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Jun 18, 2018

To Start a New Life at Proxima Centauri, This Is How Many People We Need to Send

Posted by in category: alien life

Humanity has long dreamed about sending humans to other planets, even before crewed spaceflight became a reality. And with the discovery of thousands exoplanets in recent decades, particularly those that orbit within neighboring star systems (like Proxima b), that dream seems closer than ever to becoming a reality.

But of course, a lot of technical challenges need to be overcome before we can hope to mount such a mission.

In addition, a lot of questions need to be answered. For example, what kind of ship should we send to Proxima b or other nearby exoplanets? And how many people would we need to place aboard that ship?

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Jun 18, 2018

Promising new material has the right properties to capture solar energy, split water into hydrogen and oxygen

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Solar energy is clean and abundant. But when the sun isn’t shining, you must store the energy in batteries or through a process called photocatalysis—in which solar energy is used to make fuels. In photocatalytic water splitting, sunlight separates water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen and oxygen can then be recombined in a fuel cell to release energy.

Now, a new class of —halide double perovskites—may have just the right properties to split water, according to a newly published paper in Applied Physics Letters.

“If we can come up with a material that can be useful as a water-splitting photocatalyst, then it would be an enormous breakthrough,” said Feliciano Giustino, a co-author on the paper.

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Jun 18, 2018

Aevum’s New Rocket-Drone Airplane Duo Could Launch Satellites Every 3 Hours

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

A space launch every 3 hours may soon be possible using rockets carried on a fully autonomous unmanned airplane, a new startup company suggests.

Alabama-based startup Aevum aims to per mission, using an air-launch system called Ravn.

“Ravn is designed to launch every 180 minutes,” Jay Skylus, Aevum’s CEO and chief launch architect, told Space.com. “Other launch vehicles fly only a handful of times a year with an average of 18 months of lead time.” [Rocket Launches: The Latest Liftoffs, Photos & Videos].

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Jun 18, 2018

Interplanetary Challenge

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

CADET EXPLORER MISSION

Let Bill Nye and Robert Picardo take you on a journey through the future of space exploration and artificial intelligence. Each week they will show us a different space-themed topic and reveal how AI can help us reach the stars.

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Jun 18, 2018

Elon Musk and ‘State of Mind’s’ Transhumanism Philosophy

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, singularity, transhumanism

What does it mean to be human in world of increasingly powerful technology? This is a question video games have grappled with, most recently in the “Deus Ex” franchise and the upcoming E3 show-stealing “Cyberpunk 2077.”

Daedalic’s “State of Mind” approaches the topic in a different, more philosophical way. Guns and body mods aren’t the order of the day. Rather, “State of Mind” is a narrative adventure that considers how far the human race will go to trade dystopia for utopia.

Creative lead Martin Ganteföhr is an avid follower of transhumanist theory, and how humanity will evolve over the coming decades as scientists pursue the singularity. Transhumanism explores the intersection of people and technology, with the ultimate goal giving all people access to technology that leads to an egalitarian utopia.

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Jun 18, 2018

Is your brain ready for Monday? Tease your mind with these four optical illusions

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Better than coffee smile


___ A great way to learn more about our brains and minds is to look at how we can trick them—that is, to see how we react to brain teasers and visual illusions. Below are four fun optical illusio…

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Jun 17, 2018

New antibiotic shows long-lasting promise as superbug killer

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Antibiotics have saved countless lives for the better part of a century, but these medical marvels may be approaching the end of their usefulness. Thanks to overuse, bacteria are rapidly evolving resistance to our best drugs, prompting scientists to try to develop new ones. Now, a team at Purdue University has found that a compound called F6 is effective at killing bacteria that have already evolved resistance to existing antibiotics. In tests, the new drug also seems less susceptible to bacterial resistance down the track.

The discovery and use of antibiotics was one of the greatest scientific achievements of the 20th century, as previously-dangerous procedures quickly became safe and infections relatively easy to treat. But after decades of overuse and overprescription, bacteria are fighting back, with more and more antibiotics becoming ineffective – including some of our last lines of defense. If left unaddressed, the problem is predicted to worsen until these so-called superbugs are killing up to 10 million people a year by 2050.

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Jun 17, 2018

IBM overcomes von Neumann bottleneck for AI hundreds of time faster using hundreds of times less energy

Posted by in categories: innovation, robotics/AI

IBM Research AI team demonstrated deep neural network (DNN) training with large arrays of analog memory devices at the same accuracy as a Graphical Processing Unit (GPU)-based system. This is a major step on the path to the kind of hardware accelerators necessary for the next AI breakthroughs. Why? Because delivering the Future of AI will require vastly expanding the scale of AI calculations.

Above – Crossbar arrays of non-volatile memories can accelerate the training of fully connected neural networks by performing computation at the location of the data.

This new approach allows deep neural networks to run hundreds of times faster than with GPUs, using hundreds of times less energy.

Continue reading “IBM overcomes von Neumann bottleneck for AI hundreds of time faster using hundreds of times less energy” »

Jun 17, 2018

New (?) ideas for utilizing space for business: hypergravity for isotopic enrichment

Posted by in categories: business, energy, space

One night, as I was putting my daughter to bed and waiting for her to fall asleep, I tried to think of some new markets for space utilization.

We often hear about attempts to find industrial uses for microgravity for growing crystals, for purification of electronic materials (which is an actual thing with ACME Advanced Materials: http://www.a2-m.com/), maybe growth of certain metal foams, etc. However, in space, you’re in both a hard vacuum and not physically resting on anything, so you can spin up something, and it will simply keep on spinning (stably, if you spin it around the correct axis) nearly indefinitely without any additional energy input and no wear on bearings or anything. So in fact, you can get basically any gravity level you want, including HYPERgravity, nearly for free.

What are the applications of this?

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Jun 17, 2018

Science liaison Mariya Lyubenova

Posted by in categories: education, science, space

Mariya Lyubenova is an astronomer at ESO. Her research focusses on the motions and chemical properties of stars in galaxies to unravel the build-up and evolution of galaxies. She also works as a science liaison in the education and Public Outreach Department (ePOD).

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