According to scientists and experts at NASA's Langley Research Center, we could be one step closer to colonizing mars with their new 'The Mars Ice Home'.
The inflatable tube is lined with a shell of water ice, using materials found on Mars - with the water protecting the inhabitants from cosmic rays, and could even be repurposed as rocket fuel for the Mars Ascent Lander.
Right now, NASA's impressive Mars Ice Home is a concept with some issues, as experts have said it would take around 400 days to fill the shell with enough water from Mars. Robots could help, inflating and pumping the shelter while the human astronauts are on their journey from Earth to Mars. The Ice Home will continue to evolve, but this is an exciting new step.
Tesla has announced alongside Panasonic, that they will start production of solar cells in a factory on American soil - in Buffalo, New York.
The two companies have settled on an agreement for Panasonic to pay the capital costs for the manufacturing, while Tesla has made a "long-term purchase commitment" to Panasonic - but no official figures have been thrown around. The production factory in question is under development by SolarCity Corp., a solar power company that Tesla owns.
The announcement said that the photovoltaic cells and modules that are used in solar panels for non-solar roof products and solar glass tile roofs that Tesla will soon be making. Production kicks off mid next year, with Tesla creating 1400 jobs in Buffalo, and 500 more jobs in manufacturing as it expands its operations in Buffalo.
New York state is throwing in $750 million to build and get the site up and running, whilst Solar City is investing $5 billion over 10 years in New York state. This move will see 1500 jobs created for the Buffalo plant in the next 5 years, and over 2000 more jobs for people throughout New York.
The Cassini space probe was launched in 1997, and after a long trip, it entered orbit around Saturn in 2004. Since then, Cassini has been sending valuable data and photos of the Saturn.
The newest image, taken on December 18th, is one of the highest-resolution views ever taken of Saturn's moon Pandora. The spacecraft captured the image during its closest-ever flyby of Pandora, during the third of its grazing passes by the outer edges of Saturn's main rings.
The image was taken at a distance of approximately 25,200 miles (40,500 kilometers) from Pandora.
I'd like to say that I didn't see this coming, but I can't lie to you guys - AI is taking over the world, for better or worse. Now we have the world's largest hedge fund building software that will automate their day-to-day management of the firm, with the artificial intelligence in charge of "hiring, firing and other strategic decision-making", reports The Guardian.
Bridgewater Associates has assembled a team of software engineers after a request from billionaire founder Ray Dalio, who wants to see the company running towards the vision he created, even when he's not there. The Wall Street Journal reports: "The role of many remaining humans at the firm wouldn't be to make individual choices but to design the criteria by which the system makes decisions, intervening when something isn't working".
The company manages a mind boggling $160 billion worth of funds, with Bridgewater Associates forming a team of programmers that specialize in analytics and AI, something they have called the Systematized Intelligence Lab. This unit is led by the ex-boss of IBM's development of Watson - the supercomputer that beat humans at Jeopardy! in 2011, David Ferrucci.
Elon Musk, the visionary behind Tesla Motors, SpaceX, PayPal - and very soon, a company that bores tunnels underneath traffic so that Musk - and millions of others, won't have to sit in peak hour anymore.
On Saturday, Musk tweeted: "Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging...", and if you thought he wasn't serious, a few hours later he added: "I am actually going to do this". Musk has said some out-there things before, so we don't know if he's going to be creating a boring company, but it could happen.
NASA's CYGNSS spacecraft aboard an Orbital ATK Pegasus rocket was successfully launched after multiple delays during the week.
The initial launch was postponed because a hydraulic pump aboard the Orbital ATK L-1011 Stargazer aircraft, which is required to release the latches holding the Pegasus in place, was not receiving power.
The launch wasn't typical because the Pegasus rocket was carried aloft by Orbital ATK's Stargazer L-1011 aircraft to approximately 40,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, where it was then released. After around five seconds of free fall, the rocket ignited its first stage rocket motor. The Pegasus delivered the eight CYGNSS satellites into orbit in a little over 10 minutes.
NASA has announced that it will be increasing the network speeds on the International Space Station soon, without a new router or satellite - with the upgrades being mainly terrestrial.
TechCrunch reports: "The ISS and dozens of satellites rely on the Space Network, a more or less unified architecture for sending large amounts of data from orbit to base stations around the world. Its maximum bandwidth is 300 Mbps, which is of course much faster than most ISPs provide, and more than enough for everyone on the ISS to stream videos at once".
28TB of high-definition, real-time space data is transmitted back to Earth everyday, as well as the astronauts' internet browsing, video calls - and if it were me, Overwatch gaming. All of the transmission goes through a dedicated network of Tracking and Data Relay Satellites, which then blast the signals to base stations, and then pass them through to their destinations here on our pale blue dot.
These base stations are being upgraded, with the new hardware getting installed in the White Sands and Guam terminals, with NASA's Mark Severance explaining: "Fundamentally, this upgrade of both the onboard and ground data communications systems enables an increase in the scientific output from the space station".
SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft made history back in 2012 when it became the first commercial spacecraft in history to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and safely return cargo to Earth, a feat previously achieved only by governments. Although Dragon currently carries cargo to space, it was designed to carry humans, and it should have a major role in getting to Mars.
The Dragon spacecraft has yet to welcome its first crew onboard, which was planned for December 2017. However, according to NASA's Commercial Crew Program Target Flight Dates list, the 14-day test flight has been rescheduled for May 2018.
This decision is most likely related to Falcon 9's explosion in September and the company's investigation of the incident. Elon Musk said that the cause of the accident was "a combination of liquid helium, advanced carbon fiber composites, and solid oxygen," but earlier this month they rescheduled the launch of satellites for Iridium Communications because they are "completing the final steps necessary to safely return to flight."
The planned launch of NASA's CYGNSS spacecraft aboard an Orbital ATK Pegasus rocket has been postponed. According to the company, a hydraulic pump aboard the Orbital ATK L-1011 Stargazer aircraft, which is required to release the latches holding the Pegasus in place, was not receiving power.
The three-stage Pegasus XL will be used to deploy eight small satellites for NASA's Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) mission into a Low-Earth orbit. Pegasus is carried aloft by Orbital ATK's Stargazer L-1011 aircraft to approximately 40,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, where it will be released and free-fall for five seconds before igniting its first stage rocket motor. With its unique delta-shaped wing, Pegasus will deliver these satellites into orbit in a little over 10 minutes.
CYGNSS will be used to study hurricanes and to learn about their rapid intensification.
NASA opened an official channel on Giphy and uploaded 462 GIFs. They range from historical moments in space exploration, fascinating views of our planet from space, to newer ones from International Space Station and first images of other planets in our system.
You can find funny GIFs or even learn something while browsing through hundreds of GIFs.
NASA also uploaded a bunch of photos from their archive to Pinterest, so you might want to check that too.