Technology Sector

NASA may abandon plans for moon base

NASA may abandon plans for moon baseLondon, April 30 : NASA's acting administrator, Chris Scolese, has told lawmakers that the agency will probably not build an outpost on the moon as originally planned.

According to a report in New Scientist, Scolese's comments also hinted that the agency is open to putting more emphasis on human missions to destinations like Mars or a near-Earth asteroid.

NASA has been working towards returning astronauts to the moon by 2020 and building a permanent base there.

Hubble detects “cosmic fountain of youth” in space

Hubble detects “cosmic fountain of youth” in spaceWashington, April 22 : The Hubble Space Telescope celebrated its 19th anniversary by detecting a peculiar galactic system that contains several galaxies, along with a “cosmic fountain” of stars, gas, and dust that stretches over 100,000 light-years.

Known as Arp 194, the northern (upper) component of the system of galaxies appears as a haphazard collection of dusty spiral arms, bright blue star-forming regions, and at least two galaxy nuclei that appear to be connected and in the early stages of merging.

Soon, smartphones to provide ultrasound imaging

Soon, smartphones to provide ultrasound imagingWashington, April 22 : Scientists in the U. S. hope to bring the minimalist approach to medical care with the use of a medical imaging device that fits in the palm of the hand.

William D. Richard, Ph. D., Washington University in St. Louis associate professor of computer science and engineering, and David Zar, research associate in computer science and engineering, have made commercial USB ultrasound probes compatible with Microsoft Windows mobile-based smartphones.

China to launch sixth remote-sensing satellite

Nuclear oversight in China inadequate, regulator saysTaiyuan (China), Apr. 22 : China is scheduled to launch a new remote-sensing satellite into the space Wednesday, a spokesman with the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north Shanxi Province said.

Both the satellite, "Yaogan VI," and the Long March 2C carrier rocket were in sound condition and the preparation work was well underway, Xinhua quoted the spokesman, as saying.

China has so far launched five remote-sensing satellites.

Quake rumbles can help provide quick tsunami warnings

Quake rumblesLondon, April 22 : A team of seismologists has developed an early-warning system that can gauge how long an earthquake rumbles, thus helping tsunami warnings to reach vulnerable coastlines within minutes.

Most tsunami-warning systems work by measuring an undersea earthquake''s magnitude, because those above magnitude 7.5 are considered highly likely to generate a tsunami.

However, it takes at least 30 minutes to measure this accurately.

Previous studies have shown that quakes that shake for a long time are more likely to produce a tsunami.

Now, lip-reading computer to interpret different languages

lip-reading computerWashington, Apr 22 : In a breakthrough study, researchers from University of East Anglia (UEA) have developed a novel computer, which can distinguish between different languages.

The researchers hope that the discovery could have practical uses for deaf people, for law enforcement agencies, and in noisy environments.

Lead researchers Stephen Cox and Jake Newman of UEA''s School of Computing Sciences developed the novel system by statistical modelling of the lip motions made by a group of 23 bilingual and trilingual speakers.