TECH

Latest

US police rarely deploy deadly robots to confront suspects

A police officer uses a robot to investigate a bomb threat in San Francisco, on July 25, 2008. (Photo: AP)The unabashedly liberal city of San Francisco became the unlikely proponent of weaponized police robots last week after supervisors approved limited use of the remote-controlled devices, addressing head-on an evolving technology that has become more widely available even if it is rarely deployed to confront suspects.The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 on Tuesday to permit police to use robots armed with explosives in extreme situations where lives are at stake and no other alternative is available. The authorization comes as police departments across the U.S. face increasing scrutiny for the use of militarized equipment and force amid a years-long reckoning on criminal justice.The vote was prompted by a new California law requiring police to inventory military-grade equipment such as flashbang grenades, assault rifles and armored vehicles, and seek approval from the public for their use.So far, police in just two California cities — San Francisco and Oakland — have publicly discussed the use of robots as part of that process. Around the country, police have used robots over the past decade to communicate with barricaded suspects, enter potentially dangerous spaces and, in rare cases, for deadly force.Dallas police became the first to kill a suspect with a robot in 2016, when they used one to detonate explosives during a standoff with a sniper who had killed five police officers and injured nine others.The recent San Francisco vote, has renewed a fierce debate sparked years ago over the ethics of using robots to kill a suspect and the doors such policies might open. Largely, experts say, the use of such robots remains rare even as the technology advances.Michael White, a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, said even if robotics companies present deadlier options at tradeshows, it doesnt mean p...

Shenzhou-14 re-entry capsule separates from propulsion module

The Shenzhou-14 spaceships re-entry capsule has separated from the propulsion module.

China begins nuclear island installation of land-based small modular reactor

The nuclear island installation of the worlds first commercial land-based small modular reactor, Linglong One, has officially begun construction in South Chinas Hainan Province, Chinas Central Television reported on Sunday.Photo taken on July 6, 2022 shows the construction site at Linglong One reactor, the worlds first onshore commercial small modular reactor in Changjiang, south Chinas Hainan Province. (Photo: China News Service) Linglong One is a multi-functional modular small pressurized water reactor built by the China National Nuclear Corporation based on independent research and intellectual property rights.It is also the worlds first reactor of this type to be approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency on the basis that it is built to serve the regions diverse power needs.The CCTV report described the nuclear island as the "heart" of the nuclear power plant. Other major facilities, including the power stations pressure vessel and steam generator, will all be installed within the nuclear island in the future, the report added.Commencing construction in July 2021, the Linlong One project is characterized as being highly safe, having short construction period, flexible deployment among other advantages. It is expected to take about 58 months to finish the construction.The reactor could be used as a distributed energy source to supply electricity, as well as meet other needs such as seawater desalination, regional heating, industrial heating and other purposes. Each set of Linglong One has a power capacity of 125,000 kilowatts, capable of generating one billion kilowatt-hours of power after construction.The Linglong One is an example of Chinas strengthened investment in energy projects, not only because the country is mounting efforts to guarantee energy supply in case of a power crunch, like similar to those faced by parts of the country during power peak usage time, but also because China is activel...

Microbial oxidation greatly reduces ocean methane emissions: study

A team of Chinese scientists and their overseas counterparts has discovered that nearly half of methane in nutrient-rich shallow marine waters is consumed by microbes before its emission to the atmosphere."This discovery implies that the role of microbial oxidation for methane removal is more important than we previously thought, as it significantly reduces global methane emissions from shallow waters," said Zhuang Guangchao, a marine chemist with the Ocean University of China and the head of the research team.Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas, and its global warming potential is over 20 times greater than that of carbon dioxide, therefore, reducing global methane emissions is important to achieve carbon neutrality, Zhuang explained."The ocean is a source of atmospheric methane and the shallow coastal waters dominate global oceanic methane emissions, while microbial oxidation acts as a biofilter that can mitigate these emissions," he said.In this study, recently published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers combined a suite of geochemical and microbial analyses as well as machine-learning models to study methane cycling in the ocean. They quantified methane oxidation rates in global shallow marine waters and estimated their role in oceanic methane emissions."This is the first approximation of methane oxidation rates in shallow waters on a global scale, which helps us better understand the cycling of this important greenhouse gas," Zhuang said, adding that the study is also of great significance in helping reduce ocean methane emissions and achieve carbon neutrality.The research team consisted of scientists from the Ocean University of China, Xiamen University, University College London, Montana State University and the University of Georgia.

