SpaceX’s Weekend Doubleheader Off to Great Start With Successful Opening – Futurism

In Brief Today, SpaceX sent Bulgaria’s first telecommunications satellite into space using a Falcon 9 that’s already been launched before. This is the first of two launches scheduled for the SpaceX weekend doubleheader. Ready for Launch

After being postponed from its originally scheduled Monday launch, Bulgarias first-ever telecommunications satellite is now in orbit. The launch was a success thanks to SpaceXs Falcon 9 reusable rocket, which blasted off to space on Fridayfrom the Launch Complex of NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This marks the first part of SpaceXs first-ever weekend doubleheader, as Elon Musks venture space company has scheduled two launches just about 48 hours apart. The launch appeared to go off without a hitch,as this photo taken by a Twitter user John Kraus shows.

Image credit: John Kraus/Twitter

For his part, SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk seemed satisfied with todays launch, if his tweets wereany indication. What may have been even more exciting thanwatching the Falcon 9 lift off was following its descent backtoEarth as it attempted to landon one of SpaceXs barge platforms. The rocket made a solid thud as it hit the surface of the Of Course I Still Love You droneship, which is stationed somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

Musk expected the landing wouldnt be too gentle, adding that the Falcon 9 was going to experience its highest ever reentry force and heat in todays launch, he posted on a tweet before the launch. Good chance rocket booster doesnt make it back.

Fortunately, it was able to make it in one piece although it may havehit the surface of the platform a little to hard.

The good news was thatthe crush core, asMusk explained in a reply on the same thread as his initial tweet, would take only a couple of hours to replace:

So, despite a little bumpy landing, overall Fridays launch was deemed a success. But the excitement is far fromover:Sunday will usher in part two of this weekends doubleheader, whena payload of 10 satellites for telecommunication company Iridium is expected to launch from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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SpaceX’s Weekend Doubleheader Off to Great Start With Successful Opening – Futurism

China Becomes First Country in the World to Test a National Cryptocurrency – Futurism

In Brief China’s central bank has developed its own cryptocurrency, which is now being tested. Cryptocurrencies have the potential to not only benefit China, but the rest of the world, due to their basis in blockchain. Benefits of Digital Currency

Chinas central bank thePeoples Bank of China has developed a prototype of a cryptocurrencythat it could end up in circulation in the nearfuture.It would beintroduced alongside the Chinas primary currency the renminbi (also called the yuan).Chinawill besimulating possible scenarios and running mock transactions using the cryptocurrency with some commercial Chinese banks. Click to View Full Infographic

The potential benefits of developing a digital currency are significant, particularly in China. First, it would decrease the cost of transactions, and therefore make financial services more accessible, which would be a big help tothe millions of people in the country who are unconnected to conventional banks. Second, as it would be supported by blockchain, it has the potential to decrease the rates of fraud and counterfeiting, which would be of service to thegovernments attempts to reduce corruption a key concern. Third, it would make the currency easier to obtain, which would increase the rate of international transactions, allowing for more trades and faster economic growth.

Since Bitcoins humble beginnings back in 2009 (when it was only valued at around 0.0007 USD) the digital currency, and the very idea of cryptocurrencies in fact,has grown monumentally. The total market cap of cryptocurrencies on April 1st of this year was over $25 Billion. A singleBitcoin is now worth more than $2,500. Now many national economies, as Chinas plan shows,areconsidering the idea of developing their own variant.

Although Chinas experimental approach to simulate a self-developed cryptocurrencys usage is the first of its kind, other countries and institutions have made strides in that direction as well. The Deputy of Russias central bank has emphatically statedthatregulators of all countries agree that its time to develop national cryptocurrencies. Over 260,000 stores in Japan will begin accepting Bitcoin as legal tender this summer, and big banks like Santander have announced plans to develop their ownversion.

Cryptocurrencies have the potential of revolutionizing not only the business world, but manymethods of transaction.There has already been talk of using cryptocurrencies to administer Universal Basic Incomesdue to their traceability, as well as for thedelivery of human aid; the potential for which was demonstrated bya recent experiment to help refugees in Jordan by the UN.

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China Becomes First Country in the World to Test a National Cryptocurrency – Futurism

More Study Is Needed on Reproduction in Space If We Want to Colonize Mars – Futurism

In Brief Many experts assert that humanity must branch out to other parts of the solar system to ensure our survival. However, the effects of reproduction and human development outside of Earth have only just begun to be studied. Human Martians

Humans are gearing up to make the next journey into the relative unknown with the first manned missions to Mars, which could come as early as 2022. The long-term goal of these missions will be to colonize the Red Planet. Experts believe that space colonization and becoming a multi-planetary species is the only way to ensure humanitys survival.

There are plenty of obstacles beyond traveling to Marsthat we will need to overcome before long-term colonization becomes a possibility, such as terraforming the planet to make it more livable for us Earthlings. Further, once a colony is established, the goal would then be to flourish, ensuring the colonys survival in perpetuity. At this point, we are stepping into an interestingnew branch of human biology, reproduction, and human development outside of Earth.

According to Kris Lehnhardt, an assistant professor in the department of emergency medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, This is something that we, frankly, have never studied dramatically, because its not been relevant to date. But if we want to become a spacefaring species and we want to live in space permanently, this is a crucial issue that we have to address that just has not been fully studied yet. Lehnhardts full remarks can be viewed in the video above.

One study brought freeze-dried mouse sperm into space for nine months to see if space travel would affect the health of any offspring created by it. The mouse pups were born healthy, but they were born on Earth. This experiment showed that the radiation and other physical differences of space did not hinder normal reproduction. Even so, this does not mean that these findings would translate to embryos developing in space or on another planet, nor does it mean that the results would have been the same with human sperm.

The effects of lower gravity on fetal development have yet to be studied. A lack of Earth strength gravity could hamper normal human development. And even if the child was healthy for the environment in which it developed, the question then becomes: would that child ever be able to come to Earth?

