The Science & Technology Thread

General Discussion on any Off Topic subject
post

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby RedLeader » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:07 am

Buc2 wrote:
RedLeader wrote:Try to guess before clicking...

https://www.howmanypeopleareinspacerightnow.com/



I was surprised.

Before looking, I will say 7.

Spoiler:
Okay...so that was way off. I guess the end of the space shuttle program put a huge damper on the number of people going up there to do science. That's a real shame. Hopefully SpaceX can up that ante again if/when the Falcon Heavy is cleared to begin manned flights.


Ya, way lower than I would’ve guessed.... And only one American.


82 days, though! God bless those crazy fuckers.
User avatar
RedLeader
 
Posts: 2414
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:27 pm
Location: G14 Classified
Has thanked: 84 times
Been thanked: 89 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:01 am

A trip through the solar system using the moon as 1 pixel for scale.

http://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pixelspace_solarsystem.html

fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
Image
User avatar
Mountaineer Buc
 
Posts: 12067
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:15 pm
Location: Crestucky
Has thanked: 124 times
Been thanked: 593 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby bahamian:bucfan » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:36 am

Mountaineer Buc wrote:A trip through the solar system using the moon as 1 pixel for scale.

http://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pixelspace_solarsystem.html

fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu


WOW! That was VERY interesting........................

"The fact that you're here, in the midst of all this nothing, is pretty amazing when you stop and think about it." When he said that, I could not agree more.

Cudos to Josh Worth for putting that together because that must have took a VERY LONG time to put together.
Last edited by bahamian:bucfan on Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Image
User avatar
bahamian:bucfan
 
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:03 pm
Location: Freeport, Grand Bahama; Bahamas
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 22 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Noles1724 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:49 am

I'm sure many here have seen this already but I always revert back to this when I think of the solar system and it's actual size.

Image
Noles1724
 
Posts: 1795
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:15 pm
Has thanked: 88 times
Been thanked: 59 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:25 pm

Will hyperloops become the next big transportation reality? Imagine zipping along at 760 mph from DC and arriving in NYC a half hour later for a little day shopping trip or to attend your company's monthly sales meeting. That would be pretty awesome.

Elon Musk's hyperloop dream may come true — and soon
'It’s happening far faster than I would have ever expected, and it’s happening all over the world.'
by Kate Baggaley / Mar.11.2018 / 5:38 AM ET

Image
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies capsule.Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

Elon Musk first described his idea for a futuristic transportation system that would send passenger pods through tubes at speeds of hundreds of miles an hour back in 2013. At the time, the idea of actually building and operating a so-called “hyperloop” seemed far-fetched, to say the least.

But hyperloops are no longer quite so hypothetical. A handful of firms are now competing to develop the necessary technology. And in addition to designing the magnetically levitated pods and testing them on small-scale tracks, the firms are taking preliminary steps to set up hyperloop routes in the U.S. and abroad.

“It’s happening far faster than I would have ever expected, and it’s happening all over the world,” said Dr. David Goldsmith, a transportation researcher at Virginia Tech.

One of the biggest players is Musk himself. His whimsically named Boring Company is planning to dig a hyperloop tunnel that would make it possible to travel from Washington, D.C. to New York City in half an hour (the fastest Amtrak trains make the trip in just under three hours). Meanwhile, a pair of California-based startups, Virgin Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, are developing routes in North America, Asia, and Europe.

Image
An electric skate will carry between 8 and 16 passengers. Boring Company

Many engineering and regulatory hurdles must be crossed before the first paying customer boards a hyperloop pod and zooms off down a tube — and not everyone shares Goldsmith’s rosy outlook. “I wouldn’t plan to take your next vacation on them,” Juan Matute, associate director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA, said of the pods. “It’s going to take a lot of time to get implemented, if they ever are.”

But with roads in many areas badly congested and air travel subject to weather delays, high-speed tube travel sounds appealing to many. In addition to shaving hours off of intercity trips, hyperloops promise to be less polluting than planes and cars. And hyperloop travel could even transform the morning commute, potentially allowing workers to travel comfortably to worksites hundreds of miles away from their homes.

THE HYPERLOOP EXPERIENCE
Hyperloop routes would consist of steel tubes roughly 11 feet in diameter that would be positioned on the ground or, in Musk’s vision, in underground tunnels. Either way, the routes would have to be picked carefully both to avoid existing infrastructure like roads and buildings and to make sure the routes take no sharp turns that could subject passengers to unpleasant jolts.

As for the pods, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies envisions 100-foot-long models fitted with virtual windows — video screens that would recreate the scenery outside — and capable of seating 40 passengers. Virgin Hyperloop One, meanwhile, has already built prototype pods fitted with leather seats and armrest-mounted entertainment screens.

The pods would accelerate and decelerate gradually, moving from one station to the next without stopping.

“The actual experience of riding in one of these things would be very serene,” Goldsmith said of the pods. “You’re sealed up in something like an airplane fuselage but without the air running past you,” he said, a reference to the fact that the tubes would be maintained at a partial vacuum to reduce air resistance that would slow the pods. (The pods themselves would carry their own air supply.)

Image
Virgin's DevLoop in North Las Vegas Kyle Cothern / Virgin

In short, hyperloop trips promise to be quiet and smooth — and very fast. Ultimately, hyperloop developers aim to develop systems that will move pods along at speeds of up to 760 miles per hour. So far, the fastest any prototype pod has traveled is 240 miles per hour. That came last December during a test run that Virgin Hyperloop One conducted in the Nevada desert.

TESTING AND CONSTRUCTION
Virgin Hyperloop One hopes to begin testing full-sized hyperloop systems in 2021 and then to build hyperloops in the United Arab Emirates and India, among other countries. The company is also conducting feasibility studies for routes in Missouri and Colorado. Musk’s Boring Company has received a permit to begin excavating a possible hyperloop station in Washington, D.C. And Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is carrying out a feasibility study for a hyperloop linking Chicago and Cleveland and is considering routes in Europe, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.

Image
Bird's eye view of the Virgin Hyperloop One looking deep into the North Las Vegas desert. Virgin

Among other things, the tests will show whether it’s possible to maintain the partial vacuum within the tubes over hundreds of miles and if airlocks can quickly and fully seal off the tubes when passengers exit a pod.

Once construction of commercial hyperloop routes begins, it’s likely to prove very costly. Some estimates suggest one mile of a hyperloop route could cost up to $121 million, Forbes reported.

