Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 424

All the latest Science, Space, Health & Robotics news with plenty of coverage on space launches, discoveries, rockets & plenty more - Page 424.

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NASA's first flight: Space exploration had a rough start

Lana Jelic | Oct 11, 2016 12:31 PM CDT

In its 58 years of existence, NASA can boast with many achievements. They sent the first people to the Moon, rovers on Mars and many probes and spacecraft to explore the universe. Just this year, NASA found strong evidence of water plumes on Europa, Jupiter's moon, they sent OSIRIS-REx probe to study asteroid 101955 Bennu, we got a better perspective of Jupiter and Mars, they discovered K2-33b, a very young super-Neptune exoplanet, thanks to Kepler who also discovered 100 Earth-sized planets and NASA's Hubble Space Telescope had shattered the cosmic distance record by measuring the farthest galaxy ever seen in the universe. And this is just scratching the surface of NASA's this year's discoveries and accomplishments.

For decades, NASA is changing the way we see the universe. Their findings contributed to a better understanding of our planet and everything that surrounds it.

It all began back in 1958, just 11 days after NASA has been officially established. On this day, October 11th, 1958, NASA had launched its first spacecraft - Pioneer 1.

Continue reading: NASA's first flight: Space exploration had a rough start (full post)

Mysterious Mars has a flag and Yemen wannabe owners

Lana Jelic | Oct 10, 2016 12:26 PM CDT

We've learned a lof about Mars in the past decades thanks to probes and rovers that are studying the closest planet to Earth. If everything goes as planned, Mars could become our second home someday. Elon Musk has ambitious plans in colonizing Mars, and he isn't the only one who wants to send people to the Red Planet. Just last week Dennis Muilenburg, the CEO of The Boeing Company, stated that he is convinced that the first humans to set foot on Mars will get there by a Boeing rocket.

Whoever sends the first people to Mars will set a huge milestone in the history of humankind. It will mark the first time a human being has set foot on another planet, and it could happen during our lifetime. Can you just imagine how exciting it must have been for people around the world sitting in front of TVs and watching the first Moon landing? We could experience the same, but this time the space exploration will get us much further.

If and when the first people reach Mars, it will also mark the first time a person walked on any other space body other than Earth since 1972 when Eugene Cernan was the last person to walk on the Moon.

Continue reading: Mysterious Mars has a flag and Yemen wannabe owners (full post)

Fun in zero gravity: This is how astronauts 'kill' time

Lana Jelic | Oct 8, 2016 8:24 PM CDT

During the last nearly 16 years, the International Space Station has been a home for many astronauts and cosmonauts. Currently, there are six people aboard the ISS and, like many before them, spend around nine and a half hours a day doing different research. If we exclude the time they spend sleeping, members of the crew have around four hours a day of free time during which they eat, but also entertain themselves.

To maximize the use of their free time, many find interesting ways of entertainment.

One of the most interesting things you can do aboard the Space Station is to "fly". In space there are no terms 'up' and 'down', there is no floor or ceiling.

Continue reading: Fun in zero gravity: This is how astronauts 'kill' time (full post)

iBand+ helps you lucid dream, sleep better

Sean Ridgeley | Oct 7, 2016 3:00 PM CDT

The Kickstarter gadget iBand+ wants to help you lucid dream as well as sleep easier and better. A three-part solution, it requires a headband, pillow speakers, and an app, all of which combine to monitor your mind and body.

Once you hit REM sleep, audio-visual cues play which make you aware you're dreaming without waking you up, which should result in better sleep. Additionally, music plays during different stages of sleep to help you achieve more satisfying rest, each carefully chosen for the given stage.

Finally, the app offers "a glimpse into [your] physical and mental state that could disclose potential health and sleep problems."

Continue reading: iBand+ helps you lucid dream, sleep better (full post)

NASA sets a date for their next ISS crew launch

Lana Jelic | Oct 7, 2016 12:27 PM CDT

NASA has set a date for their next International Space Station crew launch - October 19th. The initial launch was planned for September 23rd, but because of technical difficulties with the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft it was postponed.

A statement from Roscosmos, the governmental body responsible for the space science program of Russia and general aerospace research, explains the cause of the delay and determines that the spacecraft is now ready for the launch:

Based on quality assurance tests of MTV Soyuz MS-02, the specialists of Rocket and Space Corporation Energiya determined that the control equipment was activated by the landing system cable, which was jammed during the test operations. After the cable malfunction had been fixed, engineers ran a full trial of the space ship.