The future of space colonization is unclear. Even if all of the technology comes together to allow for colonies to be established, biological factors may play a part in hindering the full potential of sustained colonies. At the very least, this would usher in a new era of human evolution.


More Study Is Needed on Reproduction in Space If We Want to Colonize Mars – Futurism

A Tesla Just Drove a Record Breaking 900+ Kilometers on a Single Charge – Futurism

In BriefA Tesla Model S was just used to set a new record for distanceon a single charge: 901.2 km. The drivers were able to achieve thismilestone by hypermiling (operating the vehicle with the specificgoal of increasing efficiency), taking nearly an entire 24 hours tocomplete the run. The Model S Record

ATeslaModel S P100D has just been used to set a new record for distance driven on a singlecharge: 901.2 km (~560 miles). Steven Peeters and Joeri Coolsmanaged to breakthe record for the lowest energy consumption for the vehicle as well, achieving 88 Wh/km (54.7 Wh/mile).

They did so by hypermiling (driving the vehicle with the specific goal of increasing efficiency). For example, because cars are not asefficient at high speeds, the drivers averaged only 40 km/h (24 mph) a speed that wouldnt be ideal for actual travel, but thats great for breaking records.

Most previous approaches to hypermiling have focused on driving cars in a straight line, but Peeters and Cools opted for a different approach, following a 26 km (~16 mile) closed loop in Belgium in order to learn to optimize the cars energy usage.

By the time we finished the attempt, we knew perfectly how to take every turn and roundabout to make sure we drove with the least possible consumption, Peeters explained in a blog post. They also learned how to drive under different temperature conditions as theattempt took them almost an entire day: 23 hours and 45 minutes.

In 2015, Elon Muskpredicted thata Tesla with a 950 km+ (~600 mile) maximumrange would be ready by 2017. This attempt was just shy of the prediction, butthe drivers think they did the best they could under their circumstances and explained what would be necessary to break the 1,000 km (~621 miles) record:Thatwould have to be a perfect run in perfect circumstances, which I believe are not possible in our country.

Hypermiling is not the way the vast majority of people drive, but it is a good test to show just how efficient a car can be. We must also consider that this test was undertaken in the error-strewn landscape of human judgement.If the Model Ss Autopilotwereadjusted to maximize efficiency, it could potentiallylearn more quickly than the drivers and make the appropriate adjustments.

The previous Tesla record holder, Casey Spencer,achievedan 885 km (550 mile) run last year, so this record-breaking run marks an impressive new milestone for the Model Ss efficiency.

While these scores are not particularly close to beating the records set by non-electric vehicles, we must remember that this is only the second Tesla car ever built (with the Model 3 coming soon), updates are arriving quickly, and a lower maximum milage is a happy sacrifice for a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation.

If Teslas cars continue progressing at this rate, it wont be long before their environmentally unfriendly counterparts are matched in performance the only category theyre really ahead in anymore. Electric cars are now closing in fast on their fossil fuel-poweredcounterparts, with other recent feats including a Nio EP9 achieving a staggering time of 6:45:9 around Germanys Nrburgring track. Soon, theyll be ready for full industry domination.

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A Tesla Just Drove a Record Breaking 900+ Kilometers on a Single Charge – Futurism

Why the Ethereum Flash Crash Isn’t Surprising, and What It Means for Crypto – Futurism

On Wednesday, the price of Ether flash-crashed by over 99.9% in less than a second on GDAX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges. This was due to a multi-million dollar sell order being placed on the exchange. Because the exchange did not have enough buy orders on its books to accommodate a sell this large, the price crashed immediately from $317.81 to $224.48; this movement was enough to then trigger a wave of about 800 automatic position liquidations due to margin calls and stop-loss orders, driving the price briefly as low as $0.10, and causing GDAX to suspend trading.

This is only the most recent of a series of similar events across crypto exchanges, and rather than being a reflection on GDAX in particular, its a symptom of the underlying problems created by the stress of capital flow increasing faster than market infrastructure development.

Although the price quickly returned back above $300, the millions of dollars that investors lost due to forced selling of their positions will not be recovered. This incident highlights the relative immaturity of the cryptocurrency trading ecosystem, which has been stressed by a 20x increase in daily trading volume since the start of 2017 without any fundamental change in market structures.

From the trader-in-questions side (assuming they were simply trying to get out of this position in a crude way and not a malicious actor or market manipulator) dumping the whole position at once will have likely incurred millions in liquidity costs. A single huge move like this is both bad for them and for the margin traders who were forced out of positions at even worse prices, all due to price actions that would be easily avoidable through more intelligent trading logic.

On the other side, the exchange doesnt have adequate safeguards to prevent such a flash-crash. When a participant has a margin position less than their margin requirements in traditional markets, they are typically given 2448 hours to post collateral. GDAX, on the other hand, seems to instantly liquidate you (with market orders) into their very thin order book. Some version of this problem exists on most crypto exchanges, although a few (like Poloniex) try to mitigate it with simple trading logic to soften the price impact of underwater margin position liquidations.

GDAX stop losses operate similarly. For major foreign exchange trading pairs in traditional markets, the largest differential between a persons stop loss and actual execution price is ~0.10%. On GDAX, people who had stop losses at $316 actually sold their ether at $0.10. Furthermore, GDAX does not specify if stop orders are time-priority based or price based. For example, if someone has a stop loss order at $50, and someone puts a stop loss order later at $100, when a flash crash occurs, who gets to sell their ether first?

While this creates a short term windfall in margin calls for the exchanges owners, they pay that price in reputation and deterring players from trading crypto on margin. The uncertainty a trader has to live with in this environment is one of the major barriers to entry for the large institutional pools of capital that can bring the crypto markets into maturity and raise the overall market cap to the size of traditional asset classes.