Obtaining land rights and environmental approval will complicate matters. So will the need to develop regulations and safety standards for a new form of transportation. “We really need to know a lot more about the safety features and what would happen if something went wrong,” Philippa Oldham, head of technology and manufacturing at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, told The Guardian.

The price of hyperloop fares is uncertain. But as with existing modes of transportation, hyperloop travel will be more expensive at certain times and dates. As Matute put it, “It could be that if you want to go up to San Francisco [from Los Angeles] for cheap, you leave at 3 a.m., but if you want to go at 7:30 a.m. and have this life where you’re living in one city and working in the other, it will be a lot more expensive.”

When will commercial hyperloops begin operation? “Possibly, in a few years a few single lines can be in operation,” Kees van Goeverden, a transportation researcher at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, told NBC News MACH in an email. ”But I do not expect that a coherent system will be operated before 2030.”
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Phantom Phenom » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:21 pm

Buc2 wrote:Will hyperloops become the next big transportation reality? Imagine zipping along at 760 mph from DC and arriving in NYC a half hour later for a little day shopping trip or to attend your company's monthly sales meeting. That would be pretty awesome.

Elon Musk's hyperloop dream may come true — and soon
'It’s happening far faster than I would have ever expected, and it’s happening all over the world.'
by Kate Baggaley / Mar.11.2018 / 5:38 AM ET

Image
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies capsule.Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

Elon Musk first described his idea for a futuristic transportation system that would send passenger pods through tubes at speeds of hundreds of miles an hour back in 2013. At the time, the idea of actually building and operating a so-called “hyperloop” seemed far-fetched, to say the least.

But hyperloops are no longer quite so hypothetical. A handful of firms are now competing to develop the necessary technology. And in addition to designing the magnetically levitated pods and testing them on small-scale tracks, the firms are taking preliminary steps to set up hyperloop routes in the U.S. and abroad.

“It’s happening far faster than I would have ever expected, and it’s happening all over the world,” said Dr. David Goldsmith, a transportation researcher at Virginia Tech.

One of the biggest players is Musk himself. His whimsically named Boring Company is planning to dig a hyperloop tunnel that would make it possible to travel from Washington, D.C. to New York City in half an hour (the fastest Amtrak trains make the trip in just under three hours). Meanwhile, a pair of California-based startups, Virgin Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, are developing routes in North America, Asia, and Europe.

Image
An electric skate will carry between 8 and 16 passengers. Boring Company

Many engineering and regulatory hurdles must be crossed before the first paying customer boards a hyperloop pod and zooms off down a tube — and not everyone shares Goldsmith’s rosy outlook. “I wouldn’t plan to take your next vacation on them,” Juan Matute, associate director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA, said of the pods. “It’s going to take a lot of time to get implemented, if they ever are.”

But with roads in many areas badly congested and air travel subject to weather delays, high-speed tube travel sounds appealing to many. In addition to shaving hours off of intercity trips, hyperloops promise to be less polluting than planes and cars. And hyperloop travel could even transform the morning commute, potentially allowing workers to travel comfortably to worksites hundreds of miles away from their homes.

THE HYPERLOOP EXPERIENCE
Hyperloop routes would consist of steel tubes roughly 11 feet in diameter that would be positioned on the ground or, in Musk’s vision, in underground tunnels. Either way, the routes would have to be picked carefully both to avoid existing infrastructure like roads and buildings and to make sure the routes take no sharp turns that could subject passengers to unpleasant jolts.

As for the pods, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies envisions 100-foot-long models fitted with virtual windows — video screens that would recreate the scenery outside — and capable of seating 40 passengers. Virgin Hyperloop One, meanwhile, has already built prototype pods fitted with leather seats and armrest-mounted entertainment screens.

The pods would accelerate and decelerate gradually, moving from one station to the next without stopping.

“The actual experience of riding in one of these things would be very serene,” Goldsmith said of the pods. “You’re sealed up in something like an airplane fuselage but without the air running past you,” he said, a reference to the fact that the tubes would be maintained at a partial vacuum to reduce air resistance that would slow the pods. (The pods themselves would carry their own air supply.)

Image
Virgin's DevLoop in North Las Vegas Kyle Cothern / Virgin

In short, hyperloop trips promise to be quiet and smooth — and very fast. Ultimately, hyperloop developers aim to develop systems that will move pods along at speeds of up to 760 miles per hour. So far, the fastest any prototype pod has traveled is 240 miles per hour. That came last December during a test run that Virgin Hyperloop One conducted in the Nevada desert.

TESTING AND CONSTRUCTION
Virgin Hyperloop One hopes to begin testing full-sized hyperloop systems in 2021 and then to build hyperloops in the United Arab Emirates and India, among other countries. The company is also conducting feasibility studies for routes in Missouri and Colorado. Musk’s Boring Company has received a permit to begin excavating a possible hyperloop station in Washington, D.C. And Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is carrying out a feasibility study for a hyperloop linking Chicago and Cleveland and is considering routes in Europe, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.

Image
Bird's eye view of the Virgin Hyperloop One looking deep into the North Las Vegas desert. Virgin

Among other things, the tests will show whether it’s possible to maintain the partial vacuum within the tubes over hundreds of miles and if airlocks can quickly and fully seal off the tubes when passengers exit a pod.

Once construction of commercial hyperloop routes begins, it’s likely to prove very costly. Some estimates suggest one mile of a hyperloop route could cost up to $121 million, Forbes reported.

Obtaining land rights and environmental approval will complicate matters. So will the need to develop regulations and safety standards for a new form of transportation. “We really need to know a lot more about the safety features and what would happen if something went wrong,” Philippa Oldham, head of technology and manufacturing at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, told The Guardian.

The price of hyperloop fares is uncertain. But as with existing modes of transportation, hyperloop travel will be more expensive at certain times and dates. As Matute put it, “It could be that if you want to go up to San Francisco [from Los Angeles] for cheap, you leave at 3 a.m., but if you want to go at 7:30 a.m. and have this life where you’re living in one city and working in the other, it will be a lot more expensive.”

When will commercial hyperloops begin operation? “Possibly, in a few years a few single lines can be in operation,” Kees van Goeverden, a transportation researcher at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, told NBC News MACH in an email. ”But I do not expect that a coherent system will be operated before 2030.”


interesting, thanks for sharing
User avatar
Phantom Phenom
 
Posts: 4487
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:48 pm
Has thanked: 42 times
Been thanked: 45 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:33 am

Not quit Space Taxi, but pretty exciting none the less.

