Just last week, China managed to hit a Space milestone with the launch of their 300th rocket. The launch carried a satellite into Earths orbit and marks quite the achievement for China's National Space Administration.
Wu Yansheng, the board chairman of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation has spoken out about the achievement, saying "This is a milestone for China's space industry development." The launch was carried out at Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern Sichaun Province, and featured a Long March 3B rocket that carried the ChinaSat 6C satellite into orbit.
According to the Xinhua news service, the first Long March rocket that was launched by China dated back to April 24th, 1970. That rocket which was titled Long March 1 carried the country's first satellite, Dongfanghong-1 and could only carry a total weight of 661 lbs, or 300 kilograms into orbit. Since then China has managed to make a staggering 17 variants of the original rocket, and also managed to drastically increase the carrying capacity of each of the rockets. The rocket that can carry the heaviest load weighs is called the heavy-lift Long March 5 and can carry 27.6 tons of weight to low-Earth orbit. If the desired trip is further than low-Earth orbit, the rockets weight must be reduced to 15.4 tons.
Elon Musk has just launched 'Crew Dragon' on the Falcon 9 rocket headed for the International Space Station. The rocket will be performing a six-day demonstration mission that could lead into astronauts being sent to the International Space Station if the mission proves successful.
'Crew Dragon' was launched on March 2nd and is an unmanned mission that will be transporting 400 pounds of "supplies and equipment to the Space Station". The main goal of this launch is to demonstrate that SpaceX has developed a way to safely transport humans to the International Space Station, which would eventuate in Crew Dragon capsule carrying up to four NASA astronaut passengers. If this test which has been titled 'demo-1' is successful we could see two NASA astronauts make the trip sometime this summer.
SpaceX engineers and NASA have been working together under a $2.6 billion commerical-crew contract that could potentially be open to general populous space tourists as well. According to a recent statement from Musk at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, "People have gone to space station on Soyuz", which is in reference to the very small amount of Russian civilians who have paid between $20-$40 million to travel to Russia's 'Soyuz' spacecraft. Musk continues and says "And I think it'd be pretty cool if people went to space station on an American vehicle as well. I think that's something that we'll do, and NASA's very supportive of that."
NASA has showcased their success over the weekend as the space agency has managed to snap some HD images and video of the farthest object ever explored.
The object titled "Ultima Thule" was encountered by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft while it was journeying through the Kuiper Belt. The New Horizons spacecraft managed to snap the "most detailed images of Ultima Thule" as it passed the object at precisely 12:33 a.m. EST on Jan. 1. The images were captured with New Horizons Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), the images offer a resolution of about "110 feet (33 meters) per pixel".
New Horizons Principal Investigator, Alan Stern commented on the achievement saying "Getting these images required us to know precisely where both tiny Ultima and New Horizons were - moment by moment - as they passed one another at over 32,000 miles per hour in the dim light of the Kuiper Belt, a billion miles beyond Pluto. This was a much tougher observation than anything we had attempted in our 2015 Pluto flyby". Now that NASA have these images, the space agency team is currently debating what the crater looking patches are on Ultima and how they were formed.
China has solidified themselves in the human history books for being the first country to ever grow any biological life on the Moons surface.
China recently launched their space mission titled 'Chang'e 4', the mission's goal was to land successfully on the far side of the moon to gather intelligence and perform tests that have never been done before. 'Chang'e 4' had a successful soft landing and within its cargo there was soil containing cotton and potato seeds, yeast and fruit fly eggs. Now, information has been relayed back to China from the craft with news that the cotton seeds have now grown buds, marking "the completion of humankind's first biological experiment on the Moon".
Why is this relevant and extremely important? Well, now that we have proof that biological life can begin growing in extremely different levels of gravity, future astronauts with goals of colonizing the moon now have the option of growing food naturally in controlled environments. This would be useful when the human race decides to start building infrastructure on the moon with the ultimate goal in mind of eventually using the moon as a space port to travel to and from Earth to Mars or surrounding planets.
NASA is getting in on all of the fun and hype of Marvel's upcoming 'Avengers: Endgame' and its recently released teaser trailer, with the US space agency diving in and lending a hand offering advice on how to save a stranded Tony Stark.
In the Avengers: Endgame trailer, Stark is stranded on the ship and says he has XXX of oxygen left. NASA's social media account is on fire right now, tweeting out to Marvel about Tony Stark, where they said: "Hey @Marvel, we heard about Tony Stark. As we know, the first thing you should do is listen in mission control for "@Avengers, we have a problem." But if he can't communicate, then we recommend ground teams use all resources to scan the skies for your missing man".
