With a launch and a hop coming up, SpaceX has a big week ahead

Science - Posted On:2019-07-22 14:45:00 Source: arstechnica

This is a big week for SpaceX, which has an important Falcon 9 launch for NASA taking place from Florida and probably a key test flight in Texas as well.

On Wednesday, SpaceX is scheduled to attempt its ninth launch of 2019: a cargo supply mission to the International Space Station. The Dragon spacecraft will ferry about 2.5 metric tons of supplies, science experiments, and equipment to the orbiting laboratory. This will be the 18th supply mission SpaceX has flown for NASA.

With a static fire of the Falcon 9 rocket already complete, liftoff is presently scheduled for 6:24pm ET (22:24 UTC) Wednesday from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This Falcon 9 first stage has flown once before, launching SpaceX's last supply mission to the station, in May. NASA may fly it for a third time later this year.

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Silicon LED created by buzzing surface with high-speed electrons 

Science - Posted On:2019-07-22 13:45:00 Source: arstechnica

A long time ago, in a place not so far away, I used to believe that future lasers and optics would knock electronics into a tin hat. Yet silicon electronics still dominate all forms of computation and integrated circuit technology. The only place where optics rules is in communication, but even there, the extent of optic’s kingdom is limited.

For optics to really be useful, it needs to be based on the same technology as electronic integrated circuits: complementary metal oxide semiconductors (CMOS). Therein lies the problem—there are no light sources that are CMOS compatible. New research, involving bar-buzzing electrons, may create a future for silicon light sources, but only if some fairly fundamental problems are solved.

Light-emitting diodes are as cheap as chips, but they aren’t made from silicon. Why? Because silicon doesn’t like to emit light.

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India has launched an ambitious mission to the Moon

Science - Posted On:2019-07-22 09:14:57 Source: arstechnica

On Monday, an Indian rocket launched a spacecraft bound for the Moon from Sriharikota, a barrier island off the Bay of Bengal coast. This Chandrayaan-2 mission is the second spacecraft India has sent to the Moon, and it represents a significant effort to explore the lunar surface and its potential as a source for water ice.

The GSLV Mark III rocket lifted off Monday after an eight-day delay due to a technical issue, and the launch proceeded normally. "Today is a historical day for space and science and technology in India," K. Sivan, chair of the Indian Space Research Organization, said after the launch. "I'm extremely happy to announce that GSLV Mark III successfully injected Chandrayaan-2 into the defined orbit."

Although this is India's most powerful rocket, the GSLV vehicle only has a little more than one-third the lift capacity of a Falcon 9 rocket, so the 3.85-ton payload must follow a circuitous path through space in order to gain enough energy to reach, and then settle into lunar orbit. It is due to reach orbit around the Moon in September.

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With Chandrayaan-2 Launch, India's ISRO Shoots For the Moon on a Shoe-String Budget

science - Posted On:2019-07-22 06:14:57 Source: slashdot

India took a giant leap in its space program on Monday after its space agency launched a spacecraft that is scheduled to touch down on the Moon in September. From a report: The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which is India's equivalent of NASA, confirmed the successful launch of the spacecraft as the nation inches closer to become only the fourth country -- after the United States, China, and the Soviet Union -- to land a spacecraft on the Moon. Chandrayaan-2 aims to land on a plain surface that covers the ground between two of the Moon's craters, Simpelius N and Manzinus C. The spacecraft was originally scheduled to launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on July 15, but ISRO postponed it less than 20 minutes ahead of the deadline citing a "technical glitch." ISRO said it resolved the issue last week. Everything about India's homegrown lunar mission -- dubbed Chandrayaan-2 (Sanskrit for "moon vehicle") -- is a technological marvel. The spacecraft -- which is sitting atop the country's most powerful rocket to date, a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle called Mark III -- is carrying an orbiter, a lunar lander called Vikram and six-wheeled rover Pragyan (Sanskrit for "wisdom"). In early September, the lander, which is named after Vikram Sarabhai, the father of ISRO, is scheduled to detach from the orbiter. Until then, Chandrayaan-2 will embark on a slow journey to the Moon, staying in an elliptical orbit. The mission's budget is just $141 million, significantly lower than those of other countries, and less than half of the recently released blockbuster "Avengers: Endgame." The orbiter is designed to operate for at least one year, but lander and rover are expected to operate for just a couple of weeks. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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NASA's Lunar Space Station Might Be a Boondoggle