Larry Page’s Flying Taxis, Now Exiting Stealth Mode
Andrew Ross Sorkin
DEALBOOK MARCH 12, 2018

Need a Lift? Check Out This Flying Taxi

Since October, a mysterious flying object has been seen moving through the skies over the South Island of New Zealand. It looks like a cross between a small plane and a drone, with a series of small rotor blades along each wing that allow it to take off like a helicopter and then fly like a plane. To those on the ground, it has always been unclear whether there was a pilot aboard.

Well, it turns out that the airborne vehicle has been part of a series of “stealth” test flights by a company personally financed by Larry Page, the co-founder of Google and now the chief executive of Google’s parent, Alphabet.

The company, known as Kitty Hawk and run by Sebastian Thrun, who helped start Google’s autonomous car unit as the director of Google X, has been testing a new kind of fully electric, self-piloting flying taxi. This is an altogether different project from the one you might have seen last year in a viral video of a single-pilot recreational aircraft that was being tested over water, and it’s much more ambitious.

Imagine starting a network of autonomous air taxis, as Uber is planning to, but long before Uber actually does. That’s what Mr. Page is trying to do.

Until now, you wouldn’t know the air taxis in New Zealand had anything to do with Mr. Page: The planes operate there in what has been a covert project, under a company called Zephyr Airworks.

Now that project is about to go public: On Tuesday, Mr. Page’s company and the prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, will announce they have reached an agreement to test Kitty Hawk’s autonomous planes as part of an official certification process. The hope is that it will lead to a commercial network of flying taxis in New Zealand in as soon as three years.

Image
Cora, an electric air taxi that can carry two passengers, in flight in New Zealand. Credit Richard Lord, via Kitty Hawk

The move is a big step forward in the commercialization of this technology, which even the most optimistic prognosticators had recently bet would take another decade to achieve.

The decision to embrace the commercial use of flying taxis offers New Zealand an opportunity to leapfrog many developed countries in this area, and perhaps give it a head start over Silicon Valley, where much of the most innovative work has been taking place.

In an email, Ms. Ardern said the decision to work with Kitty Hawk was “about sending the message to the world that our doors are open for people with great ideas who want to turn them into reality.” She added, “We’ve got an ambitious target in New Zealand of being net carbon zero by 2050,” and given that the Kitty Hawk vehicle is fully electric, “exciting projects like this are part of how we make that happen.”

Back here in the United States, the move stands as a major challenge for our regulators, in particular the Federal Aviation Administration. While the F.A.A. allows test flights of autonomous vehicles, there is no path to certify and commercialize them despite a constant stream of headlines about efforts from Uber, Airbus and others. Thus far, the agency, which oversees much busier skies than New Zealand and has long been underfunded, has been slow to adopt rules for new technologies.

Other countries, mostly in the Middle East and Africa, have been more aggressive about allowing unmanned flights and appear willing to be some of the first places where this technology will be used. But those countries have never been seen as models for aviation regulators in the rest of the developed world.

New Zealand, on the other hand, has long been viewed as having a thoughtful and safety-conscious regulatory regime. That means that the rules it develops may become a template for other nations, including the United States.

Image
Kitty Hawk, the company testing Cora, is personally financed by Larry Page, the co-founder of Google. Credit Thomas Heinser, via Kitty Hawk

Story continues (including a video I couldn't embed)...


Here's a youtube video I found...
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:00 am

Eh, I'm in the aviation industry and I gotta say that as nifty as the concept is, I wouldn't be comfortable riding in something like that without someone or myself being able to manually override the computer for things like bad weather or some other malfunction.

the #1 reason why so few people fly is is cost. It's a VERY expensive hobby. Both to get into and do.

Image
This is a Diamond DA40. Pretty much the best entry level aircraft you could ask for. Very stable, 180hp engine that gets good fuel economy, glass cockpit, great airplane to learn to fly on and a 10 year old one can run you $180,000. If you hangar it with me it's gonna run you $250 a month and as of this morning my fuel for it is $5.30 a gallon.

And we haven't even gotten into the cost to learn to fly yet.

Still. I'm not getting in that damned drone.
Image
User avatar
Mountaineer Buc
 
Posts: 12067
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:15 pm
Location: Crestucky
Has thanked: 124 times
Been thanked: 593 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:45 am

Like it or not, autonomous vehicles is going to be the future. Whether or not it's a ground or air vehicle isn't going to matter.
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:24 am

Looks like touchscreens and two-screen laptops are the future of computing and it's ready to happen now.

What everyone gets wrong about touchscreen keyboards
Think you’ll hate laptops with screens instead of keyboards? Here are 5 reasons why you’ll love them.

By Mike Elgan
Contributing Columnist, Computerworld | MAR 17, 2018 3:00 AM PT

I’ve got good news and bad news about the future of laptops.

The bad news: We’re all getting laptops that have a touchscreen on the bottom instead of a keyboard. I know. You hate the idea. That’s why it’s the bad news.

The good news is that these touchscreen keyboards won’t look, act or work the way you think they will. In fact, I think you’ll love these devices. That’s why it’s the good news.

At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which it said this week will take place starting June 4 in San Jose, the company could announce an all-screen keyboard for the iPad — a replacement for the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard — and possibly a two-screen laptop.

But even if it doesn’t, I believe Apple and other major laptop makers will evolve toward two-screen laptops over the next three years.

5 reasons why two-screen laptops will be better than you think

I get it. You love typing on a real keyboard. So do I.

In fact, I think just about everyone who’s heard about this idea hates it.

But people are thinking about today’s on-screen keyboards and today’s laptops, powered by today’s technology.

They’re not thinking about technology they haven’t seen or other ways of working with a device they haven’t tried.

Another reason for the opposition is that two-screen laptops aren’t new. We’ve seen the idea tried in the past ten years in the form of Canova’s Dual-Screen Laptop, the Acer Iconia 6120 Dual Touchscreen Laptop, the Toshiba libretto W105-L251 7-Inch Dual Touchscreen Laptop and others.

These devices were unpleasant to use and were rejected by laptop buyers.

Future two-screen laptops will be the opposite.

Here are five reasons why you’ll love two-screen laptops.

1. Touchscreen keyboards will feel like physical keyboards.

Apple has been filing patents in this category for years. Two more Apple dual-screen laptop patent applications have been published in the past three weeks.

As mere patent applications, they don’t reveal Apple’s actual plans. However, they do serve as an example of how companies want to use advanced technology to make all-screen keyboards far more appealing.

