Tactical Flight Director for Mars Perseverance gives MAKERS special insight into her personal experience with the recent historic rover landing.
Tactical Flight Director for Mars Perseverance gives MAKERS special insight into her personal experience with the recent historic rover landing.
Ingenuity has surprised NASA scientists with its first four flights. Now, as it begins a new mission, they can hear it for the first time.
During Ingenuity's fourth flight on April 30th, Perseverance managed to capture an audio clip of the foray, marking the first time a spacecraft on another planet has recorded the sounds made by another craft.
Apple's new AirTag item trackers are pretty small, but not quite small enough to slip into most wallets without adding an obvious bit of bulk. Fortunately, as one talented AirTag owner has found, that's nothing you can't fix with a heat gun, a bit of soldering, and an understanding that you could totally fry your shiny new AirTag in the blink of an eye. When Andrew Ngai realized that much of AirTag's thickness came from its PCB and its battery being stacked atop each other, he set out to instead arrange them side-by-side.
NASA's Mars helicopter has already completed four flights on the Red Planet. According to the Ingenuity team, it's completed everything it needs to in order to be considered a success, but it's not done yet. In fact, the limits that NASA thought it would have to deal with during the helicopter's testing don't appear to be that big of a deal anymore, and that's great news for the scientists that want to push the helicopter to its absolute limits. In a new blog post on NASA's Mars science website, Josh Ravich of the Ingenuity team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory reveals the group's feelings about the helicopter's performance thus far. To put it simply, the helicopter has totally crushed it, and the tiny chopper appears to be dealing with all of the hazards of the Martian surface easily. The group had feared that the helicopter might suffer breakdowns early on, but that never happened, and it's performing so well that the Ingenuity team is pivoting to a longer testing timeline. It's actually pretty wild that the helicopter is performing as well as it is. The chopper was built by NASA but it features a number of "off the shelf" parts that weren't designed for Mars. Despite that, the helicopter has stood up well and successfully completed the tasks that its handlers have set forth for it. "Our helicopter is even more robust than we had hoped," Ravich explains. "The power system that we fretted over for years is providing more than enough energy to keep our heaters going at night and to fly during the day. The off-the-shelf components for our guidance and navigation systems are also doing great, as is our rotor system. You name it, and it’s doing just fine or better." The helicopter's fifth flight will be, in many ways, its most important so far. It will fly farther than it ever has and it won't be returning back to its initial landing zone. Instead, it will travel toward a new "airfield" to continue its testing while also remaining within sight of the Perseverance rover. "We are traveling to a new base because this is the direction Perseverance is going, and if we want to continue to demonstrate what can be done from an aerial perspective, we have to go where the rover goes," Ravich said. NASA will continue to push the limits of the helicopter and conduct test flights while they gather more and more data about its flights on Mars. Knowing that Mars didn't completely destroy the helicopter's more sensitive components after it was released by the rover is great news for NASA going forward, and could open the door to more advanced aerial machines to be sent to Mars in the near future.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California on Friday released audio of its Ingenuity helicopter humming through the thin Martian air. (May 7)
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty In a one-man fight against the ruling establishments of North and South Korea, a 53-year-old defector has outraged Kim Yo Jong, kid sister of ruler Kim Jong Un, and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in alike.Park Sang-Hak, who fled North Korea 21 years ago with his family, has defied both of them by sending thousands of leaflets cascading over the North in defiance of a new law rammed through the South’s National Assembly banning this expression of free speech.In the run-up Moon’s first summit with President Joe Biden in the White House on May 21, South Korean police have refrained from arresting Park, but the police searched his office on Thursday minutes after he told The Daily Beast in a Zoom conversation that he was “determined to keep sending leaflets” regardless of the law and constant surveillance.Kim Yo Jong Is Ready to Become the First Woman Dictator in Modern HistoryThe police may have listened in on the interview with The Daily Beast—Park’s last phone contact with a journalist before they confiscated his mobile along with documents from his office in Seoul to which he defected in 2000 through China with his wife and son.Park’s main message to the North Koreans, as propounded in 500,000 leaflets and 500 pamphlets dropped from balloons wafted over the North on April 28 and April 30: “Kim Jong Un is developing nuclear weapons while 20 million people are starving.”That was enough to infuriate Kim Yo Jong, who sought to intimidate the South in a statement asking if South Korean authorities were “ready to take care of the consequences of evil conduct done by the rubbish-like mongrel dogs who took no scruple to slander us while faulting the ‘nuclear issue’ in the meanest way.”