Journal of Agrarian Change | Year: 2013
In the colonial vision of Southern Africa, rural people were seen as both underemployed and self-sustaining even while processes of commodification dependent on the exploitation of their labour were producing spatially and racially marked inequalities of wealth and consumption and related patterns of health and affliction. Affliction sometimes reflected denial of access to formal health provisioning, but it was also produced by the conditions of labour, including capital's largely successful struggle to externalize responsibility for the reproduction of its workers. This paper discusses various moments in the making of affliction in the region: the development of endemic tuberculosis, the resurgence of malaria, famine-related paralysis and HIV/AIDS. These cases illustrate how affliction has been shaped by the weight of long-term structural relations of class in the organization of labour and by the contingent outcomes of immediate political struggles. They suggest that efforts to improve health in Southern Africa today must address persistent structural patterns that underlie the causes of the incidence of disease; these are also relevant to questions of land reform. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source
Journal of Agrarian Change | Year: 2016
To establish the significance of Henry Bernstein's theoretical work on the dynamics of agrarian class struggles in Africa, this paper discusses two important political debates in which he has been both observer and participant, and that have oriented much of the subsequent Marxist work done in Africa on agrarian change. The first was the heated discussion begun over 40 years ago around Nyerere's ‘African socialism’ and the failures of the ujamaa policy of villagization. The second is the still unsettled debate around programmes of redistributive land reform in South Africa. Bernstein's distinction between the peasantry and petty commodity production allowed him to apply Lenin's theory of peasant differentiation to new contexts, and to locate African class struggles within the contradictions between capital and labour. He thus disposed of two competing visions: the harmonic peasant community and the maximizing entrepreneurial peasant hindered by the absence of markets. Yet, this paper argues, his focus on class formation within the peasantry can also limit our understanding of class alliances in the politics of anti-capitalist struggles in Africa. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Source
News Article | April 3, 2016
The Progress MS-02 space vehicle successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on April 2, bringing supplies for the crew aboard the orbiting outpost. The 3 tons of payload includes air, food, fuel and life support equipment. The Progress 63P cargo mission's vehicle launched to the ISS on a Soyuz 2.1a rocket. This was the second successful flight of that launch system since a failure of one of the rockets in April 2015. The first human-occupied flight of the new Soyuz-MS spacecraft is scheduled for June 2016. "The docking of the Progress 63 vehicle marked the second cargo ship in as many weeks to arrive at the station. Up next is the scheduled launch of the SpaceX Dragon cargo resupply vehicle on April 8 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida," NASA officials reported on their website. Now that the Progress 63P cargo capsule has reached the ISS, astronauts will be able to partake of the food supplies aboard the craft, including grapefruit, oranges, apples, garlic and onions. This marks the fifth supply capsule currently docked to the orbiting outpost. A Tomsk-TPU-120 microsatellite, created on a 3D printer, is among the cargo that has recently arrived at the space station. This satellite will be launched by the occupants of the ISS during an upcoming spacewalk. The International Space Station orbits roughly 250 miles above the surface of the Earth. The first segment of the station was launched into orbit in 1998, and has since become the largest and most expensive vehicle ever flown in space. The orbiting outpost, with up to six inhabitants on board, races around our planet at an average velocity of more than 4.75 miles per second. The supply craft reached orbit just 9 minutes after launch before completing 34 orbits of the Earth prior to docking. Final rendezvous maneuvers were carried out by the automated Kurs docking system as the craft orbited above the city of Astana, Kazakhstan. The next supply mission to the ISS will be managed by SpaceX, utilizing a Dragon spacecraft. This mission is scheduled to arrive at the space station on April 10. If successful, this will be the third craft to arrive at the ISS over the same number of weeks.