The most recent patent details different methods for making an on-screen keyboard feel like a physical one.

Image
Apple’s most recent two-screen laptop patent shows how flexible displays will enable on-screen keyboards with raised keys that can be physically pressed.

Apple achieves this in part by using a flexible display, with a keyboard-like structure underneath. The on-screen keyboard would actually have key travel. In other words, it would be a hybrid of an on-screen keyboard and a physical keyboard.

The “virtual” keys can be physically pressed, and they can also raise bumps on the screen when the virtual keyboard is on the screens. You’ll be able to feel where the keys are before you press them.

It also describes the use of next-generation haptics that vibrate keys when they’re pressed with the simulated feeling of a physical keyboard. No doubt sound would be added as well to further simulate the experience of using a physical keyboard.

Haptics can be convincing.

Apple has for three years sold MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops that feature a “Force Touch” trackpad. Apple uses a “Taptic engine” (Apple’s branded haptic part) and electromagnets to simulate physical movement and trackpad clicking.

A majority of users no doubt believe this trackpad moves, tilts and clicks. But it doesn’t move at all. Apple is using haptics to simulate movement.

It can do the same thing with an on-screen keyboard, according to the patent application.

Next-generation touchscreen laptop keyboards will have keys you can feel, press and hear.

2. Sometimes you don’t need a keyboard.

Steve Jobs detailed the benefits of replacing physical keyboards with virtual ones in his 2007 introduction of the iPhone. The main benefits, of course, are that you get more screen real estate and also more flexible interface options.

Apple’s patents show an iTunes and Apple Music interface that replaces the on-screen keyboard with music controls, such as an equalizer, when one of these applications is running.

It’s easy also to imagine what kind of interfaces third-party developers could build: turntables for DJs, drawing pads for illustrators, advanced calculator keyboards for eggheads, speech notes for business presentations and game-specific game controls for games.

During videoconferences, the keyboard could have chat windows and other data so the meeting could be full-screen.

Musical applications such as Apple’s own Garage Band could get piano keyboards, drum kits, strings and more on the bottom of the screen.

The most recent patent shows how the bottom screen can also display application-specific content or interfaces but instantly turn into a keyboard when you place your hands on it.

I mentioned at the top that I think Apple’s first all-screen keyboard might be an even smarter iPad Pro Smart Keyboard than the company currently sells. Apple’s recent patent specifies an all-screen version for iPad. I also said it might announce a two-screen laptop.

It would make sense for Apple to announce all-screen iPad keyboards and two-screen laptops at a developer event, because the value of this kind of laptop lies in what third-party developers do with them. The main benefit is custom, application-specific interfaces. So when Apple starts working on the manufacturing of such devices, it makes sense that we’ll hear about it in advance at a developer event so applications will be ready when they ship the hardware.

Custom software keyboards, by the way, might prove especially powerful for enterprises that are doing in-house development of custom apps.

There’s even a security element to this scenario. Locking down a system to reduce the attack surface might actually involve the removal or addition of keyboard interface options.

3. A.I. will augment your typing

As artificial intelligence (A.I.) evolves and is intelligently applied to future versions of Autocorrect, you’ll be able to get away with an increasing number of errors that will be accurately and instantly fixed. Browser plugins such as Grammarly show how writing can be improved with A.I. as you type.

The frustration of using today’s on-screen keyboards will be replaced with the thrill of quickly typing on-screen without leaving errors behind.

4. Voice input and A.I. will reduce your typing

While dual-screen laptops will enable countless new options, the centrality of keyboards to our work will decline. Over time, we’ll get used to talking to our virtual assistants, and their agency will extend to the typing we do.

Instead of sending and specifically wording an email, we’ll be able to talk and tell the assistant our intention and let A.I. do the actual crafting of the email. In fact, this is how business used to work when executives had secretaries. They didn’t type anything. They talked, and an assistant did the writing.

A new Chrome extension that works with Gmail shipped this week that hints at the future of automated writing. Called EasyEmail, the extension uses machine learning to scan your previous writing and imitate your writing style. Then, when you’re writing an email, EasyEmail guesses what you’re going to write and offers those guesses as options to select. It often guesses entire sentences after you type the first word.

EasyEmail is just an example of what’s emerging for automated writing.

A.I. predictive writing will reduce the amount of typing we’ll do.

5. You’ll still be able to use a physical keyboard as a peripheral

Journalists and developers tend to be the most vocal critics and haters of the two-screen concept. But they should be the most enthusiastic.

When doing serious writing or coding, you’ll always be able to choose any keyboard on the market and use it as a peripheral to your laptop.

While you’re not using the bottom screen keyboard, that screen can be put to use displaying notes or any other content. For a writer, for example, having your prose on top and notes and resources on bottom is a better way to write. And developers can never get enough screen real estate while coding.

In other words, a laptop without a physical keyboard does not mean you can’t use a physical keyboard. It simply means you have more keyboard choice and more screen real estate.

Why two-screen laptops are inevitable

Sooner or later, two-screen laptops are going to happen.

One mechanism for this change is generational. Members of the so-called iGen generation, born between 1995 and 2012, have never known a time before smartphones. People now entering the workforce are iGens. They live on their phones, are more comfortable typing on a smartphone screen than a laptop physical screen, and will easily adapt to using two-screen laptops and on-screen keyboards at work.

Every year, people more comfortable with physical keyboards will retire, and those who prefer screen keyboards will enter the workforce.

But the biggest driver will be competitive advantage.

In general, companies with the most advanced technologies benefit from shifting buyer expectations to products that require those advanced technologies. This increases barriers to entry by smaller competitors.

After all, any two-bit, third-rate, bargain-basement company can build a mechanical keyboard. But only the top companies such as Apple, Google and a few others will be able to combine patented actuators, patented haptics and advanced A.I. to construct a keyboard. The main companies we buy laptops from have a powerful incentive to move into two-screen laptops.

And finally, software is eating the world. As a rule of technological advancement, physical contraptions are generally replaced by software versions when the technology is ready.

And guess what? It’s ready.

Are you?
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Nano » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:30 pm

I can imagine they'll be super expensive when they first come out. Laptops with just a touchscreen display are more expensive as is.
User avatar
Nano
 
Posts: 7102
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:30 pm
Location: Somewhere above Tampa
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 247 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:35 pm

Nano wrote:I can imagine they'll be super expensive when they first come out. Laptops with just a touchscreen display are more expensive as is.

