Science

Northrop successfully launches Cygnus cargo spacecraft for the ISS

Northrop successfully launches Cygnus cargo spacecraft for the ISS

An Antares rocket from Northrop Grumman has successfully launched the Cygnus cargo spacecraft on its way to the International Space Station. The launch happened at 9:59AM from the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport as anticipated. Assuming nothing unusual happens, NASA says the cargo vessel will arrive at the ISS on Monday, November 4, carrying a huge load of supplies and scientific materials.

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Astronomers find evidence of small black holes hiding in plain sight

Astronomers find evidence of small black holes hiding in plain sight

Researchers with Ohio State University have published a new study detailing the potential existence of a new class of black holes, ones that are smaller than what are currently known to be the smallest black holes in the universe. The discovery of a new class would help astronomers in their mission to find and catalog black holes, ultimately improving our understanding of the universe around us.

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Vampire bats keep social networks in wild after captivity

Vampire bats keep social networks in wild after captivity

A group of researchers showed that vampire bats who made friends with other vampire bats in captivity often kept said bonds in the wild. The research was published this week, showing that a combination of extrinsic constraints and intrinsic partner fidelity caused lasting social structures between tested vampire bats. These lasting friendships were shown via such activities as grooming and food sharing.

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NASA pumpkin-carving contest yields aliens, Moon lander, and Nemo

NASA pumpkin-carving contest yields aliens, Moon lander, and Nemo

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory has shown off the results of its annual pumpkin-carving contest, showcasing creations that range from aliens fighting soldiers to works that eschew the space theme, including a murderous pumpkin and a recreation of Lucille Ball. This is the ninth year JPL engineers and scientists have participated in a pumpkin-carving contest, according to NASA.

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MIT’s self-assembling robot cubes can jump and flip

MIT’s self-assembling robot cubes can jump and flip

MIT has announced the development of self-assembling robotic cubes. The cubes can climb over and around each other, jump in the air, and roll across the ground. The robots are now able to communicate with each other, a development that has taken six years to achieve. The communication system the robots use is a simple barcode-like system on each face of the block.

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MIT’s bipedal robot mimics human balance when running and jumping

MIT’s bipedal robot mimics human balance when running and jumping

The future may have big things in store for robots that will help humanity. Goals for robots include helping to rescue humans from a burning building, helping with chemical spills, and helping with any disaster that makes a location inaccessible to human responders. Before the dream of rescue robots can become a reality, the robots have to be able to perform physically demanding tasks.

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M-Blocks 2.0 revealed: Now these cube robots can collaborate

M-Blocks 2.0 revealed: Now these cube robots can collaborate

Almost exactly six years ago, we reported on the first iteration of the self-assembling cube robots called M-Blocks. Since then, they've become exponentially more radical. Here in October of 2019, the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) revealed their newest edition of the robotic cubes they call M-Blocks 2.0. The newest edition has many upgrades, the most amazing of which is a communication system with which the blocks can communicate, and thereby collaborate.

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NASA discovers a face staring back at us using Hubble

NASA discovers a face staring back at us using Hubble

NASA astronomers were using the Hubble Space Telescope to look deep into space, and with it, they found a pair of galaxies that are colliding and look a bit like a face with two glowing eyes staring back at them. The scientists say the image shows a head-on collision between two galaxies.

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Tactile display lets the blind perform 3D printing and CAD

Tactile display lets the blind perform 3D printing and CAD

Researchers from Stanford University have created a new tactile display that aims to allow the blind and visually impaired to access 3D printing and computer-aided design (CAD). The touch-based display can mimic the geometry of the 3D objects on a computer. The researchers say that while design tools empower users to create and contribute to society, the tools also limit those who can participate.

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ESO says that the asteroid Hygiea could be a dwarf planet

ESO says that the asteroid Hygiea could be a dwarf planet

ESO astronomers have used the SPHERE instrument on the Very Large Telescope to look at the asteroid called Hygiea. The observations have shown that Hygeia could be classified as a dwarf planet. The object is said to be the fourth-largest asteroid in the belts behind Ceres, Vesta, and Pallas.

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MIT system helps self-driving cars see around corners by watching shadows

MIT system helps self-driving cars see around corners by watching shadows

MIT has announced the development of a new system that allows autonomous vehicles (AVs) to see better around corners. The new MIT system can sense tiny changes in shadows on the ground to determine if a moving object is coming around the corner. MIT says that AVs could one day use the system to quickly avoid a potential collision with a vehicle or pedestrian emerging from around the corner of a building or between parked cars.

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Lamborghini is sending carbon fiber composite materials to the ISS

Lamborghini is sending carbon fiber composite materials to the ISS

Automobili Lamborghini has announced that it will send a few carbon fiber composite materials into space as part of the cargo that'll be launched next month on a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket. The materials are destined for the International Space Station, where they'll be tested with 'extreme stresses' possible only in space. The results will help influence the use of these materials in future automotive applications, as well as in the medical field.

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