Futuristic Solar Electric Thrusters Makes NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft Go

Futuristic electric thrusters emitting a cool blue glow will guide the Psyche spacecraft through deep space to a metal-rich asteroid.

By JET PROPULSION LABORATORY

Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory work to integrate Hall thrusters into the agency’s Psyche spacecraft in July 2021. One of the thrusters is visible on the side of the spacecraft underneath a red protective cover. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

When it comes time for NASA’s Psyche spacecraft to power itself through deep space, it’ll be more brain than brawn that does the work. Once the stuff of science fiction, the efficient and quiet power of electric propulsion will provide the force that propels the Psyche spacecraft all the way to the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The orbiter’s target: a metal-rich asteroid also called Psyche.

The spacecraft will launch in August 2022 and travel about 1.5 billion miles (2.4 billion kilometers) over three and a half years to get to the asteroid, which scientists believe may be part of the core of a planetesimal, the building block of an early rocky planet. Once in orbit, the mission team will use the payload of science instruments to investigate what this unique target can reveal about the formation of rocky planets like Earth.

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NASA will pay $400m to private companies planning to build their own space stations as they prepare to retire the aging ISS by the end of the decade

By CHRIS CIACCIA

  • NASA is looking to private companies for a replacement to the International Space Station and hopes to award $400 million in contracts 
  • Phil McAlister, NASA’s commercial-spaceflight director, said the agency has received ‘roughly a dozen proposals’ to replace the ISS
  • Axiom Space is already constructing ‘the world’s first private space station’

As NASA gets set to retire the International Space Station by the end of the decade, the U.S. space agency is looking to private companies for a replacement and hopes to award $400 million in contracts to do so.

Phil McAlister, NASA’s commercial-spaceflight director, told CNBC that the agency has received ‘roughly a dozen proposals’ to replace the ISS, which launched into orbit in November 1998.

‘We got an incredibly strong response from industry to our announcement for proposals for commercial, free fliers that go directly to orbit,’ McAlister told the news outlet.Dailymail.co.uk: News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities from Daily MailPauseNext video0:33 / 2:10SettingsFull-screenRead More

‘I can’t remember the last time we got that many proposals [in response] to a [human spaceflight] contract announcement.’

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New Artificial Intelligence Tool Accelerates Discovery of Truly New Materials

The new artificial intelligence tool has already led to the discovery of four new materials.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool have created a collaborative artificial intelligence tool that reduces the time and effort required to discover truly new materials.

Reported in the journal Nature Communications, the new tool has already led to the discovery of four new materials including a new family of solid state materials that conduct lithium. Such solid electrolytes will be key to the development of solid state batteries offering longer range and increased safety for electric vehicles. Further promising materials are in development.

The tool brings together artificial intelligence with human knowledge to prioritize those parts of unexplored chemical space where new functional materials are most likely to be found.

Discovering new functional materials is a high-risk, complex, and often long journey as there is an infinite space of possible materials accessible by combining all of the elements in the periodic table, and it is not known where new materials exist.

The new AI tool was developed by a team of researchers from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Chemistry and Materials Innovation Factory, led by Professor Matt Rosseinsky, to address this challenge.

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Americans Spending on Top 20 Drugs Nearly Doubles the Rest of the World Combined

A Pharmacy tech fills prescriptions at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20, 2020.

By Naveen Athrappully

The United States outspent every other country in the world combined when it came to the top-selling 20 pharmaceutical drugs, according to a recent analysis of company financial filings by Public Citizen.

Americans spent a total of $101.1 billion, while the rest of the world spent $56.8 billion, on the top 20 drugs. The key findings of the analysis report (pdf) indicate that U.S. consumers overpay for drugs, and do not necessarily intake more than people from other countries.

The best-selling 20 drugs brought $157.8 billion in total global revenue for pharma companies with the U.S. accounting for 64 percent of the revenue pie. The sizable disparity makes the U.S. market essentially a cash cow for Big Pharma, which is fighting efforts to decrease the spending.

