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What Voyager 1’s near-death experience says about the future of space exploration

From more than 15 billion miles away, NASA engineers last April began repairing a space probe that is headed to the constellation of Ophiucus, though it won’t arrive for some 38,000 years. NASA launched Voyager 1 in 1977 and it has already outlived expectations, but the space agency hopes to continue receiving data from the probe until at least 2030....

Originally posted on salon.com

Scientists decode orangutan communication using machine learning

Wendy Erb has spent countless hours studying orangutans in Borneo’s tropical peatland forests in order to learn how male Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) communicate. While doing so, she discovered one undeniable advantage of understanding orangutan language: When the males decide to show off their strength by uprooting nearby trees, nearby scientists need to be careful to not get smooshed....

Originally posted on salon.com

How squirrels cope with stress: New study may offer climate lessons for humans

Squirrels are found nearly everywhere, and their apparently playful demeanor makes it easy not to notice that their lives can be difficult. That rambunctious behavior we observe both in city parks and in wilderness is because squirrels must spend most of their time either searching for food and — perhaps more importantly — striving not to become food themselves. ...

Originally posted on salon.com