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aborgg

Nuclear cycler: An incremental approach to the deflection of asteroids - 1 views

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    This paper introduces a novel deflection approach based on nuclear explosions: the nuclear cycler. The idea is to combine the effectiveness of nuclear explosions with the controllability and redundancy offered by slow push methods within an incremental deflection strategy. The paper will present an extended model for single nuclear stand-off explosions in the proximity of elongated ellipsoidal asteroids, and a family of natural formation orbits that allows the spacecraft to deploy multiple bombs while being shielded by the asteroid during the detonation.
joergmueller

In a new round of testing, NASA confirms yet again that the 'impossible' EMdrive thrust... - 4 views

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    Engineer Roger Shawyer's controversial EM Drive thruster jets back into relevancy this week, as a team of researchers at NASA's Eagleworks Laboratories recently completed yet another round of testing on the seemingly impossible tech.
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    I like this just because it will end up on Thijs' desk :D
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    Interesting that the new comes in... Yahoo Finance :). Another more complete article http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/11/nasa-eagleworks-has-tested-upgraded.html
Nina Nadine Ridder

To save on weight, a detour to the moon is the best route to Mars - 1 views

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    More arguments for a lunar base?

    "They found the most mass-efficient path involves launching a crew from Earth with just enough fuel to get into orbit around the Earth. A fuel-producing plant on the surface of the moon would then launch tankers of fuel into space, where they would enter gravitational orbit. The tankers would eventually be picked up by the Mars-bound crew, which would then head to a nearby fueling station to gas up before ultimately heading to Mars."
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    There was a paper with a very similar concept (reaching Mars via DRO) at the AAS meeting in January by Conte et al.
    First, the total Delta V required for a trip Earth -> LLO -> MLO is higher than Earth -> MLO. The trick is that Earth -> LLO requires less Delta V than Earth -> MLO and hence less mass has to be carried along *from Earth*. Essentially what both approaches have in common is that they say "if there's a free gas station orbiting the moon, it's cheaper to fly empty and fill up there on the way". The AAS paper actually does a decent job at estimating the "real" cost by also including estimates of the cost of a lunar base.

    https://pure.strath.ac.uk/portal/files/44275737/Conte_etal_AAS2015_Earth_Mars_transfers_through_Moon_distant_retrograde_orbit.pdf
jcunha

Chemical analysis in Earth and Space via Raman Spectroscopy - 2 views

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    "A new lightweight, energy-efficient tool for analyzing a material's chemical makeup could improve the detection abilities of various technologies, ranging from bomb-detecting drones to space rovers searching for signs of life".

    Raman Spectroscopy is about measuring vibrational modes in molecules. This vibrational modes are in the meV typically, turning Raman Spectroscopy into a high precision technique. This impressive work shows a new technique based on the use of optical fibers coupled to photomultipliers allowing its use, author's word, in extreme conditions such as unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs) and Mars/Moon rovers.
jcunha

New methods to make longer streams of plasma with greater longevity could lead to laser... - 0 views

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    More developments in the laser filamentation community.
    Makes me wonder again about Christophe's ideas for a space-formed filament as new and efficient microwave waveguide.
Ma Ru

ISS astronauts bite into space-grown lettuce - 0 views

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    Next great step for humankind.

    "... and we're standing by now for the first consumption of one of these red romaine lettuce leaves ..." :-)
aborgg

Graphene sponge can absorb light and emit energetic electrons for breakthrough solar sa... - 1 views

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    The unique structure and properties of graphene and the morphology of the bulk graphene material make it capable of not only absorbing light at various wavelengths but also emitting energetic electrons efficiently enough to drive the bulk material following Newtonian mechanics.
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    Hard to believe this should actually work, but would be quite a breakthrough indeed. I wonder, since the material should build up a significant electric potential over time, thus, pulling back the ejected electrons. Well, the paper apparently is not peer-reviewed, and I found some rather critical comments in some forums. Let's see if the experiment will be verified by another research team in due course.
Alexander Wittig

WorldWide Telescope - 2 views

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    Worldwide Telescope enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best telescopes in the world.

    I managed to crash it twice in 20 minutes, but otherwise quite nice. Maybe Ingmar can add the GTOC solution in it ;)
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    Wow, it also supports the Oculus! I see a new application to install :)
Alexander Wittig

Outernet: Humanity's Public Library - 1 views

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    Humanity's Public Library
    #ImagineIf censorship did not exist information was free for everyone, education was truly universal, every home had a library, disasters could be anticipated.
    Get your Lantern Portable, solar-powered, multi-frequency Outernet receiver.

    Maybe we should get/build one of those receivers for the ACT just because it's geeky:)
Alexander Wittig

SpaceX founder files with government to provide Internet service from space - 0 views

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    Elon Musk is moving forward with space based internet service...
  • ...3 more comments...
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    reading the qz article, it is not clear to me that google dropped out as one of the main investors in SpaceX? did I miss something?
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    I attended a presentation by H. Hemmati, formerly at NASA's JPL, now at Facebook working to "connect the unconnected" during a panel session of the Workshop "Shining light on future space optical communications". I gather that they are targeting a combined strategy of HAP (with solar powered planes at 20-25 km), balloons and satellites. The rationale behind is that each solution is best suited for different population density zones, i.e. satellites while expensive (total cost of 100MUSD after Hemmati) are the only way to provide internet in remote zones, while balloons seem to be one inexpensive solution for densely populated areas.
    Funfact: he mentioned that the main drawback will be some crashes of HAP elements...
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    Facebook announced they are ready to test of of their High Altitude Platform element, a drone of the size of a Boeing 737. See the new here http://phys.org/news/2015-07-facebook-ready-giant-drone-internet.html?utm_source=nwletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=ctgr-item&utm_campaign=daily-nwletter. It seemed interesting for me that they are developing also a reliable optical communication between this element and scattered ground stations.
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    Nice link, that thing is huge and I would love to see a drone that size fly. Also, Facebook's Aerospace Team? :)
jessyjemy

What happens to your brain on the way to Mars - 1 views

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    This study from NASA shows that cosmic rays have a deleterious effect on the brain, more than expected, resulting in in symptoms similar to dementia (memory loss, decline in problem solving skills, general cognitive functions).

    A reason more to investigate into hibernation?
jcunha

Maze-solving automatons can repair broken circuits - 1 views

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    Researchers in Bangalore, India together with the Indian Space Research organization come up with an intelligent self-healing algorithm that can locate open-circuits faults and repair them in real-time. They used an insulating silicon oil containing conductive particles. Whenever a fault happens, an electric field develops there, causing the fluid to move in a 'thermodynamic automaton' way repairing the fault. The researchers make clear it could be one advantage for electronics in harsh environments, such as in space satellites.
jcunha

Wireless 10 kW power transmission - 1 views

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    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said Friday that it has succeeded in transmitting 10 kW of power through 500 m. An announcement that comes just after JAXA scientists reported one more breakthrough in the quest for Space Solar Power Systems (http://phys.org/news/2015-03-japan-space-scientists-wireless-energy.html). One step closer to Power Generation from Space/
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    from the press release (https://www.mhi-global.com/news/story/1503121879.html) "10 kilowatts (kW) of power was sent from a transmitting unit by microwave. The reception of power was confirmed at a receiver unit located at a distance of 500 meters (m) away by the illumination of LED lights, using part of power transmitted".

    So 10kW of transmission to light a few efficient LED lights???

    In a 2011 report (https://www.mhi-global.com/company/technology/review/pdf/e484/e484017.pdf), MHI estimated this would generate the same electricity output as a 400-megawatt thermal plant - or enough to serve more than 150,000 homes during peak hours. The price? The same as publicly supplied power, according to its calculations.

    There are no results to boost these claims however. The main work they do now is focused on beam steering control. I guess the real application in mind is more targeted to terrestrial applications, eg wireless highway charging (http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120312-wireless-highway-to-charge-cars). With the distances so much shorter, leading to much smaller antenna's and rectenna's this makes much more sense to me to develop.
annaheffernan

Lost Beagle 2 spacecraft found intact on Martian surface - 0 views

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    The UK-led Beagle 2 Mars lander, thought lost on the red planet since 2003, has been found partially deployed on the Martian surface. New images show that it successfully touched down on the planet's surface in 2003 but failed to deploy all four of its solar panels, thereby allowing no communication with scientists on Earth.
Thijs Versloot

Spotting East African Mammals in Open Savannah from Space - 1 views

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    A hybrid image classification method was employed for this specific purpose by incorporating the advantages of both pixel-based and object-based image classification approaches. This was performed in two steps: firstly, a pixel-based image classification method, i.e., artificial neural network was applied to classify potential targets with similar spectral reflectance at pixel level; and then an object-based image classification method was used to further differentiate animal targets from the surrounding landscapes through the applications of expert knowledge. As a result, the large animals in two pilot study areas were successfully detected with an average count error of 8.2%, omission error of 6.6% and commission error of 13.7%. The results of the study show for the first time that it is feasible to perform automated detection and counting of large wild animals in open savannahs from space
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    And Paul, it includes neural networks!
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    I kept telling you guys but you just laughed and laughed :))
annaheffernan

New apps allow smartphone users to join the hunt for ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays - 0 views

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    Two apps - the Distributed Electronic Cosmic-ray Observatory (DECO) and Cosmic Rays Found in Smartphones (CRAYFIS) - transform smartphones into miniature cosmic-ray detectors. They use the CMOS chips inside phones' onboard cameras to detect the secondary particles produced when cosmic rays - energetic, charged subatomic particles arriving from beyond the solar system - collide with air molecules in the Earth's atmosphere
jcunha

Cloud cities for Venus exploration - 3 views

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    Our friends from NASA have come out with a plan to the human exploration of Venus in the time that everyone is speaking about Mars.
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    Love the concept acronym, which pretty much says it all... Not sure which astronaut would fancy floating around in an atmosphere where clouds are made of sulphuric acid.
    Besides I don't see the point of a manned mission if one can't reach the surface.. tele-operation would be easy and so much cheaper.
annaheffernan

Physicsworld top 10 breakthroughs of the year - at the top Rosetta - 3 views

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    Physicsworld releases their top 10 breakthroughs of the year 2014, ESA's Rosetta mission tops the list with the achievement of landing on a comet.
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