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Japan will participate in NASA’s Lunar Gateway project for the Artemis program

Japan has officially announced that it will participate with NASA’s Lunar Gateway project (via NHK), which will seek to establish an orbital research and staging station around the Moon. The Lunar Gateway is a key component of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to land the first American woman and the next American man on the surface of the Moon by 2024. Japan’s involvement was confirmed on Friday at a meeting of the country’s Strategic Headquarters for National Space Policy, at which Japan Prim...
Tags: TC, Asia, Space, Japan, Science, US, Tech, Ceo, Nasa, United States, Shinzo Abe, Moon, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Artemis, Spacecraft


In the Accelerator over the Sea

In our oceans the scale of disasters is measured in millions, billions, and trillions, while solutions amount to single digits: individuals or institutions working to impact a chosen issue with approaches often both brilliant and quixotic. Putting such individuals in close contact with both whales and billionaires is the strange alchemy being attempted by the Sustainable Ocean Alliance’s Accelerator at Sea. I and a few other reporters were invited to observe said program, a five-day excursion in...
Tags: Google, Startups, TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Funding, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Conservation, Alaska, Silicon Valley, Biotech, Robotics, GreenTech, Bahamas


Elon Musk says that NASA is free to share all SpaceX IP with “anyone it wants”

SpaceX CEO joined NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine at SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne today to provide an update on the commercial crew launch program that the company is working on with the agency. During the remarks, which detailed the current state of the program and next steps, Musk reiterated twice that the intellectual property it’s developing in working with the agency is free for NASA to share with whoever it should wish. Early on in the Q+A portion of the event, Musk said that the learnings...
Tags: TC, Space, Spacex, Elon Musk, Science, Tech, Ceo, Nasa, Earth, Information Technology, Dragon, Falcon 9, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Hyperloop, Spacecraft


The first spacecraft that can service satellites to extend their life launched today

Up until now, commercial satellites have essentially been disposable. Even the massive, multi-ton ones that can have service lives spanning a decade or more eventually just become so much space trash once they’re out of fuel, or they experience some kind fo terminal mechanical failure. A new spacecraft built by Northrop Grumman and launched aboard a Russian Soyuz today (via Space.com) could change all that, however. The MEV-1, as its known, is a satellite service spacecraft, which has the spe...
Tags: TC, Space, Science, Tech, Satellite, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Spacecraft, Space Debris, Northrop Grumman, Outer Space, Northrop, Intelsat, TC Disrupt, Orbit Fab


This startup just raised $8 million to help busy doctors assess the cognitive health of 50 million seniors

All over the globe, the population of people who are aged 65 and older is growing faster than every other age group. According to United Nations data, by 2050, one in six people in the world will be over age 65, up from one in 11 right now. Meanwhile, in Europe and North America, by 2050, one in four people could be 65 or over. Unsurprisingly, startups increasingly recognize opportunities to cater to this aging population. Some are developing products to sell to individuals and their family memb...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, Europe, Science, Aging, Neuroscience, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, United Nations, Medicare, Fda, Houston, North America, David Eagleman, HIPAA


NASA shares 3D Moon data for CG artists and creators

If you want to set your movie or game on the Moon, it’s not hard to find imagery of our photogenic satellite. But NASA has just released a useful and beautiful new set of data just for creators that includes not just imagery but depth data, making it simple to build an incredibly detailed 3D map of the Moon. The CGI Moon Kit comes from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where science visualization expert Ernie Wright found that data he had assembled for other purposes was proving popular with 3...
Tags: TC, Space, Science, Tech, Nasa


NASA calls for input on Moon spacesuits and plans to source them commercially in future

NASA issues a new formal request for info from industry specifically around spacesuits. The agency is hoping to gather information in order to help it figure out a future path for acquisition of spacesuit production and services from external industry sources. That doesn’t mean it’s outsourcing its spacesuit design and production immediately – NASA will build and certify its own spacesuits for use in the first Artemis missions, including Artemis III which is the one that’ll see the next Ameri...
Tags: TC, Space, Science, Tech, Nasa, Earth, Mars, Iss, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Artemis, Spacecraft, Space Technology, Outer Space, RFI


Teams autonomously mapping the depths take home millions in Ocean Discovery Xprize

There’s a whole lot of ocean on this planet, and we don’t have much of an idea what’s at the bottom of most of it. That could change with the craft and techniques created during the Ocean Discovery Xprize, which had teams competing to map the sea floor quickly, precisely, and autonomously. The winner just took home $4 million. A map of the ocean would be valuable in and of itself, of course, but any technology used to do so could be applied in many other ways, and who knows what potential biolog...
Tags: TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Conservation, Xprize, Robotics


Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky just raised another $200 million for his newest company, Tempus

When serial entrepreneur Eric Lefkofsky grows a company, he puts the pedal to the metal. When in 2011 his last company, the Chicago-based coupons site Groupon, raised $950 million from investors, it was the largest amount raised by a startup, ever. It was just over three years old at the time, and it went public later that same year. Lefkofsky seems to be stealing a page from the same playbook for his newest company, Tempus. The Chicago-based genomic testing and data analysis company was foun...
Tags: Startups, TC, Science, Groupon, Tech, Biotech, Revolution Growth, Baillie Gifford, Eric Lefkofsky, Drug Development, Tempus, Recent Funding


Groupon cofounder Eric Lefkofsky just raised another $200 million for his newest company, Tempus

When serial entrepreneur Eric Lefkofsky grows a company, he puts the pedal to the metal. When in 2011 his last company, the Chicago-based coupons site Groupon, raised $950 million from investors, it was the largest amount raised by a start-up, ever. It was just over three years old at the time, and it went public later that same year. Lefkofsky seems to be stealing a page from the same playbook for his newest company Tempus. The Chicago-based genomic testing and data analysis company was foun...
Tags: Startups, TC, Science, Groupon, Tech, Biotech, Revolution Growth, Baillie Gifford, Eric Lefkofsky, Drug Development, Recent Funding


This robot learns its two-handed moves from human dexterity

If robots are really to help us out around the house or care for our injured and elderly, they’re going to want two hands… at least. But using two hands is harder than we make it look — so this robotic control system learns from humans before attempting to do the same. The idea behind the research, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, isn’t to build a two-handed robot from scratch, but simply to create a system that understands and executes the same type of manipulations that we humans do w...
Tags: TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Robotics, University of Wisconsin Madison, Robotic Arm, Science Robotics, Daniel Rakita


Bidding for this like-new Enigma Machine starts at $200,000

If you’re feeling flush this week, then perhaps instead of buying a second Bugatti you might consider picking up this lightly used Enigma Machine. These devices, the scourge of the Allies in World War II, are rarely for sale to begin with — and one in such good shape that was actually used in the war is practically unheard of. The Enigma saga is a fascinating one, though far too long to repeat here — let it suffice to say that these machines created a code that was as close to unbreakable, allow...
Tags: TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Nazis, Tech, Britain, Winston Churchill, World War Ii, Alan Turing, Bletchley Park, Enigma, Turing, Wwii, Nate D Sanders, Simon Singh


Why is Facebook doing robotics research?

It’s a bit strange to hear that the world’s leading social network is pursuing research in robotics rather than, say, making search useful, but Facebook is a big organization with many competing priorities. And while these robots aren’t directly going to affect your Facebook experience, what the company learns from them could be impactful in surprising ways. Though robotics is a new area of research for Facebook, its reliance on and bleeding-edge work in AI are well known. Mechanisms that cou...
Tags: Social, TC, Gadgets, Facebook, Science, Hardware, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Robotics


This clever transforming robot flies and rolls on its rotating arms

There’s great potential in using both drones and ground-based robots for situations like disaster response, but generally these platforms either fly or creep along the ground. Not the “Flying STAR,” which does both quite well, and through a mechanism so clever and simple you’ll wish you’d thought of it. Conceived by researchers at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, the “flying sprawl-tuned autonomous robot” is based on the elementary observation that both rotors and wheels spin. So why shouldn’t a...
Tags: TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Tech, Drones, Uavs, Robotics


Lambs, the radiation-proof underwear company formerly known as Spartan, is now selling beanies

Earlier this year, Spartan, the French manufacturer of a silver-lined underwear designed to block EMF radiation from cell phones and wireless routers, relocated to the U.S. and raised some capital from the Los Angeles-based investment firm, Science. Now the company has relaunched as Lambs and is adding a radiation-proof silver-lined beanie to its $29-per-pair underwear already on sale in the U.S. The company’s goal is to capitalize on paranoia around the effects of cell phone radiation on health...
Tags: Startups, TC, Science, Wi-fi, Cancer, Articles, Los Angeles, Paranoia, Physics, United States, Telecommunications, Cell Phones, Wireless, Radiation, Mobile Phone, Consumer Electronics Show


SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is having trouble — and that’s okay

We may be poised on the precipice of a new era of spaceflight, but leaping prematurely off it would be a costly mistake — which is why the delays and failures of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, the new spacecraft that will likely be soonest to take humans to space, are a matter for concern but not worry. In space, you expect the unexpected. The sudden explosion of a Crew Dragon test capsule is frightening and frankly embarrassing to a company so heavily focused on an image of futurity and reliability. ...
Tags: TC, Space, Spacex, Science, Opinion, Russia, Tech, Nasa, International Space Station, Iss, Boeing, Spacecraft, Commercial Crew Program, Crew Dragon, PSI, Commercial Crew


