Watching the Apollo landings on the moon as a child I could hardly have imagined I was seeing the end of an era – that of manned exploration of space. Shuttle trips to low earth orbit not withstanding; the human race has stopped reaching for the stars – with manned missions, of course. Now, the new explorers are robots. Will they be the ultimate space traveler? Or will man, with all faults and flexibility, take back this role? Read Part 1 Citation: Manned vs. Unmanned Space Exploration (Part 2) (2005, November 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2005-11-unmanned-space-exploration_1.html Right: Japan’s failed Nozomi (Planet B) missionCrewed missions are more costly, but also more effective. Human calibrated experiments setup up on the moon by Apollo missions functioned perfectly for 8 years until shut down for fiscal reasons in 1977. Robotic missions, while they may carry similar instruments, are incredibly difficult to place and calibrate. Ruggedness wins over accuracy so instruments are less sensitive and deliver fewer details in the data they collect. Robots must rely on redundancy to deal with any problems while astronauts can creatively solve almost any problem. The Hubble Space telescope was repaired by teams from the Space Shuttle making it one of the most successful missions ever. Geologists make up the most vocal group of proponents for manned missions. While probe data is useful, they contend one mission with a live geologist could answer all their questions in a few weeks, while endless robotic probes may never be able to provide a clear picture of Mars. A geologist can apply all his or her senses to quickly make determinations as to what to study and what to ignore. Robotic probes could easily miss important clues and waste time on unproductive lines of exploration and study. A human still has much acuter vision than even the best video cameras and, more importantly, can process data with to the solar system’s best supercomputer – the human brain – on the spot.It’s understood the shuttle has outlived its usefulness and new programs are needed. Even NASA Chief Administrator Michael Griffin has suggested the development of the Space Shuttle and International Space Station was a mistake by saying, “It is now commonly accepted that was not the right path. We are now trying to change the path while doing as little damage as we can.”Scientists aside, public opinion has done much to keep manned spaceflight alive. Poll shows a resounding 80% or more people support continuation of manned programs like the shuttle on and the International Space Station despite accidents and lack of worth as space labs. Humanity sees itself conquering space directly, not by proxy.Indeed, support for astronauts extends well beyond simple polling. People are spending money to go into space as tourists. Chapters of the Mars Society exist in almost every major country – all pushing for manned missions with goals like the human exploration of Mars.“Although some aspects of exploring and colonizing Mars still need refining and fine tuning, the lion’s share of the technology and the understanding of the human condition are already in existence. The major missing factor is simply the realization and the commitment necessary to begin. The people of the Mars Society are working to educate and convince the political powers, the industry leaders, and you and me. We all have a stake in this.” – Dr. Robert Zubrin, author “On to Mars 2”, founder Mars Society. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Low-cost Moon mission puts India among lunar pioneers Part 2The Case for Human Spaceflight While no scientist can deny the value of robotic space exploration, many feel the need for complementary manned programs. Most agree that, for basic survey missions, robotic probes produce dramatic results. It’s in field study that scientist crewed missions could do better. Ironically, it is the same people who run the unmanned space missions that are clamoring for human crewed missions to follow them up.Part of the problem is the limited abilities and scope of each robotic mission. To save money and reduce failure rates to a minimum, robotic probes are stripped down to essentials. Although these probes gather important data, much of it is ambiguous for lack of the probe’s ability to do follow up tests. Today’s robots cannot start up new lines of investigation. Raw data is useful but often raises more questions. Even worse, the data is often completely unexpected leaving the scientists at a loss to explain the results. They need further missions to run different tests and, the cornerstone of all good science – verification by repeatedly testing the same area over time.This repeated testing of results becomes difficult with unmanned mission failure rates. Take the Mars exploration programs: out of 31 missions by the USSR, Russia, the US and Japan since 1960, all but 10 failed and only 5 met their original goals. Compare that to the high success rates of astronaut crewed missions – almost 90%. Right: FMars habitat undergoing tests at Devon Island, Nunavut, CanadaPresident Bush has even stepped up with a promise finish the International Space station by 2010 – only five years late – and for a manned mission to the moon by 2020. Much political wrangling will need to be done, however, if the funding is to materialize. Safety problems with the shuttle program continue to dog NASA as well, further putting in doubt these goals.It will take more than just the words of a few politicians to keep manned spaceflight alive. The will of the people needs to be felt through their representatives on Congressional budget committees – we have the money and the technology. Do we have the will?One avenue now being actively explored by space enthusiasts is private funding. Corporate spending in spaceflight has been grater than governments since 1996 when $77 billion dollars was invested. Private industry has more than 1,200 launches – mostlycommunications satellites– before 2007. Like in the days of early pioneering, private initiative is becoming the mainstay of space exploration. The question is: can manned space exploration pay? After all, corporations are about by profit for their shareholders.We must go to space – if not now, later, as the living area and resources on Earth dry up. Will we be on the forefront of this exploration, living in space and adapting it to our will like the hardy pioneers of old? Or will we stay at home to see these new horizons via virtual reality – only moving in to our new space bound homes when they are safe and comfortable?by Chuck Rahls, Copyright 2005 PhysOrg.com Explore further
