Science

China developing advanced lunar mission spacecraft

China developing advanced lunar mission spacecraft

Chinese scientists are working on an advanced new spaceship that would be capable of flying in low-Earth orbit as well as landing on the Moon, state media reported.

Zhang Bainan, the China Aerospace Science & Technology Cooperation’s chief designer of manned spacecraft, told reporters that the new spacecraft would be able to operate in both low orbit of Earth and Moon landing missions.

The Asian country lagged behind for nearly four decades in the field of first-generation manned spacecraft, but Zhang claimed that the country’s new spacecraft would be very competitive.

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Scientists hope JWST will help detect alien life on exoplanets

Scientists hope JWST will help detect alien life on exoplanets

Scientists searching for alien life hope that an upcoming megatelescope could reveal whether any of the recently discovered 7 Earth-size planets of the TRAPPIST-1 star system have life-supporting atmospheres.

Scheduled to be launched in 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be sensitive enough to detect or identify the chemical components of the exoplanets' atmospheres as these planets will be passing in front of their host star.

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New robot can be controlled with thoughts

New robot can be controlled with thoughts

A team of MIT researchers claimed to have developed a robot that can change its actions almost instantly by takings its cues from human brain waves.

Daniela Rus, the director of the Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT explained that the new robot uses new algorithms that enable it to monitor brain activity for specific signals.

Rus added that the new technology could lead to a future where humans will be able to control robots easily by merely observing their actions.

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Researchers store human-generated data in DNA

Researchers store human-generated data in DNA

As existing storage technologies are having a hard time keeping up with ever increasing data, scientists are trying to find a solution in biology rather than computers.

DNA molecules use biological codes to store genetic information, but a team of scientists in New York has unveiled a new technique that can allow humans to use DNA for storing human-generated data.

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This year’s drastic decline in Antarctic sea ice perplexes scientists

This year’s drastic decline in Antarctic sea ice perplexes scientists

Sea ice surrounding the Antarctic continent has been extraordinarily stable amid increasing global warming, but this year sea ice at the South Pole is crashing, and researchers are struggling to find out the precise cause.

Antarctica sea ice typically hits its annual minimum during late summer every year. But this year’s minimum level of sea ice has marked a dramatic new record.

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Nearly 4bn-year-old fossils might be earliest evidence of life on Earth

Nearly 4bn-year-old fossils might be earliest evidence of life on Earth

Straw-shaped microfossils discovered in ancient rocks in Canada could be evidence of some of the earliest life on Earth, a team of researchers led by biogeochemist Matthew Dodd reported.

Dodd, a biogeochemist at University College London, and colleagues said that the tiny, tubular structures or microfossils came from ancient microbes that existed on our planet nearly four billion years ago.

While the age of the specimens remains a matter of debate, most scientists believe that they are 3.77 billion years old, which make them the oldest ever found specimens.

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Overhyped ‘metallic hydrogen’ unbelievably disappears

Overhyped ‘metallic hydrogen’ unbelievably disappears

The world’s only sample of metallic hydrogen that was last month hyped as potentially revolutionizing technology has suddenly disappeared, scientists reported.

A team of physicists at Harvard University made a breakthrough last month when they created the first metallic hydrogen material by turning the gas into a metal. They described the metallic hydrogen as the “holy grail” of high-pressure physics.

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NASA might send humans to orbit the Moon again

NASA might send humans to orbit the Moon again

NASA’s next generation rocket Space Launch System (SLS) is currently scheduled to send an unmanned capsule to orbit the Moon, but the White House has asked the government-run space agency to look into the possibility of making the rocket’s debut launch a manned mission.

The White House has asked the space agency to take around a month to assess how much additional time, money and risk would be added to the SLS’ debut flight if a two-member crew is put on board.

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Goal to send humans to Mars gaining unprecedented support

Goal to send humans to Mars gaining unprecedented support

Children born in 2017 will be more likely than any previous generation to witness humans walking on another planet before their 18th birthday, Explore Mars CEO Chris Carberry said in a press release.

The goal to send humans to the Red Planet has been gaining unprecedented support from the U.S. Congress, the business world and academia; despite massive challenges lingering on the path to achieve the goal.

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Pluto system officially gets mythological names

Pluto system officially gets mythological names

Dwarf planet Pluto is named after the Roman god of the underworld, who is known as Hades in Greek mythology and is in charge of judging the dead, sounding like hell.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), which oversees the naming of all celestial bodies, has now made the dwarf planet’s spooky status official by approving underworld, mythology and scientist-themed names for Pluto System.

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