How to think about inclusion in tech, with Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (Part 2)

Technology is very much in the business of, quite literally, changing the world. When I was deciding whether to write for TechCrunch, I tried to imagine a human life on this planet, in 20 or 30 years, that would not have been dramatically impacted in one way or another by the new technologies we’re creating today. I couldn’t picture such a person, so I decided this ongoing series on tech ethics was the right thing to do with my time. Below is the second part of my interview with Chanda Prescod-W...
Tags: TC, Apps, Science, Activism, Education, Stanford, Government, Lgbt, Tech, Diversity, Artificial Intelligence, Policy, Harvard, Equality, Social Equity, Social Justice


Non-invasive glucose monitor EasyGlucose takes home Microsoft’s Imagine Cup and $100K

Microsoft’s yearly Imagine Cup student startup competition crowned its latest winner today: EasyGlucose, a non-invasive, smartphone-based method for diabetics to test their blood glucose. It and the two other similarly beneficial finalists presented today at Microsoft’s Build developers conference. The Imagine Cup brings together winners of many local student competitions around the world with a focus on social good and, of course, Microsoft services like Azure. Last year’s winner was a smart...
Tags: TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Education, Microsoft, India, Satya Nadella, Tech, Fda, Ucla, Chiang, Imagine Cup, Caeli, U K India, MS Build 2019


Decolonization and intersectionality in tech, with Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy and a Core Faculty Member in Women’s Studies at the University of New Hampshire. She is the lead “axion wrangler” and a social media team member for the NASA STROBE-X Probe Concept Study. The first Black woman in history to hold a faculty position in theoretical cosmology, Prescod-Weinstein  is also a Twitter activist who frequently goes viral, a prolific writer and editor in multiple genres and disciplines, and the author ...
Tags: TC, Uber, Apps, Science, Activism, Education, Government, Tech, Diversity, Nasa, Policy, Harvard, Feminism, Harvard University, Catholic, Social Justice


Scientists pull speech directly from the brain

In a feat that could eventually unlock the possibility of speech for people with severe medical conditions, scientists have successfully recreated the speech of healthy subjects by tapping directly into their brains. The technology is a long, long way from practical application but the science is real and the promise is there. Edward Chang, neurosurgeon at UC San Francisco and co-author of the paper published today in Nature, explained the impact of the team’s work in a press release: “For the f...
Tags: Health, TC, Science, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Biotech, Brain-computer Interface, UCSF, UC San Francisco, Broca, Wernicke, Edward Chang, Synthetic Speech, Gopala Anumanchipalli, Anumanchipalli, Josh Chartier


The new new web

Over the last five years, almost everything about web development has changed. Oh, the old tech still works, your WordPress and Ruby On Rails sites still function just fine — but they’re increasingly being supplanted by radical new approaches. The contents of your browser are being sliced, diced, rendered, and processed in wholly new ways nowadays, and the state of art is currently in serious flux. What follows is a brief tour of what I like to call the New New Web: Table of Contents Single-P...
Tags: Google, Startups, TC, Facebook, Science, Web Development, Web Design, Developer, CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, Php, Javascript, Hack, Computing, Html, Search Engine, Api


Japan’s Hayabusa 2 probe is blasting a hole in an asteroid tonight (and that’s awesome)

It’s a big day for space: launches, tests, orbits, and now a distant probe is going to shoot an asteroid with its space gun and make a new crater to play in. It’s Hayabusa 2, Japan’s ambitious and so far highly successful sample return mission to an object called Ryugu. Launched in 2014, Hayabusa 2 has been in the region of Ryugu for several months, carrying out a series of investigations. It has four small landers on board, two of which it dropped off late last year, and which have been hopping...
Tags: TC, Space, Japan, Science, Tech, Asteroid, JAXA, Hayabusa, Ryugu, Hayabusa 2


Apple sells wireless charging AirPods, cancels charger days later

“Works with AirPower mat”. Apparently not. Looks like Apple doesn’t treat customers with the same “high standard” of care it apparently reserves for its hardware quality. 9 days after launching its $199 wireless charging AirPods headphones touting compatibility with the forthcoming Apple AirPower inductive charger mat, Apple has just scrapped AirPower entirely. It’s an uncharacteristically sloppy move for the “it just works” company. This time it didn’t. Apple clearly knew AirPower was borked be...
Tags: Apple, TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Drama, Opinion, Tech, Ryan Jones, AirPods, Airpower, Dan Riccio Apple, Hardware Engineering, Apple Card TV


