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Submission + - Russia Unveils 'Satan 2' Missile Powerful Enough To Wipe Out UK, France or Texas (

An anonymous reader writes: Russia has released the first image of its new nuclear missile, a weapon so powerful that it could wipe out nearly all of the United Kingdom or France. The RS-28 Sarmat thermonuclear-armed ballistic missile was commissioned in 2011 and is expected to come into service in 2018. The first images of the massive missile were declassified on Sunday and have now been published for the first time. It has been dubbed "Satan 2," as it will replace the RS-36M, the 1970s-era weapon referred to by Nato as the Satan missile. Sputnik, the Russian government-controlled news agency, reported in May that the missile could destroy an area "the size of Texas or France". Russian media report that the missile will weigh up to 10 tons with the capacity to carry up to 10 tons of nuclear cargo. With that type of payload, it could deliver a blast some 2,000 times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Russia reportedly tested a hypersonic warhead in April that is apparently intended for use on the Satan 2 missiles. The warhead is designed to be impossible to intercept because it does not move on a set trajectory.

Submission + - Iceland's Pirate Party poised to win Saturday election (

Okian Warrior writes: Iceland’s national election is likely to bring unprecedented results, with a new poll suggesting the Pirate Party will win. Led by a poet and former WikiLeaks activist, it’s running on an anti-corruption campaign against the financial and political elite.

An opinion poll conducted by the Social Science Research Institute of the University of Iceland and commissioned by Morgunblaðið newspaper found that one in five voters intends to cast their ballot for the Pirate Party on Saturday.

That figure puts the party in first place with 22.6 percent of the votes – 1.5 percent ahead of the center-right Independence Party, which is currently in power. Those numbers would give each of the two parties 15 MPs in the 63-seat parliament.

Submission + - SPAM: Green Bank goes private

schwit1 writes: The Green Bank radio telescope in West Virginia, having lost most of its government funding, has switched to a private model where they compete for customers on the open market.

[T]hey petitioned to retain a fraction of NSF funding and make up the difference with private contracts-a model then unheard of. Eventually, the NSF agreed to fund about 60 percent of Green Bank's operations in 2017, tapering to 30 percent in 2018.

To add cash flow to that federal tributary, Green Bankers had to nail down private contracts. The 140-foot telescope, home to the biggest ball bearing in the world, will download data from the Russian Space Agency's on-orbit radio telescope, RadioAstron, which will also hook up with the newer telescope to form a high-resolution array. The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves has commissioned the flagship Green Bank Telescope to watch their network of pulsars for fingerprints of gravitational waves.

And Breakthrough Listen-a search for extraterrestrial intelligence-will look for the technological fingerprints of aliens. The project, funded by rich-guy Yuri Milner, will watch the sky 1,300 hours a year, debiting $2 million from Milner annually and depositing it into Green Bank's coffers.

In other words, they are marketing the telescope to the open market, selling time to use it to whoever has a need. And apparently, there is a need, though like most operations that go public to private, the telescope will have to become leaner and meaner and more efficient to stay in the black. Which is to the good.
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