Daily Archives: December 10, 2019

Louisiana economic development chief: State has key role in space exploration – The Advocate

Posted: December 10, 2019 at 11:51 pm

When President John F. Kennedy set the nations sights on landing a man on the moon and returning safely by decades end, the highly skilled men and women of Louisiana helped America answer the call. Neil Armstrongs one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind was made possible by Louisiana talent.

Louisiana has long played a critical role in U.S. space exploration. The Apollo 11 capsule that carried Armstrong was launched on a powerful Saturn V rocket built at NASAs Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. This 832-acre manufacturing site continues at the forefront of human space exploration. Five decades after the Apollo missions, Louisiana is helping lead the Artemis missions named for the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology to land the first woman and next man on the moon.

NASA will send astronauts a quarter-million miles to lunar orbit aboard the Orion spacecraft with the most powerful rocket ever, the Space Launch System. SLS is the backbone for these deep-space missions. It is the only rocket capable of transporting heavy cargo and crew safely to the moon and back on a single mission.

SLS celebrates a major milestone this month as the first core stage nears completion and prepares to travel to Stennis Space Center in Mississippi for testing. Artemis Day on Dec. 9 honored this milestone as the SLS core stage moved one step closer to flying the Artemis I mission.

Programs like Apollo, Space Shuttle and Artemis also launch innovative technologies that keep our nation on the scientific forefront. Well explore more of the moon than ever before. Well also establish American leadership and a strategic presence on the moon while expanding U.S. global economic impact.

Companies like Aerojet Rocketdyne, Boeing, Jacobs, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman all work to design and build components for the Artemis mission. The impact of the Artemis program reaches beyond Louisiana to suppliers from all 50 states building hardware, supporting software development, and providing essential parts not just for astronauts to return to the moon, but also to live and work there. Louisiana provides the manufacturing center for this great endeavor, a center that supports thousands of jobs and catalyzes 21st-century manufacturing.

Programs like Artemis are an engine for American manufacturing, and they also inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers who will push the boundaries. At this Artemis Day milestone, lets honor our storied accomplishments in space as we choose to return to the moon, and explore Mars, in our greatest work yet.


secretary, Louisiana Economic Development

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Bad Weather Delays Blue Origin Launch of Reusable New Shepard Spacecraft – Space.com

Posted: at 11:51 pm

Blue Origin will have to wait at least one more day to fly its first space mission in seven months after bad weather delayed a launch attempt today (Dec. 10).

The private spaceflight company founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos hoped to launch a suborbital New Shepard spacecraft from a West Texas test site at 11:30 a.m. EST (1630 GMT), but was forced to stand down due to unacceptable weather conditions.

"We are scrubbing today's New Shepard launch due to weather conditions," Blue Origin wrote in a Twitter status update. "Our next launch attempt will be tomorrow morning, Wed. Dec. 11." An exact launch time has not yet been released.

You'll be able to watch the New Shepard launch on Space.com, courtesy of the Blue Origin, beginning about 30 minutes before liftoff. You can also watch the launch directly from Blue Origin's website here.

Related: How Blue Origin's New Shepard Rocket Ride Works (Infographic)

New Shepard is a reusable space capsule and rocket designed to take science payloads, and eventually paying passengers on suborbital trips to space. The New Shepard vehicle can make a vertical landing after launching its capsule into space. The capsule, meanwhile, returns to Earth using parachutes. It's been seven months since Blue Origin's last launch in May.

The vehicle flying the NS-12 mission will be make its sixth spaceflight when it flies. The mission is Blue Origin's ninth commercial launch and includes the 100th commercial payload among experiments for customers, universities and NASA.

Packed among those payloads is a NASA space trash recycling experiment called OSCAR (after the trash-loving Oscar the Grouch on "Sesame Street"); a Columbia University student experiment to study the effects of weightlessness on cell biology; and a NASA "space plant" experiment to study gene expression in microgravity.

Related: Art in Space Contest: A Conversation with OK Go's Damian Kulash

The spacecraft is also carrying two art experiments for the winners of the Art in Space Contest by the rock band OK Go, which challenged middle and high school students to come up with an intriguing space art payload for a Blue Origin flight.

Thousands of postcards written and decorated by children from Blue Origin's nonprofit Club for the Future, which seeks to inspire kids in space exploration, are also launching on this mission, Blue Origin has said.

Email Tariq Malik attmalik@space.comor follow him@tariqjmalik. Follow us@Spacedotcom, Facebook and Instagram.

