NASA’s next major space telescope, updates from MWC, islands’ role in marine ecosystems and more.

On the Radar

Reads and New Gear

The Next Generation of Smartphones Has Arrived

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the smartphone industry’s top brands unveiled the newest smartphones that’ll launch this spring. Samsung showed off their new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones (early March 2016), and, to much hype, LG revealed their first ever modular smartphone, the G5. Follow the event’s coverage with CNET.

An Age of Space Tourism?

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Richard Branson continues to dream of space. This past Friday, his company Virgin Galactic unveiled the Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity, a commercial spacecraft that can carry 2 pilots and 6 passengers into space. According to CNN, more than 700 people have signed up for a seat — even though it costs $250,000 up front.

Island Ecosystems Have 86 Percent More Phytoplankton Than the Open Ocean

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Islands play a huge role in health of marine ecosystems. This might come as a huge shocker, but a recent study shows in detail how exactly this happens. How does it start? With phytoplankton, of course.

China Aims for Mars

By 2020 or 2022, China is hoping to have launched an orbiter and lander to Mars. If a success, Ars Technica says that China could surpass Russia in its surface explorations of the Red Planet.

NASA’s Next Major Telescope Project

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On February 18th, NASA announced plans to build the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). The space telescope will have a view 100 times bigger than the Hubble Space Telescope, and will help “unravel the secrets of dark energy and dark matter.” If only Thor had one of these.

Reviews and Buying Guides

Advice from the Crew

Heading Off-Grid? Don’t Forget a Proper Power Bank

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Stay plugged in even where you’re on the road. These are the six best portable power banks to take on your next adventure. Read the Story

5 Compact Hi-Fi Players That Look as Good as They Sound

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Hardwire or Bluetooth systems that look as great as they sound. Read the Story

Noteworthy Reads

Stories from Around the Web

Several disabled musicians were able to play music again last year, wearing caps that read electrical impulses sent from the brain, and working alongside four proxy musicians. NPR interviews Eduardo Miranda (behind the tech) and Elisa Bergersen (a proxy) about their story.

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, what is this one, of Mark Zuckerberg walking through a room of VR headset-wearing people, saying? The Verge takes a stab at it.

Looking Ahead

What We’re Testing Now
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