Shanghai startup prepares test flight for eVTOL air taxi

Ahalf-sizedmodelofthemannedeVTOLaircraftwasshowninanavianshowinZhuhai.AShanghai-developedfive-seat"airtaxi"willmakeitsfirsttrialflightinthecitynextMarch,afteritsdebutatChina'sbiggestairshowinZhuhailastmonth,ShanghaiDailylearned。

China's Shenzhou-14 astronauts to return to Earth on Dec. 4

JIUQUAN, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinas Shenzhou-14 astronauts, who have completed all their scheduled tasks, will return to Earth on Dec. 4, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) said Saturday.Screen image captured at Beijing Aerospace Control Center on June 5, 2022 shows three Chinese astronauts, Chen Dong (C), Liu Yang (R) and Cai Xuzhe, saluting after entering the space station core module Tianhe. (Photo: Xinhua)The three astronauts handed over the control of the space station to the Shenzhou-15 crew on Friday evening, completing the countrys first in-orbit crew rotation, according to the CMSA.They will touch down at the Dongfeng landing site in north Chinas Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The landing site is currently making preparations for the return of the three astronauts, the CMSA said.

Hawaii volcano sprays fountains of lava in spectacular eruption

Fountains of lava and rivers of molten rock were continuing spewing from the world's biggest volcano Friday, as Mauna Loa in Hawaii's first eruption in almost four decades showed no signs of abating.Two fissures on Mauna Loa were venting huge volumes of viscous rock and gases from deep within the Ea

Amazon loses 10% of its vegetation in nearly four decades

The Amazon region has lost 10 percent of its native vegetation, mostly tropical rainforest, in almost four decades, an area roughly the size of Texas, a new report says.From 1985 to 2021, the deforested area surged from 490,000 square kilometers to 1,250,000 square kilometers, unprecedented destruct

NASA's Orion spacecraft begins journey back to Earth

In this image released by NASA on November 28, 2022, flight day 13, the Orion spacecraft reached its maximum distance from Earth (R rear) during the Artemis I Moon (C rear) mission when it was 268,563 miles (432,210kms) away from our home planet. Orion has now traveled farther than any other spacecraft built for humans.LOS ANGELES, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- NASAs Orion spacecraft has left its distant lunar orbit and is on its return journey back to Earth, according to NASA.Orion conducted an engine burn on Thursday to propel the spacecraft out of its distant lunar orbit.The burn is one of two maneuvers required ahead of Orions splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on Dec. 11, according to NASA.The second will occur on Dec. 5, when the spacecraft will fly 126.7 kilometers (79.2 miles) above the lunar surface and perform the return powered flyby burn, which will commit Orion on its course toward Earth.Orion was launched onboard NASAs Space Launch System rocket on Nov. 16 from NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida.The Artemis I flight test is an uncrewed mission around the moon that will pave the way for a crewed flight test and future human lunar exploration as part of NASAs Artemis lunar program.

Tesla hoping its electric Semi will be heavy duty 'game changer'