“Deceptive TV ads paid for by Big Pharma try to frighten and mislead Americans about new legislative efforts that would empower Medicare to negotiate drug prices,” said the report.

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PayPal launches its ‘super app’ combining payments, savings, bill pay, crypto, shopping and more


By Sarah Perez

Image Credits: PayPal

PayPal has been talking about its “super app” plans for some time, having recently told investors its upcoming digital wallet and payments app had been given a go for launch. Today, the first version of that app is officially being introduced, offering a combination of financial tools including direct deposit, bill pay, a digital wallet, peer-to-peer payments, shopping tools, crypto capabilities and more. The company is also announcing its partnership with Synchrony Bank for its new high-yield savings account, PayPal Savings.

These changes shift PayPal from being largely a payments utility that’s tacked on other offerings here and there, to being a more fully fleshed out finance app. Though PayPal itself doesn’t aim to be a “bank,” the new app offers a range of competitive features for those considering shifting their finances to neobanks, like Chime or Varo, as it will now also include support for paycheck Direct Deposits through PayPal’s bank partners with two-day early access, bill pay and more.

These features could make PayPal more competitive, as getting paid earlier has been one of the bigger draws among those considering digital banking apps instead of using traditional banks.

In addition to shifting their paychecks to Payal, customers’ PayPal funds can then be used for things that are a part of daily life, like paying their bills, saving or shopping, for example.

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Airbus Jumps Into Electric Air Taxi Race

By Madhu Unnikrishnan

The electric aircraft market has gone from zero to 60 in just a matter of months, now that one of the world’s largest airframers has entered the race. Airbus said its Helicopters division is developing an electric take off and landing (eVTOL) air taxi that could take its first flight in 2023. 

This is in stark contrast to Airbus archrival Boeing, which just last week committed only to consider alternative propulsion technologies in the near- to medium-term. 

Meanwhile, Brazil’s Gol is committing to order up to 250 Vertical Aerospace eVTOLs through lessor Avolon and in partnership with Grupo Comparte to create an urban air taxi platform for country’s most congested cities. Gol’s proposed equity partner American Airlines also has a commitment for Vertical Aerospace’s VA-X4 aircraft.

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Elon Musk promises to add a Full Self-Driving button to Tesla cars – ET Auto

Elon Musk has been promising the FSD package to Tesla buyers for at least six months.

Tesla is poised to introduce the Full Self-Driving package, also called FSD package, to its cars this week. The beta version of the software has already been pushed out to selected users. Tesla owners who have already paid for the controversial software can request for FSD Beta software and will be granted access based on their driving behaviour.

“Beta button will request permission to assess driving behavior using the Tesla insurance calculator. If driving behavior is good for 7 days, beta access will be granted.” Elon Musk replied to a Twitter user.

Although Tesla has characterised even the newest version of FSD Beta features as a Level 2 drivers assistance system, videos posted by testers show cars driving on streets without any human intervention. 

Elon Musk has been promising the FSD package to Tesla buyers for at least six months. “Build 8.3 of FSD should be done QA testing by end of next week, so that’s roughly when download button should show up [SIC],” said Musk in March.

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Air travel’s future may include virtual cabin windows – take a look

The virtual airplane window also incorporates touchless technlogy.

by Francesca Street

Looking out the cabin window and seeing cities and oceans from above is, for many of us, one of the joys of flying.

But aviation innovators Rosen Aviation reckon this experience could be taken to the next level, rendering actual airplane windows obsolete.

The American aviation company is touting its Maverick Project airplane cabin design as the next frontier of inflight experience. A key part of the package? Virtual windows.

“The Maverick Project was born from trying to bring tomorrow’s technology into tomorrow’s plane,” says Lee Clark, Rosen’s senior VP for strategy.

Clark tells CNN Travel that while some of these features have become more common on the ground in recent years — think smart homes — airplane cabins haven’t really caught up.

“The Maverick Project originated because the industry at large is somewhat lagging behind the domestic, residential and automotive worlds,” he says.

Rosen, working in collaboration with KiPcreating and Sky-Style, wants to change this dynamic with the Maverick Project.

