Given these risks, why fly in space for a year?
Again, I must recall the words of President Kennedy: We pursue these ambitious goals of space flight “not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
There is another reason: discovery. Scott has flown so long so we can make huge advancements in our understanding of how long-duration space flight impacts human physiology, something that is essential if we are ever going to travel to more distant destinations, such as Mars.
And because Scott happens to have an identical twin brother — a fellow retired astronaut and my friend, Capt. Mark Kelly — NASA researchers are using Mark as a control subject on Earth while Scott serves as the test subject 250 miles above us to gain even more knowledge about how living in a zero-gravity environment changes us.
One day, an American will walk on Mars. But we will get there only because we chose to do it and because our leaders in Washington decided it was important.
These future missions will show and Scott’s flight has demonstrated the power of American purpose: one person facing the mortal dangers of space for the sake of international cooperation, science and exploration; the resolve to once again test the limits of risk in order to win progress; and a nation marshaling its innovation to realize that victory.
A new report written by a former Pentagon official who helped establish United States policy on autonomous weapons argues that such weapons could be uncontrollable in real-world environments where they are subject to design failure as well as hacking, spoofing and manipulation by adversaries.Did we learn nothing from Terminator? Robocop? Avengers: Age of Ultron? On the other hand, new robot overlords might be a better alternative than President Donald J. Trump.
In recent years, low-cost sensors and new artificial intelligence technologies have made it increasingly practical to design weapons systems that make killing decisions without human intervention. The specter of so-called killer robots has touched off an international protest movement and a debate within the United Nations about limiting the development and deployment of such systems.
The discovery of gravitational waves confirms an important aspect of the theory of relativity, but it does much more than that. Quite literally, it opens up a new chapter in our exploration of the cosmos, one where electromagnetic radiation is no longer our only tool for “seeing” the universe. As MIT astrophysicist Scott Hughes told Gizmodo in a phone interview, we can use gravitational waves to probe mysterious celestial objects like black holes and neutron stars, which typically no light.
“There’s a lot of rich information encoded in gravitational waves,” he said, noting that the shape of a spacetime ripple can tell us about the size and motion of the object that produced it. “As an astronomer, I try to think about how to go from the ‘sound’ of the waveform that LIGO measures, to the parameters that produce that waveform.”
Everything shifted this morning.
In the 100th-anniversary year of Einstein’s theory of relativity, scientists announced they have proved it.
Using a stunning display of technological prowess, a group of physicists measured gravitational waves, a ripple in the fabric of space caused by the collision of two immense objects far out in the universe.
The discovery is on par with the invention of the telescope, said Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist at Arizona State University.
“It heralds what I think is the beginning of the new astronomy for the 21st century,” Krauss said. “Gravitational-wave astronomy will be the astronomy of the 21st century. It’s opened a new window on the universe, just like the telescope in some sense or when we first used radio waves to explore the universe.”
This fall, join the UA College of Social & Behavioral Sciences for a series of discussions with… More