“Clearly speaking,” she said in her statement, carried in English on May 2 by Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency, “[The South Koreans] will be forced to pay a dear price if they let this situation go on while making sort of excuses.”Speaking to The Daily Beast, Park cited Kim Yo Jong’s fury as evidence that South Korean officials were lying when they claimed that most of the balloons bearing the leaflets had blown back to the South, missing intended targets. He said many had landed in the vicinity of Pyongyang’s central railroad station where they were easily picked up by ordinary people as well as North Korean soldiers. Along with the leaflets, 5,000 one-dollar bills were also dropped over the North to give people real money as opposed to near-worthless North Korean currency.Park, who calls his organization “Fighters for a Free North Korea,” said in a Zoom conversation that police were constantly following his movements and watching both his office and residence to keep him from making good on plans to launch more leaflets—and also to protect him from assassination by North Korean agents. Over the past two decades, he’s been responsible for more than 100 leaflet launches over the North. Other North Korean defectors have launched many more, but he’s the only one to have defied the new law banning leaflets as passed by Korea’s national assembly in December.“The North Koreans have put out a directive,” said Park, talking through a long-time contact serving as an interpreter for the conversation. “They said, ‘Get rid of Park Sang-Hak.’”Defiantly, he added , “[South Korean police] cannot arrest me”—at least not until after Biden’s summit with Moon.North Korea Says It’s Ghosting Endless Calls and Emails From Team BidenBiden and his team have not commented on whether the topic of the anti-leaflet law will come up at the summit, but Park hoped Biden would ask about the legality of the legislation that he said represses free speech as guaranteed in the South’s constitution.“I want President Biden to ask all those questions,” he said. “Why does Moon violate the Korean constitution, freedom of speech, freedom of information. That’s what President Biden should confront President Moon with.”Park spoke out in terms that clearly identify with Korean right-wing forces, gathering strength while Moon’s own popularity sinks in response to corruption scandals and economic issues.“Moon is working for Kim Jong Un,” he said, echoing widespread comments by Moon’s conservative critics.He almost dared South Korean authorities to jail him, declaring: “If I am arrested, opposition party politicians and the mass media will not sit silently by. They will raise holy hell.” He believed one reason he remained free was the political pressure of the conservative Liberty Party, standing against the ruling Democratic Party in the National Assembly.“I don’t think Moon will arrest me,” he said. “It will look vile and low if he arrests me after the summit.”Park’s defiance of authorities contrasts with that of other defectors who have refrained from launching leaflets since enactment of the anti-leaflet law.“As long as the North Korean people suffer, there will be no stopping,” he said. “We will keep sending leaflets.”The police raid on his office, however, suggests that he may not be able to make good on that pledge even if he’s not arrested. Without a mobile phone, it’s not even certain he will be able to publicize his views anywhere.“Moon claims he’s for human rights,” he told The Daily Beast. “He’s a puppet of the North Korean regime, the Kim dynasty. He is close to Kim and also to [Chinese president] Xi Jinping. ”He said he saw no way for the Americans or South Koreans to get into dialog with the North after the Biden-Moon summit.“Moon will beg Biden to have a summit with North Korea,” he said. “I don’t think it will happen.” In the meantime, he added, “Kim Jong Un has got what he wants, nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles. Moon will ask Biden to accept North Korea as a nuclear power.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
The claim is bound to cause controversy. See the possible evidence.
NASA's Parker Solar Probe has picked up on radio emissions coming from Venus' atmosphere, and they sound like something out of the Twilight Zone. The post NASA Space Probe Detects Radio Emissions Coming from Venus appeared first on Nerdist.
Silver gained upside momentum as U.S. dollar moved lower.