Oh for sure. New tech is always more expensive in the early years of release.
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby terrytate » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:25 pm

Buc2 wrote:
Nano wrote:I can imagine they'll be super expensive when they first come out. Laptops with just a touchscreen display are more expensive as is.

Oh for sure. New tech is always more expensive in the early years of release.



The dominance of touch screens and apps that only use them is really going to screw blind people.
User avatar
terrytate
 
Posts: 2188
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:49 am
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 89 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:08 am

terrytate wrote:
Buc2 wrote:Oh for sure. New tech is always more expensive in the early years of release.



The dominance of touch screens and apps that only use them is really going to screw blind people.

Image
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby RedLeader » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:44 pm

“Technology is the answer... but what was the question?”



Cedric Price, 1966
User avatar
RedLeader
 
Posts: 2414
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:27 pm
Location: G14 Classified
Has thanked: 84 times
Been thanked: 89 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:33 am

321 LAUNCH app: What it is and why you need it
Emre Kelly, FLORIDA TODAY Published 6:00 a.m. ET March 28, 2018 | Updated 10:07 a.m. ET March 28, 2018

Over the past couple months, teams from USA TODAY and FLORIDA TODAY have worked non-stop to blend technologies that will put you in control of a rocket launch from anywhere in the world.

It arrives Thursday afternoon as 321 LAUNCH, a free app for iOS and Android that fuses traditional Space Coast rocket launch coverage with augmented reality, or the overlaying of digital objects onto the real world.

The app leverages cameras available in smartphones and tablets to pull in a live feed of your surroundings while dropping spaceflight hardware – in this case, launch pads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – on any flat surface. Tables, floors, books, even a pizza – as long as it's flat, the app will render high-definition 3D models of launch pads and a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket so you can learn, explore and, ultimately, follow live as a mission lifts off from the Space Coast.

The first section of the app is an educational experience that runs through the pre-launch procedures and allows you to build a Falcon 9, drag it out to Launch Complex 40, learn about the hardware and launch it on a mission to the International Space Station. After liftoff, the experience shifts focus to landing the booster back at Cape Canaveral.

The second – and the core component – of 321 LAUNCH is an augmented reality-powered live experience that will only occur on launch days. You'll be able to follow live as SpaceX teams count down to launch, all while staying tuned into:

* Live text updates from Space Reporter James Dean and myself.
* Live video: Either ours viewing the pad or SpaceX's webcast.
* Live telemetry data to include altitude and speed after liftoff.
* And, using cutting-edge GPS and compass mapping technology, a projection of the actual flightpath over your sky.

But the app isn't finished – we're still working hard on producing even more interactive content. You can expect a brand new section that focuses on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and its various configurations at Launch Complex 41 for our next update.

Why you need it:

When you move your device to get a close-up view of the launch complex and Falcon 9 rocket, you're using cutting-edge AR technology to do something no other app currently does. From the Dragon spacecraft to the nine Merlin main engines, the hardware and surrounding pad is rendered out in incredible detail – and you can do it anywhere.

Full-fledged teams of developers, journalists and editors were involved in the production process, so we're proud to give you the opportunity to watch live as you bring rocket launches into your everyday life.

And I can almost guarantee that everyone will learn at least a thing or two from the educational experience. I know I did.

Image

Keep in mind:

Augmented reality on mobile devices is still a cutting-edge technology that is actively being ironed out by Apple, Google and others. You'll need a newer device to pull this off and possibly even a backup battery to feed energy-intensive AR processes.

Here's a system requirements list:

Apple:
* iPhone 6S or newer with iOS 11 or newer
* Fifth-generation iPad (2017) or newer

Android's AR capabilities are limited to the following models:
* Google Pixel, Pixel XL or newer
* Samsung Galaxy S7 or newer
* Samsung Galaxy Note8
* LG V30 and LG V30+
* Asus Zenfone AR
* OnePlus 5

Contact Emre Kelly at aekelly@floridatoday.com or 321-242-3715. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook at @EmreKelly.

Next Space Coast launch: Monday, April 2
Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9
Mission: International Space Station resupply
Launch Time: 4:30 p.m.
Launch Window: Instantaneous
Launch Complex: 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Weather: Forecast expected three days before launch
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:59 pm

NASA Hires Lockheed Martin to Build Quiet Supersonic X-Plane
By Hanneke Weitering, Space.com Staff Writer | April 3, 2018 02:05pm ET

Image
Illustration of NASA's Low-Boom Flight Demonstration aircraft as outlined during the project's preliminary design review in 2017.
NASA has selected Lockheed Martin to build the new supersonic jet.
Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin


NASA has taken a huge leap forward in its quest to create an aircraft that can travel faster than the speed of sound without causing the ear-splitting sonic boom.

The space agency announced today (April 2) that it has awarded the aerospace company Lockheed Martin a $247.5 million contract to design and build a new X-plane, known as the Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator (LBFD), which may soar silently over the U.S. by 2022.

Today's announcement comes less than two weeks after President Donald Trump signed a federal budget for FY2019 that fully funds the LBFD. In his budget proposal, Trump noted that the X-plane "would open a new market for U.S. companies to build faster commercial airliners, creating jobs and cutting cross-country flight times in half." [Images: Airplanes of Tomorrow, NASA's Vision of Future Air Travel]

But don't expect to board a supersonic passenger jet anytime soon; Lockheed Martin's LBFD won't be built for transporting people. Before any supersonic planes will be allowed to fly over land, NASA and Lockheed Martin must prove that it's possible to break the sound barrier without the sonic boom.

"This piloted X-plane would be built specifically to fly technologies that reduce the loudness of a sonic boom to that of a gentle thump," Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, said during a news conference today.

Shin added that the LBFD will fly over select U.S. cities starting in mid-2022 and NASA will "ask the people living and working in those communities to tell us what they heard, if anything."

NASA will then send the "scientifically collected human response" data to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) "so they can use the data to change the current rule that completely bans civil supersonic flights over land," Shin said.

"When the rule is changed, the door will open to an aviation industry ready to enter [a] new supersonic market in our country and around the world," Shin said. "This X-plane is a critical step closer to that exciting future."

The LBFD aircraft will be 94 feet (29 meters) long, or about the size of a small business jet. It will fly at a cruising altitude of about 55,000 feet (17,000 meters) and reach a speed of 1.4 times the speed of sound (about 1,000 mph, or 1,600 km/h). This will "create a sound about as loud as a car door closing," NASA officials said in the news conference.