science - Posted On:2019-07-21 22:44:59 Source: slashdot

"NASA's orbiting Lunar Gateway is either essential for a moon landing or a boondoggle in the making," writes IEEE Spectrum. the_newsbeagle writes: NASA is under pressure to put humans back on the moon by 2024... NASA's plan for meeting that ambitious target relies on building a space station in lunar orbit, called the Gateway. NASA says it will use its (over budget and behind schedule) SLS rocket and Orion crew capsule to dock at this (yet unbuilt) Gateway, then send down a lunar lander. Critics say this is a stupid and over-complicated plan. This article by veteran space reporter Jeff Foust explains how NASA got itself into this situation. From the article: Critics of the Gateway argue that NASA shouldn't just scale back the space station -- it should cancel the project altogether. If you want to go to the surface of the moon, the refrain goes, go there directly, as the Apollo missions did a half century ago. Building an outpost in lunar orbit adds expense, delay, and complications to a task that is already hard enough.... Critics say that technological alternatives are emerging in the commercial space sector. They look to Blue Origin, the space company founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos and based near Seattle. Blue Origin is building both a reusable heavy-lift rocket, called New Glenn, and a lunar lander known as Blue Moon. Another contender is Elon Musk's SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, Calif., which is also working on a fully reusable rocket. It will carry an upper stage called Starship, which the company says could land directly on the moon and carry heavy cargo. "Having that vehicle on the moon can basically serve as the core of a pretty significant lunar outpost, growing with time," said Paul Wooster, principal Mars development engineer at SpaceX. The article ends by presenting two possibilities. "If NASA, heedful of sunk costs and political realities, continues to march toward the Gateway, we may indeed witness a triumphant return of NASA astronauts to the moon's surface in 2024..." "The determined billionaires behind SpaceX and Blue Origin might not wait around for NASA, and the next moon boots in the regolith might stamp a corporate logo in the dust." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Can We Use Special Sails To Bring Old Satellites Back Down To Earth?

science - Posted On:2019-07-21 14:45:00 Source: slashdot

There's already nearly 5,000 satellites orbiting earth, "and many of them are non-functioning space debris now, clogging up orbital paths for newer satellites," reports Universe Today. Yet over the next five years we expect to launch up to 2600 more -- which is prompting a search for solutions to "the growing problem of space debris in Low-Earth Orbit." Some exotic-sounding solutions involve harpoons, nets, magnets, even lasers. Now NASA has given Purdue University-related startup Vestigo Aerospace money for a six month study that looks at using drag sails to de-orbit space junk, including satellites, spent rocket boosters, and other debris, safely...Drag sails are a bit different than other methods. While the harpoons, lasers, and nets proposed by various agencies are meant to deal with the space junk that's already accumulated, drag sails are designed to be built into a satellite and deployed at the end of their useful life... Once deployed, they would reduce an object's velocity and then help it deorbit safely. Currently, satellites deorbit more or less on their own terms, and it's difficult to calculate where they may strike Earth, if they're too large to burn up on re-entry... [D]rag sails offer an affordable, and potentially easy-to-develop method to ensure future satellites don't outlive their usefulness. The company was started by a Purdue associate professor of engineering who tells the site they're building in scalability, so their sails can handle satellites that weigh one kilogram -- or one ton. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Amazon warns customers: Those supplements might be fake

Science - Posted On:2019-07-21 09:29:57 Source: arstechnica

On the second evening of Prime Day, Amazon’s annual sales bonanza, Anne Marie Bressler received an email from Amazon that had nothing to do with the latest deals. The message, sent from an automated email address Tuesday, informed her that the Align nutritional supplements she ordered two weeks earlier were probably counterfeit. “If you still have this product, we recommend that you stop using it immediately and dispose of the item,” the email reads, adding that she would be receiving a full refund. It’s not clear how many other customers may have purchased the fake supplements. Amazon confirmed that it sent out the email but declined to specify the number of customers impacted.