While these events are frustrating due to the negative impact they have on the space as a whole, they are also exciting because they illustrate the massive opportunity present for those willing to do the work to build out sophisticated financial infrastructure.

The Omega One platform, which will be launched later in 2017, will provide a structural solution to problems like this, protecting both traders and exchanges.

If the trader who put the $30m order on GDAX had put the order in on Omega One, the market would barely have moved at all. Instead, the Omega trading engine would have taken this traders order and broken it into thousands of tiny sell orders, and placed those orders intelligently over time across all the worlds liquid crypto exchanges.

The order books on GDAX, Poloniex, Bitfinex, Kraken, and other exchanges would each have seen a tiny increment of additional selling pressure in the first seconds after the order enough to absorb the available demand to buy on those exchanges, but not enough to force a price move.

As those initial sell orders were traded, the Omega One trading engine would have monitored the outcomes and adjusted behavior accordingly within milliseconds, releasing sell orders to the market at exactly the pace that the market could absorb. Instead of pushing the entire order into one place within one second and thus crashing the market, Omega One would have spread the order out over all the worlds crypto exchanges over the space of perhaps an hour, and nobody would be any the wiser for it.

In addition to not losing millions of dollars and crashing the market, the unknown trader from Wednesday would have also have avoided the risk of putting their millions of dollars worth of crypto in the hands of an exchange. In order to sell the Ether on GDAX, they first needed to send that Ether to GDAX, giving up custody of their funds and trusting GDAX not to be hacked or otherwise compromise their funds.

If the unknown trader had been using Omega One, they could have kept their funds on the Ethereum blockchain in a wallet under their control, right up until the point of settlement. The combination of security and cost benefits provided by Omega One will transform the crypto markets, facilitating the next level of maturity of the crypto trading ecosystem.

Disclosure: Futurism is exploring a financial relationship with Omega One and has a personal affiliation with ConsenSys. This is a piece of editorial content. Omega One and ConsenSys do not have any review privileges on editorial decisions.

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Why the Ethereum Flash Crash Isn’t Surprising, and What It Means for Crypto – Futurism

Google is Closer Than Ever to a Quantum Computer Breakthrough – Futurism

In Brief Google is on schedule to produce a 49 qubit chip and achieve quantum supremacy by the end of 2017. This is a critical step along the way to functional quantum computers that can achieve problems far beyond the capacity of traditional systems. Googles 49 Qubit Chip

Google is maintaining its edge in the world of quantum computing. Its 20-qubit processor is currently undergoing tests, and the company appears to be on schedule to have its working 49-qubit chip ready by the end of 2017 as promised. Until it began trialing the 20-qubit chip, Googles most powerful quantum chip was the 9-qubit effort from 2015.

Traditional computer bits are binary, only existing as either 0 or 1; theyre like light switches that are either on or off. Qubits, on the other hand, can be 0 or 1 like regular bits, but can also have quantum properties that allow them to exist in a superposition where they are both 0 and 1 simultaneously. This makes qubits potentially far more powerful, because instead of figuring something out by trying each option one by one, they can simultaneously compute more than one possibility.

Googles 49-qubit chip will allow them to develop a 49-qubit quantum system that can solve problems that are far beyond the capacity of ordinary computers: Google calls this goal quantum supremacy. The 20-qubit system that the Google quantum computing team is now working on currently boasts a two-qubit fidelity of 99.5 percent. The higher the rating, the fewer errors the system makes. Quantum supremacy demands not only a 49-qubit system, but also sufficient accuracy to achieve a two-qubit fidelity of at least 99.7 percentwhich Google is on track to deliver by the end of 2017.

Google isnt alone in their quest for advancing quantum computing. In 2016, IBM was running a 5 qubit computer, but by May 2017, it was offering beta access to its 16 qubit platform to the public for testing purposes. Furthermore, qubits alone arent the only consideration for actually achieving working quantum computers; error correction and scaling will also be critical to quantum systems. However, if Google does achieve quantum supremacy, it will be a majorstep forward.

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Google is Closer Than Ever to a Quantum Computer Breakthrough – Futurism

Fusion Breakthrough Puts Us One Step Closer to Limitless Clean Energy – Futurism

In BriefResearchers from the Chalmers University of Technology thinkthey’ve developed a method that could eliminate one of remainingobstacles to stable and sustainable nuclear fusion, which couldprovide the world with a source of virtually limitless cleanenergy. Taking It Slow

Scientists consider nuclear fusion the holy grail of energy production for good reason. Not only could it provide a virtually unlimited amount of energy, the energy would also be clean.

To that end, nuclear scientists have been hard at work since the dawn of the Atomic Age to replicate this energy that feeds the stars, and just this week, a team from the Chalmers University of Technology published a new study inPhysical Review Lettersthat outlines a way to eliminate one of the biggest remaining obstacles.

While nuclear fission creates energy by splitting atoms, fusion works in reverse. By combining two light nuclei, usually hydrogen atoms, nuclear fusion generates several times more energy than fission. Sustaining this reaction, which occurs within conditions of intense pressure and high temperatures, is difficult on its own, and the matter is further complicated byrunaway electrons, which candamage or even destroyfusion reactors.

The Chalmers researchers came up with a method to manage these runaway electrons. They found that injecting heavy ions in gas or pellet form into the reactor slows down the erring electrons by colliding with them. When we can effectively decelerate runaway electrons, we are one step closer to a functional fusion reactor, study co-author Linnea Hesslow said in a university press release.

As efforts to improve the worlds renewable energy sources continue, many see nuclear fusion as having the most potential. It can provide clean energy, with virtually zero carbon emissions, and it isnt seasonal like solar and wind.

Considering there are so few options for solving the worlds growing energy needs in a sustainable way, fusion energy is incredibly exciting since it takes its fuel from ordinary seawater, Hesslow added.