Mars helicopter bound for the Red Planet takes to the air for the first time

The Mars 2020 mission is on track for launch next year, and nesting inside the high-tech new rover heading that direction is a high-tech helicopter designed to fly in the planet’s nearly non-existent atmosphere. The actual aircraft that will fly on the Martian surface just took its first flight and its engineers are over the moon. “The next time we fly, we fly on Mars,” said MiMi Aung, who manages the project at JPL, in a news release. An engineering model that was very close to final has over a...
Tags: TC, Gadgets, Space, Science, Hardware, Government, Tech, Nasa, Earth, Drones, Uavs, Mars, Robotics, Cassini, Jpl, Red Planet


Ocean drone startup merger spawns SoFar, the DJI of the sea

What lies beneath the murky depths? SolarCity co-founder Peter Rive wants to help you and the scientific community find out. He’s just led a $7 million Series A for SoFar Ocean Technologies, a new startup formed from a merger he orchestrated between underwater drone maker OpenROV and sea sensor developer Spoondrift. Together, they’re teaming up their 1080p Trident drone and solar-powered Spotter sensor to let you collect data above and below the surface. They can help you shoot awesome video foo...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Gadgets, Ecommerce, Science, London, Hardware, Funding, Drones, Ocean, M&a, Solarcity, True Ventures, National Geographic, GreenTech


Gates-backed Lumotive upends lidar conventions using metamaterials

Pretty much every self-driving car on the road, not to mention many a robot and drone, uses lidar to sense its surroundings. But useful as lidar is, it also involves physical compromises that limit its capabilities. Lumotive is a new company with funding from Bill Gates and Intellectual Ventures that uses metamaterials to exceed those limits, perhaps setting a new standard for the industry. The company is just now coming out of stealth, but it’s been in the works for a long time. I actually met ...
Tags: Accelerator, Automotive, Gadgets, Hardware, Robotics, Science, TC, Transportation, Autonomous Vehicles, Bill Gates, Intellectual Ventures, Lasers, Lidar, Self-driving Cars


Opportunity’s last Mars panorama is a showstopper

The Opportunity Mars Rover may be officially offline for good, but its legacy of science and imagery is ongoing — and NASA just shared the last (nearly) complete panorama the robot sent back before it was blanketed in dust. After more than 5,000 days (or rather sols) on the Martian surface, Opportunity found itself in Endeavour Crater, specifically in Perseverance Valley on the western rim. For the last month of its active life, it systematically imaged its surroundings to create another of its ...
Tags: Startups, TC, Gadgets, Space, Science, Hardware, Government, Nasa, Mars, Opportunity, Mars Rover, Jpl, Mars rovers, Perseverance Valley


Koala-sensing drone helps keep tabs on drop bear numbers

It’s obviously important to Australians to make sure their koala population is closely tracked — but how can you do so when the suckers live in forests and climb trees all the time? With drones and AI, of course. A new project from Queensland University of Technology combines some well-known techniques in a new way to help keep an eye on wild populations of the famous and soft marsupials. They used a drone equipped with a heat-sensing camera, then ran the footage through a deep learning model tr...
Tags: TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Australia, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Drones, Conservation, Queensland, Machine Learning, Uavs, Endangered Species, Koalas, Computer Vision, Koala


D-Wave announces its next-gen quantum computing platform

D-Wave, the well-funded quantum computing company, today announced its next-gen quantum computing platform with 5,000 qubits, up from 2,000 in the company’s current system. The new platform will come to market in mid-2020. The company’s new so-called Pegasus topology connects every qubit to 15 other qubits, up from six in its current topology. With this, developers can use the machine to solve larger problems with fewer physical qubits — or larger problems in general. It’s worth noting that D-Wa...
Tags: Google, Startups, TC, Science, Pegasus, Ibm, Simulation, Quantum Computing, Qubit, Developer Tools, Quantum Mechanics, Rigetti Computing, Rigetti, Quantum Supremacy, D-Wave Systems, D Wave


Prototype prosthesis proffers proper proprioceptive properties

Researchers have created a prosthetic hand that offers its users the ability to feel where it is and how the fingers are positioned — a sense known as proprioception. The headline may be in jest, but the advance is real and may help amputees more effectively and naturally use their prostheses. Prosthesis rejection is a real problem for amputees, and many choose to simply live without these devices, electronic or mechanical, since they can complicate as much as they simplify. Part of that is the ...
Tags: Health, TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Microsoft, Tech, Robotics, Prosthetics, Medtech, Lausanne, EPFL, Amputees, Prosthesis, Artificial Limbs, Silvestro Micera



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