Inverse Daily

After 60 years, Wally Funk is going to space

Plus: There's a silver lining to gaming's biggest trend.

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And we’re back. It’s Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

Tonight, I’m finally going to rewatch Terminator 2 after reading this list of 30 facts I didn’t know about the movie. But first, I’m excited to get you caught up on the latest science news from Inverse. I’m Nick Lucchesi, editor-in-chief. The Inverse mission is to share big ideas about science and innovation in an entertaining style, and to look at entertainment and culture with deeply curious methods. I’m glad you’re with us.

Our lead story today is all about a trip to space for one woman — a member of the so-called “Mercury 13” — who’s been waiting for 60 years. Keep scrolling to read more about the long journey and the incredible payoff👇

Mailbag — Which of these items would you put in your apocalypse bag? A Leatherman-style multitool, a self-winding watch, or a Pulaski axe? Answer this question and more in our annual apocalypse survey. Take the anonymous survey here. We’ve had more than 1,200 respondents so far! We will publish the results later this summer in a special guide.

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for July 6, 2021. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox.

Pictured: Wally Funk. Here's Jeff Bezos on Instagram last week announcing the news: “In 1961, Wally Funk was at the top of her class as part of the “Mercury 13” Woman in Space Program. Despite completing their training, the program was canceled and none of the 13 flew. It’s time. Welcome to the crew, Wally. We’re excited to have you fly with us on July 20 as our honored guest.”Jeff Bezos/Instagram

Wally Funk: Remember the name Blue Origin is set to hold its first crewed flight to space on July 20 — and it will enable Funk to live out her dream held since her Mercury 13 days. Mike Brown has the story:

Last week, Jeff Bezos’ privately owned spaceflight firm Blue Origin announced the third passenger on its first crewed flight will be Wally Funk. The top candidate in the privately funded “Mercury 13” program, Funk underwent the same screening tests as NASA astronauts but never flew to space herself.

On July 20, that dream will finally be fulfilled.

“I can’t tell people that are watching how fabulous I feel to have been picked by Blue Origin to go on this trip,” Funk said in a video shared on Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos’ Instagram feed. “I’ll love every second of it.”

Read more about this historic news.

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There's a silver lining to gaming's biggest trend Sony Interactive Entertainment has acquired Returnal developer Housemarque, part of a broader wave of consolidation in the space. But there may be a benefit to all these mergers. Tomas Franzese explains in his latest Hotfix column:

Mergers and acquisitions aren’t just for titans of industry like Jordan Belfort, Gordon Gekko, and Mark Zuckerberg. The video game industry is getting in on the fun, too.

The most notable example of this recently is Sony’s acquisition of Housemarque, the studio behind early PS5 hit Returnal. The deal highlights that Sony is just as interested as Microsoft in expanding and purchasing studios that can give them a powerful weapon in the console wars: exclusives.

According to Omdia Principal Analyst Steven Bailey, we’re in a crucial moment for these types of deals.

“Two of the biggest players in the console space are bulking up in anticipation of a whole new decade of competition,” Bailey tells Inverse.

Read the rest of The Hotfix here.

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Sladic/E+/Getty Images

3 scientific tips to make a Hot Vax Summer romance last forever New scientific research just published looks at factors that affect relationship satisfaction, finding that effective communication under stress was key. Elana Spivack has put together this summary in a way only she can:

Our collective horny summer is in full swing. Hot Vax Summer is here. And as you keep swiping right, it is quite possible that for a lucky few, this season’s flings may even turn into lifelong love stories.

But what are the key factors that determine which summer flings transform and flourish as lasting relationships? To find out, Florida State University professor James McNulty and his team reviewed the data from 10 long-term studies involving 1,104 heterosexual married couples. They recently published their findings...

Read the science of what makes a summer fling a lifelong thing.

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Discovery astronauts Steven Smith, lower left, and Mark Lee work on the Hubble Space Telescope in the shuttle's payload bay Saturday, February 15, 1997.San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images/Hearst Newspapers/Getty Images

NASA’s Hubble fiasco gives China an opportunity NASA is no closer to figuring out what went wrong earlier in June, which is bad news for the telescope, the only one currently capable of visible light. Dave Gershgorn has the story:

Last week, NASA revealed that tests over the last week haven’t narrowed down potential issues. The team is now gearing up to switch the Hubble over to backup versions of both instruments.

Without Hubble, there’s no telescope at NASA able to capture images in certain spectrums — which could give the China National Space Administration a chance to fill that void instead.

Get the full view.

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Many of us have received X-rays before, but one of the first people to receive one in history was Albert von Kölliker, who had his hand X-rayed back in 1896. Von Kölliker was born on this day. His friend, Wilhelm Röntgen, was the first to produce the rays and received the first Nobel Prize in 1901 for his achievement.Public Domain
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  • Before we go: Swiss scientist Albert von Kölliker, Kevin Hart, 50 Cent, Sylvester Stallone, Janet Leigh, George W. Bush, Geoffrey Rush, and Ned Beatty were all born on this day. That’s Von Kölliker’s X-rayed hand you see above there.