The Associated Press top stories of the week in science and technology are below.
TOP STORY 1.
NASA announces $2.6 billion for human spaceflight program.
The NASA contract to launch crew and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) was approved by the U.S. Senate, clearing the way for the agency to begin the first-ever crewed mission to the orbiting lab in 2022.
The Senate also approved $2 billion in federal funding for research in space, which will be split between NASA and private companies.
NASA astronauts are being paid for six months.
The agency announced on Monday that NASA astronaut Kelly McCurdy will start receiving a six-month pay raise, after years of working under the threat of losing her job if she went on a five-month spacewalk.
The first-time spacewalker was supposed to be paid $5,824.63 per month, but she was only allowed to receive that raise if she completed six spacewalks.
The new pay is $1,856 per month.
The government says it’s going to send a robot to Mars.
The U.N. Security Council approved the plan on Monday to send an unmanned rover to the Red Planet by 2025, although that will require a $1.9 billion U.K.-Russian partnership.
The plan, which would send a rover to Mars and return samples for analysis, is part of a series of steps the council is taking to avoid a confrontation between Russia and the United States, who are currently locked in a lengthy conflict over Syria and North Korea.
Russia says it will send the first crew to Mars by 2030.
Russia, which is in the middle of a costly and politically charged war with the United Kingdom over the Syrian conflict, announced Monday that it will use a Russian-made rover to send astronauts to Mars in 2030.
The Russian-built Zarya rover, which has a mass of 1.8 tons and a mass density of 8.5 percent, will be capable of carrying a crew of four and will land at the Red Sea island of Krasnoyarsk, near the Russian-held city of Chelyabinsk.
It will then enter orbit around Mars, travel to the planet’s surface and return a sample of Martian soil to Earth.
Apple announces iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad Pro.
Apple said Monday it is announcing an update to the iPhone lineup, with the new iPhones coming with a number of features that have been on the market for years.
Apple is expected to unveil its newest iPhones later this month, including the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus.
The iPhone 7 includes a new, faster processor with a 64-bit, high-speed CPU, new FaceTime camera with a wide-angle lens, a new Lightning port, a redesigned home button, and a revamped design for the home screen.
The company also announced a new version of its App Store with a new feature called “Share,” which allows users to send files to their friends.
Apple also announced new products for the iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad mini, and it said it will make a few other upgrades to its Mac OS X version.
The update also brings a new emoji to the Apple menu, a revamped Apple Music streaming service, and the ability to purchase Apple Watch bands in the App Store.
The iOS version of Apple’s newest operating system is expected later this year.
Va. offers more scholarships for students with disabilities.
The University of Virginia has announced that it is increasing the number of scholarships available for students from underrepresented minority groups to 1,500 in 2019, and for the first time it is offering scholarships to all students.
The university will increase the number for students who have physical or cognitive disabilities, and to those who do not meet the eligibility criteria for scholarships.
The number of scholarship scholarships is expected increase from about 250 to about 3,000 in 2019.
Apple has announced a series and accessories line of Apple Watch and MacBooks.
Apple will launch a new line of MacBooks, new Apple Watch Series 5, new MacBook Pro and MacBook Pro 13 models, and new MacBook Air models later this fall.
The MacBook Air 13 features a new aluminum design and is the first MacBook to use an all-glass design.
The line includes a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro, a 13-inch and 14.9-inch version of the MacBook Pro line, and two new MacBooks with Retina displays.
Apple Watch series 3 will be launched later this summer, with a 13mm and 15mm model.
Apple’s MacBooks and MacBook Air are coming in three colors, white, gray, and gold.
The 13.9 and 15.5-inch models are coming with new Intel processors, and each model comes with a 256GB SSD.
Google’s new self-driving car goes on sale.
Google is unveiling a self-driven car, called the Autonomous Cruise