Blog

Archive for the ‘space’ category: Page 305

Oct 8, 2015

Pluto Has Red Ice And Blue Skies

Posted by in category: space

Space sailors’ delight?

Read more

Oct 8, 2015

Scientists just got a first glimpse at the color of Pluto’s atmosphere, and it’s unlike anything they expected

Posted by in category: space

The growling list of mysteries surrounding Pluto just got longer. On Oct. 8, NASA released the first color photo of Pluto’s atmosphere, and the shade they saw was anything but expected:

Read more

Oct 7, 2015

Google Lunar X Prize team signs contract to send spacecraft to moon

Posted by in category: space

A team of Israeli engineers is the first to advance in an international competition sponsored by Google to send a privately-funded spacecraft to the moon, contest organizers announced Wednesday.

The Israeli nonprofit group SpaceIL has signed a contract with American aerospace manufacturer SpaceX to launch an unmanned spacecraft into lunar orbit — the first step a team must take toward landing on the moon and winning the $20 million grand prize. The launch is expected to take place in the second half of 2017.

Google’s contest is meant to encourage private industry to create new technologies to reach the moon at lower costs than what governments have spent in past lunar expeditions.

Read more

Oct 7, 2015

China now spends more on science than the EU, will soon overtake the US

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

Maybe we can convince the Chinese to start funding our space program.


On Monday, Chinese scientist Youyou Tu was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery of a new malaria therapy. It was remarkable research in its own right, but equally significant is the fact that Tu is the first scientist to ever be awarded a Nobel Prize for work done at a Chinese institution — despite the fact that the country trains more scientists and engineers than any other nation on Earth.

In fact, China now spends more money on research and development than Europe, and by 2020, it’s predicted to outspend the US, as Nature editor Ed Gerstner wrote last month in Research Information. But despite that investment, there’s a big reason for why Chinese science has lagged behind other parts of the world — it has a long history of pumping out dodgy research.

Continue reading “China now spends more on science than the EU, will soon overtake the US” »

Oct 7, 2015

Walking robot uses drone to help traverse tricky terrain (VIDEO)

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

Swiss-based scientists have developed a robot double act in which a hexacopter helps a dog-like, land-based robot find its way around obstacles. The technology could be deployed in space exploration or warfare.

“Flying and walking robots can use their complementary features in terms of viewpoint and payload capability to the best in a heterogeneous team,” says an intro to a video posted on YouTube by the team at ETH Zurich, Switzerland’s leading tech research institution.

Read more

Oct 6, 2015

Elon Musk has the perfect argument for raising NASA’s budget

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, existential risks, space

“Billionaire Elon Musk has a really compelling reason to ramp up NASA’s budget: We need to become a multi-planet species to ensure the survival of the human race, and we need NASA’s help to do it.”


Someone tell Congress.

Read more

Oct 4, 2015

Spooky Quantum Action Might Hold the Universe Together

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, space

Caption: Tensor networks could connect space-time froth to quantum information. Hannes Hummel for Quanta Magazine.

Read more

Oct 4, 2015

Computer that could outlive the universe a step closer

Posted by in categories: computing, physics, space

The heat-death of the universe need not bring an end to the computing age. A strange device known as a time crystal can theoretically continue to work as a computer even after the universe cools. A new blueprint for such a time crystal brings its construction a step closer.

Ordinary crystals are three-dimensional objects whose atoms are arranged in regular, repeating patterns – just like table salt. They adopt this structure because it uses the lowest amount of energy possible to maintain.

Earlier this year, Frank Wilczek, a theoretical physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, speculated that a similar structure might repeat regularly in the fourth dimension – time.

Read more

Oct 2, 2015

Google, NASA using quantum computing to push A.I., machine learning

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics, robotics/AI, space

Google and NASA are continuing to test quantum computers and this week entered into a new agreement to work with a series of updated systems.

D-Wave Systems, a quantum computing company based in Burnaby, British Columbia, announced this week that it had signed a deal to install a succession of D-Wave systems at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. NASA and Google on Wednesday also confirmed the deal.

NASA and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) are collaborating on the project, which is focused on advancing artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Read more

Oct 1, 2015

Scientists suggest a new, earth-shaking twist on the demise of the dinosaurs

Posted by in categories: existential risks, space

Giant impact of space rock could have intensified volcanic eruption, scientists say.

Read more