Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 1

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Scientists glue together light particles to create a military 'quantum laser'

Jak Connor | Jun 21, 2024 12:01 AM CDT

A team of researchers has been awarded $1 million to construct a "quantum laser" for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Scientists glue together light particles to create a military 'quantum laser'

According to reports, DARPA has awarded Jung-Tsung Shen, associate professor in the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering, with a two-year $1 million grant to construct what is officially called a "quantum photonic-dimer laser." The new quantum laser will be capable of creating a powerful and concentrated beam of light that can be tailored to specific types of atmospheric environments, such as fog.

Traditional forms of lasers would otherwise struggle in fog, but using the power of quantum entanglement, the new laser could be used for military applications such as surveillance and secure communications in unfavorable environments. So, how does it work? Quantum entanglement is the correlation between photons or light particles. When a photon travels through the atmosphere it damages them, but when they are entangled with another photon, they are able to protect each other more efficiently and thus retaining vital information.

Continue reading: Scientists glue together light particles to create a military 'quantum laser' (full post)

Neuralink's first human brain implant patient explains how it went wrong

Jak Connor | Jun 20, 2024 6:42 PM CDT

Neuralink's very first human patient to receive the company brain-computer interface (BCI) has sat down for an interview with Joe Rogan, where he explained the whole process of receiving a brain chip and his experience with it so far.

Neuralink's first human brain implant patient explains how it went wrong

29-year-old Nolan Arbaugh became Neuralink's first patient to receive a BCI, and the extraordinary technology has enabled the individual who became paralyzed from the neck down following a diving accident to control digital devices with his thoughts. Arbaugh has already been shown controlling a computer cursor, playing Mario Kart, and more. However, the BCI procedure wasn't without its problems.

At the beginning of May, Neuralink posted an update on Arbaugh explaining that a malfunction occurred within the first weeks after the procedure. The company gave a somewhat detailed response on the issue, but now Arbaugh has explained himself. On the Joe Rogan Experience, Arbaugh explained there are 64 "threads" thinner than a human hair implanted into his brain with 16 electrodes on them each (1,024 electrodes total), and over the course of a month, "a lot of the threads retracted."

Continue reading: Neuralink's first human brain implant patient explains how it went wrong (full post)

World's most powerful space telescope captures huge asteroids colliding

Jak Connor | Jun 20, 2024 7:12 AM CDT

Asteroids are windows into the ancient history of the galaxy and our solar system, making them one of the most valuable astronomical objects to observe.

World's most powerful space telescope captures huge asteroids colliding

The process of asteroid formation is dust particles slamming into each other over and over again until they form a bigger mass. This mass is floating around a larger mass object, such as our Sun or a large planet. The constant collisions with more particles eventually form what we now call an asteroid, and from those asteroids colliding with other asteroids around a local star, we get planets.

Now, researchers from Johns Hopkins University announced on June 10, 2024 they captured evidence of a massive asteroid collision within the Beta Pictoris star system located approximately 63 light-years away from Earth - which is the equivalent of how far away next door is in terms of galactic scale. The discovery was made using data obtained by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, the world's most powerful space telescope, and data from Spitzer.

Continue reading: World's most powerful space telescope captures huge asteroids colliding (full post)

Study finds Starlink satellites could be killing the ozone layer

Jak Connor | Jun 20, 2024 2:15 AM CDT

A new study published in the Geophysical Researchers Letters by researchers from the University of California examined the impact that satellites in Earth's orbit have on the ozone layer when they plummet to their demise.

Study finds Starlink satellites could be killing the ozone layer

According to the satellite tracking website Orbiting Now, there are approximately 9,900 satellites in Earth's various orbits, and that number is growing every day as Earth becomes more reliant on technology and space becomes more accessible. When a satellite has ceased all of its operations and been deemed out of commission, it's typically disposed of by being forced to reenter Earth's atmosphere, where it burns up. But what impact do satellite fumes have on Earth's upper atmosphere?

The team behind the study looked at the small particles given off by a satellite burning up and found Starlink, along with many other satellites, release aluminum oxides upon reentry. Between 2016 and 2022 the number of oxides in Earth's atmosphere increased by eight, and these oxides negatively impact the ozone layer.

Continue reading: Study finds Starlink satellites could be killing the ozone layer (full post)

NASA officially approves mission to put the first artificial star in Earth's orbit

Jak Connor | Jun 20, 2024 1:02 AM CDT

NASA has approved a $19.5 million mission to put an artificial star in Earth's orbit that will enable scientists to unlock a deeper understanding of the universe.

NASA officially approves mission to put the first artificial star in Earth's orbit

Astronomers typically observe extremely large objects that are very far away, but that is about to change as a portion of researchers will soon be turning their gaze to an artificial star in Earth's orbit. NASA has approved the nearly $20 million Landolt Space Mission that involves launching a mini satellite, approximately the size of a bread box, into Earth's orbit where it will act as an artificial star.

Here's how it works. The mini-satellite, officially a CubeSat, will be placed exactly 22,236 miles away from Earth in a region of space that puts it in geosynchronous orbit, meaning its orbit matches the speed of Earth's spin. The reason for getting the CubeSat into geosynchronous orbit is so the CubeSat always appears in the night sky in the exact same location. Once that has been achieved, the CubeSat called Landolt will fire lasers with a specific number of light particles directly at ground-based telescopes operated by astronomers.