Appreciate any help you can provide 🙏— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) December 10, 2018
Better yet, in the distance you can see one of the desks at NASA has a sign on the desk that reads 'THOR' with a little hammer and a US flag on it. This is a nice touch but not MCU-related, as NASA explained in a follow-up tweet: "The THermal Operations and Resource (THOR) officer is truly one of Mission Control's mightiest heroes. They ensure the operation of multiple @Space_Station subsystems which collect, distribute & reject heat from critical equipment and payloads for the success of the mission".
Qualcomm Ventures has just announced a $100 million investment into the future of artificial intelligence, with the corporate venture capital arm of the Snapdragon giant putting the gauntlet down on AI.
While most other companies are working on AI that sits in the cloud, Qualcomm is getting things working closer to home: on-device AI. Qualcomm will be using its $100 million investment to give startups funding for on-device AI that runs on the actual device, whether it be a smartphone or a self-driving car, versus the cloud. The future of AI isn't in the cloud according to Qualcomm, but rather on-device AI.
Albert Wang, Qualcomm Investment Director, explained: "Today's AI processing is very computationally intensive. When you're talking to Alexa, nothing is processed on your device, it gets taken to the cloud and gets scrunched there. There are a few problems with that - performance deteriorates, it consumes a lot of bandwidth and there are privacy issues. Imagine you have an Alexa that is more private and user-friendly, you ask the questions and can get the answers instantly. It doesn't take the round trip all the way to the cloud".
Elon Musk is done with this planet it seems, with the SpaceX and Tesla founder saying there is a 70% chance he'll go to Mars, something he recently said in an interview for the Axios on HBO documentary series.
The real life Tony Stark added that leaving for Mars won't be an "escape plan for the rich" in its current form, where he said the marketing spin on a Mars trip would be "like Shackleton's ad for going to the Antarctic" and underlined the fact that travelling to the South Pole wasn't an easy one. It wouldn't be a quick journey, nor would it be comfortable, and you'd have to download your Netflix content offline because I've heard they don't have great Wi-Fi on Mars.
Musk said the time spent on Mars in the first years would be establishing bases and exploring the Red Planet and its harsh conditions, a challenge that would be for the most part, a one-way journey. Anyone going to Mars in the first few trips wouldn't be coming back, and if they survived the trips there the journey back would always be a concern. It would be the next-gen One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind moment... something that plenty of people would sign up instantly, with no hestitation.
SpaceX CEO and Tesla founder Elon Musk has announced that the first private customer to ride around the Moon on SpaceX's new futuristic rocket: the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR). The person in question is Japanese billionaire and founder of Zozotown, Japan's largest online clothing retailer, Yusaku Maezawa.
Maezawa will be jetting off to the Moon inside of SpaceX's new BFR sometime in 2023 in an art project called #dearMoon, where he will take artists on the trip with him, and then ask them to create pieces of art that will inspire the human race once they get back. Maezawa said: "Finally, I can tell you that I choose to go to the Moon! I choose to go to the moon with artists!"
Maezawa "bought all the seats" on the BFR and will be looking for 6-8 artists from a round the world to take the week-lone trip to the Moon and back. He explains: "I would like to invite six to eight artists from around the world to join me on this mission to the Moon. These artists will be asked to create something after they return to Earth, and these masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us".
Coca-Cola is looking into cannabis-infused drinks, a new market that they could quickly dominate with the legalization of marijuana spreading throughout the world, except in Australia where Reefer Madness plays 24/7 in all government offices.
BNN Bloomberg reports that Coca-Cola is "in talks" with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis, with Coca-Cola spokesman Kent Landers telling Bloomberg News: "Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time". The two companies are in "serious talks" with each other according to the sources. The cannabis-infused drink would "ease inflammation, pain, and cramping".
Aurora spokeswoman Heather MacGregor told BNN Bloomberg that the company is looking at the infused-beverage market and has plans for products in that market, but wouldn't comment on the purported deal with Coca-Cola. MacGregor said: "As a rule, we do not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalized, however we have a responsibility to our shareholders to give proper consideration to all relevant opportunities that are presented".
If you are in need of a large injection of funds, you can always put your white coat on and work something out for NASA in their newly-announced CO2 Conversion Challenge.
NASA's new CO2 Conversion Challenge will see a team of scientists and inventors discover a way to convert CO2 into molecules that can be used to produce many other things... if this discovery happens, there will be a winner who secures a huge $750,000.
The initial focus NASA has on the CO2 Conversion Challenge is for teams to convert CO2 to Glucose, in any way they can. NASA explains: "Help us discover ways to develop novel synthesis technologies that use carbon dioxide (CO2) as the sole carbon source to generate molecules that can be used to manufacture a variety of products, including "substrates" for use in microbial bioreactors".