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Apollo Royalty Live on Stage in London – Business Wire

Posted: at 11:51 pm

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Coming exclusively to London in spring 2020, two awe-inspiring live shows will relive and celebrate humankinds greatest adventure of all time. Hear the stories behind the Moon missions of the early 60s told by true legends of the Apollo programme. British Airways presents Legends of Apollo will take place May 30 and 31, 2020, at Londons TROXY Theatre, exploring the past, present and future of human space exploration by an extraordinary cast of space pioneers.

Hosted by acclaimed British ESA astronaut Tim Peake, the show presents three legendary figures who played pivotal roles in NASAs Apollo programme from 1961 to 1972. Appearing on stage: Flight Director for all Apollo Manned Missions and former Director of NASAs Johnson Space Center Gerry Griffin; Apollo 13 astronaut and Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise; and one of only 12 men to walk on the Moon, Apollo 16 astronaut and Lunar Module Pilot Charlie Duke.

Weve created an unforgettable experience for audiences that brings to the stage some of the most prominent space industry figures and names from that era to hear their heroic stories and preserve the legacy of this unprecedented human space exploration programme, said Ricky Schutte, CEO of RMS Entertainment and co-producer of British Airways presents Legends of Apollo. For any person who has been remotely in awe of the Apollo programme, who has dreamed or is currently pursuing a career in the space industry, this event should not be missed!

The show will include a special musical appearance by Mark and Kali Armstrong, son and granddaughter of legendary Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong performing an emotional tribute to all the heroes of Apollo. The 2.5-hour experience will feature magnificent visuals of mission footage and audio presented with state-of-the-art, high-definition theatrical screens, lighting and sound elements.

This show is going to be a fun, quick-paced, audience-interactive experience, said Apollo legend Gerry Griffin. I hope people will walk away realizing that the three of us are regular people who were in the right place at the right time to be a part of something truly amazing. Our ultimate goal is to inspire the next generation who werent around during this historic moment in time to continue what we started over 60 years ago.

We are honoured to be helping bring this show to the UK and host two unforgettable evenings that honour the past and look ahead to the future of space exploration, said Allister Bridger, director of flight operations for British Airways, the presenting show sponsor. Through events like this we are aiming to inspire and excite young people to pursue STEM subjects at school and consider careers in aviation.

General tickets for the two British Airways presents Legends of Apollo shows will go on sale via Ticketmaster on Monday, December 16, 2019, at 10 a.m. A limited number of special Meet & Greet packages will be available for both shows, which will include premium reserve seating, a professional photo with the Apollo legends before the show and more. Tickets are already on sale for an exclusive VIP dinner and show experience on May 30 which includes a three-course dinner, 2-hour beverage package, Premium A Reserve seating and producers gift. For more information on all ticket options, click here. Exclusive Apollo merchandise, including signed photos and books by the Legends of Apollo, will also be available at the events.

Committed to inspiring current and future generations, the producers have partnered with the Conrad Foundation, a nonprofit education foundation honouring the legacy of Apollo 12 Astronaut and moonwalker, Charles Pete Conrad, and his four-decade passion for innovation and entrepreneurship. A percentage of show revenue will support the Foundations flagship programme, the Conrad Challenge, where student teams (ages 13-18) from around the globe create innovations that solve real-world challenges. The annual competition encourages creativity, critical thinking and entrepreneurial collaboration amongst the students.

British Airways presents Legends of Apollo is produced by RMS Entertainment and Griffin Communications Group. For more information, visit http://www.legendsofapollo.com.

About RMS Entertainment

RMS Entertainment produces signature live event experiences, creating a unique and diverse platform for global speakers, artists and talent in the theatrical environment. The company has produced and co-produced major events and tours, including: Dr. Jane Goodall, Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 17 Commander Gene Cernan, former Director of NASA's Advanced Space Exploration Systems Jason Crusan, ESA's Professor Mark McCaughrean, film and television actor George Takei, and more.

About Griffin Communications Group

With a passion for the space industry, the team at Griffin Communications Group creates dynamic strategic communications solutions for its global clients who are pushing the envelope of human experience and making a difference in the world. Some of the most recognised names in the business trust Griffin with their brands. Griffin is led by two veteran marketing and PR experts who were raised in the shadow of the Apollo programme, with a front-row seat to history in the making.

