NASA’s Mission for Lunar Time Standardization: Setting the Clock for the Cosmos

An exclusive report from Reuters reveals a significant directive from the White House to NASA: the creation of a unified time standard for the moon and other celestial bodies. Published on April 2, 2024, the article highlights the United States’ initiative to establish an international standard as global interest in space exploration intensifies.

According to a memo obtained by Reuters, the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) instructed NASA to collaborate with other U.S. government agencies to develop a plan for a Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC) by the end of 2026. LTC aims to streamline operations on and around the moon, addressing potential communication and data transfer issues between lunar bases and Earth. Standardizing time will facilitate spacecraft coordination, satellite management, and enhance overall efficiency for space residents.

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NASA Endorses CoFlow Jet’s Solar-Powered eVTOL, MAGGIE, for Revolutionary Mars Exploration

NASA has thrown its support behind CoFlow Jet’s groundbreaking project, MAGGIE (Mars Aerial and Ground Intelligent Explorer), a solar-powered Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) designed for extensive exploration of Mars. MAGGIE is a crucial component of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program, which aims to nurture and fund technological innovations, transforming them from conceptual studies into tangible products with potential commercial applications.

The heart of MAGGIE lies in CoFlow Jet’s advanced deflected slipstream technology, which strategically directs airflow to enhance the efficiency and performance of the solar-powered eVTOL. With NASA’s backing, the development of this aircraft is set to facilitate three distinct atmospheric and geophysical investigations, aligning with different timescales of the Dynamic Mars science theme.

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NASA to Use Blockchain Technology to Verify Moon Landing Data

NASA, in collaboration with Lonestar, a computing startup in Florida, and the Isle of Man, is preparing to send a payload to the Moon in February 2024. This payload will include “data cubes,” and the data stored within them will be verified on Earth using blockchain technology.

The primary objective is to utilize blockchain technology to conclusively and immutably verify future Moon landings, starting with NASA’s Artemis 3 mission in 2025. The Artemis mission’s second phase, Artemis 2, is scheduled for launch in November 2024. While Artemis 2 will involve a crewed mission orbiting the Moon before returning to Earth, Artemis 3 aims to land humans on the lunar surface once again. As part of numerous scientific missions during the Artemis expeditions, Lonestar and the Isle of Man are collaborating to develop long-term lunar storage systems powered by solar energy, requiring minimal additional infrastructure.

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NASA and Partners Launch XRISM Mission to Probe Spacetime Warping

Scientists are eagerly awaiting an upcoming space launch that promises to shed light on the mysteries of spacetime warping. NASA, in collaboration with the Japanese Space Agency and support from the European Space Agency, is gearing up for the launch of the X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM). The mission is scheduled to take off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center at 8:26 p.m. EDT.

The XRISM mission is set to employ cutting-edge technology, including a microcalorimeter spectrometer known as Resolve. This instrument will play a pivotal role in measuring the temperature and temperature variations of celestial objects in deep space. However, to function effectively, Resolve must be cooled to an extraordinarily low temperature.

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NASA Imaging Technology Detects Early Signs of Plant Virus with Potential Global Impact

Cutting-edge NASA imaging technology has shown promise in detecting the early signs of a plant virus that poses a significant threat to wineries and grape growers, according to recent research. This groundbreaking development not only offers hope to the wine and grape industry, which faces substantial financial losses due to this disease, but it also has the potential to benefit global agriculture as a whole.

Utilizing intricate infrared images collected from aircraft flying over California’s Central Valley, researchers successfully identified Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines infected with the virus, even before visible symptoms emerged. By combining this technology with machine learning and on-site analysis, the research team achieved an impressive accuracy rate of nearly 90%, as indicated in two new research papers.

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Tiny Nuclear Fuel Cells Poised to Power NASA’s Lunar Base and Beyond

Researchers at the Nuclear Futures Institute at Bangor University in the UK have developed miniature nuclear fuel cells, each about the size of a poppy seed, capable of powering NASA’s upcoming Artemis lunar base, set to commence operations around 2030. These tiny power sources, collectively known as “Trisofuel,” are engineered to operate with a micro nuclear generator, roughly the size of a small car, designed by Rolls Royce. The BBC reports that comprehensive testing of this innovative fuel is scheduled to commence within the next few months, with potentially far-reaching applications beyond lunar exploration.

The momentum is steadily growing toward establishing a permanent human presence on the moon, with a probable location near its south pole, where scientists anticipate finding water-based ice to support habitation. NASA’s ongoing Artemis project has been making strides toward its envisioned base construction by the end of this decade, culminating in its first successful mission in November 2022. Last month, India achieved a historic milestone by becoming the fourth nation to land a probe on the moon through its Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, marking the first lunar landing at the southern pole.

