The Kepler space telescope was launched in 2009, and, since then has produced more than 30,000 signals measuring light from stars to search for possible planets in distant parts of the galaxy. With a little help of telescopic data, astronomers have found more than 3,500 planets, up from 329 known before the Kepler mission. Now artificial intelligence is helping to find even more. Last week, researchers from Google and University of Texas at Austin Christopher Shallue and Andrew Vanderburg, announced that a machine-learning algorithm had discovered two new planets, Kepler 80g and Kepler 90i. Shallue, a senior software engineer with Google’s research team Google AI, came
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has announced ambitious plans to expand the scope of their VR content production. The broadcaster says that it has now formed a studio dedicated to virtual reality, enabling it to build upon its previous VR content. The BBC’s previous VR efforts have included We Wait, addressing the global refugee crisis; The Turning Forest, a fairy tale based in a magical forest; and Trafficked, a 360-degree documentary regarding human trafficking in Mexico. Concomitant with this week’s announcement was the wide release of A VR Spacewalk, an experience based on NASA and European Space agency training programs. While A VR Spacewalk had
This story of VR astronaut training begins, like many others, on Reddit. On February 26th, 2015, the developers of the indie VR title Earthlight unveiled the first prominent screenshots of their game, which blew away audiences due to sheer attention to detail. Overnight, the post became a sensation, and although we didn’t know it yet, the poster woke up the following morning to Reddit PMs from NASA laboratories. To the sufficiently well-versed in U.S. federal agencies, this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Primitive Virtual Reality has been used by the U.S. Military and NASA for literal decades. While the earliest forms of their simulations were,
In Just a few minutes, NASA will hold it’s big press conference on findings they’ve made on Mars and its surface. While discovery of life is the major expectation for many of us, it is more likely that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will reveal findings regarding water/ice structures. Some sources report that the main focus of this press event will be the on how and why “recursive slope lineae” form on the sides of Martian slopes over time. This would provide us with intelligent information that allows us to see whether Mars’ surface is actually just a cover, hiding the underground water sources
Slowly but certainly, Electric Vehicles (EV) are gaining ground. From hypercars like Concept One from Rimac Automobili, high-end limo Model S from Tesla Motors, or city jockeys Mitsubishi MiEV and Nissan LEAF, electric cars are increasing their presence. While the largest volume of cars is powered by ICE and ICE alone, there are over 200 hybrid and full electric vehicles in the pipeline. Electrification doesn’t stop there. Railways are mostly full-electric throughout the globe, and where they are not, there are hybrids. Diesel-Electric locomotives are the backbone of american economy, and Europe or Asia aren’t behind – if your railroad is not electrified, there is over 80% chance that the trains
NASA’s New Horizons probe shares the same brain as the early PlayStation console.
85 years after its discovery, a space object formerly known as the ‘eight planet in the Solar System’ was finally visited and we can now see how Pluto actually looks like. Even though often short-sighted and ego-driven science organizations officially recognize solar system with seven planets and five dwarf planets, there are further 380 dwarf planets pending – and estimated 7,000 objects more in a violent area known as the Kuiper Belt. This is exactly the goal of NASA’s New Horizons mission, intended to reveal as much as possible. First and foremost, we now know that Pluto is red, not blue or gray, which is what roughly pixelated images
Earlier today, Falcon 9 rocket exploded after the launch at Cape Canaveral space center in Florida. The rocket was carrying its payload, going to the International Space Station (track current position) and it tumbled out of the sky into the Atlantic Ocean. This marks another setback in the space program, exploration and usable cargo delivery overall. After 23 successive successful launches, including six resupply missions for NASA, the first explosion of Falcon 9 marks the biggest setback yet. This might give second wind to proponents of government-controlled, funded (NASA or Russian Federal Space Agency) claiming that the development and rocket manufacturing for successful payload delivery needs to be controlled for successful missions into space. After all, Orbital
While the Buran never flew, the Soviets did have a few interesting ideas for their version of the Space Shuttle. But, let’s get some things clear first, shall we? Seems fair to recognize some true and some untrue or better to say unfair assumptions about the Soviet Space Shuttle development overall. Even though a lot of people consider the Buran a direct or according to some a shameless copy of the Shuttle done by their design bureaus, the logical assumption and perfectly backed up by facts is that the Russian simply picked the best aerodynamic outlook for their spacecraft. It is if as seeing the
Adam Sandler is back in Pixels. Is it his best movie yet?
Google Maps has taken its Street View to the skies. Google’s cameras went to Lake Pitkäjärvi in Finland where the Aurora Borealis shines. These Northern Lights will be explored also by unmanned space probes sent by NASA to study their effect on satellite communications. The display occurs when highly charged electrons from the solar wind interact with oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the earth’s upper atmosphere. The average individual rarely has a chance to glimpse this awesome display unless they are dressed for mighty cold temperatures. The conditions that make the glow visible only occur at certain latitudes and times of the year. The lake
The U.S. government has upheld NASA’s contracts with Boeing and SpaceX to build ‘space taxis’ to fly astronauts to the International Space Station by 2017.
Move over MakerBot. Another company’s 3D printer will be looking down on you from the International Space Station (ISS). A small startup, or up start company if you prefer, that came out of Singularity University Graduate Studies Program got NASA’s attention. The result is a 3D printer whirling around in space ready to meet its final tests aboard the space craft. Speakers on the CES 2014 panel The Future of 3D printing never predicted this momentous event. Made In Space, founded less than five years ago, boosted by more than half a million dollars from a Small Business Innovation Research grant from NASA, has achieved its goal
Philae is the name given to the Rosetta mission lander of the European Space Agency (ESA). It’s preparing to land on a comet 405 million kilometers from Earth. The tongue-twisting name of that comet is 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Five potential landing sites had been suggested. The press was notified of the final choice in a briefing today in Paris. Site “J,” judged to be the least risky landing location, is on the smaller, 4 km wide lobe, of Comet 67P. This space voyager will have a visitor on November 11 if all goes as planned. The alternative site “C” would place the lander on the larger section