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 the Saturn's atmosphere, and now it has shown us detailed images of Saturn's rings.
The views are some of the closest-ever images of the outer parts of the main rings, giving scientists an eagerly awaited opportunity to observe features with names like "straw" and "propellers." Although Cassini saw these features earlier in the mission, the spacecraft's current, special orbits are now providing opportunities to see them in greater detail. The new images resolve details as small as 0.3 miles (550 meters), which is on the scale of Earth's tallest buildings.
While the Chinese are still banned from the Space Station, that hasn't stopped the country from developing a strong space exploration program. Last year, China had the highest number of launches in space so far, and now they are developing new plans for further space exploration, including sending spacecraft to Mars and Jupiter.
Their plan is to send its first probe to Mars by 2020, said Wu Yanhua, Vice Director of the China National Space Administration. The second probe should bring back samples that will help them get a better understanding of the environment on the Red Planet.
China also plans to launch a large modular space station in 2023, and if the International Space Station finishes its work in 2024, as planned, China will be the only country with a permanent station in space.
If there was something that could change the world, it would be a cancer-detecting app on your smartphone - all powered with AI. We know that artificial intelligence is something that will be a part of our future, but now a group of researchers from Stanford are coming out with some exciting things.
The researchers published their findings in the latest issue of Nature this week, training a neural network with 129,450 photos that displayed to the system over 2000 different types of skin conditions. Mixing one of Google's own image recognition algorithms, the researchers trained the neural network to identify both malignant, and benign skin lesions.
The team also worked with 21 human dermatologists, showing the experts the same, common and deadly forms of skin cancer, and asked what treatment they would recommend. Comparing their answer to the AI, the humans performed at the same level. Sebastian Thrun from Stanford's AI Lab wrote in a blog: "We realized it was feasible, not just to do something well, but as well as a human dermatologist. That's when our thinking changed".
After a longer break, SpaceX recently launched their Falcon 9 rocket and successfully returned it to Earth. Their second this year's launch is scheduled for January 30th.
However, this time they won't even try to land the rocket. Musk himself confirmed this on Twitter explaining that the problem is heavy payload that the Falcon 9 rocket has to carry.
The January 30th launch will involve a Falcon 9 rocket carrying communication satellite EchoStar 23 that will be placed in the elliptical orbit at 35,000 kilometers from Earth. In order to deliver it to the required height, it will take a lot of fuel and great speed. In addition, the satellite is 5.4 tons heavy meaning that the Falcon 9 won't have any extra fuel for a landing attempt.
GOES-16, the first spacecraft in NOAA's next-generation of geostationary satellites, has sent the first high-resolution images from its Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument.
The GOES-16 is the latest step in a new age of weather satellites that should help us monitor the weather conditions.
The ABI can provide a full disk image of the Earth every 15 minutes, one of the continental U.S. every five minutes, and has the ability to target regional areas where severe weather, hurricanes, wildfires, volcanic eruptions or other high-impact environmental phenomena are occurring as often as every 30 seconds. The ABI covers the Earth five-times faster than the current generation GOES imagers and has four times greater spatial resolution, allowing meteorologists to see smaller features of the Earth's atmosphere and weather systems.
Boeing has unveiled its new spacesuit for future passengers of its CST-100 Spaceliner spacecraft, which they'll wear to and from low-Earth orbit destinations, such as the International Space Station.
Boeing explains their new Starliner spacesuit as it: "provides greater pressurized mobility and is about 40 percent lighter than previous suits. Its innovative layers will keep astronauts cooler as well. The touchscreen-friendly gloves allow astronauts to interact with the capsule's tablets while the boots are breathable and slip resistant".
"Zippers in the torso area will make it easier for astronauts to comfortably transition from sitting to standing. In addition to protecting astronauts during launch and the return to Earth, the suit also helps connect astronauts to ground and space crews through the communications headset within the helmet", they continued. Adding: "The suit's hood-like soft helmet sports a wide polycarbonate visor to give Starliner passengers better peripheral vision throughout their ride to and from space".
Google it utilizing the near unlimited power of artificial intelligence in order to reduce the amount of data consumed with images online, using new image compressions technology called RAISR (Rapid and Accurate Super Image Resolution).
Google's Alphabet subsidiary has been tapping AI to save data on high-res images, but and it's already here - except, it's limited to Google+ for now. Using the new RAISR technology, up to 75% of mobile data can be saved - all without any change in the image quality. How does RAISR work? The technology takes the image, analyzes it, and creates duplicates of the images using fractions of the pixels from the original image.
The company talked about RAISR in a recent write up, where it explained: "Doing so reduces the data cost of each image by up to 75 percent. The technique is currently being applied to more than a billion images a week, and the company says doing so has reduced users' total bandwidth by about a third".
Google is claiming that it is upscaling around 1 billion images per week using RAISR, but this will continue to expand as the company rolls out this new AI-powered technology deeper into Google's vast services.
Don't worry guys, Skynet is going to be born and we're not going to be slaves to the machines... if the founders of LinkedIn and eBay have anything to do with it, that is.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn's founder and the Omidyar network - a philanthropic investment firm set up by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, are both donating $10 million towards the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund. The $20 million investment will be used by researchers to handle the ethical problems that will stirred up by AI.
Hoffman said: "There's an urgency to ensure that AI benefits society and minimises harm. AI decision-making can influence many aspects of our world - education, transportation, healthcare, criminal justice and the economy - yet data and code behind those decisions can be largely invisible".
CES 2017 - Every year CES gathers many interesting startups and this year was no different. One of the most interesting things that caught our eyes is a little spider-robot that appeared to be dancing.
The robot, named STEMI Hexapod, is a product of a Croatian startup that wanted to create a learning experience in a fun and easy way. The robot comes in parts that you can then put together on your own. You will also need an app that will let you control the robot's movement by tilting the phone.
By building STEMI, you will learn 3D modeling, electronics, Arduino programming and mobile app programming. Since we strongly believe that knowledge should be available to everyone, we will make the entire platform Open Access. Also, we made all the blueprints, 3D models and the source code available for everyone to use and customize.
The mannequin challenge has been spreading through social media for the last couple of months, and so far we have seen many recordings of the challenge.
The latest footage, published by astronaut Thomas Pesquet, shows one of the best challenges we have seen so far, and also the only one that hasn't been recorded on Earth.
The video shows astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station 'frozen' in everyday poses. The only female astronaut aboard the ISS appears as if she is taking photos of her colleagues.