from the world's big
Is Streaming Plasma the New Fossil Fuel?
If we have serious ambitions to live on Mars, it might be.
French physicists may have developed a way to blast to Mars using a 100 million times less fuel than a traditional rocket thruster. The scientific team is experimenting with the technology of the Hall thruster to potentially dramatically reduce energy and time for space exploration.
The Hall thrusters (or ion thrusters) run on streaming plasma, which allows for the dramatic difference in energy reliance. There’s one catch though — the thruster only has a lifespan of about 10,000 hours before it goes kaput, leaving scientist racing to find ways to increase the launcher’s longevity (to put it in perspective, most space missions take around 50,000 hours).
"We need to become a spacefaring society and eventually we need to move far beyond Mars — not only from our own solar system, but into other solar systems within this galaxy and other solar systems in other galaxies." —Stephen Petranek
Hall thrusters are already used in many of the satellites orbiting Earth at this moment. In an attempt to harness their efficiency for longer space flights, the French scientists made a slight alteration to the current design that allows the anode (or gas distributor) to stay clear of the magnetic field.
They’re hoping with a few more tweaks, we could potentially get to Mars with a lot less fuel.
Science journalist Stephen Petranek says traveling to and establishing a colony on Mars is essential to the long-term survival of the human race.
Ready to see the future? Nanotronics CEO Matthew Putman talks innovation and the solutions that are right under our noses.
Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.
A scientist in Sweden makes a controversial presentation at a future of food conference.
- A behavioral scientist from Sweden thinks cannibalism of corpses will become necessary due to effects of climate change.
- He made the controversial presentation to Swedish TV during a "Future of Food" conference in Stockholm.
- The scientist acknowledges the many taboos this idea would have to overcome.
Depiction of cannibalism in the Medieval ages.
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President Vladimir Putin announces approval of Russia's coronavirus vaccine but scientists warn it may be unsafe.
A new coronavirus vaccine on display at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia.
Credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/ Russian Direct Investment Fund via AP
Medical workers draw blood from volunteers participating in a trial of a coronavirus vaccine at the Budenko Main Military Hospital outside Moscow, Russia.
Credit: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP
A report from the New York Times raises questions over how the teletherapy startup Talkspace handles user data.
- In the report, several former employees said that "individual users' anonymized conversations were routinely reviewed and mined for insights."
- Talkspace denied using user data for marketing purposes, though it acknowledged that it looks at client transcripts to improve its services.
- It's still unclear whether teletherapy is as effective as traditional therapy.
Talkspace.com<p>Former employees also questioned the legitimacy of certain interventions by the company into client-therapist interactions. For example, after one therapist sent a client a link to an online anxiety worksheet, a company representative instructed her to try to keep clients inside the app.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I was like, 'How do you know I did that?'" Karissa Brennan, a therapist who worked with Talkspace from 2015 to 2017, told the Times. "They said it was private, but it wasn't."</p><p>Other former employees said the company would pay special attention to its "enterprise partner" clients, who worked at companies like Google. One therapist said Talkspace contacted her for taking too long to respond to Google clients.</p><p>Talkspace responded to the Times with a Medium <a href="https://medium.com/@founders_22883/talkspace-founders-respond-to-a-new-york-times-article-78d6f5c45c59" target="_blank">post</a>, which claimed the Times report contained false and "uninformed assertions."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Talkspace is a HIPAA/HITECH and SOC2 approved platform, audited annually by external vendors, and has deployed additional technologies to keep its data safe, exceeding all existing regulatory requirements," the post states.</p>