According to Apple Daily Quanta has won a bid to manufacture a 9.7 inch tablet for RIM. The tablet, called BlackPad, will have Bluetooth, WiFi, and front-and rear-facing cameras and will also be compatible with 3G using a BlackBerry phone. Explore further In a document discovered August 9 in a Chinese tech news story, RIM’s BlackPad will be running Android, and that it will come out sometime in November.There have also been rumors circulating for months that the BlackBerry Tablet would not be running BlackBerry OS 6. The Chinese document discovered August 9 seems to confirm what OS will be running on RIM’s BlackPad.Why would RIM use Android instead of running BlackBerry OS 6? This is a major change from tradition but could be because RIM may not have an OS in place in time to compete with other manufactures that will have their own tablets out in time for this holiday season.According to Apple Daily, Quanta who won the bid to manufacture the tablet plans to ramp up production for 2 million units starting in September for a November release and another 8 million planned for 2011. The price is targeted to be $499. None of this has been confirmed by RIM but news sources all seem to be in agreement about the tablet’s capabilities, OS, and release date. RIM making new touchscreen smartphone, tablet device © 2010 PhysOrg.com More information: tw.nextmedia.com/applenews/art … 122/IssueID/20100809 (in Chinese) Citation: RIM Working on a Tablet For November Release (2010, August 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-08-rim-tablet-november.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Devils Hole pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis). Credit: Olin Feuerbacher, USFWS / Wikipedia The existence of small, goldfish sized, dark blue fish living in a water filled fissure in the Mojave Desert has led to many theories regarding how they got there and how they have survived. For many years, the consensus has been that they got there due to flooding during the Pleistocene epoch, approximately 10 to 20,000 years ago. How they managed to survive for so long in such a remote, small and hot environment has been a mystery. But now, new evidence suggests that the pupfish may not have been living in the Hole for nearly that long.Prior research has shown that the pupfish are a unique species—with features that are unique to them alone among pupfish, such as the lack of a dorsal fin, bigger eyes and darker scales. To learn more about the origins of the species, which scientists have described as having the smallest range of any vertebrate on Earth, the group conducted a genetic analysis of 56 pupfish from around the Death Valley area (including one of the pupfish from Devils Hole which was found dead) and other parts of the world, sequencing over 13,000 different stretches of DNA—a process that allowed them to create a family tree. To gauge the historical age of the pupfish from Devils Hole, the team averaged the rate of gene mutations in its cousins. Doing so showed that the fish likely first inhabited their isolated environment approximately 105 to 830 years ago and then evolved very quickly to allow them to survive.The researchers did not find any evidence that might explain how the fish got there during that time frame, but suggest it is possible that people living in the area put them there as a means of maintaining a food source in the desert, or perhaps birds carried fish eggs from other, less remote water sources. Biological sciences professor publishes pupfish research Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Explore further © 2016 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from several institutions in the U.S. has found evidence that suggests that pupfish living in Devils Hole are not nearly as ancient as has been previously assumed. In their paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team describes a genetic study they conducted on the fish and others that are related to them, and what they found as a result. More information: Christopher H. Martin et al. Diabolical survival in Death Valley: recent pupfish colonization, gene flow and genetic assimilation in the smallest species range on earth, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2016). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2334AbstractOne of the most endangered vertebrates, the Devils Hole pupfish Cyprinodon diabolis, survives in a nearly impossible environment: a narrow subterranean fissure in the hottest desert on earth, Death Valley. This species became a conservation icon after a landmark 1976 US Supreme Court case affirming federal groundwater rights to its unique habitat. However, one outstanding question about this species remains unresolved: how long has diabolis persisted in this hellish environment? We used next-generation sequencing of over 13 000 loci to infer the demographic history of pupfishes in Death Valley. Instead of relicts isolated 2–3 Myr ago throughout repeated flooding of the entire region by inland seas as currently believed, we present evidence for frequent gene flow among Death Valley pupfish species and divergence after the most recent flooding 13 kyr ago. We estimate that Devils Hole was colonized by pupfish between 105 and 830 years ago, followed by genetic assimilation of pelvic fin loss and recent gene flow into neighbouring spring systems. Our results provide a new perspective on an iconic endangered species using the latest population genomic methods and support an emerging consensus that timescales for speciation are overestimated in many groups of rapidly evolving species. Citation: Devils Hole pupfish found to be a lot younger than thought (2016, January 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-devils-hole-pupfish-lot-younger.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
