Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 151

All the latest Science, Space, Health & Robotics news with plenty of coverage on space launches, discoveries, rockets & plenty more - Page 151.

Tesla battery output/storage in South Australia to expand by 50%

Anthony Garreffa | Tue, Nov 19 2019 7:33 PM CST

Just over 200km north of me here in South Australia is the huge Tesla battery storage array in Hornsdale, with the Hornsdale Power Reserve currently having battery output of 100 megawatts -- and that's to soon increase by 50%.

Tesla battery output/storage in South Australia to expand by 50% | TweakTown.com

Tesla, the South Australian government and federal government, as well as French renewable energy company Neoen will be expanding the Hornsdale Power Reserve from 100 megawatts, to 150 megawatts. The upgrades will also include battery storage capacity boosts, which will see it expand up to 193.5 megawatt hours -- enough juice to keep it operating at 100% for over an hour.

The deal comes at the perfect time, with weather here in South Australia for November 20 set to be the hottest November on record with temperatures hitting 40C (104F) at just 10AM. I'm writing this news with all air conditioning on right now and I'm just surviving, but the electrical grid will be taking a big strain today.

Continue reading: Tesla battery output/storage in South Australia to expand by 50% (full post)

NASA select SpaceX, Blue Origin and more to design Artemis Moon lander

Jak Connor | Tue, Nov 19 2019 3:32 AM CST

NASA has introduced five more companies into the Artemis lunar program, and these companies will be designing what they think is the best moon lander for an astronaut return trip.

NASA has selected the following companies to join its Commercial Lunar Payload Services program (CLPS): SpaceX, Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada Corp., Ceres Robotics and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc. The basis of this program is that private companies will be able to compete for contracts to deliver NASA science to the surface of the moon. This means that the previously listed companies will all be designing their lunar lander, along with nine other NASA selected companies.

According to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, "American aerospace companies of all sizes are joining the Artemis program. Expanding the group of companies who are eligible to bid on sending payloads to the moon's surface drives innovation and reduces costs to NASA and American taxpayers. We anticipate opportunities to deliver a wide range of science and technology payloads to help make our vision for lunar exploration a reality and advance our goal of sending humans to explore Mars."

Continue reading: NASA select SpaceX, Blue Origin and more to design Artemis Moon lander (full post)

Saturn's big moon 'Titan' mapped, now one of the best places for life

Jak Connor | Tue, Nov 19 2019 2:10 AM CST

The entire surface of Saturn's largest moon has been successfully mapped by astronomers for the first time ever.

Saturn's big moon 'Titan' mapped, now one of the best places for life | TweakTown.com

Astronomers have taken data from NASA's Cassini mission to successfully map the entire surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan. The Cassini spacecraft orbited Saturn and its moons for more than a decade (2004 to 2017) collecting a plethora amount of data for astronomers. With this data astronomers were able to piece together a diverse terrain containing mounts, plains, valleys, craters and lakes.

According to Rosaly Lopes, a planetary scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, "Titan has an atmosphere like Earth. It has wind, it has rain, it has mountains. It's a really very interesting world, and one of the best places in the Solar System to look for life". Lopes and her team are responsible for the successful combination of images and measurements taken by Cassini to create the first global map of Titan (seen above).

Continue reading: Saturn's big moon 'Titan' mapped, now one of the best places for life (full post)

The answer to cheap space travel to other planets is a 1,000km Skyhook

Jak Connor | Mon, Nov 18 2019 2:06 AM CST

The answer to efficient and cheap space travel might just be simpler than you think; all it requires is a cable and a weight.

Above, we have a video from Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell, and this time around, the scientific YouTube Channel is exploring the idea of cheap and effective space travel. The idea that is proposed begins with what is called a 'Tether,' which is simply a weight with a cable attached to it. Kurzgesagt suggests that humans build extremely long versions of these tethers and place them at a safe distance around our planet and use them as a 'free' means of propulsion to other planets.

Since the tether would be spinning around our planet, spaceships would be able to attach onto the tether and use its rotational force to be pushed towards a designated planet. The video says that there will be a few problems in doing this; humans would have to create smaller spacecrafts that would be able to match the tethers speed throughout our atmosphere (12,000km per hour). While that might sound extremely difficult, it should be noted that traditional spacecrafts need to reach 45,000km per hour to exit our planet's gravity.

Continue reading: The answer to cheap space travel to other planets is a 1,000km Skyhook (full post)

Mountains to be used as jumbo batteries for long-term energy storage

Jak Connor | Mon, Nov 18 2019 1:31 AM CST

A new means of storing renewable energy is being researched, and strangely enough in incorporates using mountains as big batteries.

Mountains to be used as jumbo batteries for long-term energy storage | TweakTown.com

The study by Julian Hunt and his colleagues of Austria-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) details a new system of energy storage called "Mountain Gravity Energy Storage (MGES)". MGES places cranes on the edges of steep mountains and then moves sand/gravel from a storage site located at the bottom of the mountain to another storage site located at the top.

This process is much like a ski-lift and requires a motor or a generator to transport the storage vessels but instead it generates electricity when the sand is lowered back down from the top site. How is this done? MGES uses gravity to its advantage, converting energy into storeable electricity that is proportional to the sand's mass, gravity and height of the mountain its situation on.