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NASA will push exploration rocket test hardware beyond its limits – Space Daily

Posted: at 11:51 pm

Engineers are preparing to push a test article identical to the world's largest rocket fuel tank beyond its design limits and find its breaking point during upcoming tests at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Earlier this year, a NASA and Boeing test team subjected a test version of the Space Launch System (SLS) liquid hydrogen tank to a series of 37 tests that simulate liftoff and flight stresses by using large hydraulic pistons to push and pull on the test tank with millions of pounds of force. The test article aced these tests and showed no signs of cracks, buckling or breaking and qualified the design for flight. Now, the team wants to see just how much the tank can take.

"Space exploration involves risk," said Julie Bassler, manager of the Space Launch System Stages Office. ""This is a different kind of exploration that happens before we launch. A test to failure of the largest liquid hydrogen tank ever produced will expand our knowledge to ensure we can safely get the most performance out of the rocket that will send astronauts and large cargo to the Moon and then to Mars."

The hydrogen tank is part of the SLS core stage. Measuring more than 130 feet tall and 27.6 feet in diameter, it stores 537,000 gallons of super cooled liquid hydrogen to help power the four SLS core stage RS-25 engines for the 8-minute climb to orbit at more than 17,000 miles per hour. The test article's structure is identical to that of the flight hardware.

Having certified the tank for both the current version of SLS, called Block 1, as well as the more powerful Block 1B version in development, engineers are preparing their 215-foot-tall test stand for one final test to see exactly how much stress the hydrogen tank can take before it fails structurally.

Built by Boeing at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and barged to Marshall last December, the hydrogen tank test article has been fitted with thousands of sensors measuring, stress, pressure, and temperature, while high-speed cameras and microphones capture every inch for the expected telltale buckling or cracking in the cylindrical tank wall.

"The core stage hardware structures are brand new, first-time developments, so this testing is crucial to ensuring mission success," said Luke Denney, qualification test manager for Boeing's Test and Evaluation Group. "The tests were designed to prove that each component of the stage will be able to survive its own unique set of extreme environmental conditions during liftoff, ascent and flight."

In fact, this will be the largest-ever controlled test-to-failure of a NASA rocket stage fuel tank, said Mike Nichols, Marshall's lead test engineer for the tank.

"The failure mechanism of a slender multi-segment rocket stage is not very well understood," he said. "By taking this test article to failure, we can better understand the phenomenon. This test will benefit all rocket engineers, providing valuable data for their propellant tank designs for future rocket stages."

Engineers have computer calculations that predict when and where and how the tanks should fail. But without a carefully planned test they won't know exactly. That difference is important for NASA's plans to return human explorers to the Moon.

"In spaceflight, especially human spaceflight, we always walk the line between performance and safety, said Neil Otte, the chief engineer for the SLS Stages Office. "Pushing systems to the point of failure gives us additional data to walk that line intelligently. We will be flying the Space Launch System for decades to come, and we have to take all the opportunities we have to maximize our understanding of the system so we may safely and efficiently evolve it as our desired missions evolve.

This is not the first SLS test article to be tested to structural failure. Test versions of the engine section and intertank were also tested until they broke above 140% of anticipated flight stresses.

While engineers predict the test will not create a sizable hole in the tank, should that happen, areas of the community close to Redstone Arsenal hear a low-level sound as the nitrogen gas used to pressurize the tank is vented.

The 212-foot-tall core stage is the largest, most complex rocket stage NASA has built since the Saturn V stages that powered the Apollo missions to the Moon. SLS and Orion, along with the Gateway in orbit around the Moon, are NASA's backbone for deep space exploration and the Artemis program, which will send the first woman and next man to the lunar surface by 2024. SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon on a single mission.

Related LinksNASA's Artemis programRocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

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Tynker in Collaboration with NASA Launches New Space-Themed Coding Challenges for 2019’s Hour of Code – PR Web

Posted: at 11:51 pm

Tynker NASA Moon2Mars Challenges

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (PRWEB) December 10, 2019

Tynker, the leader in enabling kids to use code to become Makers, today announced the availability of 7 new space-themed coding challenges created in collaboration with NASAs Office of STEM Engagement. The activities are being made available for free to kids of all ages as part of Tynkers support for this weeks Hour of Code, taking place from December 9-15, 2019.

Space exploration is both extremely exciting and challenging, with no shortage of complex problems that need to be solved for humanity to successfully travel and live beyond Earth, said Krishna Vedati, CEO of Tynker. Its been over 50 years since Margaret Hamilton and other pioneering spaceship programmers wrote the code that would ultimately land the first astronauts on the moon. Today, we are excited to introduce an entirely new generation of Makers to the future of space travel through a series of coding challenges timed to this weeks Hour of Code.