The researchers, Can Onur Avci et al., at MIT and ETH Zürich, have published a paper on the new memory concept in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.”With some device and structural optimization, the bit density of existing random access memory devices may be increased by several factors, with the possibility of all-electrical operation,” Avci told Phys.org.Magnetoresistance effects date back to around 1850, when Lord Kelvin demonstrated that applying a magnetic field to a metal object increases the object’s electric resistance in one direction and decreases it in the perpendicular direction. Since then, several other types of magnetoresistance have been discovered. Most notably, Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of giant magnetoresistance, which is used to make magnetic field sensors that are found in many of the hard disk drives in today’s computers.In 2015, scientists discovered the newest magnetoresistance effect, called unidirectional spin Hall magnetoresistance. This effect differs from other kinds of magnetoresistance in that the change in resistance depends on the direction of either the magnetization or the electric current. As the scientists explain, this direction-dependent effect occurs because the spin-polarized electrons created by the spin Hall effect in a nonmagnetic layer are deflected in opposite directions by the magnetization of the adjacent magnetic layer. Previously, this new effect was demonstrated in two-layer structures consisting of a nonmagnetic and a magnetic layer. But by adding another magnetic layer, the researchers achieved a great potential advantage for memories: the ability to distinguish between not just two, but four magnetic states. Other types of magnetoresistance effects are only sensitive to the relative orientation of the magnetizations (parallel or antiparallel), although it’s possible to have four distinct magnetic states. Because the new effect is sensitive to the magnetization direction of individual layers, it can distinguish between all four states.The researchers then demonstrated four distinct resistance levels corresponding to the four different magnetic states in their three-layer device. They showed that the four resistance levels can be read out by a simple electric measurement, paving the way for the development of an all-electrical multi-bit-per-cell memory device.The researchers expect that it will be possible to scale up this memory device to higher bit densities by adding more layers, which could realistically enable eight different magnetization states, each with its own unique resistance level. In the future, the researchers also plan to look for materials that exhibit a larger unidirectional spin Hall magnetoresistance effect, which would further enhance the performance of these memory devices. (Left) With a single ferromagnetic layer, the system has two resistance levels. (Right) Adding another ferromagnet to the system creates four levels of resistance, corresponding to the four different magnetic states indicated by the arrows. Credit: Avci et al. ©2017 American Institute of Physics (Phys.org)—In 2015, scientists discovered a new magnetoresistance effect—that is, a new way in which magnetization affects a material’s electric resistance—but hadn’t yet found a promising application for the discovery, beyond the existing technologies. Now in a new paper, the same researchers have demonstrated that the effect can be used to design memories with four distinct stable magnetic states, allowing the memories to store four bits of information in a single magnetic structure. More information: Can Onur Avci et al. “A multi-state memory device based on the unidirectional spin Hall magnetoresistance.” Applied Physics Letters. DOI: 10.1063/1.4983784ABSTRACTWe report on a memory device concept based on the recently discovered unidirectional spin Hall magnetoresistance (USMR), which can store multiple bits of information in a single ferromagnetic heterostructure. We show that the USMR with possible contribution of Joule heating-driven magnetothermal effects in ferromagnet/normal metal/ferromagnet (FM/NM/FM) trilayers gives rise to four different 2nd harmonic resistance levels corresponding to four magnetization states (⇉⇉, ⇄⇄, ⇆⇆, ⇇⇇) in which the system can be found. Combined with the possibility of controlling the individual FMs by spin-orbit torques, we propose that it is possible to build an all-electrical lateral two-terminal multi-bit-per-cell memory device. © 2017 Phys.org Smart multi-layered magnetic material acts as an electric switch Journal information: Applied Physics Letters Citation: New magnetoresistance effect leads to four-state memory device (2017, June 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-06-magnetoresistance-effect-four-state-memory-device.html Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Two technicians measuring a large in situ shoulder bone of Lingwulong shenqi Credit: Xu Xing One of the four quarries producing