Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 4
Russia is planning on getting an empty Soyuz capsule to the International Space Station to replace a malfunctioned spacecraft that was originally intended for cosmonauts returning back to Earth.
Russia's space agency concluded that Soyuz MS-22 suffered a coolant leak on December 24, around the same time Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin were preparing for a spacewalk. Coolant spewed from the leak for hours, which caused officials to call off the spacewalk and assess the situation. It was found that the coolant leak now prevents the Soyuz MS-22's radiator from working effectively, meaning that the spacecraft was unable to cool the cabin, resulting in possible temperatures of more than 104 Fahrenheit.
With the possibility of extreme temperatures inside the spacecraft, Roscosmos decided that Soyuz MS-22 will return to Earth, but without a crew, and the replacement Soyuz MS-23 will be sent up for the ISS-stationed cosmonauts. According to a report from SpaceNews, Russia's new plan to replace the malfunctioned spacecraft includes sending the Soyuz MS-23 up to the International Space Station with cargo on February 20.
NASA is already talking about a successor to its extremely impressive James Webb Space Telescope that began its operations last year and has already provided valuable information to researchers.
The space agency hasn't confirmed anything specific, but at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society, a group of astronomers listened to NASA talk about a Webb successor that would be approximately the same size as Webb (about 21 feet). This successor would also be stationed at Lagrange point 2, where Webb is situated, and be repairable via robots- enabling the next-gen space telescope to operate for multiple decades.
Mark Clampin, NASA's astrophysics division director, spoke to the audience and said while nothing is set in stone, he does have a name for the telescope: the Habitable Worlds Observatory (HWO). Notably, the next great observatory to launch won't be the HWO, as NASA already has plans on launching the Nancy Grace Roman Observatory in 2027, which will be an observatory dedicated to gathering data on dark energy and exoplanets.
NASA's Artemis 1 mission was declared a success when the Orion spacecraft was safely retrieved from its splashdown location on December 11 and then transported back to NASA facilities in Florida on December 30 for processing.
Now the space agency has taken to its blog on its website to announce that NASA technicians have finally opened up the Orion capsule to begin an assessment of how the spacecraft held up throughout its 1.4 million-mile journey beyond the Moon and back to Earth. NASA writes on its website that the above photo shows a technician standing inside the crew module, assessing the health of the interior and removing any payloads.
The space agency writes that teams have already removed any purposeful passengers (mannequins equipped with various sensors that'll inform NASA on how space influences human health) and Snoopy, NASA's zero-gravity indicator.
An Australian woman has kicked a robot dog that was being tested while walking down a street, and it seems the woman kicked the dog for no reason at all.
The video was shared by the dogs operator Mark Trueno, who was interviewed by Vice where he explained that he was walking the robot dog named Stampy down a street in Brisbane, Australia, at about 2:30 am when a woman walking along a sidewalk approached the dog and kicked it, resulting in about $2,500 worth of damage to Stampy's forward-facing sensor array.
The prototype robot dog is a much smaller version of the one being developed at Arrowpoint Systems, an Australian military and mining equipment company where Trueno works as an engineer. While being a miniature version, Stampy is still worth quite a lot of money, coming in at an estimated price tag of $15,000.
A biotech startup out of San Diego has put forward a claim that will undoubtedly get some eyes within the scientific community as the researchers say they've reprogrammed mice genes and doubled the lifespan of the subject.
The claim comes from San Diego biotech startup Rejuvenate Bio, which published a study on bioRxiv, a preprint server, yet to be peer-reviewed, and states that a team was able to successfully reprogram mice cells by exposing them to various proteins that are found within early-stage mice embryos. Through this exposure, the researchers were able to change the genes of the mice, which led them to find that the mice treated with this gene therapy lived 18 weeks longer on average than mice that didn't receive the treatment.
While the claims are certainly eye-opening, researchers will need to go through the study to authenticate the data as well as the results before any awards are handed over to Rejuvenate Bio. Additionally, many members of the scientific community have previously voiced concern over this experiment as the gene-altering technique was found to have caused mice to develop cancer after receiving the treatment.
