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Artificial Intelligence and Space Mining: the Gateway to Infinite Riches


What do Ted Cruz, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Goldman Sachs all have in common? They predict that the world's first trillionaire will make their innumerable fortune in space. While Cruz is not precisely sure how this will come to be, Tyson and Goldman Sachs believe that the gateway to this immense wealth is through mining asteroids. The reason why space mining is so sought after is due to what is happening here on Earth. Based on known terrestrial reserves and estimates of the growing consumption in countries, essential elements needed for modern industry and food production (such as lead, phosphorus and gold) could be exhausted within the next 60 years.

Sample collection from asteroid (162173) Ryugu by Hayabusa2: Implications for surface evolution


The Hayabusa2 spacecraft recently traveled to the nearby carbonaceous asteroid Ryugu to collect samples and return them to Earth for laboratory analysis. Morota et al. describe Hayabusa2's first sample collection, taken during a brief touchdown on Ryugu's surface. Close-up images and video taken during the sampling process allowed the authors to investigate the surface colors and morphology on a small scale. Relating these to the surface craters and stratigraphy constrains the evolution of Ryugu. The authors conclude that the asteroid experienced a prior period of strong solar heating caused by changes in its orbit. The sample is expected to arrive on Earth in December 2020.

Weighting NTBEA for Game AI Optimisation Artificial Intelligence

The N-Tuple Bandit Evolutionary Algorithm (NTBEA) has proven very effective in optimising algorithm parameters in Game AI. A potential weakness is the use of a simple average of all component Tuples in the model. This study investigates a refinement to the N-Tuple model used in NTBEA by weighting these component Tuples by their level of information and specificity of match. We introduce weighting functions to the model to obtain Weighted- NTBEA and test this on four benchmark functions and two game environments. These tests show that vanilla NTBEA is the most reliable and performant of the algorithms tested. Furthermore we show that given an iteration budget it is better to execute several independent NTBEA runs, and use part of the budget to find the best recommendation from these runs.

Neural network says these 11 asteroids could smash into Earth


A team of researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands have developed a neural network called "Hazardous Object Identifier" that they say can predict if an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. Their new AI singled out 11 asteroids that were not previously classified by NASA as hazardous, and which were larger than 100 meters in diameter -- big enough to explode with the force of hundreds of nuclear weapons if they impacted Earth, potentially leveling entire cities. They also focused on space rocks that could come within 4.7 million miles of Earth, as detailed in a paper published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics earlier this month. None are an imminent threat, however: not only are their chances of ever hitting Earth astronomically slim, but they are making their flyby between the years 2131 and 2923 -- hundreds of years from now. The team then reversed the simulation, simulating future Earth-impacting asteroids by flinging them away from Earth and tracking their exact locations and orbits.

MIT scientists create doomsday AI that will take over if it detects an asteroid heading toward Earth

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A team of scientists at MIT have developed a computer program that will help humans decide how to best deal with the end of the world, so long as that comes in form of a catastrophic asteroid collision. Experts say there as many as two or three new asteroids, sometimes called'Near Earth Objects,' discovered every night. It's inevitable that one of these asteroids will eventually end drifting into a collision course with Earth. 'People have mostly considered strategies of last-minute deflection, when the asteroid has already passed through a keyhole and is heading toward a collision with Earth," Sung Wook Paek, of MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, told MIT News. Paek's team designed the program to evaluate the mass, momentum, trajectory, and time before projected impact to aid humans with the high-stakes decision making involved in averting global catastrophe.

Artificial intelligence spotted 11 'potentially hazardous' asteroids that NASA missed


Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on An asteroid hitting Earth is one of humanity's greatest existential threats, making it imperative that asteroid detection is a vital task for government space agencies around the world. Using advanced artificial intelligence, researchers in the Netherlands have discovered several "potentially hazardous objects" that were not spotted by humans. The research, published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, looked at space objects more than 100 meters in diameter that were likely to come within 4.7 million miles of Earth.