Lingwulong fossils Credit: Xu Xing Prior evidence has suggested that millions of years ago, the continents were just one supercontinent, which scientists have named Pangaea. Prior evidence has also shown that dinosaurs were living in Pangaea, but researchers suspect that a large inland sea had cut off parts of what would later become eastern Asia. The evidence for this is the absence of diplodocids, a species of sauropods.Sauropods are a class of dinosaur—they are known as very large vegetarians with long necks and massive bodies. Diplodocids are regarded as a super-family of sauropods representing some of the largest animals that have ever lived on land. They have been classified as neosauropods because of their more recent evolutionary history compared to other sauropods. But their absence in eastern Asia suggested something had prevented them from moving into that area. But now, it appears that assumption is wrong. The researchers working at the Lingwu dig site in China found several fossilized bones, some of which belonged to a creature they named “Lingwulong shenqi,” which translates to “Lingqu amazing dragon.” Testing of the fossils indicated that they were from 174 million years ago, putting them in the Middle Jurassic. The find proves that diplodocids did exist in what is now eastern Asia, during the time before Pangaea broke apart. That means they had to have arrived at least 15 million years earlier than previously thought. Giant dinosaur bones get paleontologists rethinking Triassic period More information: Xing Xu et al. A new Middle Jurassic diplodocoid suggests an earlier dispersal and diversification of sauropod dinosaurs, Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05128-1AbstractThe fragmentation of the supercontinent Pangaea has been suggested to have had a profound impact on Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate distributions. One current paradigm is that geographic isolation produced an endemic biota in East Asia during the Jurassic, while simultaneously preventing diplodocoid sauropod dinosaurs and several other tetrapod groups from reaching this region. Here we report the discovery of the earliest diplodocoid, and the first from East Asia, to our knowledge, based on fossil material comprising multiple individuals and most parts of the skeleton of an early Middle Jurassic dicraeosaurid. The new discovery challenges conventional biogeographical ideas, and suggests that dispersal into East Asia occurred much earlier than expected. Moreover, the age of this new taxon indicates that many advanced sauropod lineages originated at least 15 million years earlier than previously realised, achieving a global distribution while Pangaea was still a coherent landmass. An artist’s rendering of Lingwulong shenqi Credit: Zhang Zongda One of the four quarries producing Lingwulong fossils Credit: Xu Xing This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A team of researchers from China and the U.K. has unearthed the remains of the earliest diplodocoid ever found in eastern Asia. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes the place where the fossil was found and what the find revealed about the history of the large dinosaurs. © 2018 Phys.org Two technicians measuring a large in situ shoulder bone of Lingwulong shenqi Credit: Xu Xing Journal information: Nature Communications Citation: ‘Amazing Dragon’ unearthed in China pushes back date of earliest sauropods in Asia (2018, July 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-amazing-dragon-unearthed-china-date.html The researchers report that when alive, the dinosaur would have been approximately 15 meters long—making it smaller than others of the same period found in other places. It would also have had the characteristic long neck and very long, whip-like tail. They suggest their finding will force a rethink of the history of sauropods, most particularly diplodocids. They also suggest the timing of the breakup of Pangaea played a bigger role in the evolution of sauropods than has been thought. They note that their find suggests the possibility of other sauropods living in the same vicinity prior to the breakup of the supercontinent. Explore further Lingwulong skeletal silhouette showing preserved bones Credit: Shi Aijuan
Korean Cultural Centre presents 2nd Pan India K-POP Contest, the festival invites all the K- POP lovers around India to join the global competition and celebration of Korean popular song and dance. K-POP is a part of celebrations of Indo-Korean 40th Diplomatic year. Finalists from the 13 countries will be invited to Korea to perform in the Grand Finale, which will be held in Gangwon, South Korea on 28 September. The event is going to be held on 17 August from 6 pm to 8:30 pm. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’K-POP Contest provides a platform for all to prove their mettle in Korean singing and dancing. K-POP is a musical genre originally from South Korea that is characterised by a wide variety of audiovisual elements, the term is more often used in a narrower sense to describe a modern form of South Korean pop music covering mostly dance-pop, pop ballad, electronic, rock, hip-hop, R&B and the like.The jury members of the 2013 festivals are Kim Kum Pyoung, the Director of Korean Cultural Centre India; Sanjeev Bhargava, Aleksandra Michelska Singh, Dancer, Natya Nectar Dance Academy and Sangwon Donald Kwag, Marketing Head, Star CJ. Last year Paul 5 from Timarpur slums, a 7 member team were announced winners from India. Winning team from the semi-finals at New Delhi will get an all expenses paid trip to Korea to participate at the finals in Wonju. Wonju is the most populous city in Gangwon province, South Korea with rich historical and cultural significance. The festival has a lot more to offer to its audiences as well.
