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NASA to use mixed reality space station to train astronautsPhoto source: Thinkstock

NASA to use mixed reality space station to train astronauts

27 Mar 2017 | 8:41 PM

WASHINGTON: NASA is creating a new mixed reality International Space Station (ISS) simulator that will help train astronauts for their journey to the orbiting lab.

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Washington

NASA is creating a new mixed reality International Space Station (ISS) simulator that will help train astronauts for their journey to the orbiting lab.

To become a qualified NASA astronaut, candidates spend up to two years of training through intensive classes and simulations that help prepare for working in zero gravity, navigating around different parts of the space shuttle, and serving as each others' emergency medical technicians.

In the past, astronaut training meant dives in a "neutral buoyancy lab”, a giant pool that holds 6.2 million gallons of water, and spending time at NASA's "space vehicle mock-up facility”, a life-sized model of the space shuttle orbiter and parts of the international space station (ISS).

Those physical facilities have limited capacity. Adding a mixed reality mock-up, alongside the physical facility, could allow astronauts-in-training a lot more time to hone their skills in a convincing simulation, the 'Tech Crunch' reported.

The mixed reality system, developed in collaboration with Epic Games' Unreal Engine to create shows instruments on board the ISS, including different exercise machines and tools that astronauts use for maintenance work there.

The mixed reality ISS app sweeps astronauts-in-training off their feet with an "active response gravity offload system."

It works in conjunction with a robotic crane that makes the trainee feel like they would in micro gravity.

Besides using the mixed reality system to train astronauts and engineers for life and work in orbit, NASA will use it to design new habitats. — PTI

Chewing like cows helped early mammals survive mass extinction

Chewing like cows helped early mammals survive mass extinction

27 Mar 2017 | 5:36 PM

WASHINGTON:Mammal teeth, jaw bones and muscles evolved to produce cow-like chewing motions, allowing our earliest ancestors eat a more diversified diet, which helped them survive the mass extinction nearly 66 million years ago, a new study has found.

Impact crater linked to ancient Martian tsunamis identified

Impact crater linked to ancient Martian tsunamis identified

26 Mar 2017 | 4:04 PM

HOUSTON: Scientists have identified a crater on Mars, possibly created by an asteroid that triggered 150 metre-high tsunami waves when it plunged into an ocean on the red planet three billion years ago.

NASA mission to study cosmic material between stars

NASA mission to study cosmic material between stars

26 Mar 2017 | 3:50 PM

WASHINGTON: NASA has announced plans to launch a balloon-borne observatory to study the emissions from the cosmic material found between stars, known as the interstellar medium.

Prehistoric evidence of human cannibalism discovered

Prehistoric evidence of human cannibalism discovered

26 Mar 2017 | 3:22 PM

LONDON: Scientists have discovered the oldest evidence of human cannibalism in the western European Mediterranean region, by analysing 10,000-year-old bones with scratch and bite marks on them.

Facebook to begin testing GIF button for comments

Facebook to begin testing GIF button for comments

25 Mar 2017 | 8:55 PM

NEW YORK: Social media giant Facebook will begin testing a GIF button that will allow users post GIFs from services like Giphy and Tenor as comments.

Record breaking brown dwarf identified

Record breaking brown dwarf identified

25 Mar 2017 | 8:56 PM

LONDON: Astronomers have identified a record breaking brown dwarf — a star too small for nuclear fusion — with the 'purest' composition and the highest mass yet known, located 750 light years away.

Google introduces shortcuts to its Search

Google introduces shortcuts to its Search

24 Mar 2017 | 3:02 PM

NEW YORK: Tech giant Google has introduced shortcuts on the Google Search app for Android, iOS and Google.com on the mobile web that gives users the ability to explore deeper within topics they care about.

Oppo F3 Plus smartphone: Brave front camera

Oppo F3 Plus smartphone: Brave front camera

24 Mar 2017 | 1:44 PM

NEW DELHI: China-based Oppo has done well in India, capturing 8.6 per cent market share in 2016, and the company has progressively shifted its strategy towards the premium end of devices.

