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Aug 9, 2018

A military helicopter drone that can fight wildfires

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

What if an ultra-advanced flying robot designed for extreme military missions could join the fight to combat wildfire alongside human fire crews?

The biggest wildfire in Californian history is raging, with fire officials stating earlier this week that an area almost the size of Los Angeles has been compromised.

It is actually expected to burn through the rest of August, and experts predict the escalation in frequency and scale of wildfires will only continue going forward.

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Aug 9, 2018

Congressional Science Committee Leaders Introduce Bill to Advance Quantum

Posted by in categories: computing, government, quantum physics, science, transportation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), who serve as the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and U.Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who serve as the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today announced the introduction of House and Senate companions of the National Quantum Initiative Act. The legislation would accelerate and coordinate public and private quantum science research, standards, and workforce development to give the United States a competitive advantage as China and Europe vie to achieve technological breakthroughs in this field.

Chairman Smith: “The National Quantum Initiative Act will accelerate the development of quantum information science in the United States and secure our leadership in the quantum sector. As other nations are rapidly developing their own quantum programs, the U.S. faces the risk of falling behind. This legislation provides a path forward to ensure that the U.S. secures its influence in the next generation of science and technology. I am glad that Senator John Thune has joined me in introducing this legislation, along with our respective Ranking Democrat Committee Members Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson and Senator Bill Nelson.

”The bill creates a 10-year federal program that will significantly develop our quantum knowledge. It will bring a whole of government approach to advance QIS to the next level of research and development, while also creating public-private partnerships, leveraging the resources and expertise of government, industry and academia. Through new research facilities and a strong workforce pipeline, students and researchers will have greater resources and opportunities to develop their quantum skills and create the next great computing innovation. There is no doubt quantum technology will revolutionize our world to come. This bill secures American leadership in quantum science and guarantees a first place finish in the great quantum race.”

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Aug 9, 2018

US Army moves ahead with development of 100-kW mobile battlefield laser

Posted by in categories: energy, military

The US Army is moving forward with a new 100-kW laser weapon, awarding US$10 million to Lockheed Martin and Dynetics to continue development of the High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator (HEL TVD). Designed to counter low cost, high volume threats, the new mobile battlefield laser is the latest in the American effort to produce incrementally more powerful and accurate directed energy weapons.

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Aug 9, 2018

Made in Space believes its on-orbit manufactured power supply can save militaries money

Posted by in categories: economics, satellites, solar power, sustainability

By allowing them to launch higher-power small satellites on smaller rockets, as opposed to the larger, and more expensive rockets that current technology requires.

Made in Space is developing power systems for small satellites that can provide up to 5 kW of solar power and is enabled by the company’s Archinaut on-orbit manufacturing and assembly technology. Current small satellites are typically constrained to 1 kW of power or less.

Made in Space CEO Andrew Rush pictured next to a subscale version of a solar array that the company can produce in space. The golden Mylar pieces are physical mockups of what would be solar blankets. This solar array is over 3 m tall. (Made in Space) Made in Space CEO Andrew Rush pictured next to a subscale version of a solar array that the company can produce in space. The golden Mylar pieces are physical mockups of what would be solar blankets. This solar array is over 3 m tall. (Made in Space)

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Aug 9, 2018

Most Americans will happily try eating lab-grown “clean meat”

Posted by in category: food

Do you feel squeamish about eating a burger that didn’t come from a cow? Most Americans don’t when confronted with how bad meat is for the environment.

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Aug 9, 2018

Glucose and the Gut Microbiome

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Depleting gut microbiome in mice leads to better insulin sensitivity.


Somewhat serendipitously, Salk Institute researchers discovered that depleting the microbiomes of mice causes the animals to have lower levels of blood glucose as well as improved insulin sensitivity [1].

Abstract

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Aug 9, 2018

The Evolution of the Big Falcon Rocket

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

On September 29th, 2017, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled detailed plans of the Big Falcon Rocket at the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia. It was a follow-up speech to the prior year’s presentation when he first discussed the architecture of what was then called the Interplanetary Transport System. In his highly anticipated speech, Musk laid out the detailed plans for a two stage rocket to enable the colonization of Mars, a moon base, and hypersonic long-distance travel on Earth.

The design featured an enormous Booster that would be powered by 31 Raptor engines, planned to be the world’s most advanced and highest pressure chemical rocket engine. Following stage separation, the booster would return to Earth and land near or on the launch pad.

There were three variants of the rocket’s second stage planned: a Spaceship, Tanker and Cargo Lifter. The primary of which, the BFR Spaceship, was also the colonization vehicle and that could carry up to 100 passengers and a hundred tonnes of cargo. One possible use of the Spaceship was as the world’s first hypersonic passenger transport vehicle, which would enable travel between any two points on Earth in under an hour. Its primary envisioned mission, however, was to be a colonization vehicle for the Moon, Mars and beyond.

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Aug 9, 2018

Here’s what SpaceX must do to win the commercial crew race

Posted by in category: space travel

Demo test, abort test, finish COPVs, test fuel loading, and so on. It’s a long list.

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Aug 9, 2018

Anthropocene vs Meghalayan—why geologists are fighting over whether humans are a force of nature

Posted by in category: climatology

https://youtube.com/watch?v=giIsJ1LhtLU

The Earth discovered it was living in a new slice of time called the Meghalayan Age in July 2018. But the announcement by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) confused and angered scientists all around the world.

In the 21st century, it claimed, we are still officially living in the Holocene Epoch, the warm period that began 11,700 years ago after the last ice age. But not only that: within the Holocene, we are also living in this new age – the Meghalayan – and it began 4,250 years ago.

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Aug 9, 2018

Why I Want To Put a Kindle in Space

Posted by in category: space

If an earthbound technology might be revolutionary in space, what does it take to find out?

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