Leiden University's computer algorithm spots ELEVEN asteroids that could hit Earth

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A computer algorithm from Leiden University in the Netherlands has spotted eleven asteroids that could eventually hit Earth and cause'unprecedented devastation'. All were missed by NASA software thanks to their chaotic orbits, which are difficult for current techniques to predict and identify as being potentially dangerous. Each are more than 328 feet (100 metres) in diameter and will pass closer to our planet than ten times the distance between the Earth and the moon. For comparison, the Tunguska object which flattened 772 square miles of forest in Siberia had a diameter of around 164–262 feet (50–80 metres). However, these space rocks won't pose a threat in our lifetime, however -- for they will only get worryingly near to Earth between the years 2131 and 2923.

Russian space agency reveals plans for asteroid tracking base on the MOON

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The Russian space agency Roscosmos is planning to install a nuclear-powered observatory on its future moon base to held spot deadly Earth-threatening asteroids. Establishing a permanent presence near the lunar south pole has been a priority for Roscosmos ever since NASA announced plans to return to the moon earlier this year. The base's telescopes will work in tandem with spacecraft placed in orbit around the Earth to help provide humanity with a space-rock early warning system. In addition, the lunar facility's permanent crew will be made up of robots -- with cosmonauts only visiting to handle more complicated tasks. The plans to establish an observatory on the future moon base were announced by Alexander Bloshenko, Roscosmos' Executive Director for Science and Long-Term Programs, Russian news outlets RT and TASS reported.

When Machine Learning Can't Replace the Human


Gay: As an astronomer, I have to admit, my day-to-day life is sitting at home writing software to help us better understand our universe. Then, as a communicator of science, it just makes me so excited to come out here and tell you about the kind of stuff I get to do. As an astronomer, I use data; images, spectra, photos but taken with cameras that are sometimes orbiting our world and other planets, moons, asteroids. For a lot of my career, everything I wanted to study, everything I wanted to learn, I could do with software, a database, and sometimes some really clumsy-linked lists because that was C in the 90s. Along the way though, I got curious about all these other areas of science that are different from mine. It was from the planetary-science community where I've somehow migrated over the years that I learned there are people - such as the folks who are today mapping out planet classic Pluto - that the way they do their analysis of the geological features on this world are to sit around round tables with a screen and a Wacom tablet. They draw by hand what they perceive to be the boundaries between different kinds of glaciers, different kinds of mountains, different features on this distant world. This is science by hand because humans and software don't know what to make of Pluto but the humans can at least guess. There's a lot of science that works this way. One of the most disturbing things I learned is there is a brilliant scientist Stuart Robbins who, as his PhD work at the University of Colorado, drew three million circles - again, with a Wacom tablet; go Wacom - three million circles on thousands and thousands of images of the surface of Mars. This ended up leading to a catalog of 600,000 craters. The reason he had to draw so many circles is he had to periodically remap regions to make sure that his bias hadn't changed over time. He had to map things at small scales, at big scales, at in-between scales, bridge across all of these, have overlapped between his image. Three million circles got him a PhD.

OSIRIS-REx marks the spot: NASA selects a landing site on asteroid 'Bennu' for its 2020 mission

Daily Mail - Science & tech

NASA has selected the site for its asteroid sample collection mission from the four previously-proposed candidates after a year of study. The spinning-top-shaped asteroid, '101955 Bennu', is a 1,614 feet (492 m) wide near-Earth object with a cumulative 1-in-2,700 chance of hitting Earth from 2175–2199. The chosen primary sample site -- dubbed'Nightingale' -- is located in a young crater high up in the asteroid's northern hemisphere. The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer -- or OSIRIS-Rex -- craft has been analysing Bennu since December 2018. If successful in its mission, OSIRIS-Rex will be the first US spacecraft to return samples of an asteroid to the Earth for analysis.