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Jul 24, 2020

How to build a Dyson sphere in five (relatively) easy steps

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

We are closer to being able to build a Dyson Sphere than we think. By enveloping the sun in a massive sphere of artificial habitats and solar panels, a Dyson Sphere would provide us with more energy than we would ever know what to do with while dramatically increasing our living space. Implausible you say? Something for our distant descendants to consider? Think again. We could conceivably get going on the project in about 25 to 50 years, with completion of the first phase requiring only a few decades.

Jul 24, 2020

Space Force Gets Its First Delta Echelon as Air Force Turns Over More Units

Posted by in categories: military, space

The U.S. Air Force has realigned some of its major space wings and transferred their missions to the Space Force in one of the largest command overhauls in nearly 40 years.

Space Force officials announced Friday that five Air Force units have moved to the military’s sixth branch. Three wings and eight subordinate groups or centers were deactivated in favor of creating the provisional Space Training and Readiness Command.

Read Next: Navy Helicopter Accidentally Drops Anti-Mine Pod Near the Chesapeake Bay.

Jul 24, 2020

A New State of Matter –“Black Hole Physics of Strange Metals”

Posted by in categories: cosmology, quantum physics

“Not only does God play dice but… he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen,” said Stephen Hawking about the paradoxical physics of black Holes. Welcome to the bizarre quantum world of “strange metals” –a new state of matter.

“The fact that we call them strange metals should tell you how well we understand them. Strange metals share remarkable properties with black holes, opening exciting new directions for theoretical physics,” says Olivier Parcollet, a senior research scientist at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Quantum Physics (CCQ), about the quantum world of metals that dissipate energy as fast as they’re allowed to under the laws of quantum mechanics. The electrical resistivity of a strange metal, unlike that of ordinary metals, is proportional to the temperature.

Even by the standards of quantum physicists, reports the Flatiron Institute, strange metals are just plain odd. Generating a theoretical understanding of strange metals is one of the biggest challenges in condensed matter physics. Now, using cutting-edge computational techniques, researchers from the Flatiron Institute and Cornell University have solved the first robust theoretical model of strange metals. The work reveals that strange metals are a new state of matter, the researchers report July 22 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Jul 24, 2020

U.S. Eyes Building Nuclear Power Plants on Mars, the Moon

Posted by in categories: government, nuclear energy, space travel

“Small nuclear reactors can provide the power capability necessary for space exploration missions of interest to the Federal government,” the Energy Department wrote in the notice published Friday.

The Energy Department, NASA and Battelle Energy Alliance, the U.S. contractor that manages the Idaho National Laboratory, plan to hold a government-industry webcast technical meeting in August concerning expectations for the program.

The plan has two phases. The first is developing a reactor design. The second is building a test reactor, a second reactor be sent to the moon, and developing a flight system and lander that can transport the reactor to the moon. The goal is to have a reactor, flight system and lander ready to go by the end of 2026.

Jul 24, 2020

NASA asteroid camera spots China’s Tianwen-1 Mars spacecraft speeding away from Earth

Posted by in category: space

An observatory affiliated with NASA’s quest to identify potentially dangerous asteroids spotted something equally speedy but not quite as natural: a spacecraft bound for Mars.

Jul 24, 2020

Using Nuclear Fusion to Help Fuel the World

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, nuclear energy

This article is the first in a series of installments examining the potential of different energy initiatives and types.

If you’re reading this article, chances are, you’re living in a first-world country. You probably have access to modern technology, whether it be your cell phone, laptop, or even central heating system.

Jul 24, 2020

NASA’s ‘Robot Hotel’ Gets Its Occupants

Posted by in categories: habitats, robotics/AI, space travel

Storage is just as important aboard the International Space Station as it is on Earth. While the space station is about the size of a football field, the living space inside is much smaller than that. Just as you wouldn’t store garden tools in a house when you could store them in a shed outside, astronauts now have a “housing unit” in which they can store tools for use on the exterior of the space station.

On Dec. 5, 2019, a protective storage unit for robotic tools called Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS) was among the items launched to station as part of SpaceX’s 19th commercial resupply services mission for NASA. As part of a spacewalk on July 21, NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Chris Cassidy installed the “robot hotel” where the tools are stored to the station’s Mobile Base System (MBS), where it will remain a permanent fixture. The MBS is a moveable platform that provides power to the external robots. This special location allows RiTS to traverse around the station alongside a robot that will use the tools it stores.

exterior view of portion of ISS, with blue-hued Earth in background

Jul 24, 2020

Hurricane Douglas, the strongest storm on the planet, expected to weaken as it moves toward Hawaii

Posted by in category: climatology

Douglas is currently a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 115 mph that extend 25 miles from the center of the storm. A major hurricane is any storm ranked Category 3 — sustained winds 111 to 129 mph — or stronger.

Jul 24, 2020

Dogs Can Sniff Out Coronavirus Infections, German Study Shows

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Dogs with a few days of training are capable of identifying people infected with the coronavirus, according to a study by a German veterinary university.

Eight dogs from Germany’s armed forces were trained for only a week and were able to accurately identify the virus with a 94% success rate, according to a pilot project led by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. Researchers challenged the dogs to sniff out Covid-19 in the saliva of more than 1,000 healthy and infected people.

Jul 24, 2020

Neurons are genetically programmed to have long lives

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

When our neurons—the principle cells of the brain—die, so do we.

Most neurons are created during and have no “backup” after birth. Researchers have generally believed that their survival is determined nearly extrinsically, or by outside forces, such as the tissues and that neurons supply with .

A research team led by Sika Zheng, a biomedical scientist at the University of California, Riverside, has challenged this notion and reports the continuous survival of neurons is also intrinsically programmed during development.