The Tesla Semi is on display at the Tesla Giga Texas manufacturing facility during the "Cyber Rodeo" grand opening party on April 7, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (File photo: AFP)US automaker Tesla on Thursday delivered its first battery-powered heavy duty truck, dubbed "Semi," and built to tackle long hauls with the handling of a sporty sedan."That thing looks like it came from the future," Telsa chief Elon Musk said while handing over the keys to PepsiCo executives at the vehicle makers Nevada manufacturing plant.With its sleek design, the Semi has been highly anticipated since Musk unveiled a prototype in 2017, but the launch of full-scale production was delayed well past the initial 2019 expectation."The sheer amount of drama between five years ago and now is insane," Musk told a small audience invited to the factory for an event marking the occasion."A lot has happened in the world. But, here we are. Its real."In the meantime, other manufacturers have entered the market, from traditional truck makers such as Daimler, Volvo and Chinas BYD, to startups like US company Nikola.The competition has also begun to roll out their deliveries, and have many orders of their own waiting to fill.However, the truck that "the market has been waiting for... is the one from Tesla," says Dave Mullaney, a transportation specialist with sustainability think tank RMI.Legacy manufacturers have primarily converted their diesel-designed trucks to electric.Teslas Semi, on the other hand, "was designed to be electric from the very first design," says Mullaney.If the vehicle lives up to expectations, "its going to be a huge difference," he adds.Musk reiterated the claim Thursday that a Semi had driven 500 miles (800 kilometers) with a total weight of nearly 82,000 pounds (more than 37 metric tons).The range of electric vehicles currently on offer is only between 250 to 300 miles."You ha...

Elon Musk expects Neuralink's brain chip to begin human trials in 6 months

Elon Musk. (Photo: CFP)Elon Musk said on Wednesday he expects a wireless brain chip developed by his company Neuralink to begin human clinical trials in six months after the company missed earlier timelines set by him.The company is developing brain chip interfaces that it says could enable disabled patients to move and communicate again, with Musk adding on Wednesday that it will also target restoring vision.Based in the San Francisco Bay Area and Austin, Texas, Neuralink has, in recent years, been conducting tests on animals as it seeks approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin clinical trials in people."We want to be extremely careful and certain that it will work well before putting a device into a human," Musk said during a much-awaited public update on the device.Speaking to a crowd of select invitees in a presentation at Neuralink headquarters that lasted nearly three hours, Musk emphasized the speed at which the company is developing its device."The progress at first, particularly as it applies to humans, will seem perhaps agonizingly slow, but we are doing all of the things to bring it to scale in parallel," he said. "So, in theory, progress should be exponential."The FDA did not immediately reply to Reuters request for comment.The first two human applications targeted by the Neuralink device will be in restoring vision and enabling movement of muscles in people who cannot do so, Musk said. "Even if someone has never had vision, ever, like they were born blind, we believe we can still restore vision," he said.The event was originally planned for October 31, but Musk postponed it just days before without giving a reason.Neuralinks last public presentation, more than a year ago, involved a monkey with a brain chip that played a computer game by thinking alone.Musk, who also runs electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, rocket firm SpaceX, and social media platform Twitter, is known for lof...

SpaceX again postpones Japanese moon lander launch

SpaceX on Wednesday postponed the launch of the worlds first private lander to the Moon, a mission undertaken by Japanese firm ispace.Photo: CGTNA Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to blast off at 3:37 am (0837 GMT) on Thursday from Cape Canaveral in the US state of Florida, but SpaceX said further checks on the vehicle had led to a delay. "After further inspections of the launch vehicle and data review, were standing down from tomorrows launch of @ispace_incs HAKUTO-R Mission 1; a new target launch date will be shared once confirmed," the firm tweeted.Until now, only the United States, Russia and China have managed to put a robot on the lunar surface.The mission by ispace is the first of a program called Hakuto-R. The lander would touch down around April 2023 on the visible side of the Moon, in the Atlas crater, according to a company statement.The delay came after the launch had already been postponed by a day due to the need for additional pre-flight checks, SpaceX and ispace said on Wednesday.Measuring just over 2 by 2.5 meters, the lander carries on board a 10-kilogram rover named Rashid, built by the United Arab Emirates. The oil-rich country is a newcomer to the space race but counts recent successes including sending a probe into Mars orbit last year. If it succeeds, Rashid will be the Arab worlds first Moon mission."We have achieved so much in the six short years since we first began conceptualizing this project in 2016," said ispace CEO Takeshi Hakamada.Hakuto was one of five finalists in the international Google Lunar XPrize competition, a challenge to land a rover on the Moon before a 2018 deadline, which ended without a winner. But some of the projects are still ongoing.Another finalist, from the Israeli organization SpaceIL, failed in April 2019 to become the first privately-funded mission to achieve the feat, after crashing into the surface while attempting to land.ispace, which has just 200 employees, say...

