennis. The company will have exclusive use of the E4 test complex. Company founder and CEO Tim Ellis said he expects the company to save around $30 million in infrastructure costs. The company won't pay to use the site but is responsible for maintenance and upgrades. — CNBC

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Researchers are trying to understand 72 powerful flashes of light they observed while surveying supernovas. While scientists said the lights were similarly as bright as supernovas, the unusual cosmic activity was more rapid in nature. The new observations appear for a shorter period of time than supernovas, which can remain for several months. The unexplained phenomena are 9.3 billion miles wide with recorded temperatures ranging from 18,000 to 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit. — SPACE

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Well there's an out-of-this-world Facebook profile pic waiting to happen.

While you were emailing reports and checking Slack channels, Drew Feustel was hanging off the International Space Station ticking off his to-do list.

Feustel, along with fellow astronaut Ricky Arnold, recently completed a checklist of items on the outside of ISS that included installing wireless communications antennas, replacing a camera system and removing suspect hoses from a cooling system.

Arnold recently snapped a photo of Feustel and basically all of us.

And if that wasn't enough, Feustel posted a photo celebrating "National Walking Day" from ISS.

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