SpaceX Starship Version 2, Life Extension for Dogs, and More Top Science News of the Week

If you told a person on the street in the 1970s that humans would have no base on the Moon by the year 2000, they’d probably laugh in your face. Well, it’s 2023 and we still lack even the barest of lunar infrastructure. But this week, Alenia Space and the Italian Space Agency sketched out their plans for a sustainable base on the Moon. Read up on that and much more in our roundup of the week’s most-read science stories.—Rose Pastore

Elon Musk Unveils Plans for Starship Version Two

Starship during its second test flight, November 18, 2023.

Starship during its second test flight, November 18, 2023.
Photo: C&J Images

Moving swiftly and learning through failure, SpaceX says it’s already looking ahead to version 2 of the Starship upper stage.

In a tweet posted on November 24, company CEO Elon Musk shared a photo showing four Starship upper stages standing vertically at SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility in south Texas, and saying the quartet will be “the last of V1.” Version 2 comes next, marking the next phase in the company’s iterative development process. Starship is not yet operational, but it represents SpaceX’s ambitious vision for a fully reusable, cost-efficient launch system capable of interplanetary travel with high payload capacity.—George Dvorsky Read More


Could This—Finally—Be Humanity’s First Permanent Lunar Base?

Artistic depiction of the Multi-Purpose Habitat (MPH).

Artistic depiction of the Multi-Purpose Habitat (MPH).
Image: Thales Alenia Space

Thales Alenia Space and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) are embarking on a pioneering venture to construct the first permanent human outpost on the Moon, a critical component of NASA’s Artemis program.—George Dvorsky Read More


New Drug Could Extend the Lifespans of Giant Dog Breeds

A Kangal dog in Sivas, Turkey.

A Kangal dog in Sivas, Turkey.
Photo: Serhat Zafer/Anadolu Agency (Getty Images)

The animal pharmaceutical company Loyal announced that the FDA has accepted the development of a drug that could extend the lifespans of large and giant dog breeds.—Isaac Schultz Read More


Where in the U.S. to Spot Potential Magnetic Storm Aurora

Aurora spotted earlier this year in Alaska.

Aurora spotted earlier this year in Alaska.
Photo: NOAA

A strong geomagnetic storm was set to hit Earth following a significant solar flare that occurred on Tuesday, NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center reported.—Isaac Schultz Read More


Giant Stone Age Cemetery Near Arctic Circle Surprises Archaeologists

One of the Stone Age pits found at Tainiaro.

One of the Stone Age pits found at Tainiaro.
Photo: Tuija Laurén

The soil in one of the largest Stone Age cemeteries in Europe is so acidic that all the human remains were destroyed thousands of years ago. But now, a team of archaeologists reviewing the site have found that at least 120 people were once buried there, three times previous estimates.—Isaac Schultz Read More


Returning SpaceX Rockets Are Creating Bright Glowing ‘Holes’ in the Sky

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch in May 2022.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch in May 2022.
Photo: Red Huber (Getty Images)

In mid-July, viewers hoping to catch a glimpse of a SpaceX rocket launch were stunned to see it followed by a bright aurora-like phenomenon over Arizona. The rocket had formed a hole in the upper atmosphere, evinced by a red glow captured by photographers on the ground.—Isaac Schultz Read More


Gizmodo Monday Puzzle: Impossible Geography

Image for article titled SpaceX Starship Version 2, Life Extension for Dogs, and More Top Science News of the Week

Image: Photo: Shutterstock Graphics: Gizmodo

Try to solve these brain teasers instinct and memory before consulting a globe.—Jack Murtagh Read More


Vote for the Best Image in This Nature Photography Contest

Image for article titled SpaceX Starship Version 2, Life Extension for Dogs, and More Top Science News of the Week

Photo: Axel Gomille / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Online voting is now open for the People’s Choice Award winner in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest, an annual competition developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London. You can chose your favorite from among 25 shortlisted photos of the near-50,000 submitted to the competition. From mudskippers and bulrushes to lions and jellyfish, the natural world has something for everyone… and it’s up to you which gets the final say.—Isaac Schultz Read More


Popular Weight-Loss Drug Semaglutide Might Help With Alcohol Dependence, Too

Image for article titled SpaceX Starship Version 2, Life Extension for Dogs, and More Top Science News of the Week

Image: Marie C Fields (Shutterstock)

A study out this week suggests that semaglutide—the active ingredient in popular obesity drug Wegovy—might be able to help people struggling with alcohol use disorder, too. In a small sample of cases, researchers found evidence that people who took semaglutide for weight loss also experienced a significant reduction in alcohol dependence symptoms. The team and other scientists have begun to conduct clinical trials to further explore this link.—Ed Cara Read More


Man Claims His Big Toe Was Infested With Spider Eggs, but Experts Are Skeptical

A species of wolf spider. These arachnids probably don’t lay eggs in people’s toes, experts say—probably.

A species of wolf spider. These arachnids probably don’t lay eggs in people’s toes, experts say—probably.
Image: Katarina Christenson (Shutterstock)

Just in case you needed a new fear to keep you awake at night, here’s this possibly fanciful tale of arachnid infestation. A UK man claims to have gotten a gnarly swollen toe while on a cruise from having a wolf spider lay eggs inside it. Though the toe injury appears to be real enough, some experts have already cast doubt on the egg-laying part.—Ed Cara Read More

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