There was an irony to the first thing NASA astronaut Scott Kelly ate when he returned to Earth. Perhaps epitomizing the experimental nature of his one-year spaceflight and an unintentional nod to our primal ancestry, he ate a banana. Scott Kelly took questions from the media and public regarding his one-year spaceflight mission on Friday at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The press conference was aired on NASA TV. “I think the only big surprise was how long a year is,” Scott Kelly said. “It seemed longer than I thought it would be.” To meet the challenge, Scott Kelly said he looked at the mission not as a single chunk of time, but as a series of milestones. “Adjusting to space is easier than adjusting to Earth for me,” he said, noting that since his return his skin has been more sensitive. He also took a moment to correct a rumor that cropped up since his return home. In the days following his landing on Tuesday, media outlets reported that the intrepid space traveler had grown two inches while orbiting the Earth for 340 days. It was more like 1.5 inches, Kelly said. But that boost in height was short-lived under the weight of Earth’s gravity, according to John Charles, the associate manager for international science for NASA’s Human Research Program. “As much as he did grow in height, it probably went away very quickly,” Charles said. In a separate press conference, Charles was joined by Julie Robinson, the chief scientist for the International Space Station Program, and former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, Scott Kelly’s twin brother and a participant in the agency’s landmark Twins Study. Without gravity, Charles explained, the disks within the vertebral column absorb bodily fluid and cause an astronaut’s height to increase. Seats and spacesuits are designed with this impermanent growth in mind. While it was too early to discuss any of the findings from the 450 investigations that occurred during Scott Kelly’s year in space, the trio did discuss the potential impacts the data will have on human health and future spaceflight. Of those 450 experiments, 18 were part of the Human Research Program, which aims to uncover the effects of long-term spaceflight on the human body. The other investigations ran the gamut, from life science to technological investigations. Charles said it will be around one year before the researchers start seeing results from the Human Research Program studies. “Just because the flight’s over doesn’t mean the mission is over,” Charles said. “We have plans for data collection up to nine months after this landing.” At the moment, NASA has no further plans for future twin studies, but with the data from Scott and Mark Kelly, the agency hopes to understand the effects space has on the human body on a cellular level. While Scott Kelly was performing and undergoing experiments on the International Space Station, Mark Kelly was undergoing an array of experiments on Earth, from providing bodily fluids, such as blood and urine, to physical tests, ultrasounds, and MRIs. “Essentially, every bodily system you can imagine is influenced by spaceflight,” Charles said. Robinson noted that the one-year mission is helping NASA model a transit to and from Mars. On top of being concerned about the bodily effects, Charles noted researchers are concerned about the psychological and psychosocial effects on astronauts. Besides being his brother’s counterpart in the Twin Study, Mark Kelly also provided moral support for his spacefaring brother. “(I’d) always take his (phone) call,” he said. “You can’t call up to the space station, you can only call down…It might seem like a small thing but I think to him…that’s really important.” Before humans take the leap traveling to Mars, Robinson noted that the research team would like to study the effects of long-term spaceflight on 10 to 12 more ISS crewmembers. Just “so we know what the risks are,” she said. For Scott Kelly, whose spaceflight prior to the one-year mission was 159 days, the time spent orbiting and peering down at the planet has changed his perspective. “It makes you more of an environmentalist,” he said. R&D; 100 AWARD ENTRIES NOW OPEN: Establish your company as a technology leader! For more than 50 years, the R&D; 100 Awards have showcased new products of technological significance. You can join this exclusive community! .
News Article | July 30, 2016
SpaceX entered the next phase of its reusable rocket program on Thursday (July 28) after successfully test firing one of its Falcon 9 rockets that was used in a previous launch back in May. In a video release by the space company, the rocket stage was able to burn for a "full duration," which is about two minutes and 30 seconds. SpaceX vice president for flight reliability Hans Koenigsmann had previously revealed that they are looking to launch a Falcon 9 rocket by fall, provided that they are able to find a client for the upcoming flight. Earlier this month, the space company announced that it is also planning to relaunch one of its previously used Dragon cargo capsules for a future delivery run to the International Space Station (ISS). SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has expressed his commitment to making space launches more affordable by doing away with one-time use first stage engines and replacing them with reusable rocket boosters. As part of its program, the company has already launched and landed five of its Falcon 9 rockets since December of last year. However, it has yet to relaunch any of those retrieved rockets boosters so far. Last week's test fire was conducted at SpaceX's Rocket Development and Test Facility in McGregor, Texas. The Falcon 9 rocket that was tested was originally used to deliver the Japanese-owned JCSAT-14 communications satellite into space on May 6. While the rocket booster is not expected to be used in another spaceflight again, its test fire was able to provide SpaceX engineers with information on how the rocket is able to handle repeated burns. These data will be invaluable especially since the company is planning to reuse another Falcon 9 rocket to launch a Dragon cargo ship for an upcoming delivery mission to the ISS. Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO of SpaceX, said they hope that the success of their reusable rocket boosters would allow them to cut the usual $61 million space launch costs by as much as one-third of its price. SpaceX is not the only one dabbling in the development of reusable rockets, as other private space companies have also launched their own programs, with the goal of providing the most cost-effective option for space travel. Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin spaceflight company has already conducted several launches of its New Shepard suborbital spacecraft. It has begun development on a reusable orbital spacecraft as well. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.