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Space Agencies Tracking Approaching Asteroid

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Asteroid 2012 TC4 hasn’t been seen since five years ago, but calculations of its trajectory told astronomers that it would return in October 2017. NASA and the ESA plan to use it as a test run for the international Planetary Defense network, and have now been able to calculate its trajectory.  To help prevent a disaster from occurring again, NASA has established the Planetary Defense Coordination Office to detect and track near-Earth objects.

Based on observations, the astronomers have determined that TC4 will pass within 50,100 km (31,130 miles) of Earth at 5:41 Universal Time on October 12, 2017. That’s 13 percent of the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

Astronomers report that viewing conditions will remain clear over the next few months as TC4 approaches, allowing them to gather more data for this and other near-Earth objects.

 

 

NASA is using the approach of asteroid 2012 TC4 to test its detection and tracking systems...
While the exact trajectory of 2012 TC4 is unknown, NASA stresses that it won't collide with...
While the exact trajectory of 2012 TC4 is unknown, NASA stresses that it won’t collide with the Earth(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures, a biographical film about the African-American women who worked at NASA in the 1950s and 60s.

Huge Conglomerates Investing In Quantum Computer Tech

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Despite the skepticism from Physicists, Google. NASA. Lockheed Martin. Los Alamos National Laboratory are investing millions of dollars in the quantum computing technology of the Burnaby, B.C.-based company D-Wave. They say they’re starting to see promising results, despite criticism.Quantum computing is a new form of computing based on quantum mechanics, the strange physics that affects very, very small particles such as atoms. In theory, it has the potential to revolutionize artificial intelligence, space travel and other fields by solving problems conventional computers either can’t solve or can only solve very slowly. Google announced that D-Wave’s latest model, its 2X quantum annealer, was 100 million times faster than its conventional computing counterpart at solving a test problem involving almost 1,000 variables. Critics say companies that invest in it are making a “wild bet.”

D-Wave computer NASA lab

The Obama Administration’s “Big Data Research and Development Initiative”

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The Obama Administration’s Big Data Initiative, was  originally announced back in March 2012. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Networking and Information Technology R&D program (NITRD) on Tuesday introduced a host of new big data collaboration projects aimed at stimulating private-sector interest in federal data. The targeted fields include medical research, geointelligence, economics, and linguistics.

Among the initiatives, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and NASA have set up the NASA Earth eXchange, or NEX, a collaborative network to provide space-based data about our planet to researchers in Earth science. AWS will host much of NASA’s Earth-observation data as an AWS Public Data Set, making it possible, for instance, to crowd source research projects.

 

DARPA

 

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The DARPA Robotic Challenge is focused on developing robots that can operate in rough terrain and austere conditions, using aids (vehicles and hand tools) commonly available in populated areas. Specifically, DRC wants to prove that the following capabilities can be accomplished.

DARPA’s Robot Challenge-The goal of the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) is to create groundbreaking research and development so that future robotics can perform the most hazardous activities in future disaster response operations, in place with their human counterparts, in order to reduce casualties, avoid further destruction, and save lives.

Researchers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC), in collaboration with General Motors and Oceaneering, have designed a state-of-the-art, highly dexterous, humanoid robot: Robonaut 2 (R2). R2 is made up of multiple component technologies and systems — vision systems, image recognition systems, sensor integrations, tendon hands, control algorithms, and much more. R2’s nearly 50 patented and patent-pending technologies have the potential to be game-changers in multiple industries, including logistics and distribution, medical and industrial robotics.

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The SARBOT Team is formed by more than 17 reseachers from  three Universities (UPM, UAH and UC3M) and one Public Research Centre (CAR-CSIC)  in Spain.

SARBOT

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC); Universidad Politécnica de Madrid;
Universidad de Alcalá de Henares; Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Atlas

Arganda del Rey, Madrid, Spain

The DARPA Spectrum Challenge—a competitive demonstration of robust wireless technologies— announced the selection of 15 of 18 semifinalists for $150,000 in prize money. DARPA plans to fill three remaining wildcard slots in August 2013 before the September 2013 semifinals at DARPA’s offices in Arlington, Va.  

These radio transmitters hang from the ceiling of the Open Access Research Testbed for Next-Generation Wireless Networks (ORBIT), part of the Wireless Information Network Laboratory (WINLAB) at Rutgers University at New Brunswick. Competitors in the DARPA Spectrum Challenge will test their radio software protocols in this room to help develop more robust radio communication

 

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