Continue reading: Mountains to be used as jumbo batteries for long-term energy storage (full post)

NASA: oxygen is being created and used on Mars and they don't know why

Anthony Garreffa | Thu, Nov 14 2019 7:29 PM CST

NASA has admitted that it is "struggling to explain" why oxygen is being created, and then consumed on Mars. The US space agency has been left scratching their collective heads since.

NASA: oxygen is being created and used on Mars and they don't know why | TweakTown.com

The reason behind this is that NASA's own Curiosity rover that is chilling on the Red Planet has returned some rather interesting data back to our Pale Blue Dot, showing that elevated methane levels were recorded, and NASA can't explain why. There have been tests conducted and completed to try and work out why these levels were so high, but NASA doesn't know why.

NASA's Curiosity rover "breathes" in the air on Mars, analyzes it and tells NASA what types of gasses are detected. But something interesting was discovered -- here on Earth the background levels of certain gasses will increase and decrease as the seasons change, and something similar is happening on Mars.

Continue reading: NASA: oxygen is being created and used on Mars and they don't know why (full post)

Scientists create sci-fi 3D holograms that you can see, feel and hear

Jak Connor | Thu, Nov 14 2019 4:20 AM CST

Scientists out of Britain have managed to create realistic 3D holograms that can be seen with the naked eye, heard and even felt.

A team of scientists working at the University of Sussex in southern England has managed to use technology to create a prototype called Multimodal Acoustic Trap Display (MATD). This prototype has the ability of "simultaneously deliver visual, auditory and tactile content". This is done through using sound waves or "acoustophoresis" that move and manipulate particles to form an image.

The team spoke out about how they achieved this, saying "Our system traps a particle acoustically and illuminates it with red, green and blue light to control its color as it quickly scans the display volume." Due to the system being developed with sound waves, it allows the hologram to not only be seen but also heard and felt.

Continue reading: Scientists create sci-fi 3D holograms that you can see, feel and hear (full post)

NASA side-step big Nazi controversy by renaming Kuiper Belt object

Jak Connor | Thu, Nov 14 2019 3:18 AM CST

The Kuiper Belt object located deep in our solar system has had its named changed from MU69 Ultima Thule, to Arrokoth.

Why have NASA decided to make the name change? Well, 'Ultima Thule' means "farthest place", but it also has the same term that white supremacists and Nazi's in particular used to refer to a mythical homeland. The 'Thule Society' was a German occultist group founded in Munich right after World War I.

The society was also heavily recognised by Adolf Hitler, and as you can imagine many people that knew these facts didn't think that NASA's name for the object fit. So in an effort to side-step the controversy, NASA decided to rename the object from 'Ultima Thule' to 'Arrokoth'. This new name is derived from Powhatan/Algonquian language and it means 'sky'. Above is a video of Dr. Phoebe Farris of the Powhatan-Pamunkey Tribe officially renaming the Kuiper Belt object.

Continue reading: NASA side-step big Nazi controversy by renaming Kuiper Belt object (full post)

This star moving at hyperdrive-speeds was spat out from our black hole

Jak Connor | Wed, Nov 13 2019 1:03 AM CST

Astronomers have confirmed that a star was ejected out the supermassive black hole that is located at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy.

This star moving at hyperdrive-speeds was spat out from our black hole | TweakTown.com

A team of researchers of Carnegie Mellon University's McWilliams Center for Cosmology spotted the star, which is titled S5-HVS1 in a constellation called Grus. When spotted by the team, it was traveling at insane speeds, 10x the speed of most other stars in our galaxy. According to the team, S5-HVS1 was moving at a ridiculous 3.7 million mph after it was ejected out the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A*.

The team of researchers was led by Sergey Koposov, who said, "This is super exciting, as we have long suspected that black holes can eject stars with very high velocities. However, we never had an unambiguous association of such a fast star with the galactic center." Douglas Boubert, a researcher at the University of Oxford and a co-author of the study, said: "The velocity of the discovered star is so high that it will inevitably leave the galaxy and never return".

Continue reading: This star moving at hyperdrive-speeds was spat out from our black hole (full post)

Morphing stingray-like spacecraft plans to explore dark side of Venus

Jak Connor | Tue, Nov 12 2019 3:07 AM CST

Researchers are currently designing an extremely unusual but still awesome spacecraft for NASA. The spacecraft resembles a stingray, but it's not all just for show.

Morphing stingray-like spacecraft plans to explore dark side of Venus | TweakTown.com

Researchers out of the University of Buffalo are designing the Bio-inspired Ray for Extreme Environments and Zonal Explorations (BREEZE). This is a project that has been selected by NASA to receive funding as it has the potential of changing space exploration forever. The researchers designing the spacecraft are envisioning a morphing spacecraft that can flap its wings and make efficient use of the high winds that are in Venus' upper atmosphere.

Researchers are planning on having BREEZE circumnavigate Venus every four to six days, with solar panels also located on the hull it can charge over two to three days on the planets illuminated side. This solar energy would be stored and then power the other instruments that will take atmospheric samples, track weather patterns, monitor volcanic activity, and more.

Continue reading: Morphing stingray-like spacecraft plans to explore dark side of Venus (full post)

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