Video shows rapid deterioration of Great Barrier Reef

Video shows rapid deterioration of Great Barrier Reef

24 Mar 2017 | 1:00 PM

SYDNEY: Environmental organisation Greenpeace on Friday released a video showing the "silent and high-speed destruction" of the Great Barrier Reef, caused by coral bleaching that has occurred for two years in a row.

Sea ice extent dips to record lows at both poles: NASA

Sea ice extent dips to record lows at both poles: NASA

23 Mar 2017 | 9:20 PM

WASHINGTON: Sea ice extent at the Arctic and around Antarctica hit a record low earlier this month, according to NASA scientists.

Breaks detected in NASA's Mars rover wheels

Breaks detected in NASA's Mars rover wheels

23 Mar 2017 | 9:17 PM

WASHINGTON: NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has developed small breaks in its aluminum wheels, say scientists who have detected the latest signs of wear and tear as the robotic probe continues its journey across the red planet.

'Technophobes' more likely to fear losing jobs: Study

'Technophobes' more likely to fear losing jobs: Study

23 Mar 2017 | 9:13 PM

HOUSTON: 'Technophobes' —people who fear robots, artificial intelligence and new technology — are much more likely to be afraid of losing their jobs and suffer anxiety-related mental health issues, a new study suggests.

4G contributed 60% of incremental data traffic in 2016

4G contributed 60% of incremental data traffic in 2016

23 Mar 2017 | 8:27 PM

NEW DELHI:High-speed mobile broadband technology 4G drove data traffic across India in 2016, making up 60 per cent of incremental data volumes, according to a Nokia study.

Google Maps already tracks you; now other people can, too

Google Maps already tracks you; now other people can, too

22 Mar 2017 | 10:57 PM

SAN FRANCISCO:Google Maps users will soon be able to broadcast their movements to friends and family the latest test of how much privacy people are willing to sacrifice in an era of rampant sharing.

600 mn kids to face extreme water shortage by 2040World Water Day

600 mn kids to face extreme water shortage by 2040

22 Mar 2017 | 2:46 PM

UNITED NATIONS: Nearly 600 million children, one in four worldwide, will live in areas with extremely limited water resources by 2040, according to a UN report.

Apple to sell special edition of iPhone 7 in India from April

Apple to sell special edition of iPhone 7 in India from April

21 Mar 2017 | 9:52 PM

NEW DELHI: US-based tech major Apple will from April start selling in India its special 'RED' edition of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, symbolising the fight against AIDS.

Scientists find how using 'satnav' switches off parts of brain

Scientists find how using 'satnav' switches off parts of brain

21 Mar 2017 | 9:35 PM

LONDON: If you have long feared that using a "satnav" navigation system to get to your destination is making you worse at finding the way alone, research now suggests you may be right.

Mars' volcano, Earth's dinosaurs went extinct same time

Mars' volcano, Earth's dinosaurs went extinct same time

21 Mar 2017 | 3:04 PM

WASHINGTON: The last volcanic activity on the Red Planet ceased about 50 million years ago, around the time when our planet's plant and animal species, including dinosaurs, went extinct, reveals new research.

People may be singing when the world ends

People may be singing when the world ends

21 Mar 2017 | 1:23 PM

NEW YORK: As the world ends, will you lock arms and sing "Kumbayah" or embark on a path of law-breaking, anti-social behaviour? A new video game based study suggests that you may be singing.

ESA's Jupiter mission set to launch in 2022

ESA's Jupiter mission set to launch in 2022

20 Mar 2017 | 9:38 PM

LONDON: ESA is scheduled to launch its Jupiter exploring spacecraft in 2022 on a mission to examine the giant planet's turbulent atmosphere, enormous magnetosphere, its set of tenuous dark rings and satellites.

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