Virgin Orbit's "Start Me Up" mission failed to reach orbit on Monday, January 9th, 2023, as the company informed the public over a webcast, resulting in the loss of nine satellites.
The mission, which was the company's sixth orbital flight, was launched from Spaceport Cornwall in the United Kingdom, using the company's carrier plane called Cosmic Girl. The LauncherOne rocket was dropped from the carrier plane at 6:09 p.m. EST (2309 GMT), while the plane was off Ireland's southwest coast, but suffered an anomaly which prevented it from reaching orbit.
The lost payloads included an in-orbit manufacturing experiment from the U.K. company Space Forge, several U.K. defense cubesats, and an experimental global navigation satellite co-funded by the European Space Agency. This was an important mission for Virgin Orbit as it marked the first time the company used Spaceport Cornwall and opened a new launch chapter for the company.
NASA's instruments have detected a strong solar flare erupting from an extremely active sunspot region, according to a recent NASA blog post.
The space agency took to its website to announce that its Solar Dynamics Observatory detected the strong solar flare being emitted on January 9 at 1:50 pm EST, and that the event was photographed as displayed by the above image. The flare was classified as an X1.9 flare, with 'X' representing the most intense categorization of a solar flare, followed by M, C, B, and A. The difference between each of the letters is a 10-fold increase in energy output. So an X is ten times an M and 100 times a C.
Solar flares are intense eruptions of energy that are released by the Sun after there is a massive build-up of magnetic energy that has accumulated in the solar atmosphere. Solar flares are also typically associated with sunspot regions, which are regions producing strong magnetic activity. These flares, along with other forms of solar activity, such as coronal mass ejections (CME), have the potential to disrupt various types of communication systems on Earth, depending on the severity of the event.
NASA has said a final goodbye to a vintage satellite that was launched back in 1984 in an effort to study how the Sun's energy was both absorbed and radiated by the Earth.
The 5,400-pound Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) was launched on the back of the space shuttle Challenger and provided researchers with lots of valuable information regarding the balance between the energy that the Earth receives from the Sun and the energy that the Earth radiates back into space, which allowed for a deeper understanding of Earth's climate and weather patterns.
Notably, ERBS was outfitted with many instruments that allowed it to measure the amount of incoming and outgoing radiation in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, which included visible light, ultraviolet, and infrared. Additionally, the satellite was also equipped with an instrument that allowed it to measure the temperature and moisture profiles in different regions of Earth's atmosphere, which, like all of the other data it acquired while it was operating, fed into researchers' climate models, improving their accuracy.
A start-up company is shaking up the sculpture-making industry as its designed a robot that can produce marble sculptures extremely close to a human skill level.
Marble sculptures have played a significant role in human history and continue to be an important form of artistic expression that has been used for thousands of years. Sculptures have been used to depict a wide range of important subjects, including gods and goddesses, emperors and kings, as well as everyday people. The ancient Greeks were particularly skilled at creating marble sculptures, and many of their works have survived to the present day and are on display.
In addition to their aesthetic value, marble sculptures have also been used as a means of preserving cultural and historical memories, as they can last for thousands of years. Famous figures such as Michelangelo and Canova spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours chipping away at their sculptures, but now a new player has entered the sculpture game and its called "1L". The robot stands at 13-feet tall and is designed to reduce the time required to create a sculpture by hand, which typically takes a couple of months.
A comet that hasn't visited Earth for more than 50,000 years is on its way, and skywatchers will likely be able to see it with the unaided eye.
The comet is called C/2022 E3 and was originally discovered by the Zwicky Transient Facility in March 2022. C/2022 E3 is currently on its way to make its closest approach to Earth since the Neanderthals roamed our planet's surface, and over the course of January and February, skywatchers may be able to see the bright green hue of the comet (depending on the weather of course).
Since its discovery, researchers have captured several images of C/2022 E3, with some particularly good shots coming from John Chumack from GalacticImages.com. Chumack snapped the above image from Yellow Springs, Ohio, and writes that the comet was anticipated to be shining at around 11.00 magnitude, and that its tail, as well as the 2.5 arc-min Green Coma, was visible.