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Fast Company

Ariel Ekblaw, director of the Space Exploration Initiative and founder of the Aurelia Institute, speaks with Fast Company reporter Rachael Zisk about accessibility needs for human spaceflight and the next generation of space stations. “The goal of democratizing access to space is to allow more people around the world to see themselves in that future,” says Ekblaw. 

Forbes

Astronomers have identified two Earth-sized exoplanets orbiting a red dwarf star 33 light years away, reports Jamie Carter for Forbes. “Both planets in this system are each considered among the best targets for atmospheric study because of the brightness of their star,” explains postdoc Michelle Kunimoto.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater spotlights multiple MIT research projects, including MIT Space Exploration Initiative’s TESSERAE, CSAIL’s Robocraft and the recent development of miniature flying robotic drones.

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Passant Rabie writes that researchers from MIT Lincoln Laboratory developed a tiny gold-coated satellite called the TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD) system with the goal of beaming “down data at the fastest rate ever achieved by space lasers.”

EOS

A study conducted by Prof. Susan Solomon and her colleagues has found that unlike CFCs, smoke destroys the ozone in a more roundabout way, creating concerns due to the impact of the Australian bushfires of 2019-2020, reports Krystal Vasquez for EOS. “Because of the sheer scale of the event [the Australian bushfires] massive amounts of smoke penetrated the normally pristine upper stratosphere,” writes Vasquez.

The Wall Street Journal

Prof. Susan Solomon speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter Nidhi Subbaraman about her research and another recent study that provides evidence wildfire smoke poses a threat to the ozone layer. “It’s fair to say that, at least for a few months, these wildfires canceled out the last decade of all the efforts that we put in over the Montreal Protocol,” says Solomon. “I think there’s every reason to believe this is going to happen more often, and it’s going to act to slow down the recovery of the ozone depletion.”

The Hill

Smoke from Australian wildfires in 2019 and 2020 appears to have contributed to the breakdown of the ozone layer, according to a new study by MIT scientists, reports Sharon Udasin for The Hill. “The new study establishes the first direct link between wildfire smoke and ozone depletion,” writes Udasin. 

The Daily Beast

Daily Beast reporter Miriam Fauzia writes that a new study by MIT scientists finds that smoke particles from wildfires are slowing the recovery of the ozone layer.

BBC News

BBC News correspondent Helen Briggs writes that MIT scientists have found that increasing wildfires may slow the recovery of the ozone layer. "All the hard work that the world went to to reduce chlorofluorocarbons (ozone-depleting chemicals once used in aerosol sprays) is not paying off as well in the areas that experience extreme wildfires," explains Prof. Susan Solomon. "The best hope would be that we reduce global warming gases also and stop increasing the wildfires, but that's obviously more difficult."

The Guardian

A new study by MIT scientists finds that smoke emitted into the atmosphere from Australian wildfires in 2019 and 2020 resulted in depletion of the ozone layer, reports Donna Lu for The Guardian. The findings suggest “rising fire intensity and frequency due to the climate crisis may slow the recovery of the ozone layer.”

Newsweek

TESS, a NASA mission led and operated by MIT, has discovered over 5,000 planets candidates outside of our solar system, reports Ed Browne for Newsweek. “This time last year, TESS had found just over 2,400 TOIs (TESS Objects of Interest),” says postdoctoral associate Michelle Kunimoto. “Today, TESS has reached more than twice that number – a huge testament to the mission and all the teams scouring the data for new planets.”

Forbes

MIT researchers have proposed a conceptual hovering rover that would use the moon’s static charge to stay airborne, reports Elizabeth Howell for Forbes. “We think a future [moon] mission could send out small hovering rovers to explore the surface of the moon and other asteroids,” says graduate student Oliver Jia-Richards.

Popular Science

MIT researchers have tested the concept for a hovering rover, a spacecraft that could use the moon’s electric field to levitate over its surface, reports Tatyana Woodall for Popular Science. Graduate student Oliver Jia-Richards explains that the team’s idea for a disc-like rover “potentially provides a much more precise and easier way of maneuvering on these rough terrain and low gravity environments.”

Gizmodo

MIT researchers have proposed testing a concept for a levitating rover that could operate by using the moon’s electric field, reports Andrew Liszewski for Gizmodo. Liszewski writes that “the researchers believe a levitating rover powered this way could potentially float even higher, or potentially be built heavier with additional scientific instrumentation on board.”

New York Times

Prof. Sara Seager speaks with New York Times reporter Dennis Overybye about the James Webb Telescope. Seager is part of a team that is planning to use the telescope to observe an exoplanet named Trappist-1e to determine if the planet has an atmosphere.