NASA is committed to landing American astronauts, including the first woman and the next man, on the Moon by 2024. Through the agencys Artemis lunar exploration program, NASA will use innovative new technologies and systems to explore more of the Moon than ever before and to then take the next giant leap sending astronauts to Mars. Tynkers new coding challenges provide the next generation of Makers with opportunities to team up with NASA and Tynker to learn about and participate in some of the technical challenges of space exploration. The coding challenges have been designed with step-by-step instructions and sample code to allow students of any experience level to participate.

Tynkers 7 new space-themed coding challenges for the 2019 Hour of Code include:

Tynker offers one of the most diverse collections of activities for the Hour of Code, engaging learners of all coding levels and interests. Other activities include:

Tynker makes it very easy for educators to run an Hour of Code event with time-saving tools including standards-aligned lesson plans, answer keys, easy wizards for managing students, printing achievement certificates, and tracking student progress in real time. To get started, please visit http://www.Tynker.com/hour-of-code.

About Tynker

Tynker empowers kids of all ages to become Makers by enabling them to develop coding skills to design, develop, and power animations, games, toys, smart devices and more. The companys award-winning platform helps to engage students at home, at school, and on the go, so they develop the critical thinking, reasoning and programming skills that turn them into the Makers of today and tomorrow. Tynkers highly successful STEM teaching platform has been used by one in three U.S. K-8 schools, 90,000 schools globally and over 60 million kids across 150 countries. Tynkers partners include some of the worlds most respected brands including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mattel, PBS, Lego, Code.org and more. Tynker is accessible from any computer with an Internet browser, as well as via the Tynker and Tynker Junior mobile apps, and offers both a free and paid subscription option. For more information, visit http://www.tynker.com.

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Astronauts are Going to Attach a "Robot Hotel" to the Outside of the International Space Station – Universe Today

Posted: at 11:51 pm

Robotic helpers are becoming an increasingly important element aboard the International Space Station. It is here where robots like the Robonaut, CIMON, FEDOR, Canadarm2, Dextre, and CIMON 2 (which is currently on its way to the ISS) were tested and validated for space operations. In recent years, the Robotic External Leak Locators (RELL) also proved their worth by conducting extra-vehicular activities (EVAs) and finding leaks.

Unfortunately, sending these robots out to do their tasks has been a long and complicated process. For this reason, NASA has created a new housing unit called the Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS). Developed by the Satellite Servicing Projects Division at NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center (with support from the Johnson Space Center), this robot hotel launched yesterday (Dec. 4th) and will soon be integrated with the station.

The first residents of the RiTs will be two Robotic External Leak Locators (RELL), which are machines that use mass spectrometers to sniff out the presence of gases that could be leaking from the ISS. These RELL units are onboard the ISS right now, the first of which was sent back in 2015 and successfully detected two leaks since its arrival.

For this reason, a second RELL was sent there earlier this year. The addition of the RiTS will assist with their operations by allowing the space stations robotic arm (Dextre) to easily locate, grab, and return them to an external storage space once theyre finished their operations. As Mark Neuman, the RiTS hardware manager, explained:

For each of its stored tools, RiTS will provide heat and physical protection from radiation and micrometeroids, or tiny, high-speed objects hurtling through space. Its thermal system maintains ideal temperatures for the instruments, helping them stay functional.

To keep temperatures aboard the ISS steady, NASA relies on a complicated network of ammonia pumps, reservoirs, and radiators. This vast network, which is similar to a central air conditioning system, consists of hundreds of meters of tubing and hundreds of joints. Over time, this system has suffered the occasional leak, thanks in large part to micrometeoroid impacts.

While such leaks pose no immediate risk to the crew, they can affect the stations cooling system which would negativity impact conditions aboard the ISS. Previously, detecting and addressing possible leaks aboard the station could take weeks or even months. This was due in part to the fact that once a RELL deployed to space, it would need to wait for 12 hours before it could get to work.

This was to ensure that the RELLs extremely sensitive gas analyzer can clear itself of water vapor and other gases that are common aboard the station (and which would interfere with the detection of ammonia). However, with the RiTS as part of the station, the entire process would depend exclusively on Dextres availability, expediting the search for leaks considerably.

RiTS will even be mounted to the same robotic platform that moves Dextre up and down on the external rails of the station, which will ensure that a RELL tool will always be accessible. Said Chris Craw, NASA Senior Systems Integration Lead:

This hardware will significantly reduce time and cost for the station crew to deploy leak detection capabilities using Dextre. With RiTS, well have easier and faster access to RELL, which can help ensure our astronauts safety in space.

Once it reaches the ISS, the RiTS will be installed to the stations exterior by astronauts during a spacewalk. Looking to the future, similar units could be applied to exploration missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. In the near future, RiTS units and RELL tools could be used to detect potential leaks aboard the Lunar Gateway, or as part of the maintenance of lunar or Martian habitats.

Just one of the many ways in which robots and humans are working together to advance space exploration.

Further Reading: NASA

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The Data Decade: How We Were Bought and Stolen in the 2010s – Popular Mechanics

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The Decade, Reviewed looks back at the 2010s and how it changed human society forever. From 2010 to 2019, our species experienced seismic shifts in science, technology, entertainment, transportation, and even the very planet we call home. This is how the past 10 years have changed us.

It's been a hell of a decade for your data.

Since 2010, your personal information has been sold on the dark web, stolen by foreign nations (heres looking at you, China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea), used to swing a number of elections (ahem Russia, but also Facebook), and employed as a way to attack nuclear facilities, hospitals and entire electrical grids.

By 2021, cybercrime alone will be a $6 trillion dollar industry, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, which makes it more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs. Your data has become the new currency of criminals, the new weapons of many shadowy silent wars, and the underlying currency of nearly every major technology company.

The commercialization of data is largely responsible for the market conditions that spurred both criminal and foreign manipulation. Seven out of the top 10 technology companies are data companies, meaning they've made billions of dollars from selling consumer data. Individuals may be making their data vulnerable by using poor password protection, but companies that amass and commercialize that data are the ones that ultimately bear the primary responsibility for its protection.

In the past decade, poor security practices by companiesacross the entire value chain have resulted in the ability for criminals and nation states to access data. A disregard for customer security created global vulnerability. Experts predict that every company on Earth that uses an internet connection will be hacked in the coming decade, from your dry cleaners, to your hotel chain, to your bank, to your airline. Many of them already have been; airlines alone have seen a 15,000 percent increase in hacks to their systems between 2017 and 2018, according to Netscout's research. This is largely because of insecure software by large and small vendors.

The insecurity of our data is contributing to the insecurity of our planet.

Yet in the past decade, a mix of commercial, nonprofit, and government enterprises have used big data to help us understand and visualize increasingly complicated problems. And data has done a huge amount of good. These projects have:

In fact, as technology rapidly advances and our ability to gain, track, and analyze data increases we will have more opportunities than ever to help model, debate and solve problems that may today seem impossible. The problem is that our data is leaky, dirty, and insecure.

The insecurity of our data is contributing to the insecurity of our planet.

If we can't protect and safeguard our data in the coming decade, we won't be able to use it to solve great problems. Instead, we'll continue to see it used as a weapon by those who wish to do us harm.

In the coming decade, we could continue to see our data sold to any high bidder in criminal worlds and commercial worlds. In criminal sectors, this means an increase in identify fraud, banking fraud, listening and monitoring people through IoT devices, and in some extreme cases, the tracking and murder of people who threaten or harm their industries. In commercial worlds, this means an increase in hyper targeted advertising that can be used to sow dissent and divisive messaging and actions (like those used by Russia and the alt-right).

We'll continue to see our data stolen for economic benefit by China, but as that country continues to increase its hegemonic control, we may also see the rise of a universal database on every person who is connected to the internet. This database could know your face, your social patterns, your shopping patterns, and potentially score you based on your past actions. We'll also see the fragility of all of our systems as threat actors target our space data, our home-based data and our critical infrastructure.

One day in the future, you could wake up to find out an obscure online group, radicalized through the harvesting of social media data, partnered with a criminal cartel to steal your information, along with hundreds of thousands of other Americans. You can no longer pay your bills. Your credit card gets denied. They use the money theyve created from stealing your information to build a zero-day weapon that they let loose on the internet. It spews hate speech, but also takes out hospitals, trading floors, and streetlights.

While the world is focused on addressing the increasing disorder and violence, another actor decides to hack into our nuclear facilities and attempt to launch a weapon. Someone else sets off a latent dirty bomb in space and our satellites are taken out. This means our cell phones and televisions no longer work, and we have no access to the news. Finally, the electrical grid has been taken down by any number of foreign governments in the name of global security. China goes offline. The world erupts. We're all left without the economic, political, and financial systems we rely oncasualties in a war we didn't know was happening.

Or, one day in the future, you could wake up to elected officials who understand the way data underlies our society. They could put in place systems so that companies are required to protect our data as much as possible and foreign actors are punished for engaging in cyberwar. We could see a reduction in criminal activity online and a massive reduction in nation-state conflict. Our data processing, storage, and usage could improve.

Apathy around the use of our data is apathy to our own humanity.

Using artificial intelligence and quantum computing, we could build models that help us understand how to respond to climate change with minimal human effort, get more people into space and build better space exploration and habitation vehicles, eradicate massive waste in food supply chains, and reduce the losses in the agriculture industry. We could have a cleaner, healthier, less wasteful planet and see better income distribution, more access to food and clean water, and rising rates of health.

Apathy around the use of our data is apathy to our own humanity. When companies sell our data without paying us, they use us as their financial currency. If we dont fight back, we're giving away our own economic value. When nations leverage wars attacking critical infrastructure, businesses, and electoral systems, we're accepting our fate as casualties in this warif we don't demand change. When criminals make more money off our data than they do selling drugs, we're allowing the exploitation as we're trafficked.

But we can make great strides in this coming decade. By understanding the power of clean data to solve global problems, we can shift its value. We can see data as a powerful tool to shape the world around us and build a future that improves our world. The potential is there, and we can build the future where human lives come first.

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Join us at CES 2020 to Discuss How Robots Will Save the World – Robotics Business Review

Posted: at 11:51 pm

For the past several years, Robotics Business Review and RoboBusiness have teamed up with the Consumer Technology Association to produce conference sessions at CES (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show). Previous tracks have included sessions on mobile platforms, drones, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, and service robotics. We are proud to announce that we will be at the CES 2020 event with our track, Robots For Good, to be held on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in Las Vegas.

The overall theme of the day will be to discuss the new ways in which robots are saving the planet, saving lives, helping humans live better lives, and assisting humanity with exploring areas beyond the planet. With media headlines that focus on the negatives of taking away jobs or sentient beings that will destroy humanity, the Robots for Good track will turn that on its head and provide attendees with information about all the good that robots are doing.

Dr. Ken Goldberg was a keynote speaker at RoboBusiness 2018.

The track, which will be held in Room N253 of the North Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will begin at 9 a.m. with an opening session titled A Radically Hopeful Vision of the Future, by Ken Goldberg, the William S. Floyd Jr. Distinguished Chair in Engineering at UC Berkeley, and a professor of industrial engineering and operations research.

With the headlines about robots and AI stealing jobs, replacing drivers, doctors, and lawyers, many believe that the singularity is coming soon, with AI and robots posing an existential threat to humans. In his session, Goldberg will propose an alternative to the singularity that is more inclusive Multiplicity, in which diverse groups of humans work together with diverse groups of machines to innovate and solve problems.

Goldberg will also share results from his research in robotics, and a global study that suggests how AI can lead to a more productive and inclusive future for humans.

Goldberg has published more than 300 papers in robotics, and holds eight U.S. patents, with citations in more than 15,000 publications. He currently also serves as the Chief Scientist at Ambidextrous Robots, and is on the advisory board of the RoboGlobal ETF.

The next two sessions during the CES 2020 event will discuss how different robotics and AI projects are helping humans to learn more about the world around us, including investigating the oceans, growing crops more efficiently, and assisting in recycling efforts. In the session Robots Saving the Oceans, officials from the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project, which aims to collect data on measuring air pressure, water temperature, salinity, and collect water samples to measure levels of pollution in the ocean as it honors the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower ship from Plymouth, England, to the New World.

In the session Robots Preserve the Land, speakers will discuss how robots are helping humans with assisting in recycling, growing crops, and other save the planet types of endeavors.

In the afternoon, the session called Improving Humans Lives will get a bit more personal, as panelists show off robots that help individuals live better lives, whether its elderly patients using a robot to track medication, or robots that help sooth dementia patients or children with autism or going through cancer treatments.

Another afternoon session, Robots Saving Lives, will include discussions around health care robotics in the surgical and rehabilitation spaces, giving humans hope for living better lives following injuries or medical procedures that are performed more efficiently through robotic assistance.

The closing session, Robots in Space and Beyond, looks to head to the stars to discuss how robots are working with humans to explore the realms beyond Earth. Discover how robots are assisting humans with space exploration, communications across vast distances, and new efforts to go to the Moon and Mars, and beyond.

If youre attending CES 2020, or if youre interested in attending, head to this site to register for the RoboBusiness track on Robots For Good, on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The session is $400 as a stand-alone conference, and is also included as part of the CES Deluxe Conference Pass. CTA members can save 25% on conference passes, and we also have a limited number of codes that allow for a 25% discount on the conference fee, but let us know immediately if youre interested.

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How our screen stories of the future went from flying cars to a darker version of now – The Conversation AU

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Fans of Ridley Scotts 1982 masterpiece Blade Runner returned to cinemas last month for an unusual milestone: history catching up with science fiction.

Blade Runner opens in Los Angeles, in November 2019. Furnaces burst flames into the perennial night and endless rain. Flying cars zoom by. The antihero film-noir detective, Deckard (Harrison Ford) has seen too much, drinks too much, and misses his mother between retiring replicants.

As in Back to the Future day, (October 21, 2015), which marked Marty McFlys journey into the future in the 1989 film, the Blade Runner screenings came with a flurry of discussion about what the filmmakers got right and wrong. Environmental collapse, yes. But where are our flying cars?

So: what now that the future is here?

Our current versions of near future stories - namely the television series Black Mirror (now on Netflix) and SBSs Years and Years - explore more extreme versions of the present.

Charlie Brookers Black Mirror is an anthology of standalone episodes, produced between 2011 and 2019, each set in a slightly different, undated, near future.

Years and Years, written by Russell T. Davies, bravely spans 2019 to 2034 with each episode leaping forward a few years through striking montages of fictional news events: the collapse of the European Union, the US leaving the United Nations, catastrophic flooding, mass migration, widespread homelessness.

We are in a very familiar world. The near is depicted in a realistic way through identifiable locations, documentary-style visuals, news footage, and lifelike dialogue.

Back in the real world, the future in the 21st century is unfolding in the palm of our hands. Elections are won and lost on social media, Sydney is covered in smoke. The rate at which technology is altering our lives is rivalled only by the rate were transforming our planet.

These shows explore these rates of change. In a 2016 episode of Black Mirror, Nosedive, every interpersonal interaction becomes a transaction: an extreme version of Uber Ratings with Chinas Social Credit System.

Read more: Chinas Social Credit System puts its people under pressure to be model citizens

Lacie (Bryce Dallas Howard) is an ambitious young professional excited by the opportunities higher ratings open up, such as discounts on luxury apartments, but being pleasant to her barista and workmates only gets her so far. So begins a perilous spiral of trying too hard to be liked, echoing the personality-as-product phenomenon of social media influencers around the world.

The standalone episode format of Black Mirror means it can be challenging to develop empathy for characters, consequently the interest often rests on the single concept or final twist. The episode Striking Vipers explores the possibility of extra-marital love between best mates in Virtual Reality; Hang the DJ envisions dating apps as an authoritarian apparatus.

Most episodes are neatly wrapped up for viewers to escape to for pure entertainment but also to escape from each dystopian possibility.

In Years and Years, we follow one Mancunian family over 19 years. The series opens with Trump re-elected for a second term. In the UK, the unconventional populist Four Star Party, led by straight-speaking Vivienne Rook (Emma Thompson), rides to success on the back of social instability.

Sci-fi concepts are introduced early on so we can explore their evolution and implications. In the first episode, teenager Bethany declares herself trans. As progressive parents, Stephen and Celeste immediately comfort their child, who they presume is transsexual.

Bethany shrugs, Im not transsexual Im transhuman. A concept not lost on Blade Runner fans who may be aware of transhumanist gatherings in Los Angeles in the 1980s, transhumanism is premised on the idea that humans have breached evolutionary constraints through science and technology. Biology is a restriction to the possibility of eternal life.

Read more: Super-intelligence and eternal life: transhumanism's faithful follow it blindly into a future for the elite

Disgust and dismay ensue from parents unable to comprehend why their child wants to rid her flesh and live forever as data. Through the course of the series we see how Bethanys transhuman ambitions influence her personal relationships, health, career trajectory, and political activism.

It even starts to feel normal.

Years and Years delicately resists portraying a dystopia, allowing room for technology to demonstrate a positive influence on society. Seor, the ubiquitous virtual assistant, connects the Lyons family whenever they wish. Like Alexa or Siri, Seor is always at hand to answer questions but more importantly, facilitates an intimacy that could easily be lost to technological isolation.

In 2029, grandmother Muriel digs up the dusty digital assistant Seor because she misses its company. By now, virtual assistants are embedded into the walls and omnipresent digital cloud but the Luddite grandmother resists.

I like having something to look at, Im not talking to the walls like Shirley Valentine, she says.

Its moments like these that remind us of our agency over technology and hint at its revolutionary potential to connect us all.

While classics like Blade Runner looked to the future to ignite our technological desires, near-future fiction reveals how new technologies are injected into our lives with little choice as to whether we should adopt them and little thought to their long-term appropriateness and sustainability.