Thankfully, a number of efforts tostabilize nuclear fusionare underway. For instance, a Canadian collective aims to replace fossil fuels with nuclear fusion by the 2030s. That timeline is possible, especially considering the progress made over the past 50 years in fusion energy, but it wont be easy.

Many believe it will work, but its easier to travel to Mars than it is to achieve fusion. You could say that we are trying to harvest stars here on Earth, and that can take time, Hesslow explained. It takes incredibly high temperatures, hotter than the center of the Sun, for us to successfully achieve fusion here on Earth. Thats why I hope research is given the resources needed to solve the energy issue in time.

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Fusion Breakthrough Puts Us One Step Closer to Limitless Clean Energy – Futurism

Vince Staples’ ‘Big Fish Theory’ Deftly Combines Afro-Futurism And Gangsta Rap – UPROXX

Def Jam Records

Hip-hop has not heard anything like Big Fish Theory, and thats exactly why hip-hop needed Vince Staples to make it. Big Fish is Vinces take on afro-futurism, all electronic blats and blips, with his signature ruminations about gang life, finally making money, and what it means to be Black in America rapped over the top.

Rap music itself is in a funny place right now; it wants to hold onto some semblance of the classics that have defined the genre in the 90s, while glossing over its missteps in the 00s, and still embracing future sounds. Heads have begun holding every rapper to some impossible standard of keeping it real, paying homage to the greats of the past, while still demanding freshness, originality, and creativity.

Vince Staples doesnt have any use for any of it. Hes not a hip-hop head by his own description. Instead, he is someone who views rap as an avenue to talk about the everyday aspects of his life, and get paid for doing so. To that end, Big Fish spends zero time contemplating the state of hip-hop or who the dopest rapper is.

What it does do, however, is bend and on occasion outright break the unstated rules of the genre, tossing out boom-bap and trap alike in favor of house-influenced beats that somehow still sound every bit as ominous and menacing as the pre-apocalypse production on Summertime 06. While that album made bombed-out percussion into the primary instrument, stripping away melody to create a soundscape as threatening and sinister as a late night walk through Ramona Park, and Prima Donna EP continued to create in that same lane, adding abrasive hard, rock guitars on the likes of Smile, Big Fish Theory doesnt do a sonic 180 so much as it takes a hard left from the expected evolution of that Summertime sound. Then, it kicks its engines to warp factor 9. Big Fish doesnt sound like what anyone would have thought the follow-up to Summertime or Prima Donna would sound like. If those previous efforts were hood horror movies, the new project is the gang-bang equivalent of Blade Runner or Akira.

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Vince Staples’ ‘Big Fish Theory’ Deftly Combines Afro-Futurism And Gangsta Rap – UPROXX

Europe’s Space Program Will Launch a Gravitational Wave Hunting Spacecraft in 2034 – Futurism

In Brief At a recent ESA Science Program Committee meeting the LISA mission was set for a 2034 launch. The trio of satellites will search for gravitational waves from collisions of supermassive black holes millions of times larger than those detected by LIGO. LISA Launch Set

The ESAs Science Program Committee met on June 20, and at the top of their agenda was addressing planning for theagencys missions to come over thenext 20 years one ofwhich will be athree satellite Laser Interferometer Space Antenna mission (LISA). The space antennawas designed to detect gravitational waves. The LISA mission has been selected to move forward and is set to launch in 2034.

The project uses the satellite trio to create a huge triangle in space. The satellites form the corners and lasers bouncing across the 2.5 million kilometers (1.55 million miles) between them form itssides. The triangle itself will follow Earth as it orbits the Sun. Meanwhile, the satellites will be sorting through an impressive array of cosmic noise to determine which signals are the most promising signs of supermassive black holes, and which are just false leads.

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) first detected gravitational waves in September 2015, confirming its initial findings when the waves weredetected again in June of 2016. By February of 2017, scientists learned that LIGO also produces the waves. Earlier this year, LIGOdetected the waves for the third time.They appearto be from a supermassive black hole thats 49 times larger than our sun.

LISA is taking the detection of gravitational waves to the next level by searching for supermassive black holes millions of times larger than those found by LIGO. LISA should also be able to give scientists enough lead time to observe the black holes with telescopes, enabling us to discover more about how these collisions work.

Well be able to see signals for months, so well have time to point all these other telescopes at that point in the sky to see if theres any other signals coming from that area when the merger happens, ESAs senior advisor for science & exploration Mark McCaughrean told New Scientist.

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Europe’s Space Program Will Launch a Gravitational Wave Hunting Spacecraft in 2034 – Futurism

Google Now Employs AI to Help You Land a New Job – Futurism

In Brief Google launched it’s personalized job search function in the U.S. today as part of its efforts to utilize artificial intelligence in everything it does. Now, you can search for jobs that you prefer without the hassle of going through multiple sites and job boards.

As promised during its annual developer conference earlier this month, Google launched its search engine for jobs yesterday. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), this specialized job search uses Googles Cloud Jobs API that launched back in 2016 as part of the companys AI-first approach. Instead of requiring users to downloada newapp, this new AI-powered tool allows job seekers in the U.S. to use Googles existing search function, which are accessible via desktop and mobile.

The new feature, currently available only in English, uses the same simple language Google searches are known for. Simply type jobs near me, teaching jobs, writing jobs, or any other query along these lines. The results page would then show the new job search widget, accompanied by a wide range of jobs from across several online job boards like LinkedIn, Monster, WayUP, and even Facebook which you could then refine further depending on your preferences.

Speaking of preferences, once you find a job that interests you, you could turn on notifications that would send you alerts through the Google app or through email when a new job matching your personalized search gets posted. TheAI filters out all duplicate listings posted on various job sites. However, Google wont handle any of the actual application process, and will simply direct you to the existing job application site.

