Space Agency


Total Solar Eclipse Weather Forecast: Will Clouds Block Your View?

International Business Times

There's a chance clouds will obscure your view of the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017, according to this map of typical cloudiness on that date through history. If clouds obscure this total solar eclipse, there won't be another one visible in the lower 48 states until April 2024, according to NASA. There will also be an annular solar eclipse, when the moon passes in front of the sun but not at the right distance to completely block it out, viewable in the continental U.S. in 2023. The last time a total solar eclipse moved through the mainland United States was in February 1979.


NASA Applies IntelAI's Machine Learning Methods to Search for Space Resources – technerdbites

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Working with Intel's team and their deep learning technologies, Intel Nervana, NASA is looking to accelerate the development of a software solution to take AI to the moon. The technologies are expected to shorten the time window to locate water and volatile resources on the moon, which can produce air supply for further exploration. FDL is an applied research accelerator that uses AI to solve problems related to space weather, space resources and planetary defense. NASA FDL's 9-week program involves teams of 4 to 5, comprising of post-doc, data scientists, software developers and graduate researchers in fields, ranging from planetary science to 3D modelling.


Strange Storm-Chasing Autonomous Aircraft Collects Weather Data For NASA

International Business Times

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working together to study the way severe storms form and intensify and they're using their odd-looking Globe Hawk autonomous aircraft to do so. NASA's autonomous Global Hawk aircraft collects data during storms. The scientific payload the craft carries includes instruments designed to measure wind velocity, pressure, temperature, humidity, moisture levels in clouds and the structure of storm systems while flying. The Global Hawk craft is an autonomous NASA craft that can measure temperature, humidity, pressure and more factors of storms.


SpaceX Dragon delivers scientific bounty to ISS

Daily Mail

A SpaceX shipment arrived at the International Space Station on Wednesday, delivering a bonanza of science experiments. NASA astronaut Jack Fischer used the space station's hefty robot arm to grab the Dragon 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Pacific, near New Zealand. A SpaceX shipment arrived at the International Space Station on Wednesday, delivering a bonanza of science experiments. NASA astronaut Jack Fischer used the space station's hefty robot arm to grab the Dragon 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Pacific, near New Zealand She's due back at the beginning of September.


Beyond HAL: How artificial intelligence is changing space systems - SpaceNews.com

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It currently takes the Mars Science Laboratory team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory eight hours to plan daily activities for the Curiosity rover before sending instructions through NASA's over-subscribed Deep Space Network. Last year, Curiosity began using software called Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science that combines computer vision with machine learning to select rocks and soil samples to investigate based on criteria determined by scientists. "Scientists on the mission have been excited about this because in the past they had to look at images, pick targets, send up commands and wait for data," said Kiri Wagstaff, a researcher in JPL's Machine Learning and Instrument Autonomy Group. NASA crews will spend far less time learning to operate the spacecraft than preparing to conduct microgravity research and maintain the orbiting outpost, said Chris Ferguson, the former space shuttle commander who directs crew and mission operations for Boeing's CST-100 Starliner program.


The Plan to Put a 3-D Printer With Robot Arms Into Orbit

WIRED

But a company called Made in Space is indifferent to space's indifference. It's a milestone in the outfit's ambitious Archinaut program, which hopes to launch a 3-D printer with robot arms into orbit. If all goes according to plan, one day Archinaut's robotic arms will use machine vision to grab printed parts as they leave the machine, then piece them together into satellites or dishes. "We're going to need fairly complex, large, and capable systems for human exploration that we're going to use kind of over and over again," says Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate.


SpaceX to launch super-computer to space

Daily Mail

Elon Musk's SpaceX is poised to launch an unmanned cargo ship carrying a supercomputer to the International Space Station (ISS) today. Messages from Mars to Earth would be delayed from between four minutes to 24 minutes one-way, depending on the distance between the planets, according to the European Space Agency. As astronauts travel millions of miles away, communications will become increasingly delayed, meaning supercomputers will become key to directing missions. Messages from Mars to Earth would be delayed from between four minutes to 24 minutes one-way, depending on the distance between the planets, according to the European Space Agency.


SpaceX poised to send supercomputer, Parkinson's experiment gear to ISS

The Japan Times

MIAMI – SpaceX is poised to launch an unmanned cargo ship toward the International Space Station Monday, including a supercomputer that could direct astronauts on future deep-space missions. The liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Dragon cargo ship, is planned for 12:31 p.m. (1631 GMT) from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Dragon is packed with 6,400 pounds (2,900 kg) of supplies, including a sophisticated supercomputer made by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), called The Spaceborne Computer. Another experiment on board is designed to help scientists study Parkinson's disease in greater detail in the hopes of finding better treatments for this degenerative disease.


NASA Has Big Plans for AI on Mars and Beyond

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These are two examples of how NASA hopes to use artificial intelligence. This bot-friendly future stands counter to some of the fuss in the press this past week, after Facebook shut down an experiment because two artificially intelligent bots began communicating in a shorthand language instead of English. In the future, he said, NASA astronauts could work with more intelligent robots on Mars, with the robots scouting sites and telling humans the most interesting locations to survey. "NASA is very risk-adverse [about crewed missions]," said Chien, who is technical group supervisor of the artificial intelligence group at JPL.


JPL's Design for a Clockwork Rover to Explore Venus

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

It's not just the temperature that makes Venus a particularly nasty place for computers--the pressure at the surface is around 90 atmospheres, equivalent to the pressure 3,000 feet down in Earth's ocean. The majority of ideas for Venus surface exploration have essentially been the same sort of thing that the Soviets did with the Venera probes: Stuffing all the electronics inside of an insulated container hooked up to a stupendously powerful air conditioning system, probably driven by some alarmingly radioactive plutonium-powered Stirling engines. With funding from the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program, the JPL team wants to see whether it might be possible to build a Venus exploration rover without conventional sensors, computers, or power systems. A Strandbeest operates off just a couple simple sensors, which control whether the legs move backwards or forwards, and it has built-in logic to avoid soft sand and water.