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Science, Space & Robotics Posts - Page 1

SpaceX marks 6th successful launch this year

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 6 days, 7 hours ago

Just two weeks after their last launch, SpaceX has successfully launched another Falcon 9 rocket.

 

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The company launched a communications satellite that will complete Inmarsat's fifth-generation broadband network. The Inmarsat-5 F4 communications satellite is the heaviest object delivered by the company to space, for now.

 

Getting the 13,400-lb. (6,100 kilograms) heavy F4 into its intended orbit emptied the Falcon's fuel tanks, leaving no propellant for the landing attempt.

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Tesla releases solar roof prices: Cheaper than expected

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 1 week, 4 days ago

We've heard a lot about Tesla's solar roof tiles products, but the most important piece of information was missing - the price.

 

The company has now announced the prices, and they are lower than expected. Consumer Reports estimates that a Solar Roof for an average size U.S. home would need to cost less than $24.50 per square foot to be cost-competitive with a regular roof. The cost of Solar Roof is less.

 

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Tesla says that typical homeowner can expect to pay $21.85 per square foot for Solar Roof. The $21.85 per square foot price point was calculated for a roof where 35 percent of the tiles are solar (solar tiles cost more per square foot than non-solar tiles). A 14kWh Powerwall 2 is also an available option.

 

Solar Roof uses two types of tiles - solar and non-solar. Looking at the roof from street level, the tiles all look the same. Customers can select how many solar tiles they need based on their home's electricity consumption. For example, households that charge an electric vehicle every day may want more solar tiles on their roof.

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SpaceX first Falcon Heavy static fire test is a success

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

SpaceX is currently using the Falcon 9 rocket for the company's launches, but the bigger Falcon Heavy should take over soon. Elon Musk first mentioned Falcon Heavy in a September 2005 news update. The rocket was scheduled to fly in 2014, then 2015, but there have been delays, and now, the company is aiming for the second half of this year.

 

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SpaceX CEO explained last year that developing the Falcon Heavy proved to be much more difficult than they previously thought, but it seems that the company is on track. They conducted the first static fire test on the rocket's critical center core, and the test was successful.

 

This is a huge milestone in the development of the Falcon Heavy. The company has big plans for this rocket, which should play a major role in the crewed mission to the Moon and Mars. SpaceX plans to begin sending uncrewed spacecraft to Mars by 2020, meaning it is crucial that the Falcon Heavy starts flying soon if the company wants to stay on schedule.

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ESA 3D prints bricks which may help build lunar colonies

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 8, 2017 9:28 pm

A base on the Moon is many scientists' dream because it would set a new milestone in space exploration. According to observations from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft that might be much more complicated than previously thought.

 

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According to NASA's last year's data, the Moon experiences a heavier bombardment by small meteoroids than models had previously predicted. This revelation implies that equipment placed on the Moon for long durations, such as a lunar base, will have to be sturdier.

 

Of course, building on the Moon wouldn't be easy, but the ESA produced their first 3D printed brick, which could help with the building material. Bricks have been 3D printed out of simulated moondust using concentrated sunlight - proving in principle that future lunar colonists could one day use the same approach to build settlements on the Moon.

 

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Air Force's X-37B lands after secret 2-year mission

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 8, 2017 3:32 pm

The Air Force's X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission 4 has landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility on May 7th, after 718 days in orbit.

 

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The Air Force's statement says that the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, or OTV, is an experimental test program to demonstrate technologies for a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform for the U.S. Air Force. The primary objectives of the X-37B are twofold; reusable spacecraft technologies for America's future in space and operating experiments which can be returned to, and examined, on Earth.

 

Technologies being tested in the program include advanced guidance, navigation and control, thermal protection systems, avionics, high temperature structures and seals, conformal reusable insulation, lightweight electromechanical flight systems, advanced propulsion systems, advanced materials and autonomous orbital flight, reentry and landing.

 

However, not much is know about the spacecraft. Among many theories floating around, some mention that the X-37B could be a space bomber or a new type of probe that can destroy spy satellites.

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Check out SpaceX's latest launch photos and footage

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 2, 2017 6:33 pm

On Sunday, SpaceX successfully launched and landed yet another Falcon 9 rocket. The military spy satellite was successfully launched into the orbit, and SpaceX marked their tenth successful landing.

 

The company landed their first rocket in December 2015, and just last month, they successfully launched and landed an already used Falcon 9 rocket, which was the first time in history that an already used rocket has been launched again.

 

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Elon Musk believes that reusable rockets are the key to space exploration. He recently said that the company's next goal is to land and re-launch the same rocket within 24 hours.

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SpaceX launches military spy satellite, nails landing

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 1, 2017 7:26 pm

After it postponed Saturday's launch due to sensor issue, SpaceX has successfully launched and landed yet another Falcon 9 rocket.

 

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A Falcon 9 rocket carrying NROL-76, a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, was launched on Monday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Around nine minutes after the launch, the rocket safely returned to Earth.

 

 

The military spy satellite was successfully launched into the orbit, and SpaceX marked their tenth successful landing. The company landed their first rocket in December 2015, and just last month, they successfully launched and landed an already used Falcon 9 rocket, which was the first time in history that an already used rocket has been launched again.

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AI to replace over 50% of ALL jobs in the next 10 years

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Apr 28, 2017 7:32 am

Most tech companies are pumping engineers, man hours, and technology and man hours into Deep Learning and AI technology - but will it eventually result in tens of millions of job losses across the world? Yes, yes it will - according to Kai-Fu Lee, the founder of venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures. Lee is also a leading voice on technology in China.

 

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Lee recently spoke with CNBC, where he said that AI is the "singular thing that will be larger than all of human tech revolutions added together, including electricity, [the] industrial revolution, internet, mobile internet - because AI is pervasive". Amazingly scary words, but also very exciting. Lee added that "It is the decision engine that will replace people". It was only recently that I reported that AI engineers had left the grip of Google, moving into the most secretive AI startup on the planet - probably Skynet, I guess.

 

Lee said that his firm has invested millions of dollars into AI companies that are capable of recognizing 3 million faces simultaneously, or pumping out loans in less than 8 seconds. He added: "These are things that are superhuman, and we think this will be in every industry, will probably replace 50 percent of human jobs, create a huge amount of wealth for mankind and wipe out poverty".

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NASA astronaut sets a new record for time spent in space

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Apr 24, 2017 11:17 pm

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson has set yet another record. After becoming the first woman to command the Space Station in 2008, and the first woman to command the Station twice (on April 9th, 2017), she has now set the record for cumulative time spent in space by a US astronaut.

 

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At the moment of breaking the record, Whitson spent 534 days, 2 hours, and 49 minutes in space. And with the recent extension of her stay at the International Space Station, she will accumulate even more time. When she returns to Earth, she'll have spent more than 650 days in space, and decades supporting spaceflight from the ground.

 

Until now, the record-holder, when talking about the US astronauts, was Jeff Williams with 534 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes of cumulative time in space.

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Cassini's image shows tiny Earth between Saturn's rings

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Apr 23, 2017 10:30 pm

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent yet another stunning image from space.

 

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The photo was taken when Cassini was 870 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) away from Earth, and it shows our planet between the rings of Saturn.

 

Although far and too small to be visible in the image, the part of Earth facing Cassini at the time was the southern Atlantic Ocean. Even Earth's Moon is visible in a zoomed-in version of the image.

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