Continue reading: NASA officially approves mission to put the first artificial star in Earth's orbit (full post)

Elon Musk says portable Starlink MINI dish fits in your backpack, will 'change the world'

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 18, 2024 6:28 PM CDT

Elon Musk has officially teased Starlink. MINI is coming, an ultra-portable Starlink satellite dish that fits in your backpack, streams multiple 4K videos simultaneously, and for gamers, you'll enjoy the 23ms latency.

Elon Musk says portable Starlink MINI dish fits in your backpack, will 'change the world'

Oleg Kutkov posted some photos of the new Starlink MINI dish and the new built-in router in a new post on X. Kutkov said that Starlink MINI measures 28.9 x 24.8cm (11.4" x 9.8") and has built-in Wi-Fi. He also confirmed that the router supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi with 802.11ax and 3x3 MIMO.

Continue reading: Elon Musk says portable Starlink MINI dish fits in your backpack, will 'change the world' (full post)

Former Neuralink employee sues after herpes-infected monkey attack

Jak Connor | Jun 18, 2024 4:35 AM CDT

A former Neuralink employee has filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk's brain implant company following an incident with a monkey that was carrying Herpes.

Former Neuralink employee sues after herpes-infected monkey attack

Lindsay Short claims she was fired from Neuralink after she informed her superiors that she was pregnant. More specifically, Short described a hostile work environment that was plagued with "blame, shame, and impossible deadlines". Additionally, the former Neuralink employee said she was scratched through a glove by a monkey that was carrying the Herpes B virus. Short said she was never provided the appropriate protective equipment to work with Neuralink's test animals.

The lawsuit also states that her superiors threatened her with "severe repercussions" if she were to insist medical treatment again from the scratch. Furthermore, Short said she was fired from the company a day after she informed staff that she was pregnant but was promoted just two months earlier. It should be noted that Neuralink has undergone some public scrutiny regarding its testing methods, and treatment of its test animals.

Continue reading: Former Neuralink employee sues after herpes-infected monkey attack (full post)

Satellite captures uncomfortable HD picture of space junk in Earth's atmosphere

Jak Connor | Jun 18, 2024 3:42 AM CDT

A company that's dedicatedcated to removing space debris currently stuck in Earth's orbit has shared an image that is a stark reminder of a growing problem.

Satellite captures uncomfortable HD picture of space junk in Earth's atmosphere

Japan's space agency, JAXA, has selected Tokyo-based Astroscale for its Commercial Removal of Debris Demonstration (CRD2) program. Astroscale is committed to the removal of space debris and part of its plan to destroy space junk is the Active Debris Removal by Astroscale-Japan (ADRAS-J) satellite, which snapped the above image of the upperstage of a rocket a distance of 164 feet.

The upper stage measures approximately 36 feet in length and has been in orbit for 15 years, after it reached orbit with an Earth-observation satellite in 2009. Observing space junk up close like this enables Astroscale to gather data on its movements and orientation before it carries the piece down into Earth's atmosphere where it will burn up.

Continue reading: Satellite captures uncomfortable HD picture of space junk in Earth's atmosphere (full post)

Elon Musk will use chopsticks to catch the world's largest rocket

Jak Connor | Jun 18, 2024 2:01 AM CDT

SpaceX is closing in on the fifth launch of Starship, the world's largest and most powerful rocket that has ever taken to the skies.

Elon Musk will use chopsticks to catch the world's largest rocket

The fifth launch of the rocket will mark a monumental milestone in Elon Musk's quest to create a rapidly reusable rocket capable of traveling to Mars, and it will likely be the riskiest flight Starship has undertaken yet. Starship recently completed its fourth test flight, where SpaceX successfully recovered both Starship and its booster, Super Heavy, after they splashed down in the ocean. The next step in reaching Mars is to get Super Heavy to land back on land.

Unlike SpaceX's workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, which can autonomously land back on a launch pad, SpaceX plans on catching Super Heavy with an enormous tower that has arms attached to it. Previously, it was reported that these arms were referred to as "chopsticks" and that they would be used to catch Super Heavy upon its descent to reduce ground impact and increase reusability.

Continue reading: Elon Musk will use chopsticks to catch the world's largest rocket (full post)

ISS astronauts capture stunning video of Boeing's Starliner painting an aurora

Jak Connor | Jun 17, 2024 3:26 AM CDT

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft made it to the International Space Station (ISS) last week, and now it has been caught in the foreground of a video that captures a stunning aurora appear over Earth.

ISS astronauts capture stunning video of Boeing's Starliner painting an aurora

Last week, the Starliner leaked its way to the ISS, delivering two NASA astronauts safely to the floating laboratory. NASA has since launched an investigation into the leaks that were detected prior, and post-launch. According to the space agency, the Starliner vessel was suffering from leaks that were traced back to its helium tanks, and after a preliminary analysis, NASA has determined there is enough helium, or fuel, in the tanks to make a return trip back to Earth.

Now docked at the ISS, Boeing's Starliner will remain there until June 22, where it will carry out engine tests to further evaluate its performance. ISS astronaut Matthew Dominick has shared videos and images of the newest addition to the floating laboratory, capturing a stunning video of the Starliner floating above a beautiful aurora happening in Earth's upper atmosphere. Dominick notes that you can even see the NASA astronauts within the Starliner lighting up its interior with their flashlights.

Continue reading: ISS astronauts capture stunning video of Boeing's Starliner painting an aurora (full post)