Archive for the ‘space travel’ category

Mar 13, 2024

How to watch SpaceX’s 3rd Starship launch test live online

Posted by in category: space travel

The third orbital test flight of the 400-foot-tall megarocket could launch at around 8 a.m. EDT.

Mar 13, 2024

NASA’s Europa Clipper mission will carry its own ‘golden record’ to Jupiter’s icy ocean moon

Posted by in category: space travel

NASA’s Europa Clipper, aiming to lift off for Jupiter’s icy moon in October, will carry names, poetry and other symbols of humanity’s search for life beyond Earth.

Mar 11, 2024

New Realistic Computer Model will Help Robots Collect Moon Dust

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

A new computer model mimics Moon dust so well that it could lead to smoother and safer Lunar robot teleoperations. The tool, developed by researchers at the University of Bristol and based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, could be used to train astronauts ahead of Lunar missions. Working with their industry partner, Thales Alenia Space in the UK, who has specific interest in creating working robotic systems for space applications, the team investigated a virtual version of regolith, another name for Moon dust.

Lunar regolith is of particular interest for the upcoming Lunar exploration missions planned over the next decade. From it, scientists can potentially extract valuable resources such as oxygen, rocket fuel or construction materials, to support a long-term presence on the Moon. To collect regolith, remotely operated robots emerge as a practical choice due to their lower risks and costs compared to human spaceflight.

However, operating robots over these large distances introduces large delays into the system, which make them more difficult to control. Now that the team know this simulation behaves similarly to reality, they can use it to mirror operating a robot on the Moon. This approach allows operators to control the robot without delays, providing a smoother and more efficient experience.

Mar 11, 2024

The Butlerian Jihad: Frank Herbert’s Warning Against A.I. | Dune Lore Explained

Posted by in categories: education, robotics/AI, space travel

An exploration of Frank Herbert’s implicit and explicit warnings against the unmitigated advancement and dependence on AI (Artificial Intelligence), while also examining how these fundamental concerns, leading to AI’s prohibition, consistently resonate throughout the series. One of its less explored, but equally compelling, elements is its commentary on the rise of artificial intelligence. Dune is set in the far future taking place in an interstellar empire that is devoid of thinking machines after a universal ban against computing technology that is made in the likeness of a human mind. The reasons behind this prohibition not only serve as a caution against the perils of artificial intelligence, but they also underscore broader warnings present throughout Herbert’s Dune books.

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Mar 10, 2024

Unlocking the Secrets Behind Galaxy Formation

Posted by in categories: cosmology, space travel, supercomputing

Astronomers can use supercomputers to simulate the formation of galaxies from the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago to the present day. But there are a number of sources of error. An international research team, led by researchers in Lund, has spent a hundred million computer hours over eight years trying to correct these.

The last decade has seen major advances in computer simulations that can realistically calculate how galaxies form. These cosmological simulations are crucial to our understanding of where galaxies, stars, and planets come from. However, the predictions from such models are affected by limitations in the resolution of the simulations, as well as assumptions about a number of factors, such as how stars live and die and the evolution of the interstellar medium.

Collaborative Efforts Enhance Accuracy

Mar 9, 2024

Elon Musk Says Starship Will Spin for Artificial Gravity

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

SpaceX is gearing up for its third attempt to get its massive Starship spacecraft into orbit. In a recent update, the company hinted at a March 14 launch “pending regulatory approval.”

Meanwhile, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is already thinking many steps ahead, envisioning what’ll be like to travel on board the spacecraft all the way to Mars.

“Starship will have a small spin on the way to Mars,” Musk replied after Id Software founder John Carmack suggested SpaceX should try to spin its Dragon astronaut shuttle to test out spin gravity. “Even a tiny gravity vector is better than none.”

Mar 9, 2024

SpaceX to perform first-ever re-light of Starship Raptor engine next week

Posted by in category: space travel

Starship will attempt a controlled reentry as well as the first re-light of a Raptor engine. It could fly again next week.

Mar 9, 2024

Alef: SpaceX-backed flying car could claim $1 billion in preorders

Posted by in category: space travel

Alef Aeronautics has announced that its revolutionary Model A flying car has now received 2,850 pre-orders for a total of $850 million.

Mar 9, 2024

One In, Three Out for Microwave Photons

Posted by in category: space travel

The demonstration of a device that can triple the number of photons in a microwave signal is a key step toward making a single-microwave-photon detector.

The ability to detect a single microwave photon’s worth of energy remains beyond the capability of any tool in the photonics toolbox. Detectors for one photon’s worth of energy at other photon wavelengths mostly identify the energy via the electrical signals that the photons induce after they hit the detector and are converted into electrons. However, the energies of microwave photons are too low for this process to work effectively. Fortunately, superconducting circuits provide a platform for turning one microwave photon into many, making such photons easier to detect. In a joint effort, researchers at Grenoble Alpes University in France and at the University of Sherbrooke in Canada have now demonstrated a device that can multiply the photons in a weak microwave signal [1]. The demonstration provides a key first step in creating a single-microwave-photon detector.

While detectors for optical photons have existed for decades, scientists only started developing detectors for microwave photons in the past 15 years. The wish list for an effective microwave-photon detector is daunting: it should respond to traveling photons, and not only those localized in space [25]; it should have sufficient sensitivity to register a signal from a single photon [6]; it should be able to count how many photons are in a signal [7]; it should not register so-called dark counts, hits recorded when the microwave source is off; and finally, its lag time between detections should be as short as possible. One proposed way to achieve these goals is to build a microwave-photon detector using the photon-number multiplier that Romain Albert and colleagues have now demonstrated [1, 8].

Mar 9, 2024

NASA is working with SpaceX and Blue Origin to land U.S. astronauts back on the moon

Posted by in category: space travel

American astronauts aren’t heading back to the moon just yet. NASA’s pricey Artemis mission is facing technical challenges. The space agency is now working with both SpaceX and Blue Origin.

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