For years, Amazon has battled third-party sellers who list knockoffs of everything from iPhone charging cables to soccer jerseys on its site. Nutritional supplements are another popular target for fakes, as it’s a largely unregulated industry. The US Food and Drug Administration has been criticized—including by former staff—for declining to test dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness the same way it does pharmaceuticals. In this instance, the problems came together: An Amazon merchant sold dupes of genuine probiotics made by Align, a Procter & Gamble brand.

“We are aware that some counterfeit Align product was sold on Amazon via third parties,” Mollie Wheeler, a spokes­person for Procter & Gamble, said in an email. “Amazon has confirmed they have stopped third party sales of the Align products in question and Amazon is only selling Align product received directly from P&G manufacturing facilities.”

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Watch this paper doll do sit-ups thanks to new kind of “artificial muscle”

Science - Posted On:2019-07-21 09:14:57 Source: arstechnica

A new twist on lightweight organic materials shows promise for artificial-muscle applications. Chinese scientists spiked a crystalline organic material with a polymer to make it more flexible. They reported their findings in a new paper in ACS Central Science, demonstrating proof of concept by using their material to make an aluminum foil paper doll do sit-ups.

There's a lot of active research on developing better artificial muscles—manmade materials, actuators, or similar devices that mimic the contraction, expansion, and rotation (torque) characteristic of the movement of natural muscle. And small wonder, since they could be useful in a dizzying range of potential applications: robots, prosthetic limbs, powered exoskeletons, toys, wearable electronics, haptic interfaces, vehicles, and miniature medical devices, to name just a few. Most artificial muscles are designed to respond to electric fields, (such as electroactive polymers), changes in temperature (such as shape-memory alloys and fishing line), and changes in air pressure via pneumatics.

Yet artificial muscles typically weigh more than scientists would like and don't respond as quickly as needed for key applications. So scientists are keen to develop new types of artificial muscle that are lightweight and highly responsive. Just this past week, Science featured three papers from different research groups (at MIT, University of Texas at Dallas, and University of Bordeaux) describing three artificial-muscle technologies based on tiny twisted fibers that can store and release energy.

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NASA Marks The 50-Year Anniversary of Man's First Steps on the Moon

science - Posted On:2019-07-21 01:14:58 Source: slashdot

It's exactly one half century from that moment in time when men first walked on the moon, writes NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. "Today, on the golden anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, NASA looks back with heartfelt gratitude for the Apollo generation's trailblazing courage as we -- the Artemis generation -- prepare to take humanity's next giant leap to Mars." The lethargic lull of scientific fatalism afflicted portions of America then as it sometimes does today. There is nothing inevitable about scientific discovery nor is there a predetermined path of cutting-edge innovation. Long hours of arduous study and experimentation are required merely to glimpse a flicker of enlightenment that can lead to greater heights of human achievement... The Apollo program hastened ground-breaking technological advancements that continue to bestow benefits to modern civilization today. Flame resistant textiles, water purification systems, cordless tools, more effective dialysis machines and improvements to food preservation and medicine are just some of the innovative wonders generated during that era. Furthermore, NASA's utilization of integrated circuits on silicon chips aboard the lunar module's computer unit helped jumpstart the budding computer industry into the massive enterprise it is today. Perhaps the most enduring legacy of the Apollo missions was their ability to inspire young Americans across the country to join science, technology, engineering and math related fields of study... After more than 50 years, the benefits of human space exploration to humanity are clear. By proud example, the Apollo program taught us we cannot venture aimlessly into the uncharted territory of future discovery merely hoping to happen upon greater advancement. Technological progress is a deliberate choice made by investing in missions that will expand our limits of understanding and capability... NASA is preparing to use the lunar surface as a proving ground to perfect our scientific and technological knowledge and utilize international partnerships, as well as the growing commercial space industry. This time when we go back to the moon we are going to stay... Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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If This Type of Dark Matter Existed, People Would Be Dying of Unexplained Wounds

