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Archive for the ‘space’ category

Mar 1, 2024

Why concerns over the sustainability of carbon removal are growing

Posted by in categories: space, sustainability

Some investors are raising warnings about the amount of money flowing into direct-air-capture companies, given the high costs and limited markets.

There’s a looming problem in the carbon removal space.

Mar 1, 2024

Google’s AI-First Strategy Brings Vector Support To Cloud Databases

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

With an emphasis on AI-first strategy and improving Google Cloud databases’ capability to support GenAI applications, Google announced developments in the integration of generative AI with databases.


AWS offers a broad range of services for vector database requirements, including Amazon OpenSearch Service, Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL-Compatible Edition, Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL, Amazon Neptune ML, and Amazon MemoryDB for Redis. AWS emphasizes the operationalization of embedding models, making application development more productive through features like data management, fault tolerance, and critical security features. AWS’s strategy focuses on simplifying the scaling and operationalization of AI-powered applications, providing developers with the tools to innovate and create unique experiences powered by vector search.

Azure takes a similar approach by offering vector database extensions to existing databases. This strategy aims to avoid the extra cost and complexity of moving data to a separate database, keeping vector embeddings and original data together for better data consistency, scale, and performance. Azure Cosmos DB and Azure PostgreSQL Server are positioned as services that support these vector database extensions. Azure’s approach emphasizes the integration of vector search capabilities directly alongside other application data, providing a seamless experience for developers.

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Mar 1, 2024

New light-based communication network works on land, sea, and in air

Posted by in categories: computing, Elon Musk, internet, space

Researchers from China used different spectra of light to maximize data transmission in various modes and setting up interoperability between them.


A new light-based communication network developed through a research collaboration between Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications and Suzhou Lighting Chip Monolithic Optoelectronics Technology company in China makes seamless connectivity on land, in the sea, and in the air a reality.

While urban landscapes may enjoy the advantages of wireless 5G internet, many pockets worldwide still need broadband. Even as Elon Musk wants to make space-based ultra-fast internet connections the norm, the services cannot be delivered for undersea activities where research and exploration demand them.

Feb 29, 2024

Astronomers reveal a new link between water and planet formation

Posted by in category: space

Researchers have found water vapor in the disk around a young star exactly where planets may be forming. Water is a key ingredient for life on Earth and is also thought to play a significant role in planet formation, yet until now, astronomers have never been able to map how water is distributed in a stable, cool disk—the type of disk that offers the most favorable conditions for planets to form around stars.

For the first time, astronomers have weighed the amount of water vapor around a typical planet-forming star.

The new findings were made possible thanks to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)—a collection of telescopes in the Chilean Atacama Desert. The University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics hosts the UK ALMA Regional Centre Node (UK ARC).

Feb 29, 2024

Massive ‘bubble’ in outer space may be blasting out cosmic rays

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

Enormous star-forming region in the Milky Way could produce supercharged particles.

Feb 29, 2024

Evidence of Geothermal Activity within Icy Dwarf Planets

Posted by in categories: chemistry, space

Webb telescope observes potentially young Methane deposits on surfaces of Eris, Makemake. A team co-led by Southwest Research Institute found evidence for hydrothermal or metamorphic activity within the icy dwarf planets Eris and Makemake, located in the Kuiper Belt. Methane detected on their surfaces has the tell-tale signs of warm or even hot geochemistry in their rocky cores, which is markedly different than the signature of methane from a comet.

“We see some interesting signs of hot times in cool places,” said SwRI’s Dr. Christopher Glein, an expert in planetary geochemistry and lead author of a paper about this discovery.

The Kuiper Belt is a vast donut-shaped region of icy bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune at the edge of the solar system.

Feb 29, 2024

Intuitive Machines shares unprecedented view of how Odysseus spacecraft landed on the moon

Posted by in category: space

Remarkable new images from the Odysseus mission capture the spacecraft — the first US-made vehicle to make a soft touchdown on the moon in five decades — in the moments directly after its harrowing and historic touchdown on the lunar surface.

Intuitive Machines, the Houston-based company that developed the Odysseus lander, shared the photos at a news briefing Wednesday. During the news conference, officials from Intuitive Machines and NASA — which paid to fly science instruments on the mission — also confirmed that all of Odysseus’ instruments are transmitting data, leading them to declare the mission successful despite significant setbacks during the spacecraft’s dramatic descent to the surface.

Mission controllers were celebrating the success, cheering “what a magnificent job that robust, lucky lander did all the way to the moon,” said Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus.

Feb 28, 2024

Possibly habitable Trappist-1 exoplanet caught destroying its own atmosphere

Posted by in category: space

Trappist-1e is the fourth planet from the red dwarf star at the heart of this fascinating planetary system of rocky worlds. Astronomers have previously discovered that Trappist-1b, the closest exoplanet to the star, seems to have already lost its atmosphere.

The team thinks voltage-driven Joule heating could also be impacting Trappist-1f and Trappist-1g, stripping them of their atmospheres as well, albeit to a lesser extent than they see happening with Trappist-1e. That’s because, at 0.038 and 0.04683 times the distance between Earth and the sun from their star respectively, these planets are moving slower through the red dwarf’s stellar winds than Trappist-1e is.

“Closer-in planets of Trappist-1 will have an even more extreme fate, and further out ones a bit milder,” Garraffo said. “I would imagine that all Trappist-1 planets are going to have a hard time holding on to any atmosphere.”

Feb 28, 2024

Swiss Researchers Develop Revolutionary Quadruped Robot for Advanced Manipulation Tasks

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

In a groundbreaking study published on the arXiv server, a team of Swiss researchers introduces Pedipulate, an innovative controller enabling quadruped robots to perform complex manipulation tasks using their legs. This development marks a significant leap forward in robotics, showcasing the potential for legged robots in maintenance, home support, and exploration activities beyond traditional inspection roles.

The study, titled “Pedipulate: Quadruped Robot Manipulation Using Legs,” challenges the conventional design of legged robots that often rely on additional robotic arms for manipulation, leading to increased power consumption and mechanical complexity. By observing quadrupedal animals, the researchers hypothesized that employing the robot’s legs for locomotion and manipulation could significantly simplify and reduce the cost of robotic systems, particularly in applications where size and efficiency are crucial, such as in space exploration.

Pedipulate is trained through deep reinforcement learning, employing a neural network policy that tracks foot position targets. This policy minimizes the distance between the robot’s foot and the target point while penalizing undesirable movements such as jerky motions or collisions. The controller was tested on the ANYmal D robot, which features 12 torque-controlled joints and force-torque sensors on each foot, proving the feasibility of leg-based manipulation in real-world scenarios.

Feb 28, 2024

Bubble Planets & Ederworlds

Posted by in category: space

Ederworlds & Bubble planets are artificial worlds held up by internal pressure, and can be several times larger than Earth.

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