Continue reading: NASA sets a date for their next ISS crew launch (full post)

Boeing wants to beat Elon Musk and SpaceX to Mars

Lana Jelic | Oct 7, 2016 8:31 AM CDT

Elon Musk has a plan to colonize Mars, but he isn't the only one who wants to get to the Red Planet. Speaking at a conference in Chicago, Dennis Muilenburg, the CEO of The Boeing Company, stated that he is convinced that the first humans to set foot on Mars will get there by a Boeing rocket.

The Boeing Company is involved in space exploration practically since the founding of NASA. They built the first stage of the Saturn V rocket, the three-stage liquid-fueled launch vehicle developed to support the Apollo program for human exploration of the Moon, and was later used to launch Skylab, the first American space station. Boeing also participated with other projects in the space program, and was the first contractor for the International Space Station program.

NASA has awarded contracts to Boeing and SpaceX for transporting astronauts to the International Space Station, and seems like their rivalry will continue since Boeing, like SpaceX, is also working on the design and development of a new rocket that should bring the first people to Mars.

Continue reading: Boeing wants to beat Elon Musk and SpaceX to Mars (full post)

Google Assistant shows the company's shift towards AI

Anthony Garreffa | Oct 4, 2016 11:08 AM CDT

Google boss Sundar Pichai is on the stage right now talking about Google, its past and its future - teasing that the company is 'very excited' about moving towards an AI first world.

Where are we now? We're in a mobile-first world, but Google is wanting to change that up with artificial intelligence. Google has just unveiled the Google Assistant, which you can ask questions - it seems like a more powerful Google Now, and that's not a bad thing at all. Google Now is one of Google's best secret weapons.

On stage, Google Assistant was used with near instant replies and information - providing details on some plays at a local theater, taking in contextual information from the screen through an SMS message. The voice that Google Assistant uses is much more organic, feeling like an actual person replying versus a robotic human voice.

Continue reading: Google Assistant shows the company's shift towards AI (full post)

Elon Musk wants to colonize Mars

Sean Ridgeley | Sep 28, 2016 12:57 PM CDT

SpaceX CEO and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk is dreaming big as usual: his newly unveiled long-term plan is to colonize Mars, among other planets.

The first phase: launch an upgraded, unpiloted Dragon spacecraft toward Mars in 2018, with the aim of obtaining flight experience, while developing advanced boosters, spacecraft, and subsystems necessary for what Musk calls his "Interplanetary Transport System".

A later phase: building a 400 foot tall rocket to send large crew capsules into low-Earth orbit. The capsules are to be fueled for a trip to Mars by the same rocket, which will also carry unpiloted propellant tankers. One of the principles behind the mission structure is to make the trips much more affordable: $200,000 per ticket versus the previous standing $10 billion.

Continue reading: Elon Musk wants to colonize Mars (full post)

NASA finds strong evidence of water plumes on Europa

Lana Jelic | Sep 27, 2016 9:24 AM CDT

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA, launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and to this day it stays a vital research tool for astronomy. Hubble is meritorious for some major discoveries and photographs that have shown us the beauties of the universe.

Today, NASA announced that Hubble has imaged what may be water vapor plumes erupting off the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. It appears that the icy moon erupts with high altitude vapor plumes. Scientists estimate that the plumes rise about 200 kilometers before falling back onto Europa's surface.

The observation increases the possibility that missions to Europa may be able to sample Europa's ocean without having to drill through miles of ice.

Continue reading: NASA finds strong evidence of water plumes on Europa (full post)

The biggest telescope begins its search for alien life

Lana Jelic | Sep 25, 2016 7:33 PM CDT

The world's largest telescope had begun operating in China and it should help humanity search for alien life. The 500m Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is located in the Dawodang depression, a natural basin in Pingtang County, Guizhou Province, southwest China. It consists of a fixed 500m dish constructed in a natural depression in the landscape.

It is the world's largest single-dish radio telescope (Arecibo Observatory held that title for 53 years) and the second largest radio telescope (after the Russian RATAN-600, which has a sparsely filled aperture). The final cost of the FAST telescope was $180 million and it took five years to build it. Its primary goal is to search for alien life but it will also be developed as a tourist attraction. Currently there are 71 people working for the FAST project.

The facility was opened at a ceremony on Sunday but it will take up to three years to calibrate the instrument so it can become fully operational. FAST will help us 'listen' to the universe and it will be able to detect radio waves from space. Scientists hope the FAST will play a key role in the discovery of alien life.

Continue reading: The biggest telescope begins its search for alien life (full post)