science - Posted On:2019-07-20 16:44:59 Source: slashdot

sciencehabit shared this article from Science magazine: Dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up most of the mass of the universe, has proved notoriously hard to detect. But scientists have now proposed a surprising new sensor: human flesh. The idea boils down to this: If a certain type of dark matter particle existed, it would occasionally kill people, passing through them like a bullet. Because no one has died from unexplained gunshot-like wounds, this type of dark matter does not exist, according to a new study... [It's title? "Death by Dark Matter."] This experiment doesn't rule out heavy macro dark matter altogether, says Robert Scherrer, a co-author and theoretical physicist at Vanderbilt University. It merely eliminates a certain range of them. Heavier macro dark matter would not occur frequently enough to measure, notes Katherine Freese, a theoretical physicist at the University of Michigan, and other forms wouldn't kill people. "There is probably still room for very heavy dark matter," says Paolo Gorla, a particle physicist at Italy's underground Gran Sasso National Laboratory, who is not involved with the study. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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'Caloric Restriction' Study Finds Surprising Health Benefits

science - Posted On:2019-07-20 12:45:00 Source: slashdot

The New York Times reports positive results from the first major clinical study of caloric restriction (funded by America's National Institutes of Health) in which 143 healthy volunteers ate (on average) 300 calories less each day: They lost weight and body fat. Their cholesterol levels improved, their blood pressure fell slightly, and they had better blood sugar control and less inflammation. At the same time, a control group of 75 healthy people who did not practice caloric restriction saw no improvements in any of these markers. Some of the benefits in the calorie restricted group stemmed from the fact that they lost a large amount of weight, on average about 16 pounds over the two years of the study. But the extent to which their metabolic health got better was greater than would have been expected from weight loss alone, suggesting that caloric restriction might have some unique biological effects on disease pathways in the body, said William Kraus, the lead author of the study and a professor of medicine and cardiology at Duke University. "We weren't surprised that there were changes," he said. "But the magnitude was rather astounding. In a disease population, there aren't five drugs in combination that would cause this aggregate of an improvement...." The researchers looked at measures of quality of life and discovered that the calorie-restricted group reported better sleep, increased energy and improved mood.... One question the study could not answer was whether caloric restriction could extend life span in humans the way that it can in other animals... But ultimately, caloric restriction did have a beneficial impact on a wide range of risk factors for diabetes and heart disease, two conditions that cause death and disability for millions of Americans, especially as they get older. Asked about the study, the chairman of the nutrition department at Harvard's School of Public Health questioned whether caloric restriction would be practical for most people, given that "we are living in an obesogenic environment with an abundance of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods that are cheap, accessible and heavily marketed." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Running the numbers on an insane scheme to save Antarctic ice

Science - Posted On:2019-07-20 09:29:57 Source: arstechnica

Imagine, if you will, the engineers of the king’s court after Humpty Dumpty’s disastrous fall. As panicked men apparently competed with horses for access to the site of the accident, perhaps the engineers were scoping out scenarios, looking for a better method of reassembling the poor fellow. But presumably none of those plans worked out, given the dark ending to that fairy tale.

A recent study published in Science Advances might be relatable for those fairy tale engineers. Published by Johannes Feldmann, Anders Levermann, and Matthias Mengel at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the study tackles a remarkable question: could we save vulnerable Antarctic glaciers with artificial snow?

Antarctica’s ice is divided into two separate ice sheets by a mountain range, with the smaller but much more vulnerable West Antarctic Ice Sheet representing one of the biggest wildcards for future sea level rise. In 2014, a study showed that two of the largest glaciers within that ice sheet—known as the Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier—had likely crossed a tipping point, guaranteeing a large amount of future ice loss that would continue even if global warming were halted today.

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Unlicensed “health coach” claims health advice is free speech—court disagrees

Science - Posted On:2019-07-20 07:44:56 Source: arstechnica

A federal court on Wednesday rejected claims by an unlicensed “health coach” that the unqualified health advice she provided to paying clients was protected speech under the First Amendment.

In rejecting her claim, the court affirmed that states do indeed have the right to require that anyone charging for health and medical services—in this case, dietetics and nutrition advice—be qualified and licensed. (State laws governing who can offer personalized nutrition services vary considerably, however.)

Heather Del Castillo, a “holistic health coach” based in Florida, brought the case in October of 2017 shortly after she was busted in an undercover investigation by the state health department. At the time, Del Castillo was running a health-coaching business called Constitution Nutrition, which offered a personalized, six-month health and dietary program. The program involved 13 in-home consulting sessions, 12 of which cost $95 each.