NASA's Perseverance rover captured the humming sounds of the tiny Ingenuity helicopter flying above the Martian surface. Why it matters: By recording sound on Mars, scientists will be able to learn more about how the Martian atmosphere works and potentially diagnose problems with Perseverance, should they pop up.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.Driving the news: NASA released a video Friday showing Ingenuity's fourth flight on April 30 when the helicopter flew a 872-foot round-trip test. Perseverance recorded the flight, capturing the Martian wind and hum of the helicopter's blades spinning at 2,537 rpm. (If you're watching the full video, it helps to use headphones.)"We had carried out tests and simulations that told us the microphone would barely pick up the sounds of the helicopter, as the Mars atmosphere damps the sound propagation strongly," David Mimoun, the science lead for Perseverance's SuperCam Mars microphone, said in a statement. "We have been lucky to register the helicopter at such a distance."The big picture: Ingenuity is the first human-made drone to ever fly on another planet, and NASA hopes the tests it's running with the 4-pound helicopter will pave the way for future missions using other drones on Mars and elsewhere. What's next: NASA will continue to test Ingenuity on Mars, allowing it to go on farther flights and one-way trips, potentially to help scout out areas of interest for Perseverance. More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
With a window scheduled for 7:58 p.m. Friday, the Black Brant XII rocket will launch from Virginia's NASA Wallops Flight Facility.
Experts predict a spike in UFO reports.
Debris might be a sci-fi show about alien technology that can defy physics, but the series is rooted in real scientific facts and theories. The post Why DEBRIS’ Science Fiction Is More Real Than You Think appeared first on Nerdist.
Fossils of _Shuvuuia deserti_ depict a small predatory creature with exceptional night vision and hearing. Mick Ellison/American Natural History Museum, CC BY-NDToday, barn owls, bats, leopards and many other animals rely on their keen senses to live and hunt under the dim light of stars. These nighttime specialists avoid the competition of daylight hours, hunting their prey under the cloak of darkness, often using a combination of night vision and acute hearing. But was there nightlife 100 million years ago? In a world without owls or leopards, were dinosaurs working the night shift? If so, what senses did they use to find food and avoid predators in the darkness? To better understand the senses of the dinosaur ancestors of birds, our team of paleontologists and paleobiologists scoured research papers and museum collections looking for fossils that preserved delicate eye and ear structures. And we found some. Using scans of fossilized dinosaur skulls, in a paper published in the journal Science on May 6, 2021, we describe the most convincing evidence to date for nocturnal dinosaurs. Two fossil species – Haplocheirus sollers and Shuvuuia deserti – likely had extremely good night vision. But our work also shows that S. deserti also had incredibly sensitive hearing similar to modern-day owls. This is the first time these two traits have been found in the same fossil, suggesting that this small, desert-dwelling dinosaur that lived in ancient Mongolia was probably a specialized night-hunter of insects and small mammals. Shuvuuia deserti had acute hearing and low-light vision that would have allowed it to hunt at night. Viktor Radermaker, CC BY-ND Looking to theropods By studying fossilized eye bones, one of us, Lars Schmitz, had previously found that some small predatory dinosaurs may have hunted at night. Most of these potentially nocturnal hunters were theropods, the group of three-toed dinosaurs that includes Tyrannosaurus rex and modern birds. But to date, fossils for only 12 theropod species included the eye structures that can tell paleontologists about night vision. Our team identified four more species of theropods with clues for their sense of vision – for a total of 16. We then looked for fossils that preserve the structures of the inner ear and found 17 species. Excitingly, for four species, we were able to get measurements for both eyes and ears. The eye socket – and specifically the sclerical ring – of S. deserti shows an eye with a very large pupil capable of letting in large amounts of light. Mick Ellison/American Museum of Natural History, CC BY-ND Eye bones built for night vision Scleral ossicles are thin, rectangular bone plates that form a ring-like structure surrounding the pupils of lizards as well as birds and their ancestors – dinosaurs. Scleral rings define the largest possible size of an animal’s pupil and can tell you how well that animal can see at night. The larger the pupil compared to the size of the eye, the better a dinosaur could see in the dark. This owl skull clearly shows the large scleral ring that helps animals see in darkness. David J. Stang/WikimediaCommons, CC BY-SA Since the individual bony ossicles of these rings fell apart after these animals died more than 60 million years ago, our team made scans of the fossils and then digitally reconstructed the eyes. Of all the theropods we examined, H. sollers and S. deserti had some of the proportionally largest pupils. S. deserti‘s pupil made up more than half of its