Google hopes to cut the time job seekers spend on searching for jobs that may not be a good fit. As Nick Zakrasek, project manager for this new search function, wrote in a Google blog, Whether youre a young adult looking for your first job, a veteran hoping to leverage your leadership experience in civilian life, or a parent looking for a job with better pay to support a growing family, we hope this new experience on Google will help make the job search simpler and more effective.

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Google Now Employs AI to Help You Land a New Job – Futurism

New Evidence Suggests That Our Solar System Has 10 Planets – Futurism

Ten Strong

The Solar System hasnt been the same since Pluto was downgraded from a planet to a dwarf planet, and all bets have been off since this monumental decision. Case in point, last year, scientists at the California Institute of Technology proposed that there might be a true Planet Ninein our solar system. The team asserted that it appears to be 10 times the mass of Earth and that it is hiding out in the remote recesses of our solar systemwell beyond the orbit of Pluto.

At the time of the discovery, Mike Brown, who was behind the work, noted that the existence of a 9th planet is extremely likely: Hey Planet Nine fans, a new eccentric KBO was discovered. And it is exactly where Planet Nine says it should be, Brown tweeted. Furthermore, he says, the new object takes the probability of this being a statistical fluke down to ~.001% or so.

Similar discoveries have been made in relation to new dwarf planets. Located about 13.7 billion km (8.5 billion miles) from the Sun, 2014 UZ224 measures about 530 km (330 miles) in diameter and takes around 1,100 Earth years to complete its orbit. And so, our littler corner of the cosmos has been in quite the state of flux.

Kathryn Volk and Renu Malhotra at the University of Arizona have noticed some strange movement out in the Kuiper beltmovement that they believe could suggest the existence of a tenth planet. To break this down a bit: Objects in the Kuiper belt are far enough away from the other major bodies in our solar system that the gravitational influence of the large planets doesnt impact them (at least, not to a measurable degree); however, their movements can still be predicted, thanks to sky surveys and a host of advanced technologies.

Notably, if these predictions dont match up, it may mean theres another objectanother large bodypast our vision whose gravity is impacting themovements of the Kuiper belt objects.

The search for Planet Ninehas lead scientists to believe that it is orbiting around700 AU from the Sun. However, Volk and Malhotra believe that this tenth planet could be much closer,as the orbit of Kuiper belt bodies shifted just beyond 50 AU. They also contend that the planet would be roughly comparable to Mars, in terms of size.

Other astronomers, however, are not so quick to hop on this train of thought. Alessandro Morbidelli at the Cte dAzur Observatory in Nice, France tellsNew Scientist I am dubious that a planet so close and so bright would have remained unnoticed.

Still, Volk is confident in these findings, which are set to be published in The Astronomical Journal. It would have to be quite a fluke for this to not be a real effect, she says. We think there is a real signal there and this implies an additional planet.

The discovery of more bodies in the Kuiper beltwill help to support or debunk these findings. Either way, our little solar family is going to continue to grow with these long-lost distant relations.

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New Evidence Suggests That Our Solar System Has 10 Planets – Futurism

Elon Musk: With the Right Tires, a Tesla Could Travel 1000+ Kilometers on a Single Charge – Futurism

In Brief A pair of drivers from Belgium just set a new record for distance traveled on a single charge in a Tesla Model S, but CEO and founder Elon Musk says the vehicle could’ve gone even farther if it had the right set of tires.

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk claims that aModel S P100D could travel a distance of over1,000 kilometers (~621 miles) if driven efficiently on a single charge as long as it had the right tires. Musks assertion was made after he retweeted a post by Electrekfeaturing a link toan article about a new Model S hypermiling record.

For the unfamiliar, hypermiling is done to test just how far a vehicle can go on a single tank of fuel or, in the case of electric vehicles, a single charge when driven to maximize efficiency.

In the article, a hypermiling duo from Belgium drove a Model S P100D currently the fastest Tesla caravailable in a 26-km (16-mile) closed loop for nearly 24 hours. Traveling at speeds of 40 km/h (24mph), they were able to run the car for 901.2 km (roughly 560 miles) on a single charge.

The previous record was set byCasey Spencer, who drove a Model S 85D ~885 kilometers (550.3 miles) on one charge.The Model SP100Dhas a higher energy capacity, which accounts for Musks confidence that it could go even farther under ideal conditions.

While the average driver wont be operating their Tesla under hypermiling conditions, the significance of this new record is clear: Teslas EVs are now more efficient than ever before. Thats a plus for anyone considering an electric car, as a primary obstacle to adoption has been concerns aboutlimited range, and the more EVs we can get on the roads, the fewer of their fossil fuel-powered counterparts will be contributing to carbon emissions.

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Elon Musk: With the Right Tires, a Tesla Could Travel 1000+ Kilometers on a Single Charge – Futurism

Stephen Hawking’s Tiny Spacecraft Could Reach Another Solar System in Just Over 20 Years – Futurism

In BriefThis week at the Starmus Festival, Stephen Hawking talkedabout his ongoing work to build a spacecraft capable of trueinterstellar travel. He explained that this unmanned space probewould be crucial to extending humanity’s reach into space. Betting His Chips

Stephen Hawking isnt content to just warn humanity about its dwindling potential for longterm survival hes determined to do something about it. In April 2016, the renowned physicist announced he was developing a spacecraft that could facilitate moving our species to a second Earth. This proposed spacecraft, named Star Chip, is part of an initiative called theBreakthrough Starshot.

While speaking at the Starmus Festival in Trondheim, Norway, this week, Hawking explained why his work is more important now than ever. He told the audience that hes convinced we need to leave the Earth and migrate to a second planetary home.Building a base on the Moon by 2020 to serve as a jumping off point and finishing Star Chip as soon as possible are two important steps to making this happen.

This small space probe would be equippedwith a lightsail weighing just a few grams. Powered by an array of Earth-based lasers, Star Chip would travel on a beam of light, reaching about a fifth of the speed of light, roughly 160 million k/h (100 million mph), on its journey to the Alpha Centauri solar system.