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Professor Patrick Winston, Former Director of MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Dies At 76

science - Posted On:2019-07-19 23:44:58 Source: slashdot

Patrick Winston, a beloved professor and computer scientist at MIT, died on July 19 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was 76. MIT News reports: A professor at MIT for almost 50 years, Winston was director of MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory from 1972 to 1997 before it merged with the Laboratory for Computer Science to become MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). A devoted teacher and cherished colleague, Winston led CSAIL's Genesis Group, which focused on developing AI systems that have human-like intelligence, including the ability to tell, perceive, and comprehend stories. He believed that such work could help illuminate aspects of human intelligence that scientists don't yet understand. He was renowned for his accessible and informative lectures, and gave a hugely popular talk every year during the Independent Activities Period called "How to Speak." Winston's dedication to teaching earned him many accolades over the years, including the Baker Award, the Eta Kappa Nu Teaching Award, and the Graduate Student Council Teaching Award. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Emotion-Detection Applications Are Built On Outdated Science, Report Warns

science - Posted On:2019-07-19 20:14:59 Source: slashdot

maiden_taiwan writes: Can computers determine your emotional state from your face? A panel of senior scientists with backgrounds in neuroscience, psychology, computer science, electrical engineering, biology, anthropology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and public affairs spent two years reviewing over 1,000 research papers on the topic. Two years later, they have published the most comprehensive analysis to date and concluded: "It is not possible to confidently infer happiness from a smile, anger from a scowl, or sadness from a frown, as much of current technology tries to do when applying what are mistakenly believed to be the scientific facts.... [How] people communicate anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise varies substantially across cultures, situations, and even across people within a single situation." Neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett, author of the book How Emotions are Made and behind a popular TED talk on emotion, who was an author on the paper, further elaborates: "People scowl when angry, on average, approximately 25 percent of the time, but they move their faces in other meaningful ways when angry. They might cry, or smile, or widen their eyes and gasp. And they also scowl when not angry, such as when they are concentrating or when they have a stomach ache. Similarly, most smiles don't imply that a person is happy, and most of the time people who are happy do something other than smile." The American Civil Liberties Union has also commented on the impact of the study. "This paper is significant because an entire industry of automated purported emotion-reading technologies is quickly emerging," writes the ACLU. "As we wrote in our recent paper on 'Robot Surveillance,' the market for emotion recognition software is forecast to reach at least $3.8 billion by 2025. Emotion recognition (aka 'affect recognition' or 'affective computing') is already being incorporated into products for purposes such as marketing, robotics, driver safety, and (as we recently wrote about) audio 'aggression detectors.'" Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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President Trump says NASA should “listen to the other side” of exploration

Science - Posted On:2019-07-19 17:44:59 Source: arstechnica

On Friday, a day before the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, President Trump invited the crew of that mission to the Oval Office. Seated, Trump was flanked by Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and the children of Commander Neil Armstrong.

During the 20-minute ceremony, Trump praised the efforts of the Apollo 11 crew and NASA in achieving the first Moon landing half a century ago. But pretty quickly, he pivoted to his own administration's plans for sending humans to the Moon and, eventually, Mars. The administration's Artemis Program, which calls for humans to return to the Moon by 2024, has been heavily promoted by the space agency as of late.

However,Trump seems much more interested in sending humans to Mars, which he considers more inspirational than a trip back to the Moon.

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New York passes its Green New Deal, announces massive offshore wind push

Science - Posted On:2019-07-19 16:29:59 Source: arstechnica

Yesterday, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that's been described as the state's Green New Deal. Unlike the one that's been floated in Congress, this one isn't a grab-bag collection of social and energy programs. Instead, there's a strong focus on energy, with assurances that changes will be made in a way that benefits underprivileged communities.

The bill was passed by both houses of the New York legislature last month, but Cuomo held off on signing it so that he could pair it with an announcement that suggests the new plan's goals are realistic. The state has now signed contracts for two wind farms that will have a combined capacity of 1.7 GW. If they open as planned in under five years, they will turn New York into the US' leading producer of offshore wind power.

The national Green New Deal did include some energy-focused plans, but it mixed them in with aspirational ideas like a guaranteed basic income. It's hard to understand how New York's plan has picked up the same name given that it's nothing like that. While there is some nod to New-Deal-like programs (the law will create a Climate Justice Working Group for instance), those aspects are limited in scope to issues brought up by transitions in the energy economy. Instead, the majority of the law is focused on changing the state's energy landscape.

