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Archive for the ‘space’ category: Page 11

Jan 8, 2020

Remembering Stephen Hawking on his 78th birthday: A legacy of humanity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, space

Stephen Hawking passed away on 14 March 2018. His work changed literally everything we know about the cosmos and our place in it. But his greatest contribution to our species wasn’t his theories on black holes or how quickly the universe was expanding, it was his humanity.

Professor Hawking was born on 8 January 1942. He would have been 78 years old today – a bit older than ‘boomer’ age, his generation was called the “Silent” one. In his early twenties he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). Eventually he became paralyzed and could only speak with the assistance a computer-generated audio device.

Jan 8, 2020

Building in Space: Using Maxar’s Robotics to Enable Sustainable Space Operations

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space, sustainability

Combining Maxar’s capabilities in robotics, spacecraft and space systems operations creates the opportunity to deploy and maintain revolutionary new space architectures. Since the dawn of space exploration, pioneers in the field envisioned sustainable space stations enabled by in-space assembly, manufacturing and servicing. Wernher Von Braun conducted a detailed study in 1945 that defined the deployment and construction of the rotating wheel space station. The design included maintaining artificial gravity and oxygen levels. Today, NASA has led the construction and continuous operation of the International Space Station for over 20 years, demonstrating the technical feasibility of large-scale in-space assembly and servicing.

Recently, Maxar has been working with NASA on concepts for both human-tended and uncrewed sustainable space platforms. These in-space assembled structures provide basic functions and a modular interface for new and evolving payloads and missions. The lunar orbiting Gateway will be one such platform where the Maxar-developed Power and Propulsion Element will provide the foundation of power, maneuvering, communications systems and initial docking capabilities. Additional Gateway segments will plug-in to the Power and Propulsion Element to make use of these systems. The versatility of the Power and Propulsion Element also allows it to be refueled in orbit, and we are working with NASA to conceive the architecture that could resupply the Gateway with fuel and other essentials.

Continue reading “Building in Space: Using Maxar’s Robotics to Enable Sustainable Space Operations” »

Jan 8, 2020

Origin of Deep-Space Radio Flash Discovered, and It’s Unlike Anything Astronomers Have Ever Seen

Posted by in category: space

A new fast radio burst is traced to its home galaxy and leaves astronomers scratching their heads.

Jan 8, 2020

Kurds call on US to block Turkish military drones from Syrian air space

Posted by in categories: drones, military, robotics/AI, space

Many times now, I have pointed out that the use of Killer Robots should be a war crime. It might not be a theoretical occurrence anymore.

“Syrian Kurds are asking the Pentagon to block US-controlled air space over north-eastern Syria to Turkish armed drones which they claim are causing significant civilian casualties.”


Unmanned weapons ‘targeting anything they wish to’ as Kurds say Turks have killed 509 civilians and 412 troops.

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Jan 7, 2020

NASA’s TESS Planet Hunter Finds Its 1st Earth-Size World in ‘Habitable Zone’

Posted by in categories: solar power, space

For the first time, the agency’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered a roughly Earth- planet in the habitable zone of its host star, the zone of orbital distances where liquid water could be stable on a world’s surface.

NASA’s TESS Planet Hunter Finds Its 1st Earth-Size World in ‘Habitable Zone’ : Read more

Interesting, perhaps pushing the paradigm limits here. 86% of solar energy is similar to Precambrian earth during the Faint Young Sun, a snow ball earth. Part of the report that is a bit confusing to me is the comment “One of the other planets is a red dwarf about 40% as massive, 40% as wide and 50% as hot as Earth’s sun.” I think this is about the host star being a red dwarf star. Red dwarfs can be flaring stars and cause problems for *habitable* exoplanets. The Sun spins about 2 km/s at the its equator, red dwarf stars can spin faster like 4 km/s or faster, rotation periods 1 day to 10 days so red dwarfs can emit more flares. The report does comment “In 11 months of data, we saw no flares from the star, which improves the chances TOI 700 d is habitable and makes it easier to model its atmospheric and surface conditions,” discovery team leader Emily Gilbert, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, said in the same statement.

Jan 7, 2020

Vladimir Putin: Russia has edge in new weapons

Posted by in categories: government, military, space

“Now we have a situation that is unique in modern history when they are trying to catch up to us,” he said. “Not a single country has hypersonic weapons, let alone hypersonic weapons of intercontinental range.”

The Pentagon and the U.S. military services have been working on the development of hypersonic weapons in recent years, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in August that he believes “it’s probably a matter of a couple of years” before the U.S. has one. He has called it a priority as the military works to develop new long-range fire capabilities.

The U.S. also has repeatedly warned Congress about hypersonic missiles being developed by Russia and China that will be harder to track and defeat. U.S. officials have talked about putting a layer of sensors in space to more quickly detect enemy missiles, particularly the more advanced hypersonic threats. The administration also plans to study the idea of basing interceptors in space, so the U.S. can strike incoming enemy missiles during the first minutes of flight when the booster engines are still burning.

Jan 6, 2020

Glitch detected in the pulsar PSR J0908−4913

Posted by in category: space

Using the Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST), astronomers have detected a glitch in the radio pulsar PSR J0908−4913. The finding, detailed in a paper published December 18 on the arXiv preprint server, could be helpful in shedding more light on the properties and nature of this pulsar.

Extraterrestrial sources of radiation with a regular periodicity, known as pulsars, are usually detected in the form of short bursts of radio emission. Radio pulsars are generally described as highly magnetised, rapidly rotating neutron stars with a lighthouse beam of radiation that produces the pulsed emission.

Glitches are sudden changes of the pulsar’s spin rate. The exact cause of the glitches is still unknown, however, they are believed to be caused by an internal process within the pulsar. The most popular hypotheses suggest that the glitches can originate from either a transfer of angular momentum from the core to the crust via the unpinning of superfluid vortices or cracking of the star’s crust. Identifying and studying new glitches could therefore be crucial to improve our understanding of their origin and the nature of pulsars in general.

Jan 6, 2020

10 Unsolved Mysteries of The Universe 👇

Posted by in category: space

Jan 6, 2020

China publishes Chang’e 4 data one year after first landing on far side of the moon

Posted by in category: space

Chinese officials marked the one-year anniversary of the Chang’e 4 mission’s historic first soft landing on the far side of the moon Friday with the public release of data collected by scientific instruments and cameras on the lunar lander and rover.

The Chang’e 4 lander and Yutu 2 rover landed together on the lunar surface Jan. 3, 2019, marking the first time a spacecraft has ever safely touched down on the far side of the moon.

Around 12 hours after touchdown, the Yutu 2 rover drove down a ramp to disembark from the Chang’e 4 mission’s stationary landing platform to begin exploring the barren lunar landscape.

Continue reading “China publishes Chang’e 4 data one year after first landing on far side of the moon” »

Jan 6, 2020

The Surprising Possibility That There are Still Active Volcanoes on Venus

Posted by in category: space

Despite the similarities our world has with Venus, there is still much don’t know about Earth’s “Sister planet” and how it came to be. Thanks to its super-dense and hazy atmosphere, there are still unresolved questions about the planet’s geological history. For example, despite the fact that Venus’ surface is dominated by volcanic features, scientists have remained uncertain whether or not the planet is still volcanically active today.

While the planet is known to have been volcanically active as recent as 2.5 million years ago, no concrete evidence has been found that there are still volcanic eruptions on Venus’ surface. However, new research led by the USRA’s Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) has shown that Venus may still have active volcanoes, making it the only other planet in the Solar System (other than Earth) that is still volcanically active today.

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