According to the Independent,Hawking told the audience what he thought his tiny space probe could achieve:

Such a system could reach Mars in less than an hour, reach Pluto in days, pass Voyager in under a week, and reach Alpha Centauri in just over 20 years. Once there, the nano craft could image any planets discovered in the system, test for magnetic fields and organic molecules, and send the data back to Earth in another laser beam. This tiny signal would be received by the same array of dishes that were used to transit the launch beam.

Since it could reach Alpha Centauri, it could make a fly-by to Proxima b, the exoplanet many consider the most similar to Earth. Star Chip would complete a true interstellar itinerary but without humans on board:

Of course, this would not be human interstellar travel, even if it could be scaled up to a crewed vessel. It would be unable to stop. But it would be the moment when human culture goes interstellar, when we finally reach out into the galaxy. And if Breakthrough Star Shot should send back images of a habitable planet orbiting our closest neighbor, it could be of immense importance to the future of humanity.

This is all very long-term thinking,withHawking predicting humans wouldnt be ready for interstellar travel for at least two more centuries. However, any knowledge we could glean from Star Chips mission could help us understand the nature of space, and perhaps help us find a new home before the doomsday Hawking predicts will befall humanity just 100 years from now. Its worth a shot.

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Stephen Hawking’s Tiny Spacecraft Could Reach Another Solar System in Just Over 20 Years – Futurism

Elon Musk to Reveal Major Changes to Plans for Colonizing Mars – Futurism

In Brief Elon Musk has be teasing the world with ever more mention of how soon we can expect a update on his plans to go to Mars. Updates promise to include a plan on how he is going to finance the trip, and the precise nature of the spacecraft.

Elon Musk and others are certainly not slowing down in the pursuit to colonize Mars. Major changes to this plan are currently underway.

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 17, 2017

The nature of these updates was confirmed in a media question session at the Kennedy Space Center in March, during which Musk said he would provide an update on the design of the Interplanetary Transport System, and by Interplanetary Transport System, that includes the propellant depot on Mars, He also stated that the tension in the project is to not just get it done technically, but figure out how to get this done without going bankrupt. He is, however, hopeful about this new approach.

Despite multiple assertions that the updates will be arriving imminently including an announcement at an Everyday Astronaut event two and a half months ago that he was coming up with a number of design refinements and probably ready to put on the website within a month or so there has been frustratingly little follow-up.

So, while we wait on tenterhooks for more information stewing in the meta position of waiting for update news about an update we were also given, fortunately, a transcript from the talkin which he details his non-updated plan, and gives an exciting look behind the scenes of SpaceX.

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Elon Musk to Reveal Major Changes to Plans for Colonizing Mars – Futurism

Science Isn’t The Reason That Humans Can’t Live Forever – Futurism

Leading the Charge

If humanity were to appoint a general in our war against aging, Aubrey de Grey would likely earn the honor. The British author andbiomedical gerontologist has been on the frontline for years,researching ways tofree the world of age-related disease and, ultimately, extend human life indefinitely.

De Grey is the Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Researchand a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association. In 2009, he co-founded theSENS Research Foundation, a non-profit built around hisStrategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS).

From the SRF Research Center (SRF-RC) in Mountain View, CA, foundation scientists conduct proof-of-concept research with the goal of addressing the problems caused by aging. They focus on repairing damage to the body at the molecular level, and their work is helping advance the field ofrejuvenation biotechnology.

SRF-RC teams are currently focusing on two equally complex-sounding research projects, one centered onallotopic expression(a way to bypass the harmful effects of age-caused mitochondrial mutations) and the other ontelomerase-independent telomere elongation(a little-researched process by which some cancer cells overcome mortality).

Either project could lead to major breakthroughs in anti-aging treatments, butas de Grey explains toFuturism, the path to immortality doesnt just run through the science lab.

While the research being conducted at the SRF-RC is far from simple, de Grey claims DNA mutations and cancer cells arent the biggest hurdles to anti-aging breakthroughs: The most difficult aspect [of fighting age-related diseases] is raising the money to actually fund the research.

The nature of most science research is exploratory. Researchers dont know that what theyre working on is going to yield the results they expect, and even if it does, turning basic research into income is no easy task. To support their work, most have to rely on funding from outside sources, such asgovernment grants, educational institutions, or private companies.

The amount of funding a specific field receives varies wildly. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that it allocated $5.5 billion forcancer research in 2016, while amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS) research received a comparatively paltry $52 million. However, raising funds for anti-aging research has proven even more difficult, according to de Grey.

Its still an incredibly hard sell, he claims. We have very limited resources. We only have about 4 million dollars a year to spend, and so we spent it very judiciously.

That money isnt going to just the two in-house projects, either. The SENS Foundation funds anti-aging research at institutions across the globe and providesgrants and internships for students, so raising money to support those endeavors is key to continued success in its fight against aging.

Essentialto raising money for anti-aging research is ensuring that those with the funds understands why its worth the investmenta not-so-easy task given current misconceptions about aging.

In 2015, eight major aging-focused organizations, including AARP, the American Geriatrics Society, and the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), released a report detailing what they call the many notable gaps that exist between expert perspectives on aging and the publics perception of the process. If the public isnt well informed on aging, its even less knowledgeable about anti-aging.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents ina 2013 Pew Research studysaid they had never even heard of radical life extension before. When asked if they would undergo treatments that would allow them to live to the age of 120 or older, the majority of those surveyed said they would not, and51 percent thought such treatments would be bad for society.

There is still a huge amount of resistance to the logic that aging is bad for you and that its a medical problem that needs to be addressed, explains de Grey. Its really, really extraordinary to me that its so hard to get this through to people, but that is the way it is.

The SENS Foundationfocuses a significant portion of its resources toward combatting this disconnect. In 2014, it dedicated more than $1 million tooutreach and education, spreading the gospel of anti-aging research through speaking engagements, newsletters, press coverage, conferences, and other forms of community engagement.