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NASA Aims for Supersonic Passenger Jet Travel at Mach 4

NASA is in the development stages of a supersonic passenger aircraft that promises to reach speeds of Mach 4, approximately 3000 mph. This aircraft will not only surpass the Concorde but also outpace the legendary SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, originally designed with a top speed of Mach 3.2, roughly 2500 mph. The anticipated supersonic jet aims to drastically reduce the travel time from New York to London to less than one and a half hours, in stark contrast to the current eight to nine-hour flights on conventional large passenger jets cruising at around 600 mph.

For perspective, the iconic Concorde, which retired two decades ago, could maintain Mach 2, equivalent to 1348 mph. The Concorde faced multiple challenges, including the sonic boom, contributing to its retirement. Supersonic air travel is prohibited in several countries due to the disruptive sonic boom generated when breaking the sound barrier. The United States is one such nation that restricts supersonic travel for civil aviation. Nonetheless, researchers have been diligently working to develop technologies that can effectively mitigate sonic booms. NASA’s Quesst Mission is a prominent research project that encompasses the creation of an experimental quiet supersonic aircraft known as the X-59.

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NASA’s ReachBot: A Cutting-Edge Robotic Cave Explorer for Martian Missions

NASA, in collaboration with researchers at Stanford University, has unveiled a groundbreaking robotic cave explorer named ReachBot. This small, lightweight robot features four long, retractable arms with grippers, enabling it to navigate its surroundings with impressive mobility and manipulate its environment. With its unique design and innovative capabilities, ReachBot holds great promise for exploring uncharted Martian caves and potentially other celestial bodies.

The current ReachBot prototype consists of a body section and four rotating joints evenly spaced like the vertices of a tetrahedron. Each shoulder joint boasts a retractable arm with a gripping mechanism at its end. While the final version is likely to use telescopic arms, the prototype utilizes tape measures to demonstrate functionality in a recent video shared by Stanford.

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The Bionic Professor: Advancing Wearable Robotics with AI for Assistive Technologies

Brokoslaw Laschowski, known as “the bionic professor” to his students at the University of Toronto, is making remarkable strides in the field of wearable robotics. As a research scientist at the KITE Research Institute and an assistant professor in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, Laschowski and his team are developing wearable robots empowered by artificial intelligence (AI) that can make independent decisions, much like autonomous cars.

Their groundbreaking work encompasses bionic prosthetic legs, exoskeletons, AI-powered smart glasses, and neural interfaces. Primarily focused on medical applications, Laschowski aims to assist individuals with physical disabilities, striving to design technology that allows seamless human-machine synergy in meaningful ways. By incorporating computer vision, he seeks to merge humans and machines, drawing inspiration from autonomous cars’ use of vision for path planning and control.

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Venturi Group Unveils Revolutionary Hyper-Deformable Lunar Wheel at Paris Air Show

On Monday, June 19, 2023, the international Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, France witnessed a groundbreaking moment as Venturi Group introduced its latest invention: a hyper-deformable lunar wheel. Designed and manufactured by Venturi Lab using innovative materials, this revolutionary wheel marks a significant milestone in the history of space exploration.

Reinventing the Wheel: Venturi Lab, located in Fribourg, Switzerland, brought together a team of engineers, chemists, and physicists to create the world’s first hyper-deformable lunar wheel. Unlike traditional rigid wheels used in space exploration, the Venturi wheel combines remarkable flexibility with exceptional durability.

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NASA Introduces Futuristic Transonic Truss-Winged Aircraft for Potential Future Airports

NASA unveiled a groundbreaking aircraft prototype, known as the X-66A, on Monday, which could potentially revolutionize commercial aviation in the coming decade. This innovative transonic truss-winged aircraft, developed under the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project, showcases a unique design inspired by gliders. The aircraft’s wings are positioned atop the fuselage, supported by struts, signaling a departure from conventional aircraft configurations. This remarkable aircraft design promises enhanced efficiency and sustainability. Here’s how it works, as explained by Vox.

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U.S. Navy’s Monstrous Kraken Device Aids NASA’s Study on Astronaut Motion Sickness

The U.S. Navy’s formidable Kraken device is set to assist NASA in a groundbreaking study aimed at mitigating the effects of spaceflight on astronauts. By subjecting a group of active duty service members to intense accelerations and disorienting motions, the study aims to uncover ways to alleviate symptoms of dizziness, nausea, and vertigo that astronauts commonly experience during space missions.

Unleashing the Kraken:

NASA announced that 24 active duty service members will have the opportunity to experience a 60-minute ride aboard the 50-foot-long Kraken machine. This monstrous device, capable of reaching accelerations up to three times the force of gravity, will simulate the physical stresses encountered by astronauts during spaceflight. The goal is to enable scientists to develop strategies for reducing the discomfort experienced by astronauts upon reentry into Earth’s gravity.

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