The Daily Flash -Eco, Space, Tech (5/24)

JP-SECRET-popup Surveillance Is Suspected as Spacecraft’s Main Role

A team of amateur sky watchers has pierced the veil of secrecy surrounding the debut flight of the nation’s first robotic spaceplane, finding clues that suggest the military craft is engaged in the development of spy satellites rather than space weapons, which some experts have suspected but the Pentagon strongly denies. Last month, the unmanned successor to the space shuttle blasted off from Florida on its debut mission but attracted little public notice because no one knew where it was going or what it was doing. The spaceship, known as the X-37B, was shrouded in operational secrecy, even as civilian specialists reported that it might go on mysterious errands for as long as nine months before zooming back to earth and touching down on a California runway.

22bison01_span-articleLarge Deal Puts Yellowstone Bison on Ted Turner’s Range

When dozens of wild American bison wandered out of Yellowstone National Park in search of greener grass and wound up five years later sheltered on a giant ranch owned by Ted Turner, media mogul and bison meat kingpin, the species reached what many believe could be a turning point. Mr. Turner, under an unusual custodial contract with the state of Montana, offered to shepherd the animals for the next five years as part of an experimental program. It will grant him a sizable portion of their offspring in exchange, much to the chagrin of environmentalists who sued the state, saying the bison belong to the public. Mr. Turner is not restrained from using the bison for commercial breeding or sale.

343251-lewis-pugh Brit becomes the man first to swim under Mt Everest

Lewis Gordon Pugh battled freezing waters wearing only a pair of Speedos, a cap and goggles to cross the 1km glacial lake next to the Khumbu Glacier, Sky News reported. He came close to drowning during test swims for the event amid bouts of altitude sickness on the Pumori Lake, which sits 17,000 feet above sea level. But an adapted approach saw him through to complete the swim in a time of 22 minutes and 51seconds. The 40-year-old earned the nickname the "Human Polar Bear" for his aptitude in arctic conditions.

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