[VIDEO] Elon Musk: Internet on Mars & Artificial Intelligence

Source: Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World (2016) Narrated by Werner Herzog

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うん!Suntory Plans Space-Aged Whisky

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The bad news: There are no plans to make the space-aged whisky available for purchase. The samples will be studied in labs once they return to Earth and whisky blenders will taste them to compare them with those aged on the ground.

Jun Hongo reports: Not content with having the best whisky in the world, Suntory Holdings Ltd. plans to take its whisky out of this world and into space.

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The Japanese brewing and distilling company said this week it would send a total of six samples of its whiskies and other alcoholic beverages to the International Space Station, where they will be kept for at least a year to study the effect zero gravity has on aging.

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“The samples will be carried to the space station on Aug. 16 on Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s transfer vehicle Kounotori.”

According to a spokesman at the company, the samples, which will be carried in glass flasks, will include both a 21-year-old single malt and a beverage that has just been distilled. Research has shown that whisky aged in an environment with little temperature change, convection of fluids and shaking tends to be become “mellower,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Toshiba’s Communication Robot Chihira Aico’s Debut as a Receptionist Impresses Department Store Customers

“Humanoid robot capable of expressing various feeling.”

According to RocketNews24, Toshiba has plans to expand its robotics business outside of customer service and into healthcare, especially as companions for Japan’s aging population. Read the rest of this entry »


Japan Successfully Launches New Spy Satellite

Japan successfully completed the launch of a radar reconnaissance satellite on Sunday morning, the Kyodo news agency reports. The launch was performed from the Tanegashima Space Center in the Kagoshima Prefecture in the south of Japan at 10:21 local time (01:30 GMT). The satellite was taken into orbit by the H-2A (H-IIA) carrier rocket.japan-h2-palms-day-lg

This is the fifth spy satellite that Japan has launched into the  Earth’s orbit. It will allow to capture objects on the surface of the Earth at high resolution during nighttime and through clouds. The other four Japanese satellites that are orbiting the Earth include two optical imaging spacecraft and two radar imagers.

Japan plans to launch another reconnaissance satellite in March, as part of the Information Gathering Satellite (IGS) series. The IGS program was initiated after North Korea attempted to launch a satellite in August 1998. The rocket carrying the satellite overflew Japan and fell into the Pacific Ocean.

Source: Sputnik News

 


Japan Has a Plan: Power Plant in Space

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JAXA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, recently announced that it intends to stick a solar-generated power station in orbit for the first time by 2025—just over a decade.

For Vice.com, Meghan Neal writes: Japan, where the disastrous Fukushima meltdown heightened the search for safe, sustainable alternative energy, is answering that need by sending a power plant into space.

“Solar panels in space are up to 10 times more efficient than the ones we’ve got on Earth, so the potential is beyond intriguing.”

Actually, the plan to power the globe with gigantic space-based solar panels has been kicking around since the ’60s. But thanks to a perfect storm of technological advances—strong but lightweight tether materials, swarming worker robots that can self-assemble, more efficient solar panels, and cheaper payload launches—this thing is actually looking feasible.

[Also see: It’s Always Sunny in Space]

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Image: Screenshot from JAXA/YouTube

Picture this: Floating 24,000 miles above the Earth’s surface is a mammoth power plant (power satellite may be more accurate) that stretches several miles long, weighs 10,000 metric tons, and is covered with solar panels basking in the sun and storing up its powerful energy. Read the rest of this entry »


Music in Space: Texas Music Students to Perform Live with Space Station Astronaut

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Expedition 39 commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, currently aboard the International Space Station will make space-to-Earth musical connections with students in Texas this week to share and explore the relationship between the arts and space exploration.

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Students from Pearl Hall Elementary in Pasadena, Texas, will perform songs with NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, Houston Symphony violinist Sergei Galperin and violinist Kenji Williams at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Music In Space - May 2 2014

When gagaku was first introduced in Japan, it was music of the imperial court during the Nara (645-710) and Heian (794-1185) periods that was performed by musicians who belonged to hereditary guilds.  Later, it became music of the aristocracy, and today it is still performed; modern composers even continue to write for gagaku ensembles.

When gagaku was first introduced in Japan, it was music of the imperial court during the Nara (645-710) and Heian (794-1185) periods that was performed by musicians who belonged to hereditary guilds. Later, it became music of the aristocracy, and today it is still performed; modern composers even continue to write for gagaku ensembles.

From the space station, Wakata will perform a piece of the ancient Gagaku music with a Japanese reed instrument called a sho.

Gagaku

Japanese Gagaku. Gagaku (the two Chinese characters mean “elegant music”) is a type of orchestral music utilizing winds, strings, and percussion that has been performed in Japan for centuries. It is the oldest form of Japanese classical music.

Violinist Sergei Galperin

Violinist Sergei Galperin

The live “Music in Space” program will be broadcast on NASA Television and webcasted on the DLiNfo Channel at 12:30 p.m. EDT Friday, May 2.

*The event time is subject change due to communication with the space station. Please go to http://dln.nasa.gov for current information.  

On Friday, click here for the LIVE Stream.

This is the second “Music in Space” event. The first featured astronaut Chris Hadfield formerly of the Canadian Space Agency in March 2013. This event is a part of the Building Cultural Bridges program, which links Pearl Hall Elementary with Johnson Space Center and several arts organizations, providing opportunities for students to discover that they are an integral part of society at the local, state, national and international levels. Read the rest of this entry »


SpaceX Launch of NASA Cargo to Space Station Set for Friday, Spacewalk Wednesday

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NASA and SpaceX are targeting a 3:25 p.m. EDT launch on Friday, April 18, of SpaceX’s third cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage will begin at 2:15 p.m.

The company’s April 14 launch to the orbiting laboratory was scrubbed due to a helium leak in the Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Dragon spacecraft to the space station.

Dragon is carrying to the space station almost 5,000 pounds of science and research, crew supplies, vehicle hardware and spacewalk tools — all to support the crew and more than 150 scientific investigations planned for Expeditions 39 and 40. If needed, another launch attempt will take place at 3:02 p.m. Saturday, April 19.

NASA Television coverage of Dragon’s arrival at the space station will begin at 5:45 a.m. Sunday, April 20. Expedition 39 Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will use the space station’s robotic arm to capture the spacecraft at approximately 7 a.m. NASA’s Rick Mastracchio will support Wakata during the rendezvous. Read the rest of this entry »


Report: Japan Developing Electrodynamic Tether for Space Junk Cleanup

This NASA graphic depicts the amount of space junk currently orbiting Earth. The debris field is based on data from NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office. Image released on May 1, 2013.

This NASA graphic depicts the amount of space junk currently orbiting Earth. The debris field is based on data from NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office. Image released on May 1, 2013.

Miriam Kramer  reports:  Japanese scientists are getting ready to launch a test of a space junk-cleaning tether, according to press reports.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) researchers are developing an electrodynamic tether designed to generate electricity that will slow down space-based debris, according to a report from Agence France Presse.

The slowed-down space junk will fall into lower and lower orbits until burning up harmlessly in Earth’s atmosphere.

[Photos: Space Debris Images & Clean Up]

Read the rest of this entry »


Kirobo Speaks: Japanese Talking Robot’s First Words In Space