Long COVID exposes long-term challenges

A medical worker collects a swab sample from a person at a COVID-19 testing site on Times Square in New York, the United States, March 29, 2022. (Photo: Xinhua)The increasing reports of people getting long COVID have exposed the challenges in combating the pandemic.Experts said that long COVID is likely to result in growing pressure on social and medical resources, a shrinking labor force and economic downturn in the long run.Underestimated figurePost COVID-19 condition, also known as long COVID, is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an illness that occurs in individuals with a history of probable or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, with symptoms that last for at least two months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis.The WHO estimated that 10 to 20 percent of COVID-19 patients have been left with mid- and long-term symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath and cognitive dysfunction, as well as others that generally have an impact on everyday functioning. Women are more likely to suffer from the condition.About 17 million people in the WHO European region met the WHO criteria of long COVID with symptom duration of at least three months in 2020 and 2021, a recent study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washingtons School of Medicine in the United States showed."The IHMEs research shows that nearly 145 million people around the world in the first two years of the pandemic suffered from any of the three symptom clusters of long COVID: fatigue with bodily pain and mood swings, cognitive problems, and shortness of breath. Fast-forward to today and millions of people continue to suffer because of COVID-19s lingering impact on their health and livelihoods," said IHME director Christopher Murray.A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine booster at a Health Center in Los Angeles, U.S., November 1, 2022. (Photo: CFP)U.S. health officials said that nearly one in five Ameri...

China's C919 jet obtains approval for production

AC919jettakespartinaflyingdisplayatthe14thChinaInternationalAviationandAerospaceExhibitioninZhuhai,southChina'sGuangdongProvince,onNov.8,2022。

China successfully launches Shenzhou-15 crewed spaceship

Photo: Wang Jiangbo/ Peoples DailyChina successfully launches Shenzhou-15 crewed spaceship

Crew ready for launch of Shenzhou XV mission

Members of the Shenzhou XV space mission — Fei Junlong (center), Deng Qingming (right) and Zhang Lu — meet the media on Monday during a news conference at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China. WANG JIANGBO/FOR CHINA DAILY China will launch three astronauts in the Shenzhou XV miss

Int'l science payloads to enter China's space station next year: official

​A number of space science application projects jointly selected by China and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs or with the European Space Agency are being implemented as planned, and related payloads will be launched to get into China's space station for experiments next year.

'Stay-at-home' taikonaut's dream coming true

After serving as a backup crew member for 24 years, Chinese taikonaut Deng Qingming's dream is finally coming true – he will perform his first space mission onboard the Shenzhou XV spaceship along with two other astronauts on Tuesday.

China ready to implement moon landing project

File photo: CGTNJIUQUAN, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- China has made breakthroughs in the development of the new-generation crewed spaceship, new-generation manned carrier rocket, moon lander, and moon landing spacesuit, stepping closer to its moon landing goal, according to the China Manned Space Agency on Monday.China has completed key technology research and validation of the manned lunar exploration project, forming a moon landing implementation plan with "Chinese characteristics," said Ji Qiming, an assistant to the agencys director, at a press conference ahead of the launch of the Shenzhou-15 manned space mission."Chinas footsteps in space exploration will not stay only in the low-Earth orbit, and we will surely fly further," Ji replied to the question of when China will land on the moon."The country is ready to implement the lunar landing project. I believe the dream of landing on the moon will come true in the near future," Ji said.

