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NASA slammed the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft into the moon, following a successful 100-day science mission.
Prior to crashing into the moon, as expected, LADEE was seen flying at an altitude of 300 feet, anticipating an impact before the end of the weekend. NASA researchers hope to use the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to photograph the site of impact, along with capturing additional information about the lunar atmosphere.
"At the time of impact, LADEE was traveling at a speed of 3,600 miles per hour - about three times the speed of a high-powered rifle bullet," said Rick Elphic, NASA Ames LADEE project scientist, in a press statement. "There's nothing gentle about impact at these speeds - it's just a question of whether LADEE made a localized craterlet on a hillside or scattered debris across a flat area. It will be interesting to see what kind of feature LADEE has created."
The Chinese air force has received a request from President Xi Jinping to increase the department's air and space capabilities moving forward, in an effort to develop a "new-type combat force," so they are better able to deal with any type of air and space emergencies.
It's not a big surprise to hear that China wants to help militarize space efforts, for whatever reasons, as western security officials noted a large amount of space budget in China stems from military-based efforts.
"The United States has paid considerable attention and resources to the integration of capabilities in both air and space, and other powers have also moved progressively toward space militarization," said Wang Ya'nan, Aerospace Knowledge Magazine, in a statement to Chinese media. "Though China has stated that it sticks to the peaceful use of space, we must make sure that we have the ability to cope with others' operations in space."
Wireless power is something I simply can't live without, but I can only charge one or two devices at once. But, over in Daejeon, Republic of Korea, scientists have used something they call the Dipole Coil Resonant System to charge 40 smartphones simultaneously, even if the power source is up to 5m away.
We already know about MIT's Coupled Magnetic Resonance System (CMRS) which was unveiled in 2007, which used a magnetic field in order to charge devices - but it had an envelope of 2.1m. CMRS had some major technical limitations for commercialization, most of which haven't been solved: "a rather complicated coil structure (composed of four coils for input, transmission, reception, and load); bulky-size resonant coils; high frequency (in a range of 10 MHz) required to resonate the transmitter and receiver coils, which results in low transfer efficiency; and a high Q factor of 2,000 that makes the resonant coils very sensitive to surroundings such as temperature, humidity, and human proximity".
Chun T. Rim, a Professor of Nuclear & Quantum Engineering at KAIST, along with his team, developed the "Dipole Coil Resonant System" or DCRS. This system is for an extended range of inductive power transfer, at up to 5 meters between transmitter and receiver coils. Professor Rim's solution to CMRS' problems are all but solved with DCRS.
The technology is capable of powering "a large LED TV as well as three 40 W-fans can be powered from a 5-meter distance" according to to Professor Rim. He continues: "Our technology proved the possibility of a new remote power delivery mechanism that has never been tried at such a long distance. Although the long-range wireless power transfer is still in an early stage of commercialization and quite costly to implement, we believe that this is the right direction for electric power to be supplied in the future. Just like we see Wi-Fi zones everywhere today, we will eventually have many Wi-Power zones at such places as restaurants and streets that provide electric power wirelessly to electronic devices. We will use all the devices anywhere without tangled wires attached and anytime without worrying about charging their batteries".
In something that feels like it's right out of HBO's 'True Blood,' we're looking at a future of artificial blood, mass manufactured on an industrial scale - in the near future.
Wellcome Trust is behind the research, with scientists working on getting to the point of reaching a trial stage of using artificial blood made from human stem cells. Principal researcher, Marc Turner, has said that his team has made red blood cells that are capable of being used in a clinical transfusion. Professor Turner has talked of a technique to culture red blood cells from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells - cells that have been taken from humans, and 'rewound' into stem cells.
From there, biochemical conditions that are similar to what happens inside of the human body are recreated to induce the iPS cells to mature into red blood cells - best of all, in the universal blood type O. Prof Turner explains: "Although similar research has been conducted elsewhere, this is the first time anybody has manufactured blood to the appropriate quality and safety standards for transfusion into a human being".
Later this month a SpaceX cargo ship will take off and head towards the ISS to restock the orbiting platform with food and other gear. Among the other gear that will be aboard the spacecraft is the NASA Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science platform also known as OPALS.
OPALS is a laser system that is intended to significantly increase the speed of communications between the Earth and the ISS. The system is said to be an upgrade for the ISS sort of like replacing your dial-up internet connection at home with DSL. Basically, this laser is giving the ISS broadband.
Batteries feel like one of the least upgraded devices, but are featured in virtually all electronic devices. NASA, as advanced as the US space agency may be, needs some help designing and making new batteries for its travels into the dark beyond.
NASA is now asking public institutions and companies to submit their proposals for battery alternatives, where it will want to see a new low-level energy cell design. This will include chemistry and packaging, as well as advanced devices that would really outperform the current lithium cell-based batteries.
The US space agency will hand out cash awards to the four most promising candidates, from the first phase of its selection process. NASA might not even find the new power source it is looking for, and if that's the case, maybe it should look at working with Tesla, failing that - Tony Stark?
North Korea and its shiny new space program have an updated logo, which seems heavily influenced from the NASA logo, along with a rather amusing new acronym.
The National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA), whose acronym spells out the Spanish word for "nothing," will not be used for weapons development, North Korea claims.
"The National Aerospace Development Administration is the country's central guidance institution organize all the space development projects," the country said in a press release. "Its mission is to put into practice the idea and principle of the DPRK government to develop the space [sic] for peaceful purpose."
The US space agency NASA plans to temporarily suspend space-related ties with Russia, except for the multi-national International Space Station (ISS), as both sides continue to fight for political bargaining chips.
Following the retirement of NASA's space shuttle fleet, the US space agency has relied on Russia to ferry astronauts and supplies into space - and back to Earth again - much to the growing dismay of US lawmakers. The US will still meet with Russia when other partnering space programs are present, as both nations have invested a tremendous amount into the ISS, and will keep the orbiting space station operational and safe.
"This suspension includes NASA travel to Russia and visits by Russian Government representatives to NASA facilities, bilateral meetings, email, and teleconferences or video conferences," said Michael O'Brien, NASA associate administrator for international and interagency relations, during a public notice.
The U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) hopes its Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) will exceed expectations, a program developed by Virginia Tech, University of Pennsylvania, and University of California and UCLA researchers, specifically to help assist with onboard emergencies.
The robots have a vision system designed to help search for survivors, along with the ability to turn water valves, balance, locate and position fire hoses, and shoot water on fires.
"People can only stand relatively short periods of time directly fighting the fire because of the heat, the radiation, the smoke and the steam," said Thomas McKenna, ONR Warfighter Performance Department, in a statement. "A firefighter during a shipboard fire may only be able to be exposed for 15 minutes. The idea is to get around those human limitations."
Well, it looks like the military is having some fun above the skies of Texas, where defense technology blog Ares is reporting on a mysterious, unidentified flying object flying over the skies of Amarillo, Texas, back on March 10.
Bill Sweetman, Aviation Week's defense experts is perplexed, but he is convinced it's real. "Three of us here-myself, Graham Warwick and Guy Norris-concur that the photos show something real. Guy and I have known Steve Douglass for a long time, and know that the reason that he sees (and monitors by radio) unusual things is that he spends time looking for them. Here is Steve's account of one of his better radio intercepts. This is more than a random image.
The photos tell us more about what the mysterious stranger isn't than what it is. The size is very hard to determine, for example, although the image size at contrailing height suggests that it is bigger than an X-47B. However, the basic shape-while it resembles Boeing's Blended Wing Body studies or the Swift Killer Bee/Northrop Grumman Bat unmanned air system-is different from anything known to have flown at full size, lacking the notched trailing edge of Northrop Grumman's full-size designs".