eye, very similar to night-vision specialists that live today like geckos and nightjars. Our team then compared the fossils to 55 living species of lizards and 367 species of birds with known day or night activity patterns. According to the statistical analyses our team performed, there is a very high chance – higher than 90% – that H. sollers and S. deserti were nocturnal. But those were not the only two theropods our team looked at. Our analysis also found a few other likely nighttime specialists – such as Megapnosaurus kayentakatae – as well as daylight specialists like Almas ukhaa. But we also found some species – like Velociraptor mongoliensis – with eyesight seemingly adapted for medium light levels. This might suggest that they hunted around dawn or dusk. Molds of the inner ear canal from a barn owl (left) and S. deserti (right) are almost identical, suggesting that the small dinosaur had incredible hearing. Shivan Parusnath/Wits University, CC BY-ND Incredible ears of a dinosaur In today’s nocturnal animals, hearing can be as important as keen eyesight. To figure out how well these extinct dinosaurs could hear, we scanned the skulls of 17 fossil theropods to decipher the structure of their inner ears and then compared our scans to the ears of modern animals. All vertebrates have a tube-like canal called the cochlea deep in their inner ear. Studies of living mammals and birds show that the longer this canal, the wider the range of frequencies an animal can hear and the better they can hear very faint sounds. Our scans showed that S. deserti had an extremely elongated inner ear canal for its size – also similar to that of the living barn owl and proportionally much longer than all of the other 88 living bird species we analyzed for comparison. Based on our measurements, among dinosaurs, we found that predators had generally better hearing than herbivores. Several predators – including V. mongoliensis – also had moderately elongated inner ears, but none rivaled S. deserti’s. The life of a nocturnal dinosaur By studying the sensory abilities of dinosaurs, paleontologists like us not only are learning what species roamed the night, but can also begin to infer how these dinosaurs lived and shared resources. S. deserti had extreme night vision and sensitive hearing, and this little dinosaur probably used its incredible senses to hunt prey at night. It could likely hear and follow rustling from a distance before visually detecting its prey and digging it up from the ground with its short single-clawed arms. In the dry, desert-like habitats of millions of years ago, it might have been an evolutionary advantage to be active in the cooler temperatures of the night. But according to our analysis, S. deserti wasn’t the only dinosaur active at night. Other dinosaurs like V. mongoliensis and the plant-eating Protoceratops mongoliensis both lived in the same habitat and had some level of night vision. Paleontologists currently do not know the full suite of animals that shared S. deserti’s extreme nocturnal lifestyle in the ancient deserts of Mongolia – it is rare to find fossils with the right bones intact that allow paleontologists to investigate their senses. However, the presence of a specialized night forager highlights that much like today, some dinosaurs avoided the dangers and competition of daylight hours and roamed under the stars. [Get the best of The Conversation, every weekend. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Lars Schmitz, Scripps College; Jonah Choiniere, University of the Witwatersrand, and Roger Benson, University of Oxford. Read more:Giant ‘toothed’ birds flew over Antarctica 40 million to 50 million years agoHow many Tyrannosaurus rex walked the Earth? Jonah Choiniere receives funding from the National Research Foundation of South Africa. Roger Benson receives funding from the European Research Council, National Environments Research Council and Leverhulme Trust. Lars Schmitz does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Don’t worry, the odds it’ll land on you are very slim.
The Amazon.com founder will launch people into space on his New Shepard vehicle on 20 July.
These bees can detect COVID-19Location: Wageningen, NetherlandsDutch researchers have trained bees to detect COVID-19 infected samplesby using their unusually keen sense of smellBees indicate a positive coronavirus resultby extending their straw-like tongues to drink sugar-water(SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR IN VIROLOGY AND RESEARCH LEADER 'EMERGING AND ZOONOTIC VIRUSES' AT WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITY AND RESEARCH, WIM VAN DER POEL, SAYING:"We collect, we take the bees from honey beekeepers here in the region and we use a set of these every day and we put those bees in harnesses to fix them. Then we present coronavirus positive and coronavirus negative samples and after presenting a positive sample we always present sugar water afterwards. So in the end the bees extend their proboscis after being presented a coronavirus positive sample and in that way we can train bees pretty quickly."Scientists say the method is cheapand could cut the waiting time for test results to secondsmaking it useful for countries where tests are scarce
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Researchers match the DNA of a South African man with a sailor on the doomed Franklin expedition.