Once the field is properly funded and supported, de Greythinks researchers will have a clear path forward to curing the problem of aging:

Aging is not mysterious. We understand it pretty well. Its not even a phenomenon of biology. Its more a phenomenon of physics. Any machine with moving parts is going to damage itselfand the result is inevitably going to be that eventually the machine fails. Its the same for the human body as it is for a car, for example, and if we think about it that way, it becomes pretty easy to actually see what to do about it.

The benefits of ending the problem of aging would be tremendous. Not only would we be living longer, wed be living healthier for longer.

Without the debilitating diseases and disorders that have become synonymous with old age vision loss, dementia, muscle weakness wed have extra years or even decades to do all the things we loved to do when were were younger: travel, play sports, spend time with our loved ones. Wed avoid the personal financial burden associated with treating the side effects of aging, and some argue that governments would even see a monetarybenefit from radical life extension as two-thirds of Social Security expenditures for retirees currently go toward healthcare.

Anti-aging proponents like de Grey will be the people leading us toward that figurative fountain of youth, but you shouldnt start living like youre immortal just yet. We have made very significant breakthroughs in some of the most difficult areas, says de Grey. Im fairly proud of what weve achieved so far, though, of course, we still have a long way to go.

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Science Isn’t The Reason That Humans Can’t Live Forever – Futurism

Ether is King of Cryptocurrency For Now – Futurism

Ethers Rise

Bitcoinhas achieved record highs this year: currently, its worth almost three times as much as it was for most of January. Even so, Ethers success this year is eclipsing Bitcoins, given that Ether has risen an unbelievable 4,500 percent in 2017. When we rang in the new year, Ether was worth only around 5 percent as much as Bitcoin, but as of this week, The New York Times reports that outstanding units of the Ether currency were worth around $34 billion. . .82 percent as much as all the Bitcoin in existence.Click to View Full Infographic

Ether is now backed by not only the usual tekkies, but major corporations such as Accenture, Microsoft, Toyota, Intel, and JPMorgan Chase. These companies are becoming part ofEthereums planned global computing network(which will require Ether to use) on the ground floor. Furthermore, Ethereum is gaining traction among cryptocurrency users, with 94 percent feeling positive about the Bitcoin alternative. Only 49 percent report feeling positive about Bitcoin, according to CoinDesks report on a recent survey. Recent trends seem to indicateEthereums value will surpassBitcoins soon an event cryptocurrency enthusiasts have termed the flippening.

Ethereum and Bitcoin share many important qualities. Both are maintained and hosted by volunteers all over the world, and tracked by a network of computers, rather than acompany or government. Private exchanges establish the prices of both, and people can buy and sell them at market rates ortrade them.However, Ethereum was created to do far more than work like digital currency. The Ethereum computer network can also run computer programs and do computational work; functions otherwise known as decentralized applications, or Dapps. This has attracted a massive community of programmers who all contribute their labor to improving the software. In turn, companies have started using the Ethereum network as a base for other programs. JPMorgan Chase, for example, is creating a monitoring system for trading. Some corporate Ethereum users are creating their own Ether currency-free versions of the software, althoughmany observers believe that these software programs will eventually be connected to the Ethereum network.

The rapid boom of both Ethereum and Bitcoin showcase not only the massive potential of blockchain technology, but the volatility of the cryptocurrency world. The Bitcoin community has, at times, been plagued by technical issues and struggles with hackers demanding ransom, and illicit activity like online drug sales. Ethereum has problems, too like the DAO heist in 2016. However, challenges like these are not unexpected in totally new systems, and both Bitcoin and Ethereum have been robust enough to recover well. NYT reports that their combined value is now worth more than the market value of PayPal and is approaching the size of Goldman Sachs.

The idea that companies and individuals will choose to use the computing capabilities of the Ethereum network, as well as the currency, is still speculative. More conservative investors want to see extensive evidence before they make this kind of choice, and right now they dont have that much to go on.

Meanwhile, Bitcoins choice to use retail acceptance of its currency as an entry into mainstream commerce through companies like Expedia and Overstock.com is less risky. Even still,that strategy does run the risk of less savory retailers like drug traffickers. blockchain technology, the basis for the software, is clearly secure, but Ethereums strategy may prove more successful over time.

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Ether is King of Cryptocurrency For Now – Futurism

China is Building Carbon Capturing Plants to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Futurism

In Brief China has started construction on the first of eight large-scale carbon capture and storage plants, as part of the country’s efforts to decrease the country’s carbon footprint. China is also leading the world in terms of the use of renewable energy. A Sense of Responsibility

As one of the worlds largest countries, China is also one of the worldslargest producers of greenhouse or planet-warming emissions. The countryisnt getting behind on efforts to change that status, though,as its now leading the fight against climate change. The most recent is aplan to open eight large-scale, carbon-capture storage facilities, construction on the first of whichis already underway.

The Yanchang Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Project,located in the Shaanxi Province,will be Chinas first investment in a facility that turns carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from coal into gas fuel plants. Once fully operational, it would capture about 400,00 to 800,000 tons of CO2 every year, according to AFR Weekend. Thats about the same reduction that could be expected by taking 80,000 cars off the streets for a year.

Its one of eight large-scale CCS projects in varying stages of evaluation and subject to approval that China is considering, Tony Zhang, a senior adviser in Australia-based Global CCS Institute,told the Digital Journal. The non-profit institute provided China with technical and advisory support on the project.

Carbon-capture and storage (CCS) technology has recently been in the headlines, with the opening of the worlds first commercial carbon capture plant in Switzerland earlier this month. A similar facilityis expected to go live later this year in Houston, Texas. This approach to solvingthe climate problem attempts to make fossil fuel-based plants cleaner.