These shows ask us to be critical of what might seem like minor developments in technology and politics. In an age of rapidly changing political landscapes and the climate catastrophe, it can feel like we are approaching the final frontier. In creating stories set in the near, instead of the far, future, science fiction provides valuable lessons for the present.

In other words: the choices we fail to stand up for in the near-future may prevent us from having a distant future at all.

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How our screen stories of the future went from flying cars to a darker version of now - The Conversation AU

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Exclusive: Ted Atherton Explains the Pathology of Beauty in RABID – Dread Central

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Exclusive: Ted Atherton Explains the Pathology of Beauty in RABID

To my fellow entertainment journalists and bloggers, take this advice: Dont let the ink dry on your Best Horror Movies of 2019 lists until youve seenRabid, the remake of David Cronenbergs seminal body horror classic remade by Jen and Sylvia Soska (aka The Twisted Twins). Its not only the first (and so far only) remake of a Cronenberg movie, its a gruesome and engaging romp that will leave moviegoers rapt and devastated.

Rabidarrives in US theaters and VOD this Friday, December 13th. Give the trailer a spin at the top of the article and peep the synopsis below.

Synopsis:Horribly disfigured after a freak accident, doctors perform a radical medical procedure on an aspiring young fashion designer. But when the bandages come off, the side effects soon cause her to develop an insatiable appetite for human blood.


Yesterday, we shared an interview with the incomparable, multi-talented Tristan Risk, who explained what makes Rabid truly Canadian, and promising one of her three roles will lead to sleepless nights for many! Today, we continue our Week of Rabid with an interview with Ted Atherton. Atherton plays Dr. William Burroughs (a nod to the American Beat Poet of the same nameand Cronenbergs adaptation of Naked Lunch). Give it a read below.

Dread Central: Lets talk about the preparations you made for playing this character, Dr. William Burroughs, in Rabid. Did you look into the current state of human cloning and transhumanism in science?

Ted Atherton: Yeah, the Soskas sent a number of research bits regarding that, that were really wild about that particular sort of rabbit hole, and then I pulled it down on the internet a little bit. Although, what I really found kind of interesting about the movie, like all good horror movies, its about some deep, dark truth about the human psyche and Rabid has it. And I also watched the original Cronenberg movie and in this re-imagining, as conceived by the Soska sisters, this cultural obsession with a certain standard of beauty leads to a kind of pathologization of anything that falls short of that standard, do you know what I mean? As if to not be beautiful or fit means youre in need of a cure. And I found that particularly interesting from the character I was playing, Dr. William Burroughs, (with that nod to Cronenbergs obsession with William Burroughs of Naked Lunch fame).

The fact that Laura Vanderboots character Rose works for a fashion designer (really played beautifully in a darkly comic way by my friend Mackenzie Gray, whose new line is called Schadenfreude, the German word for the dark pleasure we take in anothers misfortune) really dramatizes the moral sickness at the heart of this obsession with physical beauty, particularly physical beauty thats competitive. And Rose is not a model but shes not ugly; shes average looking, or as average looking that hair and makeup can make you when youre starting with Laura Vanderboot! But average isnt good enough and it actually holds Rose back in events in her career. When this horrific traffic accident that drives Laura Vanderboots character into the hands of Dr. William Burroughs, its seen as a kind of good fortune because it provides the occasion for a complete physical transformationa cure for the sickness of her mediocre looks and the cost, of course. becomes a growing and unknowing hunger, a special diet.

She gets transformed from a human being, a member of society, with all the connections of human society, into this solitary predator. Thats what I found most interesting. Dr. Burroughs, he comes across as very kind, sort of paternalistic, that was a kind of a father figure. And Rose is ultimately his creation, his child in a way. But what hes transforming her into this child thats going to have no connection with anything else in the world, because anyone that gets anywhere near her, who comes close enough to care about her, shes going to destroy and turn into that same kind of lone predator.


DC: Youve done a lot of sci-fi and drama but is it safe to say that Rabid is the most gruesome, brutal movie youve been in?

TA: Oh my god, absolutely. Ive seen all of those prosthetics and practical effects close up and I have to tell you, were absolutely disgusting.

Are you excited to check outRabidthis weekend? What do you think of our exclusive interview with Tristan Risk? Let us know in the comments below or onFacebook,Twitter, orInstagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter@josh_millican.

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Exclusive: Ted Atherton Explains the Pathology of Beauty in RABID - Dread Central

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