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Sep 2, 2015

Rethinking ‘The Martian’: Why Dust Storms Wouldn’t Sabotage A Real Mars Mission

Posted by in categories: entertainment, space

Matt Damon stars as a NASA astronaut stranded on the Martian surface in the forthcoming film adaptation of Andy Weir’s “The Martian.” Credit: Twentieth Century Fox. Matt Damon stars as a NASA astronaut stranded on the Martian surface in the forthcoming film adaptation of Andy Weir’s The Martian. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

Martian dust storms rank among the most impressive in our Solar System. But no matter how menacing they appear from Mars orbit, they’re not likely to cause astronauts to abort future surface missions, says a planetary scientist who studies the phenomena.

Although such storms routinely engulf large swaths of the Red Planet for days at a time, any emergency serious enough to evacuate a crew isn’t likely to be triggered by a dust storm of the sort depicted in the forthcoming film adaptation of Andy Weir’s novel The Martian.

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Sep 2, 2015

NASA And The Politics Of Going Back To The Moon

Posted by in category: space travel

A year ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, it’s amazing at how small a role the American space program has played during this tempestuous summer of early primary campaigning.

It’s certain that NASA will live long and prosper no matter who’s ultimately elected as our 45th president; the American space agency has done so for 50-plus years. But even in this burgeoning age of commercial space development, political catchphrases such as “Back to the Moon and on to Mars;” “Capture an asteroid and on to Mars;” or even bypass the Moon and “Go directly to Mars” somehow still ring hollow.

On the morning of the recent booster test launch of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), I watched NASA Administrator Charles Bolden enthusiastically describe the new launch system. He noted NASA’s goal of using the new system to capture a large boulder from a near Earth asteroid and bring it back to a stable lunar orbit. This planned Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) as it’s now called would happen by the middle of the next decade. Then by the 2030s, NASA would re-purpose SLS for a manned mission to Mars. But such massive undertakings still need political will and the funding that goes with it.

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Sep 2, 2015

NASA created a material that can heal itself in seconds—even from bullets

Posted by in categories: materials, space

It could save the lives of tomorrow’s astronauts.

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Sep 2, 2015

Drone Catches Fish | Outside Magazine

Posted by in category: drones


“Derek Klingenberg—a farmer in Kansas, according to Popular Mechanics—pulled a bluegill out of his pond by baiting a fishing line attached to a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter, Popular Science reported. Klingenberg told Popular Science that he used a fake worm as bait, and it took about 10 minutes of drone fishing to catch the fish.”

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Sep 2, 2015

Britain’s battleship of the future

Posted by in categories: drones, futurism, military

Britain’s battleship of the future: torpedoes that travel at almost 350 mph, an electromagnetic rail gun, drones made on board and a holographic control room.

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Sep 2, 2015

Transplant Surgeons Revive Hearts After Death

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

New Device Brings ‘Dead’ Hearts Back to Life.

“Heart transplants only come from brain-dead donors whose hearts are cut away while their bodies are still healthy. Without a device such as this, hearts from dead donors are considered by surgeons as too damaged to use. With the device, the heart gets the essential infusion of blood to restore its energy.”

Video Credit: TransMedics.

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Sep 2, 2015

Physicists Discover “Hidden Chaos” Lurking Everywhere

Posted by in category: physics

It appears that the standard tools used to identify chaotic signatures might be missing lots of hidden chaos — especially in systems that seem like they’re not chaotic at all.

Chaos theory is famously associated with so-called “strange attractors,” marked by a telltale butterfly-wing shape (see above). But according to a new paper by two University of Maryland mathematicians, sometimes chaos looks more like “a strange repeller,” or something else entirely.

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Sep 2, 2015

60,000 miles up: Space elevator could be built

Posted by in category: space

A new international report lays out the challenges to building Earth’s next great mega-project — and they’re more surmountable than you think.

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Sep 2, 2015

20 kilometer high space elevator tower planned

Posted by in categories: energy, space

By Jim and Drury Ambitious plans to build a twenty kilometer (12.4 miles) tall space elevator tower have been announced by a Canadian space technology firm. Although this distance is a mere fraction of that reached in space missions, Thoth Technology says its ThothX Tower will make a major cost reduction in space flights by helping navigate the difficult first 50 kilometers (31 miles) of travel that traditionally requires rockets. In addition to needing to carry sufficient fuel to get a payload into orbit, they need extra fuel in order to carry the required fuel to reach that point in the first place. Despite first being proposed more than a century ago, the idea of a space elevator has always appeared fanciful. Thoth Technology has been granted a United States (US) patent for the elevator, which is pneumatically pressurized and actively-guided over its base.

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Sep 2, 2015

AI Robot Learns Words In Real Time & Tells Human Creators It Will Keep Them In A “People Zoo”

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

Scary conversation with an AI

These days, robots are being developed with some absolutely amazing technology. Indeed, robotics technology has become so impressive that the notion of the whole Terminator scenario (robots taking control of the human race) becoming our reality is starting to seem a lot less far-fetched. Not only are they beginning to look incredibly realistic, they are starting to develop the capacity to think for themselves as well.

Continue reading “AI Robot Learns Words In Real Time & Tells Human Creators It Will Keep Them In A ‘People Zoo’” »