Mithilanchal Chitraleela – an exhibition of select paintings by village artists of Madhubani is being organised by Lokatma at The Ashok Hotel. The exhibition features exquisite paintings on handmade paper, cloth and canvas. Forms are outlined freehand, using a paintbrush or bamboo pen with/without a metal nib. A variety of vibrant and muted colours, innovatively combining plant/mineral extracts, gum, fabric paints and bazaar powders are used. While each painting expresses individual creativity, all celebrate the Mithilanchal world-view and are organised around five related themes: Devi-Devata: Vedic, Puranic and folk gods and goddesses; Prakriti: Nature as seen in Mithilanchal; Dehaati Jivan: Village Life in the Region; Shubh Parv: Traditional Social and Religious Celebrations; Mahakavya Prasang: Scenes from Four Epic Tales – the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Lorikayana and the Legend of Raja Salhesh.WHERE: The Ashok Hotel, ChanakyapuriWHEN: 9 to 18 August, 10.30 am to 7.30 pm
Theme of her dance was Bhumi – the four pillars of mother nature which she performed on Indian classical music. The background score for the show was done by musician Jayant Luthra.Prema took three years to script Bhumi, while she acquired perfection through Natya Nectar. Her dance was devoted to spirituality and mother nature. The dance basically portrays the four elements of nature – air, water, earth and fire which are basics to sustain human life. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘I feel as though I am an instrument and dance is being channelised through my body. I see dance as service to the divine, a language to express my truths and love for God and his creations. Dance is my voice in this lifetime,’ said Prema. She hopes to match in her endeavour, to take productions like the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and Bhumi to a global audience.As she aspires to the electric stage presence, grace, precision and exquisite choreography skilled through Natya Nectar. The classically trained Kathak dancer, acrobatic aerialist and yoga teacher trains her dancers from a perspective of prayer and meditation.Her production Natya Nectar Dance Company blends classical Indian dance forms with acro yoga and aerial aasanas.Bhumi is a collaborative experience which weaved together fashion and Indian classical dance. Prema adds ‘Being my choreographic debut production, it is very close to my heart.’
Now people around the world can explore certain national Indian monuments online through Street View on Google Maps.The 360-degree online imagery initiative includes a paranomic imagery of 30 iconic Indian heritage sites, including the Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort and Agra Fort. This initiative taken by Google and ASI is to assist in making 100 of India’s most important heritage sites more accessible for the world to experience. These monuments which are over a 100 years old can now be explored virtually sitting in any part of the world through Google Maps and Google Cultural Institute. Through this initiative Google aims to help share more of the Indian culture and heritage with people at home and abroad. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Commenting on the initiative, the Union Minister of Culture, Chandresh Kumari Katoch said, ‘Today, this partnership with Google makes it possible for billions of people across the world to see and explore our magnificent heritage, to take a walk at the Rock Cut Jain Temple, to marvel at the Nagarjuna Konda Buddhist Stupas and to relive history in Fatehpur Sikri. With the release of these new panoramic images, we aim to create a dynamic, immersive online experience by which people within India and around the world can understand and engage more of India’s diverse cultural heritage.’Explaining the purpose behind this step Google’s Vice President and Managing Director, India said, ‘Google is deeply committed to helping preserve and showcase cultural heritage across the world. India is unique in terms of the sheer wealth of heritage and iconic historical monuments, and it has been our privilege to work with the ASI in collecting new 360-degree photos of 30 Indian heritage sites.’