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Researchers Have Teamed Up in India To Build a Gigantic Store of Texts and Images Extracted From 73M Journal Articles

science - Posted On:2019-07-19 15:29:59 Source: slashdot

A giant data store quietly being built in India could free vast swathes of science for computer analysis -- but whether it is a legal pursuit remains unclear. From a report: Carl Malamud is on a crusade to liberate information locked up behind paywalls -- and his campaigns have scored many victories. He has spent decades publishing copyrighted legal documents, from building codes to court records, and then arguing that such texts represent public-domain law that ought to be available to any citizen online. Sometimes, he has won those arguments in court. Now, the 60-year-old American technologist is turning his sights on a new objective: freeing paywalled scientific literature. And he thinks he has a legal way to do it. Over the past year, Malamud has -- without asking publishers -- teamed up with Indian researchers to build a gigantic store of text and images extracted from 73 million journal articles dating from 1847 up to the present day. The cache, which is still being created, will be kept on a 576-terabyte storage facility at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi. "This is not every journal article ever written, but it's a lot," Malamud says. It's comparable to the size of the core collection in the Web of Science database, for instance. Malamud and his JNU collaborator, bioinformatician Andrew Lynn, call their facility the JNU data depot. No one will be allowed to read or download work from the repository, because that would breach publishers' copyright. Instead, Malamud envisages, researchers could crawl over its text and data with computer software, scanning through the world's scientific literature to pull out insights without actually reading the text. The unprecedented project is generating much excitement because it could, for the first time, open up vast swathes of the paywalled literature for easy computerized analysis. Dozens of research groups already mine papers to build databases of genes and chemicals, map associations between proteins and diseases, and generate useful scientific hypotheses. But publishers control -- and often limit -- the speed and scope of such projects, which typically confine themselves to abstracts, not full text. Researchers in India, the United States and the United Kingdom are already making plans to use the JNU store instead. Malamud and Lynn have held workshops at Indian government laboratories and universities to explain the idea. "We bring in professors and explain what we are doing. They get all excited and they say, 'Oh gosh, this is wonderful'," says Malamud. But the depot's legal status isn't yet clear. Malamud, who contacted several intellectual-property (IP) lawyers before starting work on the depot, hopes to avoid a lawsuit. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Rocket Report: Falcon 9 beats Pegasus on price, Vega has its first failure

Science - Posted On:2019-07-19 07:14:57 Source: arstechnica

Welcome to Edition 2.07 of the Rocket Report! On this most historic of rocket-launch weeks, we have news about the next mission to the Moon—India's soft lander and small rover—as well as delays with the rocket America hopes to use to get its astronauts to the Moon, and possibly Mars, one day. There's also this Chinese company that apparently likes asteroids ...

As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

Vega rocket launch fails. The 15th launch of a European Vega rocket ended in failure July 10, resulting in the loss of an imaging satellite for the United Arab Emirates, SpaceNews reports. "About two minutes after liftoff, around the [Zefiro]-23 ignition, a major anomaly occurred, resulting in the loss of the mission," Luce Fabreguettes (Arianespace's Executive Vice President of Missions, Operations & Purchasing) said during the launch webcast.

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Chinese Space Station Tiangong-2 Is About To Fall From Space

science - Posted On:2019-07-19 06:14:57 Source: slashdot

The Chinese space station Tiangong-2 is scheduled to drop out of orbit on July 19 and fall into the Pacific Ocean between New Zealand and Chile. New Scientist reports: Tiangong-2 -- which translates as "heavenly palace" -- was launched in September 2016, and it was never intended to be a permanent fixture in orbit. Instead, its purpose was to test technologies for China's larger planned space station, whose main module is scheduled to launch in 2020. That space station is planned to be about one-fifth the size of the International Space Station. Tiangong-2 is far smaller. In 2018, Tiangong-2 began to lower its orbit to prepare for the end of its mission. On 19 July, it will fire its thrusters again to aim its descent toward the Pacific Ocean. Most of the craft will probably burn up as it enters the atmosphere, but any parts that survive should splash into the water harmlessly. Its predecessor, Tiangong-1, lost power in April 2018 and crashed in an uncontrolled fashion. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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