Its not the only proposed solution out there, though: recently, there has been a surge in renewable energy sources, as evidence by the growing reliance on solar and wind in a number of countries. These are also becoming a more economic solution in many parts of the world, as well as providing a wealth of job opportunities. CCS plants, on the other hand, may prove to be too costly for some countries.

For China, every effort counts. Aside from its investment in CCS, the country is also working on increasing its renewable energy sources its alreadythe worlds largest producer of solar energyas well as using more electric vehicles in a number of its cities. China is looking to decrease its CO2 emissions from 2016 to about one percent this year, according to a forecast by its National Energy Administration.

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China is Building Carbon Capturing Plants to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Futurism

Sweden Passes New Law to Become Carbon Neutral By 2045 – Futurism

In Brief Sweden has passed a law accelerating its timetable for achieving carbon neutrality. The country is joined by other world leaders (with the exception of the U.S.) in renewed commitments to the Paris goals and the fight against climate change.

Sweden has passed a law via cross-party committee that dedicates the country to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2045. This makes Sweden the first nation to adopt serious post-Paris Accord goals; its previous aim was to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. This new law requires an action plan to be updated every four years, and creates an independent Climate Policy Council to ensure its goal is met.

Sweden is already operating with 83 percent renewable energy, split between hydropower and nuclear energy. This high level of success reflects an earlier target which they beat eight years early of 50 percent renewables by 2020. Moving forward, the nations strategy will focus heavily on reducing domestic emissions by at least 85 percent, in large part through the increased use of electric vehicles and biofuels. The rest of this carbon neutral goal will be met by investing abroad or planting trees.

Since the U.S.s unpopular decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord, other countries are also stepping up their efforts. India, China, Canada, France, and EU leaders have all reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris goals. Femke de Jong of Carbon Market Watch tells New Scientist that other countries in the EU will likely announce more ambitious goals, With the Trump decision to get out of the Paris agreement, Europe is more united than ever and wants to show leadership to the world.

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Sweden Passes New Law to Become Carbon Neutral By 2045 – Futurism

The First Targets of the James Webb Telescope Have Been … – Futurism

In Brief From exoplanets to asteroids, the James Webb Space Telescope’s newly announced first targets will allow us to better understand this vast universe. Other targets include Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, Neptune’s south polar vortex, and geological phenomena on Saturn’s moons. James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), heir to Hubbles throne, is set to launch in October of 2018. The massive new telescope will hopefully continue Hubbles legacy and push the boundaries of what has before been possible in space imaging. And, in exciting new news, the first targets of the JWST have been announced and the list is long.

The Webb will observe the three largest low-albedo asteroids, as well as the Trojan asteroids, allowing us to peer into the origins of our solar system. It will also explore near-Earth objects, which could expand our knowledge and even protect the Earth.

It will also investigate Jupiters Great Red Spot, Neptunes south polar vortex, geological phenomena on Saturns moons, and the atmosphere on the planet itself. What is especially exciting to many is the Webbs plans to explore exoplanets. By observing these far-off exoplanets passing across their parent star, researchers can determine if a planet has an atmosphere and then use that information to infer more about its composition and potential for life.

The implications of the knowledge to be gained with the JWST are immense. The further exploration of exoplanets alone could reveal information about the potential for alien life and which worlds would be the best candidates for human colonization. Other observations that researchersplan to make with the telescope will help us to better understand the beginnings of our solar system.

This is all, of course, significant scientifically. But better understanding of how objects and life in the universe form could, in turn, help us to better understand the laws of nature on Earth. The further we explore the distant corners of the universe, the more we will be able to make sense of the world around us. It will be exciting to follow the Webbs journey as it slowly trades place with the iconic Hubble Space Telescope.

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The First Targets of the James Webb Telescope Have Been … – Futurism

By 2100, Climate Change-Driven Heatwaves Could Threaten 74% of the Population – Futurism

In BriefA new study found that climate change-driven heatwavescurrently threaten the lives of 30% of the world’s population. Ifno action is taken against climate change, they predict the numberwill climb to 74% by 2100. The Heat Is On

For many,warm weather has traditionally meant beaches and BBQs, but according toa new studypublishedin Nature,climate change is pushingthe human capacity to survive heatwaves to and in some cases, beyond its limit.

Right now, for 20 days or more each year, roughly30 percent of Earths population is exposed to climatic conditions that exceed the researchers estimated global threshold for mortality risk. In other words, almost a third of us are living in places where the humidity and surface air temperatures exceed the point at which conditions are likely to be deadly 20 days every year.

By 2100, the number of people living under these conditions will be higher, but how much higher depends almost entirely on how aggressively we combat climate change.

If greenhouse gas emissions are reduced dramatically between now and then, about 48 percent of us will be living under this deadly heatwave threat. If we do nothing, 74 percent of people will. Some of those people will unquestionably die, and theyll probably bethe most vulnerable among us, such as the elderly and children who are not receiving adequate care.

Thankfully, efforts are already underway to combat climate change and keep the mercury from rising.

The largest states in the U.S., mayors of more than 85 American cities, and private organizations such as Bloomberg, Apple, Microsoft, Exxon-Mobil, Google, Morgan Stanley, and Tesla have taken leadership roles inAmerican climate change effortsby reaffirming their commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Their actions reveal that the country is not unilaterally in support of the Trump Administrations climate change denial and withdrawal of the U.S. from the international agreement, a move that also prompted waves of protests from individual citizens.

Other countries, including China and India, have confirmed their commitment to the deal, and France has even extended an invitation to climate change scientists from the U.S. to continue their work as part of the French community.

Will these efforts be enough? No one can say for sure, but given that this new report concludes that even very aggressive action will still result in nearly half of the world living in danger from heatwaves, it seems obvious that there is no such thing as too much effort in the battle against climate change.

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By 2100, Climate Change-Driven Heatwaves Could Threaten 74% of the Population – Futurism