But while the visual renderings look flashy, Clark says the goal isn’t to go high tech simply for the sake of it.

“The critical piece is it’s about the passenger experience, it’s not about the technology,” says Clark.

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Airports of the future: Your first-hand look at robot mobile food ordering and gate delivery

By Harriet Baskas

As travelers return to airports, airports are expanding their offerings of amenities that help make the terminal experience safe and stress-free.

Topping the list of welcome and much-used new services are mobile food ordering programs that offer contactless ordering, payment, pick-up, or delivery.

With the roll-out of OrderSEA, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is the latest airport to offer mobile food ordering with the option of airport-wide gate delivery. Runners from At Your Gate pick up the food and make the deliveries, sometimes with the aid of Gita, a two-wheeled cargo-carrying robot created by Piaggio Fast Forward, a Boston-area startup that is a subsidiary of Piaggio, the manufacturer of Vespa scooters.

As it is at most other airports offering this service, OrderSEA is powered by Servy’s Grab Airport Marketplace technology in partnership with AtYourGate. Travelers can place orders via the airport’s FLYSEA app, through OrderSEA.org, or through the AtYourGate or Grab apps. Right now, menus from sixteen airport restaurants are available, with more on the way. Travelers use their phones to peruse the menus, make and pay for their orders, and then choose pick-up or delivery to a gate or another post-security spot in the terminal.

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SCIENTISTS CREATE HOLOGRAMS THAT YOU CAN TOUCH

THEY CREATED A BASKETBALL PROJECT THAT CAN BE “TOUCHED, ROLLED AND BOUNCED.”

Aerohaptic Holograms

Researchers have developed a hologram that allows you to reach out and “feel” it — not unlike the holodecks of “Star Trek.”

University of Glasgow scientists have created hologram system that uses jets of air known as “aerohaptics” to replicate the sensation of touch, according to Ravinder Daahiya, a researcher who worked on the project. He said that the air jets can allow you to feel “people’s fingers, hands and wrists.” The team published a paper of their findings in Advanced Intelligent Systems.

“In time, this could be developed to allow you to meet a virtual avatar of a colleague on the other side of the world and really feel their handshake,” he said in his piece for The Conversation. “It could even be the first steps towards building something like a holodeck.”

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The future of personalized medicine: Technion team built blood tree from scratch

Currently, transplanted grafts need to be implanted into a healthy part of the body so that the patient can generate new blood vessels to support it.

By HADAS LABRISCH  

Engineered blood vessels in Technion study. Vascular structures in the scaffold lumen (brown) communicate with vessels located in the surrounding hydrogel (green).(photo credit: Courtesy)AdvertisementSkin flaps, bone grafts, implanted tissue – recent advancements in medicine have changed the face of surgery in terms of autologous – meaning self – transplantations.While extensive damage to organs once meant a nearly sure amputation or need for an external transplant, today’s science focuses on harvesting cells and tissue from a person’s own body to complete the injured pieces of the puzzle, using grafts and flaps to repair skin, vessels, tubes and bones.Yet, ask any surgeon attempting to insert a flap and they would tell you that the most important – and restrictive – component of a graft’s success is ample blood supply.

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The Unlimited Potential Of AI In Genomic Diagnostics

By NAVEEN JOSHI

Genomic diagnostic is an area that can benefit hugely from the capabilities of AI. The involvement of AI in healthcare can potentially be beneficial in genetic diagnostics.

Ironically, rare diseases are fairly common in the world, with nearly half a billion people suffering from some or the other kind of lesser-known ailments. Such diseases can be notoriously tricky to diagnose as standard clinical tests may not uncover several underlying details regarding them. Additionally, almost all rare diseases are caused due to genetic issues in individuals. So, fast and accurate gene-based ailment diagnostics is the need of the hour in healthcare today. However, according to a study, such diseases can take nearly five years on average to be diagnosed accurately, meaning that almost a third of the children suffering from one or the other type of rare genetic disorder will pass away before they even turn five.

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