Archive for the ‘space’ category

Feb 16, 2020

The Killer Robot Takeover is Inevitable

Posted by in categories: internet, military, robotics/AI, space

VICE gained exclusive access to a small fleet of US Army bomb disposal robots—the same platforms the military has weaponized—and to a pair of DARPA’s six-foot-tall bipedal humanoid robots. We also meet Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, renowned physicist Max Tegmark, and others who grapple with the specter of artificial intelligence, killer robots, and a technological precedent forged in the atomic age. It’s a story about the evolving relationship between humans and robots, and what AI in machines bodes for the future of war and the human race.

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Feb 15, 2020

It turns out rust is… a great shield for deadly space radiation

Posted by in category: space

Compared to existing shields, rust gives much better protection per unit weight.

Feb 15, 2020

Northrop Grumman Cygnus Launch to the International Space Station

Posted by in category: space

***Update: Launch is now scheduled for 3:21 p.m. EST on Saturday, Feb. 15. Live coverage begins at 2:45.

Watch a cargo spacecraft lift off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on a resupply mission to the International Space Station! 🚀

Launch is targeted at 3:43 p.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 14 for Northrop Grumman’s 13th commercial resupply services mission. A previous launch attempt on Feb. 9 was scrubbed after off-nominal readings from a ground support sensor. The Cygnus cargo spacecraft, loaded with approximately 7,500 pounds of research, supplies and hardware, will launch atop an Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. This Cygnus spacecraft is named the S.S. Robert H. Lawrence, in honor of the first African American to be selected as an astronaut.

Feb 13, 2020

Scientists just watched a newfound asteroid zoom by Earth. Then they saw its moon

Posted by in category: space

Scientists took a second look at a recently discovered asteroid and realized it was in fact two space rocks orbiting together.

Feb 13, 2020

The ESA is about to turn one of its spacecraft into a fireball

Posted by in categories: physics, solar power, space, sustainability

Next week, the European Space Agency is going to jettison a cubesat called Qarman from the International Space Station and watch it burst into a fireball as it reenters Earth’s atmosphere—all on purpose.

What’s the mission: Qarman (short for “QubeSat for Aerothermodynamic Research and Measurements on Ablation”) is a shoebox-sized experiment meant to help researchers better understand the physics at play when objects plummet into the planet’s atmosphere and burn up. Qarman was brought up to the ISS in December during a cargo resupply mission. On February 17, it will be cast back out into space and begin slowly drifting toward Earth before entering the atmosphere and burning up in about six months.

Tell me more: Qarman has four solar-cell-covered panels that are designed to increase atmospheric drag and hasten reentry. Its nose is made from a special kind of cork that’s typically used in thermal protection systems on spacecraft. Ground testing shows that when the cork heats up, it chars and flakes away a bit at a time. The Qarman team is interested in learning how this process works during reentry.

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Feb 13, 2020

Newborn giant planet discovered 330 light-years away

Posted by in category: space

But researchers just located a baby giant exoplanet orbiting a young star just 330 light-years from Earth, making it the closest of its kind to us.

The planet is known as 2MASS 1155–7919 b, and it’s located in Epsilon Chamaeleontis Association, a young group of stars seen in our southern sky near the Chameleon constellation.

Researchers from the Rochester Institute of Technology made the discovery using data collected by the European Space Agency’s Gaia space observatory.

Feb 13, 2020

This solar telescope just released its first close-up video of the Sun — and it’s stunning

Posted by in category: space

Astronomers using the new Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii have released their first public images of the Sun, and they are the most detailed images of our parent star ever taken. Images from the next-generation National Science Foundation (NSF) solar observatory reveal details on the surface measuring just 30 kilometers (18 miles) in diameter.

The new four-meter (157 inch) instrument (the largest solar telescope in the world) recorded images and video of turbulent plasma on the surface of the Sun, providing an unprecedented level of detail for solar researchers.

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Feb 12, 2020

Giant star Betelgeuse might explode soon, and the next few weeks are critical

Posted by in category: space

Betelgeuse has been very volatile lately, and astronomers are watching to determine if it’s terminal or just going through a phase.

Feb 12, 2020

NASA confirms Crew Dragon almost ready, mostly paperwork left

Posted by in category: space

Even though it sounds mundane, there is a load of paper that has to be verified.

Feb 11, 2020

Incredible Technology: Laser Space Communications for Interplanetary Travel

Posted by in category: space


Editor’s Note: In this weekly series, explores how technology drives space exploration and discovery.

Since the dawn of the space age, NASA probes have beamed data home to Earth using radio-frequency communication. But that’s all set to change soon.

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