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May 24, 2022

They’re Building a Hotel in Space Beginning in 2025

Posted by in category: space

The Orbital Assembly Corporation plans to begin building the Voyager Station, the first commercial space station with artificial gravity, in 2025.

May 24, 2022

Mesodinium Chamaeleon Is A Unique Life Form That is Half Plant Half Animal

Posted by in categories: biological, evolution

Circa 2012


In nature, you’ll find animals that undergo vast transformations, becoming almost unrecognizable in their new forms. Examples like caterpillars becoming butterflies and tadpoles becoming frogs almost look like distinct animals in the different stages of their evolution.

While this might sound amazing, all stages of these animals still belong to the same biological taxonomic rank, Animalia. This means that caterpillars don’t become plants, in their new shapes, they remain animals. That’s not what Mesodinium chamaeleon does. This single-celled organism is a unique mix of animal and plant life.

Continue reading “Mesodinium Chamaeleon Is A Unique Life Form That is Half Plant Half Animal” »

May 24, 2022

Musical molecules: A new language for chemistry

Posted by in categories: chemistry, media & arts

Music has long been the language of love. Recent research suggests it could have many applications as the language of chemistry, too.

May 24, 2022

B-21 Raider First Flight Now Postponed to 2023

Posted by in category: futurism

May 24, 2022

The “first deepfake” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is… bad?

Posted by in categories: computing, Elon Musk

Who you gonna call?An Elon Musk deepfake video is doing the rounds on the internet again, hoping to trap crypto holders in a ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme and then steal their deposits, Bleeping Computer reported.


Channel 24 in Ukraine broadcast a deepfake of Ukrainian president Zelenskyy telling Ukrainians to put down their arms and surrender.

Continue reading “The ‘first deepfake’ of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is… bad?” »

May 24, 2022

SpaceX expands its Starlink service for RV users. But it’s an extra $25 monthly

Posted by in category: internet

May 24, 2022

Samsung to Spend $360 Billion on Chips, Biotech Over Five Years

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, computing, economics

May 24, 2022

Turns out, Meta isn’t building its own metaverse at all

Posted by in category: habitats

Last year, Meta jumped the gun on metaverse. Six months later, it wants everybody to play along in an open and transparent manner.

May 24, 2022

NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft Arrives at Kennedy Space Center

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry, evolution

For the past fifty years of space exploration, mass spectrometry has provided unique chemical and physical insights on the characteristics of other planetary bodies in the Solar System. A variety of mass spectrometer types, including magnetic sector, quadrupole, time-of-flight, and ion trap, have and will continue to deepen our understanding of the formation and evolution of exploration targets like the surfaces and atmospheres of planets and their moons. An important impetus for the continuing exploration of Mars, Europa, Enceladus, Titan, and Venus involves assessing the habitability of solar system bodies and, ultimately, the search for life—a monumental effort that can be advanced by mass spectrometry. Modern flight-capable mass spectrometers, in combination with various sample processing, separation, and ionization techniques enable sensitive detection of chemical biosignatures.

May 24, 2022

Planetary Mass Spectrometry for Agnostic Life Detection in the Solar System

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry, evolution

Circa 2021


For the past fifty years of space exploration, mass spectrometry has provided unique chemical and physical insights on the characteristics of other planetary bodies in the Solar System. A variety of mass spectrometer types, including magnetic sector, quadrupole, time-of-flight, and ion trap, have and will continue to deepen our understanding of the formation and evolution of exploration targets like the surfaces and atmospheres of planets and their moons. An important impetus for the continuing exploration of Mars, Europa, Enceladus, Titan, and Venus involves assessing the habitability of solar system bodies and, ultimately, the search for life—a monumental effort that can be advanced by mass spectrometry. Modern flight-capable mass spectrometers, in combination with various sample processing, separation, and ionization techniques enable sensitive detection of chemical biosignatures. While our canonical knowledge of biosignatures is rooted in Terran-based examples, agnostic approaches in astrobiology can cast a wider net, to search for signs of life that may not be based on Terran-like biochemistry. Here, we delve into the search for extraterrestrial chemical and morphological biosignatures and examine several possible approaches to agnostic life detection using mass spectrometry. We discuss how future missions can help ensure that our search strategies are inclusive of unfamiliar life forms.

Biosignatures are the tantalizing chemical and physical imprints associated with life, and the possibility that life exists elsewhere beyond Earth drives us to search for these biosignatures on other planets and moons. The enterprise of space exploration, galvanized by the question of “Are we alone in the Universe?”, demands a stronger understanding of the diversity of biosignatures that life could express, thereby driving payload instruments on board astrobiology missions to offer broader and more advanced detection capabilities. In tandem with cutting-edge instrument platforms, research in data processing and data analysis on Earth-based (Terran) astrobiology analogs and on extraterrestrial materials also serves to increase the breadth of interpretations possible with mission data.

Continue reading “Planetary Mass Spectrometry for Agnostic Life Detection in the Solar System” »

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