While NASA is working to reduce the sonic boom, other companies are working on their own supersonic aircraft designs — all of which will still create sonic booms during flight.

Virgin Galactic has partnered up with Boom Technology to build a supersonic passenger jet called "Baby Boom" that could fly across the Atlantic Ocean at twice the speed of sound, cutting flight times in half. Those test flights are scheduled to begin in 2020. Another company, Spike Aerospace, aims to test its S-512 Supersonic Jet by the end of 2018.
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:14 pm

Close shave...

'Tunguska'-Size Asteroid Makes Surprise Flyby of Earth
By Hanneke Weitering, Space.com Staff Writer | April 16, 2018 01:00pm ET

An asteroid similar in size to one that exploded more than 100 years ago in Russia's Tunguska region in Siberia gave Earth a close shave on Sunday (April 15), just one day after astronomers discovered the object.

The asteroid, designated 2018 GE3, made its closest approach to Earth at around 2:41 a.m. EDT (0641 GMT), whizzing by at a distance of 119,400 miles (192,000 kilometers), or about half the average distance between Earth and the moon, according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).

NASA estimated that this asteroid measures 157 to 360 feet (48 to110 meters) wide, making the space rock up to 3.6 times the size of the one that leveled 500,000 acres (2,000 square kilometers) of Siberian forest when it exploded over Tunguska in 1908.

Image
A diagram shows the orbit of asteroid 2018 GE3, which flew by Earth on April 15, 2018.
Credit: NASA JPL


This newfound asteroid is three to six times as big as another recent meteor, the one that broke up over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013. That object injured more than 1,200 people and damaged thousands of buildings up to 58 miles (93 km) away from the impact site.

"If 2018 GE3 had hit Earth, it would have caused regional, not global, damage, and might have disintegrated in the atmosphere before reaching the ground," SpaceWeather.com reported. "Nevertheless, it is a significant asteroid, illustrating how even large space rocks can still take us by surprise. 2018 GE3 was found less than a day before its closest approach."

Spaceweather.com
21 hours ago
SURPRISE ASTEROID FLYBY: With little warning, a relatively large asteroid flew through the Earth-Moon system on April 15th only 192,200 km (0.5 LD) from our planet. 2018 GE3 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey approaching Earth on April 14th. Hours later, amateur astronomer Michael Jäger of Weißenkirchen Austria video-recorded the space rock gliding through the southern constellation Serpens:
Image

https://www.facebook.com/spaceweatherdo ... 5404307174


The asteroid 2018 GE3 was first spotted on Saturday (April 14) at 5:23 a.m. EDT (0923 GMT) by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey, a NASA-sponsored program based at the University of Arizona in Tucson. This first sighting occurred just 21 hours before the asteroid's closest approach to Earth.
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:55 pm

What could go wrong?

Image

A massive floating nuclear power plant is now making its way toward its final destination at an Arctic port, after Russia's state nuclear corporation Rosatom launched the controversial craft over the weekend. It's the first nuclear power plant of its kind, Russian officials say.

Called the Akademik Lomonosov, the floating power plant is being towed at a creeping pace out of St. Petersburg, where it was built over the last nine years. It will eventually be brought northward, to Murmansk – where its two nuclear reactors will be loaded with nuclear fuel and started up this fall.

From there, the power plant will be pulled to a mooring berth in the Arctic port of Pevek, in far northeast Russia. There, it will be wired into the infrastructure so it can replace an existing nuclear power installment on land.

Critics of the plan include Greenpeace, which recently warned of a "Chernobyl on ice" if Russia's plans to create a fleet of floating nuclear power stations result in a catastrophe.

Continued... https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way ... the-arctic
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Thu May 03, 2018 12:42 pm

A Nuclear Reactor for Space Missions Passes Final Major Ground Tests
By Harrison Tasoff, Space.com Contributor | May 3, 2018 06:44am ET

Image
An artist's rendering of a Kilopower nuclear power plant on the surface of the moon. The prominent heat radiator makes it look like a beach umbrella. The actual unit will have cables carrying electricity away from the reactor.
Credit: NASA


Scientists, engineers and reporters gathered at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland on May 2 for a news conference announcing the latest results of the Kilopower nuclear power plant project: It has finished all of its major ground tests and met or surpassed the development team's expectations.

NASA is developing the experimental reactor to provide reliable energy for long-duration crewed missions to the moon, Mars and destinations beyond.

For decades, spacecraft have relied on nuclear power as a compact, reliable source of electricity, especially on missions for which solar power is not feasible, like expeditions to the moon's polar regions. The Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft, which are now billions of miles from the sun, still have enough nuclear energy after more than 40 years to transmit signals back to Earth. Meanwhile, the Curiosity rover has been driving around the Red Planet for nearly six years courtesy of a trunk full of plutonium. [Nuclear Generators for NASA Deep Space Probes (Infographic)]

In spacecraft like the Voyagers and Curiosity, a device called a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) converts heat energy from passive radioactive decay directly into electricity. The decay causes a temperature difference across plates of two kinds of metal — one connected to the reactor, and the other attached to a radiator, thereby producing a voltage. This component, called a thermocouple, is commonly used in thermometers and temperature sensors. Although RTGs are not particularly efficient, they are simple and have no moving parts, making them perfect for applications in which repair is not an option.

But many future missions, especially those involving human crews, will require much more power than the RTGs can produce. That's why NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are collaborating to create a space-ready nuclear reactor, which harvests energy from active nuclear fission, or atom splitting.

At the news conference, NASA and DOE officials announced the completion of successful ground tests of the experimental reactor, called the Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY). The team tested the reactor at the DOE Nevada National Security Site in four phases. The first two were conducted without power, to ensure that the components reacted as expected. During the third phase, the team gradually increased power to heat the core. The final phase consisted of a 28-hour, full-power test that simulated an actual mission.

The team evaluated the reactor's startup sequence, steady state performance, efficiency and more. In each category, the test reactor met or exceeded the team's benchmarks, running at full power under vacuum conditions, according to Kilopower lead engineer Marc Gibson.

"We threw everything we could at this reactor, in terms of nominal and off-normal operating scenarios, and KRUSTY passed with flying colors," said David Poston, chief reactor designer at the National Nuclear Security Administration's Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Image
Marc Gibson, Kilopower lead engineer at NASA's Glenn Research Center, and Jim Sanzi of Vantage Partners install equipment on KRUSTY (Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology) at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS).
Credit: NNSS


The significance of these results is hard to overstate, said Gibson. Research on space-ready fission reactors has been mired by high costs and lengthy time frames from the late 1970s to the early 2000s, which resulted in many canceled projects. "This is the first nuclear-powered operation of a new fission reactor concept in the U.S. in 40 years," Gibson said.

