TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
Each day is another day we move closer to Skynet activating, with NASA saying that it has found a new material that is capable of self-healing from a bullet being shot at it within two seconds. Insanity.
The US space agency has said that the discovery has far-reaching applications, where it could be used on spacecrafts so that they could take a few hits from micro asteroids that would otherwise cause catastrophic damage, or down to 'self-healing' military equipment - you know, Terminators. NASA says that when one or both of the polymer layers were punctured, oxygen entered and mixed with an ingredient inside the gel called tributylborane.
When this reaction takes place, it caused the liquid center to solidify and heal the wound. NASA researchers told IFLScience: "Within seconds of coming into contact with the atmosphere, it goes from a liquid to a solid".
Tech entrepreneur and author Martin Ford has again expressed concern that robots will take over the workforce, stealing much-needed jobs from human workers.
"It's not just about doing manual labor as it was in the past," Ford recently said. "Now we've got robots and machines and algorithms that are taking over brain power and it's much more broad-based, it's ubiquitous. These technologies are everywhere; they're going to invade every industry across the board."
Ford recommends humans create some time of contingency plan, especially if the already competitive workplace faces added pressure from robotic automation. It may be a while before artificial intelligence (AI) - which some experts have showed concern regarding - actually goes mainstream, though robotic automation is already happening.
Space agencies have shown a great interest in manned missions to Mars, even though the technology and resources available will need to greatly advance in coming years. Some critics wonder if we should try to send humans to a planet so far away - especially since Earth and Mars were 34.8 million miles apart at their known closest pass to one another.
However, the European Space Agency (ESA) feels like mankind has the ambition - and evolving technological prowess - to make a manned mission possible. It would take up to 10 months to reach the Red Planet, and a crew could stay up to one year, and then take up to 10 months to make a return trip home again.
"Humans will go to Mars, I'm very sure of this," said Alexander Gerst, an astronaut for the ESA, in a statement published by Euronews. "You just have to look back in human history and you'll know. As soon as we learned to build ships, we took them not only to go to the next island, we took them to sail over the horizon."
Famed astronaut Buzz Aldrin is working on a so-called "master plan" to help colonize the Red Planet of Mars sometime in the next 25 years. Aldrin, the second person in history to walk on the moon, hopes for a Mars settlement by 2039, but admitted it's an "adjustable" schedule.
If a Mars settlement can be created, it wouldn't be a one-way mission, and believes a 10-year duration could be created. NASA hasn't spoken publicly about Aldrin's plans, however, he believes the US space agency would at least listen to the mission plan. NASA is actively working on a next-generation rocket and spacecraft that would allow for the long journey to Mars.
Aldrin has partnered with the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) to develop the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute - designed to promote manned missions to Mars. The new university program backs the following mission: "commercial and international development of lunar resources to support an eventual Mars settlement."
The NASA-funded Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) experiment has started on Earth, designed to simulate a Mars mission.
The six participants, three men and three women, are scientists - and will be in tight quarters, living inside a 36-foot-wide dome that is 20-feet high. The project began on Friday and will last 365 days. Researchers will collect information regarding cognitive, social and emotional factors between each participant - and how they interact with one another.
NASA believes a mission to Mars could take more than three years to complete, so this is an important step to gather data.
Junaid Hussain, an Islamic State member reportedly in charge of the Cyber Caliphate hacker division, was killed earlier this week by a US drone strike. Hussain served a 6-month sentence after sharing former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's contacts in 2012.
The 21-year-old convicted computer hacker was the No. 3 person on an IS kill list, because he served as an important part of the Islamic State's infrastructure. Hussain also reportedly played an important role in recruiting members for the group, in addition to influencing "lone wolf" attacks.
"If you don't have anybody who is kind of fluent in computer operations, you've got a problem," said Michael Sulmeyer, project director at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. "The ballgame is pretty much the coder or the individual."
There is growing concern that space nations may show increased interest in militarizing space, creating an awkward situation between the United States, Russia, China, and other agencies currently conducting space research.
"If the United States starts developing and launching its battle stations into space, Russia will have to respond in kind - namely with the development of high-performance Electronic Warfare (EW) tools on different types of bases; the use of these tools will be a distinct advantage," said Igor Nasenkov, the Russian Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern (RETC) department, according to the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.
Nasenkov reportedly noted Russia already has plans for EW tools, but is waiting for allocated funds - and a political motivation - to begin developing such weapons.
As China develops new space technologies, including anti-satellite capabilities, it's up to the United States to prepare for a possible space race against China and other rivals, political leaders believe.
"We must treat space for what it is, it is a domain in which we must be prepared to fight and win," said Henry Obering, EVP at Booz Allen Hamilton, in a statement during the Hudson Institute conference. "We should dramatically expand our investment in the battle space [that] is growing into space."
China, which became the third country after the United States and former Soviet Union to send men into space, has dramatically ramped up space technology research. The country developed an anti-satellite interceptor missile capable of hitting targets in low-Earth orbit, and missiles reportedly able to hit high-Earth orbit targets.
Researchers from Germany and Korea are developing a new exoskeleton able to be controlled by the wearer's brain waves.
Using electroencephalogram (EEG) technology, wearers are able to move forward, turn left and right, or sit and stand while looking at a computer screen. The five flickering LEDs operate at different frequencies, which are identified in an EEG readout - once the signal is accurately identified, the exoskeleton is able to operate normally.
"Exoskeletons create lots of electrical 'noise,'" said Klaus Muller, a researcher and author of a paper published in the Journal of Neural Engineering, in a statement published by Phys.org. "The EEG signal gets buried under all this noise - but our system is able to separate not only the EEG signal, but the frequency of the flickering LED within this signal."
The six crew members stationed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) became the first humans to eat space-grown food, after munching on a harvested crop of red romaine lettuce.
Using technology built with partner company Orbital Technologies, the lettuce was grown without soil in an air or mist environment. Growing plants aeroponically, they don't require as much water or fertilizer, grow faster, and tend not to have a high rate of disease.
Prior to eating the lettuce, astronauts used citric acid-based sanitizing wipes to clean their fresh veggies. This is an important glimpse towards the future, as NASA looks for new ways to provide a sustainable food supply that can be created aboard the space station.