China to launch Shenzhou-15 manned spaceship on Nov. 29

JIUQUAN, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Shenzhou-15 crewed spaceship will be launched at 11:08 p.m. Tuesday (Beijing Time) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, announced the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) on Monday.The spaceship will take three astronauts -- Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming, and Zhang Lu -- to carry out the Shenzhou-15 spaceflight mission. Fei will be the commander, said Ji Qiming, assistant to the director of the CMSA, at a press conference.The crew will stay in orbit for about six months.Photo: Peoples DailyThe launch will be carried out with a Long March-2F carrier rocket, which will be filled with propellant soon, Ji said.According to him, after entering orbit, the Shenzhou-15 spaceship will make a fast, automated rendezvous and dock with the front port of the space stations core module, Tianhe.The space station will then be expanded to its largest configuration with three modules and three spaceships, having a total mass of nearly 100 tonnes, Ji said.During their stay in orbit, the Shenzhou-15 crew will witness the arrival of the Tianzhou-6 cargo craft and Shenzhou-16 manned spaceship. They will also have a work handover with the Shenzhou-16 crew in orbit.The Shenzhou-15 astronauts will return to the ground in May next year according to the plan, he said.The space station combination is now in a stable status with all equipment functioning well, ready for the rendezvous-and-docking of Shenzhou-15 and the following crew rotation, he added.The Shenzhou-15 crew is now in good shape. Product qualities of the Shenzhou-15 spaceship and Long March-2F carrier rocket are under control. Facilities and equipment of the ground system are performing well, and all launch preparations are in order.The Shenzhou-14 crew plans to complete the in-orbit work handover in a week, and then return to the Dongfeng landing site in north Chinas Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

China unveils Shenzhou-15 crew for space station mission

JIUQUAN, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese astronauts Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming and Zhang Lu will carry out the Shenzhou-15 spaceflight mission, and Fei will be the commander, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) announced at a press conference on Monday.Fei once participated in the Shenzhou-6 spaceflight mission and both Deng and Zhang are newcomers to space, according to Ji Qiming, assistant to the CMSA director.The Shenzhou-15 manned spaceship will be launched at 11:08 p.m. Tuesday (Beijing Time) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.It is the sixth flight mission of Chinas manned spaceflight program this year and the last one in the construction phase of Chinas space station, said Ji.He added that the trio will stay in orbit for six months.Fei Junlong (Photo: Peoples Daily app)Zhang Lu (Photo: Peoples Daily app)Deng Qingming (Photo: Peoples Daily app)

China launches new remote sensing satellite

Photo provided to Peoples DailyXICHANG, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- China successfully launched a new remote sensing satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest Chinas Sichuan Province Sunday.The Yaogan-36 satellite was lifted at 8:23 p.m. (Beijing Time) by a Long March-2D carrier rocket and entered the planned orbit successfully.This launch marked the 451st mission for the Long March series carrier rockets.

Pre-launch joint tests completed for Shenzhou-15 crewed mission

The China Manned Space Agency said on Sunday that the pre-launch joint tests for the Shenzhou-15 crewed mission had been completed by all units.Photo: Courtesy of China Manned Space AgencyThe Shenzhou-15 is due to launch three Chinese astronauts, or taikonauts, to the China Space Station for a half-year trip. They will briefly stay in the space station with the three-person Shenzhou-14 crew, who are preparing to head back to Earth.Chinas manned space program will run two Shenzhou spacecraft concurrently for the first time, creating new challenges.

China completes first in-orbit space fuel cell tests

BEIJING, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- The space fuel cell payload onboard the Tianzhou-5 cargo spacecraft has completed its in-orbit tests, marking the first time China has conducted such tests, according to the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). The tests preliminarily validated the characteristics

NASA's Orion capsule enters far-flung orbit around moon

Photo: NASACAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s Orion capsule entered an orbit stretching tens of thousands of miles around the moon Friday, as it neared the halfway mark of its test flight.The capsule and its three test dummies entered lunar orbit more than a week after launching on the $4 billion demo that’s meant to pave the way for astronauts. It will remain in this broad but stable orbit for nearly a week, completing just half a lap before heading home.As of Friday’s engine firing, the capsule was 238,000 miles (380,000 kilometers) from Earth. It’s expected to reach a maximum distance of almost 270,000 miles (432,000 kilometers) in a few days. That will set a new distance record for a capsule designed to carry people one day.“It is a statistic, but it’s symbolic for what it represents,” Jim Geffre, an Orion manager, said in a NASA interview earlier in the week. “It’s about challenging ourselves to go farther, stay longer and push beyond the limits of what we’ve previously explored.”NASA considers this a dress rehearsal for the next moon flyby in 2024, with astronauts. A lunar landing by astronauts could follow as soon as 2025. Astronauts last visited the moon 50 years ago during Apollo 17.

READ MORE

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue