Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 331
NASA astronauts begin Moon landing gravity training in huge water tank
Being an Astronaut is no walk in the park, there is numerous different tests you must pass before you strap on a space suit and get blasted off to a nearby planet or Moon.
One of these tests is being able to operate confidently in low-gravity, so NASA has begun their low-gravity simulation training in a huge water tank at the Johnson Space Center. Since the Moon has much less mass than Earth, its gravitational pull is considerably less than Earths. In fact the Moon's gravity is exactly 83.3% less than Earths, meaning that when on the Moon an objects weight is reduced to 16.6% of what it would be on Earth.
While training in a water tank in weighted suits isn't a one-to-one simulation of the gravitational change, its the best we can do as a human race for the time being. NASA has given a statement regarding the training, "NASA astronauts wear weighted vests and backpacks to simulate walking on the Moon, which has one-sixth the gravity of Earth. Astronauts Drew Feustel and Don Pettit are among those training in the massive pool, which is used primarily to train astronauts for spacewalks aboard the International Space Station."
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NASA will expose the crashing landing site of India's moon lander
Last week India attempted landing on the moon and right before the country was about to achieve touchdown India's Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost communication with the craft.
Since India can't communicate with its Chandrayaan-2 lunar lander it has been assumed that the lander has collided with the moons surface in a crash landing. NASA has decided that they will be using the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's high-powered camera (LRO) to attempt to spot the crashed lander next week.
Noah Petro of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center said that "Per NASA policy, all LRO data are publicly available. NASA will share any before and after flyover imagery of the area around the targeted Chandrayaan 2 Vikram lander landing site to support analysis by the Indian Space Research Organization."
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MIT's special 'reprogrammable' ink could personalize cars INSTANTLY
Imagine a future where you buy a car in no particular color, and then customize it instantly -- in real-time from your phone or a button in the car, to change the entire color scheme both inside and outside.
MIT is working on just that with researchers out of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) developing a reprogrammable ink that has been called PhotoChromeleon, for obvious reasons. It has a chameleon-like ability to change color, and does so using an specially-created ink.
This ink is sprayed onto something and then each color can be tweaked by activating and deactivating specific light sources. The team explains: "For example, if you use a blue light, it would mostly be absorbed by the yellow dye and be deactivated, and magenta and cyan would remain, resulting in blue. If you use a green light, magenta would mostly absorb it and be deactivated, and then both yellow and cyan would remain, resulting in green".
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Palmer Luckey's defense company Anduril already valued at $1 billion
Palmer Luckey rode into the technology world like a tornado, pioneering VR with the Oculus Rift -- having his company acquired by Facebook for $2 billion, then off into the (real) sunset. Now his new company, Anduril Industries, is valued at $1 billion thanks to a new fundraising round.
Back in mid-2017 he founded his new company Anduril, which uses lidar technology that powers self-driving cars -- with cameras and infrared systems as well as AI as a virtual wall. Anduril is working with the US government, and has plans of monitoring the battlefields of the future with what should amount to much less loss of human life.
Anduril has had a new fundraising round where the company is reportedly now valued at $1 billion, with venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz signing a big cheque according to anonymous sources of CNBC.
Continue reading: Palmer Luckey's defense company Anduril already valued at $1 billion (full post)
An entire 1630-pound undersea station mysteriously VANISHES
Something strange happened on August 21 -- an environmental monitoring station on the very bottom of the Baltic Sea off of the coast of Germany, went completely missing. Yeah, it is GONE.
The Boknis Eck Observatory was sending out its usual data transmission when it all of the sudden just stopped, so the team sent divers down to the bottom of the ocean to check it out and discovered it just wasn't there anymore. The entire 1630-pound (740kg) observatory has disappeared, with the divers only finding a cable -- the observatory had been torn away from the cable and taken.
Hermann Bange, a marine biologist for GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel explained: "The devices were gone, the divers could not find them anymore. When the divers reached the bottom of the sea last week at the observatory's location, they found only the torn-off land cable. It was completely shredded".
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Foxconn factory in the US first job: an airport coffee ROBOT
Foxconn's first job once its factory in Wisconsin is built and operational will be an automated coffee robot for mall kiosks, airports (probably the best place) and office spaces of the future.
The Chinese giant teamed with Texas-based company Briggo to manufacture the new automated coffee machines. Foxconn will use its upcoming LCD factory in Wisconsin, which will make the coffee machines for Briggo, while seeking other contracts to build products for other companies.
Foxconn has been in hot water over its facility, which seems to be spiralling in mismanagement. The company is saying it'll have its factory complete in 2020, but it'll be smaller, and employ less Americans than the original plans.
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Elon Musk says SpaceX has 'Area 59' with tech 8x better than Area 51
Elon Musk has some choice words for conspiracy theorists: SpaceX has better technology than Area 51 -- the super-secretive US base where supposedly aliens and associated alien technology is hidden from the world.
During the recent World Artificial Intelligence conference in Shanghai, China, Musk talked about the possibilities of the US government being in contact with aliens, and hiding it from the public. Musk doiesn't think that's the case, with the Tesla and SpaceX founder saying: "There are people out there who think we have found aliens. Trust me, I would know: We have not".
This is when the Area 51 and Area 59 mentions happened, with Musk saying: "People ask me if I have been to Area 51. Ok, please. SpaceX actually has area 59 and it's eight better than area 51".
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China lunar rover finds weird 'gel-like' thing on far side of the moon
China has found something bizarre and very strange on the far side of the moon, with its Yutu-2 rover discovering a tiny crater on the moon with material of an unusual color and consistency.
The discovery was discussed in a new paper published by Chiense researchers, on Chinese-language site Our Space. The discovery was pretty much by accident, with the Yutu-2 rover scheduled for power down during the lunar night in late-July but then something strange was spotted.
The team spotted a crater near the Yutu-2 on its image preview of the "strange-looking substance", which led the team to scanning it with the Yutu-2's optical and near-infrared spectrometer. Still, they had no idea what they were looking at apart from reporting the material is "gel-like" and isn't a color that is seen on the lunar surface.
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Deepfake VOICE used to trick manager into $243,000 transfer
If you thought deepfake foolery only happened in video form, then you would be wrong -- some fraudsters have slammed a manager for $243,000 in something called vishing (voice phishing).
This method involves using fake voice technology, with the Wall Street Journal reporting a case of voice fraud in which the company was caught with its pants down over $243,000.
Criminals used commercially available voice-generating AI software that tricked the CEO of a UK-based energy firm into thinking "he was speaking on the phone with his boss". The CEO heard the voice, thinking it was his boss and not thinking anything suspicious -- requesting him to transfer $243,000 urgently for an order with a Hungarian supplier.
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Trump revives Space Command to protect US interests in space
President Trump and Vice President Pence have announced that US Space Command is back and operational, after a lengthy 17-year hiatus the Cold War-era division of the Air Force is back.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that the US Space Command will "ensure the protection of America's interests in space", but the new Space Command isn't the same, and shouldn't be confused with Space Force. Space Force is the 6th branch of military that President Trump is hoping to build, which will focus on Air Force operations where no one can hear you scream.
Trump said at the event itself: "The dangers to our country constantly evolve. Now, those who wish to harm the United States, who seek to challenge us in the ultimate high ground of space, it's going to be a whole different ballgame".
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