NASA’s new ‘Star Trek’ tech is designed to detect alien life
The device, dubbed the “chemical laptop,” is a miniature, portable laboratory that resembles the TV show’s famous tricorder scanning device, and is designed to make data collection easier and faster than ever before.
The laptop, currently in development at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, is a chemical analyzer made to detect both amino acids and fatty acids, often called “the building blocks of life,” in samples from extraterrestrial terrain. Amino acids bind together to create proteins, which are vital to almost all processes that occur within a cell, and fatty acids are an important component of cell membranes, so researchers believe finding both could indicate that life is now or was once present.
More mysterious extragalactic signals detected
An unprecedented double burst recently showed up along with four more of these flashes, researchers report online November 25 at arXiv.org. Fast radio bursts, first detected in 2007, are bright blasts of radio energy that last for just a few milliseconds and are never seen again. Until now, astronomers had cataloged nine bursts that appeared to originate well outside the Milky Way. Yet, follow-up searches with nonradio telescopes for anything that might be pulsing or exploding keep coming up empty.
The five newcomers, detected at the Parkes radio telescope in Australia, follow the same pattern as all previous detected bursts with one exception — one flashed twice. Twin blasts separated by just 2.4 milliseconds came out of some sort of eruption that happened roughly 9 billion years ago in the constellation Octans, David Champion, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, and colleagues report.
Japan’s H-2A launches Telstar 12 Vantage in commercial debut
The inaugural flight of an upgraded Japanese H-2A rocket on Nov. 24 successfully placed Canada-based Telesat’s Telstar 12 Vantage satellite into geostationary orbit in a mission that H-2A prime contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) hopes will unlock future commercial orders.
At a time when the global commercial launch market is being shaken by the ostensibly contradictory trends of both oversupply and shortage, the new-version H-2A is designed to offer up to three commercial flights per year with improved orbital-injection features.
A job opening for a Software Architect, Boeing. The candidate will be responsible for defining and overseeing the implementation of the overall software architecture for a Java-based missile defense command and control system and ensuring the architecture is consistent with the architecture design tenets on the C2BMC program. This includes providing direct technical support to the Development (DEV) FA Chief SW Architect, the DEV Leadership team, and as needed functional area leads. More information
Build up your space portfolio by participating in the SETI project: SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is an exploratory science that seeks evidence of life in the universe by looking for some signature of its technology. If you are a developer, you can help with optimization and porting of the software for various platforms. More information