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.
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.
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.
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.
After it postponed Saturday's launch due to sensor issue, SpaceX has successfully launched and landed yet another Falcon 9 rocket.
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.
Split screen shot of Falcon 9 first stage as it returns to Earth and lands at Landing Zone 1. pic.twitter.com/5hlwTOTGKa— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 1, 2017
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent yet another stunning image from space.
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.
Google had some of its best engineers on its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) project, but some of them have departed the search giant for one of the most secretive AI projects in the world.
The engineers left Google, teaming with one of Silicon Valley's top venture capitalists, Chamath Palihapitiya. The company that Palihapitiya lured the engineers to is called Groq Inc., at least for now - but there's little known about Groq. There are a few SEC filings from October and December, with the company raising $10.3 million. In its SEC documents, Groq named three principals: Jonathan Ross, who helped invent the TPU, Douglas Wightman, an entrepreneur and former engineer at the Google X "moonshot factory" and Palihapitiya, the founder of investment firm Social Capital. The listed address is Social Capital's headquarters, reports CNBC.
Palihapitiya said in an email: "We're really excited about Groq. It's too early to talk specifics, but we think what they're building could become a fundamental building block for the next generation of computing". The fundamental building block for the next generation of computing? Alright, now I'm excited.
Languages... who needs them? These are the thoughts that go through
Tony Stark's Elon Musk's mind, so the Tesla and Space X founder and his think tank have devised a device that would plant a neural plant inside of your head.
Musk's grand plan would make AI assistants of today look like they were made in the stone age, for one big reason: languages. These brain implants would push through "uncompressed" communication between people, so that you could upload your thoughts instantaneously between your brains - without language barriers. It sounds fantastic, doesn't it?
During a recent interview, Musk said: "If I were to communicate a concept to you, you would essentially engage in consensual telepathy. There are a bunch of concepts in your head that then your brain has to try to compress into this incredibly low data rate called speech or typing. If you have two brain interfaces, you could actually do an uncompressed direct conceptual communication with another person".
After a little over a week with just four crew members on board the Space Station, the Expedition 51 is now complete. After a six-hour flight, NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos arrived at the International Space Station.
The two launched aboard the Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Before docking to the Station, they orbited Earth 4 times.
The arrival of Fischer and Yurchikhin increased the Station's crew complement to five. The two join Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson of NASA and Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency).
After more than 12 years studying Saturn, its rings, and moons, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has entered the final year of its epic voyage. The conclusion of the historic scientific odyssey is planned for September 2017. Cassini already sent some impressive images of Saturn's atmosphere and shown us detailed images of Saturn's rings.
However, Cassini's most important discovery reveals much more. NASA has announced that a form of chemical energy that life can feed on appears to exist on Saturn's moon Enceladus. The paper from researchers with the Cassini mission, published in the journal Science, indicates hydrogen gas, which could potentially provide a chemical energy source for life, is pouring into the subsurface ocean of Enceladus from hydrothermal activity on the seafloor.
The presence of ample hydrogen means that microbes if they exist there, could use it to obtain energy by combining the hydrogen with carbon dioxide dissolved in the water.
With this finding, Cassini has shown that Enceladus has nearly all three ingredients for habitability (liquid water; a source of energy for metabolism; and the right chemical ingredients, primarily carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur). Although Cassini hasn't found phosphorus and sulfur in the ocean, scientists suspect that they are present there.