Fission reactors have many practical advantages over RTGs. For instance, RTGs generally produce only a few hundred watts, but the reactor is scalable to 10,000 watts. Four units could provide enough power to establish an extraterrestrial outpost, according to a statement NASA released after the event.

Another advantage is that, unlike an RTG, which runs continuously, a reactor's output can be tailored to current demands, Gibson said. That also means it can remain dormant during launch and travel and turn on once it reaches its destination. This ability, combined with the increased efficiency of fission reactors over RTGs, means that a Kilopower generator could maintain its 1-kilowatt output for at least 10 years, NASA officials said in the statement.

Self-regulation has been a crucial requirement in designing the reactor, according to Poston. This feature not only increases the safety of the reactor but also frees astronauts from having to monitor the controls. "We're not going to have operators there," Poston said. "And even if there are astronauts around, they're not going to be wanting to sit at a reactor control center the whole time." [NASA's Human Mars Mission Will Require Living Off the Land]

The system works like a thermostat, where feedback keeps the device at a preset temperature, Poston said. If the reactor overheats, the Stirling engines that produce electricity draw more heat from the uranium core. If it is too cool, the core naturally contracts, trapping more free neutrons, which then increases the rate of fission.

Responding to concerns over Russia's recently launched, floating nuclear power plant, Poston explained that the reactor will pose little or no risk to the public. NASA follows all relevant protocols, including those set out by the United Nations, he said. Additionally, the reactor will not be turned on until it is far away from Earth. "We've done calculations to show that, under all worst-case conditions, we don't believe that there's any chance the reactor would come on accidentally, [even] during a launch accident," Poston said.

The team has also considered safety at the reactor site. Engineers at NASA's Johnson Space Center are designing containers to safely store spent fuel on-site, since returning it to Earth would not be practical, said Patrick Cahalane, the principal deputy associate administrator for safety, infrastructure and operations at the National Nuclear Security Administration. The reactors have no radioactive coolant that would pose a contamination risk, and the development team is researching mechanisms to shield astronauts from radiation that the reactor may emit, including building in protection and burying part of the reactor under the surface.

Although the prototype isn't the same as units that will be deployed into space, it was designed with the flight-unit in mind, Gibson said. Flight tests are the next major step in development, though NASA has yet to plan them.

The Kilopower generator is optimized for use on surface missions, but officials at the news conference said it could also be used to power ion propulsion systems or be included on the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, a proposed outpost for astronauts positioned in the space near Earth's moon.
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sat May 05, 2018 10:26 am



NASA's InSight Mars Lander Launches to Probe Red Planet's Deep Interior
By Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | May 5, 2018 08:51am ET

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — NASA's latest Mars explorer is on its way to the Red Planet.

The agency's InSight Mars lander lifted off today (May 5) atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, rising off a pad here at 7:05 a.m. EDT (1105 GMT, 4:05 a.m. local California time) and disappearing into the thick predawn fog moments later.

"This is a big day. We're going back to Mars," NASA's new administrator Jim Bridenstine, who took charge of the agency last month, said in a congratulatory call to the InSight team after launch. "This is an extraordinary mission with a whole host of firsts." [Launch Photos: See NASA's InSight Soar Toward Mars]

InSight is the first interplanetary mission ever to launch from the West Coast and NASA's first Mars surface craft to lift off since the Curiosity rover started its deep-space journey in November 2011.

Image
The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's InSight Mars soars into space after launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California before dawn on May 5, 2018.
Credit: NASA TV


If everything goes according to plan, InSight will reach its destination in a little less than seven months, touching down Nov. 26 on a nice, flat plain just north of the Martian equator. After a series of checkouts, the stationary lander will then begin a mission unlike any ever undertaken in the annals of planetary exploration.

InSight "will probe the interior of another terrestrial planet, giving us an idea of the size of the core, the mantle, the crust — and our ability then to compare that with the Earth," NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green said during a prelaunch news conference on Thursday (May 3). "This is of fundamental importance for us to understand the origin of our solar system and how it became the way it is today."

Two briefcase-size satellites also hitched a ride on this morning's launch and will make their own way to Mars, in an attempt to become the first-ever interplanetary "cubesats." The probe is also carrying a chip with 2.4 million names from space fans, including "Star Trek's" Captain Kirk William Shatner, who signed up to send their names to Mars.

NASA officials have compared InSight — whose name is short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport — to a doctor performing a long-overdue checkup. [NASA's InSight Mars Lander: 10 Wild Facts]

For example, the solar-powered lander will take Mars' temperature using a heat probe that will hammer itself about 16 feet (4.9 meters) beneath the red dirt. And InSight will monitor the planet's pulse, detecting vibrations caused by "marsquakes," meteorite strikes and other events, all using an ultraprecise seismometer called the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS).

"Ultraprecise" is no exaggeration: SEIS will be capable of spotting vibrations smaller than a hydrogen atom, mission team members have said. The instrument must, therefore, be encased in a vacuum chamber, so its observations aren't swamped by environmental noise.

Image
Artist's illustration of NASA's InSight lander on Mars. InSight is scheduled to launch on May 5, 2018.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


InSight will place SEIS directly on the ground using the lander's robotic arm, and then place a shield over SEIS to block wind and dampen temperature variations. That's another first that this mission will achieve: Other Mars robots have generally kept their scientific gear close, and none have deployed an instrument using their arms in this way.

"It's a first-time event, so we're always concerned about that," Chuck Scott, InSight flight system manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, told Space.com.

But the InSight team has done "an extreme amount of testing" here on Earth to prepare for the milestone deployment, Scott added, so the team isn't unduly worried.

SEIS and the heat probe — which is known as the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) — are InSight's main scientific instruments. But the mission will perform another experiment using the lander's communications gear.

Image
Artist's illustration of InSight's Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) instrument on the Red Planet's surface.
Credit: NASA TV/JPL-Caltech


During this investigation, known as the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE), scientists will track InSight's location precisely — to within 1 foot (0.3 m). This work will allow team members to detect tiny wobbles in Mars' axis of rotation, which should reveal key insights about the planet's core, including its size.

Analysis of the HP3 and SEIS data will also shed light on Mars' interior, including the thickness of the planet's crust and the structure and dynamics of Mars' mantle. Taken together, this information will help researchers better understand how rocky planets form and evolve, mission team members have said.

Continued: https://www.space.com/40498-nasa-mars-i ... aunch.html
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Thu May 10, 2018 1:06 pm

SpaceX set to launch its first "block 5" Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX is readying an upgraded version of its Falcon 9 rocket for launch Thursday -- the first of its kind. The "block 5" version of the booster incorporates numerous design changes to improve performance and safety, while allowing the company to refly first stages 10 times or more. The launch Thursday will boost Bangladesh's first communications satellite into orbit.

Along with helping SpaceX streamline launch operations, the block 5 booster eventually will be used to launch astronauts to the International Space Station as well as high-priority national security payloads for the Pentagon. The block 5 upgrades are designed to meet the stringent safety requirements for such missions.

Following a first stage engine test firing last week, the revamped booster's first flight is targeted for liftoff from historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center at 4:42 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) Thursday. Forecasters are predicting an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather.

The goal of the flight is to launch the Bangabandhu 1 communications satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space in France to provide Ku-band and C-band television and data services across Bangladesh. Once in orbit and checked out by Thales, the satellite will be operated by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

Story continues: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/spacex-rea ... 018-05-10/
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed May 23, 2018 12:03 pm

LONDON (Reuters) - A global team of scientists plans to scour the icy depths of Loch Ness next month using environmental DNA (eDNA) in an experiment that may discover whether Scotland’s fabled monster really does, or did, exist.
The use of eDNA sampling is already well established as a tool for monitoring marine life like whales and sharks.

Whenever a creature moves through its environment, it leaves behind tiny fragments of DNA from skin, scales, feathers, fur, faeces and urine.

“This DNA can be captured, sequenced and then used to identify that creature by comparing the sequence obtained to large databases of known genetic sequences from hundreds of thousands of different organisms,” said team spokesman Professor Neil Gemmell of the University of Otago in New Zealand.

More... https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brit ... SKCN1IO1A5
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby RedLeader » Wed May 23, 2018 9:33 pm

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you... a glimpse of the surface of a comet hurling through space:


[img]https://media.giphy.com/media/pVLuJORQ8Vm5CczLmE/200w.gif[/img]


An amazing new animation on Twitter shows the view from the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft. It visited a comet between 2014 and 2016.









What age is this we’re living in?!
User avatar
RedLeader
 
Posts: 2414
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:27 pm
Location: G14 Classified
Has thanked: 84 times
Been thanked: 89 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby mdb1958 » Thu May 24, 2018 4:39 am

mdb1958
 
Posts: 8920
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:11 pm
Has thanked: 147 times
Been thanked: 82 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:22 pm

Pushing the limit: could cyanobacteria terraform Mars?
The discovery that blue-green algae can photosynthesise in extremely low light has implications for astrobiology. Andrew Masterson reports.

Image
Cyanobacteria could be used to render the atmospheres of other planets suitable for human life.
DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/GETTY IMAGES


The bacteria that 3.5 billion years ago were largely responsible for the creation of a breathable atmosphere on Earth could be press-ganged into terraforming other planets, research suggests.

A team of biologists and chemists from Australia, the UK, France and Italy has been investigating the ability of cyanobacteria – also known as blue-green algae – to photosynthesise in low-light conditions.

Cyanobacteria are some of the most ancient organisms around, and were responsible, though photosynthesis, for converting the Earth’s early atmosphere of methane, ammonia and other gases into the composition it sustains today.

The photochemistry used by the microbes is pretty much the same as that used by the legion of multicellular plants that subsequently evolved. The process involves the use of red light. Most plants are green because chlorophyll is bad at absorbing energy from that part of the visible light spectrum, and thus reflects it.

Light itself, however, is a critical component for photosynthesis, which is why plants (and suitably equipped bacteria) fail to grow in very dark environments. Just how dark such environments need to be before the process becomes impossible was the focus of the new research.

The team of scientists, which included Elmars Krausz from the Australian National University in Canberra, tested the ability of a cyanobacterial species called Chroococcidiopsis thermalis to photosynthesise in low light.

Previously it had been widely thought that the necessary photochemistry shut down at a light wavelength of 700 nanometres – a point known as the “red limit”.

Krausz and his colleagues, however, found that C. thermalis continued to photosynthesise at wavelengths up to 750 nanometres. The finding not only represents a significant extension of the low-light photosynthesis limit, but also describes a system that can function using much less biological fuel. The researchers call it an “unprecedented low-energy photosystem”.

The key, the scientists discovered, lies in the presence of previously undetected long-wavelength chlorophylls, which perform the necessary charge separation. The researchers traced the origin of these chlorophylls back to the C. thermalis genome, and discovered that it was located in a specific gene cluster that is common in many cyanobacterial species – suggesting that the ability to surpass the red limit is common.

To Krausz this low-light ability holds promise for the use of cyanobacteria as frontline terraforming agents. Establishing colonies on other planets would set in motion an atmospheric transformation that should – eventually – result in human-friendly conditions.

Of course, if some astrobiological theories are correct, cyanobacteria (or, at least, similar lifeforms) may already exist on other planets – in which case their ability to survive in harsh low-light conditions suggests a new target for detection.

“This might sound like science fiction, but space agencies and private companies around the world are actively trying to turn this aspiration into reality in the not-too-distant future,” says Krausz.

“Photosynthesis could theoretically be harnessed with these types of organisms to create air for humans to breathe on Mars.

“Low-light adapted organisms, such as the cyanobacteria we’ve been studying, can grow under rocks and potentially survive the harsh conditions on the red planet.”

The research is published in the journal Science.
Image
Don't tread on me
User avatar
Buc2
 
Posts: 9946
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:16 pm
Location: America
Has thanked: 848 times
Been thanked: 327 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:29 am

The world's smallest computer next to a grain of rice.

Image
Image
User avatar
Mountaineer Buc
 
Posts: 12067
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:15 pm
Location: Crestucky
Has thanked: 124 times
Been thanked: 593 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Kress » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:44 am

Where do I plug in my 49" curved monitor panel?
Image
User avatar
Kress
 
Posts: 4015
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:26 pm
Has thanked: 40 times
Been thanked: 216 times

Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Phantom Phenom » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:41 am

[IMG]http://i68.tinypic.com/dpcz13.jpg[/IMG]
User avatar
Phantom Phenom
 
Posts: 4487
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:48 pm
Has thanked: 42 times
Been thanked: 45 times

Previous

post

Return to Off Topic

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests