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NASA 60th anniversary: All about the space agency's past, present and future

NASA 60th anniversary: All about the space agency's past, present and future | Communication design | Scoop.it

On Monday, Oct. 1st 2018, NASA turned 60. Over the last six decades, it's had a remarkable run of rocketeering and exploratory achievements, from the moon landings to the space shuttles, from the surface of Mars to destinations far beyond our solar system. And as space becomes just another place to do business, NASA looks to keep its edge as it is facing an identity crisis. Blame people like SpaceX's Elon Musk and Amazon's Jeff Bezos in part for that. They're in the vanguard of a new wave of commercial activity that's launching into what had for so long been the exclusive domain of government agencies, both in the US and abroad.

 

NASA's 60th anniversary was an occasion to look both back to a settled past and ahead to an uncertain future. The agency long-associated with America's scientific prowess and can-do spirit got its start in one space race. Its next challenges lie in a new race to return humans to the moon and to push onward to Mars. There's a lot to keep track of. Here's a handy cheat sheet to get you started, with more to come.

 

 

 

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Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster has sailed beyond Mars

Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster has sailed beyond Mars | Communication design | Scoop.it
The electric car, which was launched on the Falcon Heavy rocket in February, is reportedly 179 million miles away from Earth.

 

Elon Musk's red Tesla Roadster has made its way past Mars' orbit, according to a tweet from SpaceX on November 2, 2018. The Roadster, along with a dummy driver named "Starman" in the driver's seat, was launched into space on the Falcon Heavy rocket in February. The website WhereIsRoadster.com calculated that the electric car is now about 179 million miles away from Earth and is moving at a speed of roughly 35,000 mph. It's set to swing back into its planned 557-day orbit around the sun.

 

 


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New material, manufacturing process use sun's heat for cheaper renewable electricity - News - Purdue University

New material, manufacturing process use sun's heat for cheaper renewable electricity - News - Purdue University | Communication design | Scoop.it

Solar power accounts for less than 2 percent of U.S. electricity but could make up more than that if the cost of electricity generation and energy storage for use on cloudy days and at nighttime were cheaper.

 

A Purdue University-led team developed a new material and manufacturing process that would make one way to use solar power – as heat energy – more efficient in generating electricity.

The innovation is an important step for putting solar heat-to-electricity generation in direct cost competition with fossil fuels, which generate more than 60 percent of electricity in the U.S.

 

“Storing solar energy as heat can already be cheaper than storing energy via batteries, so the next step is reducing the cost of generating electricity from the sun's heat with the added benefit of zero greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kenneth Sandhage, Purdue’s Reilly Professor of Materials Engineering.

 

The research, which was done at Purdue in collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, published in the journal Nature.

 

A YouTube video is available at https://youtu.be/PMC3EE19ouw.


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The Artist Capturing How Industry is Transforming the Natural World

The Artist Capturing How Industry is Transforming the Natural World | Communication design | Scoop.it

Edward Burtynsky’s photographs show surreal and sublime wastelands created by the industrial processes that are pushing the planet to its limits



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Why Amazon reportedly wants to open 3,000 Automated Stores

Why Amazon reportedly wants to open 3,000 Automated Stores | Communication design | Scoop.it
Why Amazon reportedly wants to open 3,000 Automated StoresAmazon will reportedly open 3,000 physical stores within three years. Some stores will carry a small number of groceries and others will carry prepared foods. Amazon has the advantage of drawing on the vast amount of data they collect from cu

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Obinna Odenigbo's curator insight, November 5, 12:00 PM
90 percent of all retail sales happens offline. This is certainly one of the reasons Amazon wants to open more brick and mortar stores.
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Microplastics discovered in human stools across the globe in a 'first of its kind' study

Microplastics discovered in human stools across the globe in a 'first of its kind' study | Communication design | Scoop.it

Researchers monitored a group of participants from 8 countries across the world with results showing that every single stool sample tested positive for the presence of microplastic and up to 9 different plastic types were identified.

Microplastics have been found in the human food chain as particles made of polypropylene (PP), polyethylene-terephthalate (PET) and others were detected in human stools, research presented today at the 26th UEG Week in Vienna reveals.



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Renato P. dos Santos's curator insight, October 23, 7:57 AM

Microplastics discovered in human stools across the globe in a 'first of its kind' study

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New technology to allow 100-times-faster internet | EurekAlert! Science News

New technology to allow 100-times-faster internet | EurekAlert! Science News | Communication design | Scoop.it
This world-first nanophotonic device, unveiled in Nature Communications, encodes more data and processes it much faster than conventional fiber optics by using a special form of 'twisted' light.
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World’s fastest camera freezes time at 10 trillion frames per second

World’s fastest camera freezes time at 10 trillion frames per second | Communication design | Scoop.it

What happens when a new technology is so precise that it operates on a scale beyond our characterization capabilities? For example, the lasers used at INRS produce ultrashort pulses in the femtosecond range (10-15s) that are far too short to visualize. Although some measurements are possible, nothing beats a clear image, says INRS professor and ultrafast imaging specialist Jinyang Liang.

 

 

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Largest batch of Earth-size, habitable zone planets

Largest batch of Earth-size, habitable zone planets | Communication design | Scoop.it

In a press release on February 22, 2017, NASA announced the discovery of the most Earth-sized planets found in the habitable zone of a single star, called TRAPPIST-1. This system of seven rocky worlds–all of them with the potential for water on their surface–is an exciting discovery in the search for life on other worlds. There is the possibility that future study of this unique planetary system could reveal conditions suitable for life.

 

In February 2018, closer study of the seven planets suggested that some could harbor far more water than the oceans of Earth, in the form of atmospheric water vapor for the planets closest to their star, liquid water for others, and ice for those farthest away. The new study pinned down the density of each planet more precisely, making TRAPPIST-1 the most thoroughly known planetary system apart from our own.


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Virtual Singapore could be test bed for Planners, and Plotters

Virtual Singapore could be test bed for Planners, and Plotters | Communication design | Scoop.it
Virtual Singapore could be test bed for planners, and plotters


With the click of a button, Singapore's security forces could soon use a digital version of the city-state to simulate a bomb threat at a sports stadium - and learn how to respond if there was a real attack. Jim Drury reports.

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Model helps robots to navigate more like humans do

Model helps robots to navigate more like humans do | Communication design | Scoop.it

When moving through a crowd to reach some end goal, humans can usually navigate the space safely without thinking too much. They can learn from the behavior of others and note any obstacles to avoid. Robots, on the other hand, struggle with such navigational concepts.

 

MIT researchers have now devised a way to help robots navigate environments more like humans do. Their novel motion-planning model lets robots determine how to reach a goal by exploring the environment, observing other agents, and exploiting what they've learned before in similar situations. A paper describing the model was presented at this week's IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).

 


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Artificial Intelligence: The Robots Are Now Hiring

Artificial Intelligence: The Robots Are Now Hiring | Communication design | Scoop.it
The practice is part of a general trend of some hiring companies to move away from assessing candidates based on their resumes and skills, towards making hiring decisions based on people’s personalities.

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Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, September 25, 8:33 PM

What could an AI glean about your personality by analysing your social media presence?  How would you feel about an employer scanning your video interview to feed an artificial intelligence algorithm as it compares your micro-gestures to those of proven producers?   It's a brave new world of work out there.  

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A new way to manufacture small batches of biopharmaceuticals on demand using Pichia pastoris

A new way to manufacture small batches of biopharmaceuticals on demand using Pichia pastoris | Communication design | Scoop.it

MIT researchers have developed a new way to rapidly manufacture biopharmaceuticals on demand. Their system can be easily reconfigured to produce different drugs, enabling flexible switching between products as they are needed. "Traditional biomanufacturing relies on unique processes for each new molecule that is produced," says J. Christopher Love, a professor of chemical engineering at MIT and a member of MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. "We've demonstrated a single hardware configuration that can produce different recombinant proteins in a fully automated, hands-free manner."

 

The researchers have used this manufacturing system, which can fit on a lab benchtop, to produce three different biopharmaceuticals, and showed that they are of comparable quality to commercially available versions. Love is the senior author of the study, which appears in the October 1, 2018 issue of the journal Nature Biotechnology.

 

 


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Stunning Abstract Aerial Photos of Namibia's Desert Landscape

Stunning Abstract Aerial Photos of Namibia's Desert Landscape | Communication design | Scoop.it

Photographer Leah Kennedy's aerial photographs of Namibia look like otherworldly abstract environments that are out of this world.



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Rare Blue Asteroid Reveals Itself During Fly-By

Rare Blue Asteroid Reveals Itself During Fly-By | Communication design | Scoop.it

Blue asteroids are rare, and blue comets are almost unheard of. An international team led by Teddy Kareta, a doctoral student at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, investigated Phaethon, a bizarre asteroid that sometimes behaves like a comet, and found it even more enigmatic than previously thought.

 

 


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NASA's Kepler space telescope ends its planet-hunting mission

NASA's Kepler space telescope ends its planet-hunting mission | Communication design | Scoop.it
Astronomers are building instruments that can characterize the many alien worlds the Kepler spacecraft revealed—and look for signs of life.

 

One of Earth’s most venerable planet-hunters, NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, has gone quiet. On October 30th 2018, the space agency announced that after nearly a decade of staring at the stars, Kepler is out of fuel. Now, the spacecraft will stay in its Earth-trailing orbit, looping around the sun and never coming closer than a million miles from home.

 

 

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Scientists have finally confirmed the Milky Way has a supermassive black hole at its center

Scientists have finally confirmed the Milky Way has a supermassive black hole at its center | Communication design | Scoop.it

Scientists have finally confirmed that the massive object at the heart of our galaxy is, in fact, a supermassive black hole.

Researchers used the European Southern Observatory’s sensitive GRAVITY instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to observe infrared radiation flares coming from the accretion disc around Sagittarius A* — the massive object at the center of our galaxy. Scientists think that most galaxies have a supermassive black hole at their center, but they’d never before had the data and observations to prove it.


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The Dire Warnings of the United Nations’ Latest Climate-Change Report

The Dire Warnings of the United Nations’ Latest Climate-Change Report | Communication design | Scoop.it

Carolyn Kormann on a new report from the I.P.C.C., which states that global climate change will have catastrophic consequences once the planet surpasses 1.5 degrees of warming, which could happen in just a few years.


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AI analyzing bone X-rays: Deep neural network improves fracture detection by clinicians

AI analyzing bone X-rays: Deep neural network improves fracture detection by clinicians | Communication design | Scoop.it

Historically, computer-assisted detection (CAD) in radiology has failed to achieve improvements in diagnostic accuracy, decreasing clinician sensitivity and leading to unnecessary further diagnostic tests. With the advent of deep learning approaches to CAD, there is great excitement about its application to medicine, yet there is little evidence demonstrating improved diagnostic accuracy in clinically-relevant applications. A group of scientists now trained a deep learning model to detect fractures on radiographs with a diagnostic accuracy similar to that of senior subspecialized orthopedic surgeons. They were able to demonstrate that when emergency medicine clinicians are provided with the assistance of the trained model, their ability to accurately detect fractures significantly improves.


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Material Matters: The new world of novel substances

Material Matters: The new world of novel substances | Communication design | Scoop.it

The fabric of civilization is materials science. Humanity’s success in material science is written into our history. Our early progression, from the Stone Age through the Bronze Age to the Iron Age, demonstrates the relentless development of novel materials: stronger, lighter or more versatile than those that came before. But such has been our success that we are long past an age that could be summed up by a single element. The range of materials used by industry has become ever-more complex — not just in terms of their variety, but also in their scale and how they are used together.


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Macro Photographs Composed of Nearly Ten Thousand Images Show the Incredible Detail of Insect Specimens

Macro Photographs Composed of Nearly Ten Thousand Images Show the Incredible Detail of Insect Specimens | Communication design | Scoop.it

Commercial photographer Levon Biss typically shoots portraits of world-class athletes—sports players caught in motion. His new series however, catches subjects that have already been paused, insect specimens found at the Oxford Museum of Natural History. The series originally started as a side-project capturing the detail of bugs that his son would catch at home, and is now displayed at the museum in an exhibition titled Microsculpture.

 

During the course of his selection from the museum’s collection Biss rejected more than 99% of the bugs he came across, only choosing those that were of the right size and color. To capture these subjects in such immense detail, each part of the insect required a completely different lighting setup.

 


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Touchdown on Titan: How we landed a probe on another planet's moon in 2005

Touchdown on Titan: How we landed a probe on another planet's moon in 2005 | Communication design | Scoop.it
When the Huygens probe dropped into Titan’s atmosphere January 14, 2005, no one knew what to expect. Would it splash down into a methane ocean? Sink into a tar pit? Crash into sharp rocks or tumble off a ravine? And, most importantly, what manner of world lurked beneath Titan’s thick shroud of haze and clouds?
 
For landings on Mars or the Moon, mission scientists plotted out landing sites with meticulous care. Telescopes and orbiters scanned the ground, imaging dangerous terrain and safe zones, and flight engineers pored over their maps and planned accordingly.
 
 

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Planned intermittent fasting may reverse type 2 diabetes, small study suggests

Planned intermittent fasting may reverse type 2 diabetes, small study suggests | Communication design | Scoop.it

Planned intermittent fasting may help to reverse type 2 diabetes, suggest doctors writing in the journal BMJ Case Reports after three patients in their care, who did this, were able to cut out the need for insulin treatment altogether.

 

Around one in 10 people in the US and Canada have type 2 diabetes, which is associated with other serious illness and early death. It is thought to cost the US economy alone US$245 billion a year. Lifestyle changes are key to managing the disease, but by themselves can't always control blood glucose levels, and while bariatric surgery (a gastric band) is effective, it is not without risk, say the authors. Drugs can manage the symptoms, and help to stave off complications, but can't stop the disease in its tracks, they add.

 

 


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Architectural Photography Awards 2018 shortlist revealed

Architectural Photography Awards 2018 shortlist revealed | Communication design | Scoop.it
Some of the most striking international architecture and imaginative photography.

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A self-powered heart monitor taped to the skin | RIKEN

A self-powered heart monitor taped to the skin | RIKEN | Communication design | Scoop.it

Scientists have developed a human-friendly, ultra-flexible organic sensor powered by sunlight, which acts as a self-powered heart monitor. Previously, they developed a flexible photovoltaic cell that could be incorporated into textiles. In this study, they directly integrated a sensory device, called an organic electrochemical transistor -- a type of electronic device that can be used to measure a variety of biological functions -- into a flexible organic solar cell. Using it, they were then able to measure the heartbeats of rats and humans under bright light conditions.

 

 

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