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NASA’s Mars Rover Just Reached a New Area and It’s Beautiful – Futurism

The sandy dunes of Mars never looked this good.Sandy Dunes

NASAs Perseverance Mars Rover is making another pit stop on its journey to probe the surrounding Jezero Crater for signs of ancient life.

Ive made it to my next lookout, overlooking a spot were calling Stah,' the rovers official account tweeted just now.

Its an area of dunes with some good science targets in and around it, the rover added. Ill spy a few from here, doing science from afar, then circle around and keep exploring.

As promised, the views are extraordinary, as seen in a panorama accompanying the update a reminder of the countless landscapes we have yet to see for ourselves on the Red Planet and beyond.

The six-wheeled rover officially kicked off its science phase on June 1, leaving the Octavia E. Butler landing site where it touched down earlier this year.

It has since covered roughly 0.57 miles, according to geolocation data, making several stops along the way to explore its surroundings.

The Stah (amidst the sand in the Navajo language) geological unit is adjacent to the crater-filled floor of Jezero, dubbed the Crater Floor Fractured Rough. The Stah area is filled with layered rocks and sand dunes.

Starting with the Crater Floor Fractured Rough and Seitah geologic units allows us to start our exploration of Jezero at the very beginning, saidKevin Hand, an astrobiologist at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a June 9 statement.

This area was under at least 100 meters [328 feet] of water 3.8 billion years ago, he added. We dont know what stories the rocks and layered outcrops will tell us, but were excited to get started.

Thanks to Perseverances sophisticated AutoNav mode, which essentially turns it into a self-driving car, the rover is about to really get going.

Im getting a good feel for driving, and starting to take charge more to find my own way, the rovers account tweeted today. By mapping while I drive, I may be able to cover up to 5 or 6 times more distance in a day. Good, since theres so much to get to!

More on Perseverance: NASA Releases Breathtaking Panorama From New Rover

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Car With Pop-Out Wings Aces Test Flight – Futurism

Is it a car or is it a plane? We're not sure.Roll Out!

A flying car prototype just completed a 35-minute test flight, traveling the roughly 50 miles between the airports in Nitra and Bratislava, Slovakia.

The AirCar, as its called, takes its name literally. The vehicle is an unusual transforming hybrid that can drive around like a car before popping out its tail, unfolding its wings, and cruising down a runway to take flight, The BBC reports. The vehicle has a number of limitations, including weight capacity and its range, but who cares: Were talking about a car that turns into a plane, so were excited to watch no matter what happens.

You can watch the vehicles quick transformation from plane to car here:

The AirCar has a number of key differences from other flying cars that have been in the news. The other vehicles, technically called electric vertical take-off and landing (evTOL) vehicles are, as the name suggests, are powered by electric batteries in an attempt to transition away from fossil fuel-powered transportation. Meanwhile, the AirCar has a BMW engine and runs on the same gasoline youd put into your car, which grants the vehicle a 600 mile flight range with a full tank.

An evTOL also travels more like a helicopter than a plane or a (flying) car, whereas the AirCar needs an airports runway to both take off and land a process that developer and test pilot Stefan Klein told the BBC felt normal and very pleasant.

I have to admit that this looks really cool but Ive got a hundred questions about certification, University of the West of England avionics and aircraft research fellow Stephen Wright told the BBC. Anyone can make an aeroplane but the trick is making one that flies and flies and flies for the thick end of a million hours, with a person on board, without having an incident.

I cant wait to see the piece of paper that says this is safe to fly and safe to sell, he added.

READ MORE: Flying car completes test flight between airports [BBC]

More on flying cars: New Battery Tech Could Finally Make Flying Taxis Economically Feasible

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The Head of NASA Says He Believes in Aliens – Futurism

If anyone would knowNot Alone

Bill Nelson, the recently appointed head of NASA, believes that theres extraterrestrial life lurking somewhere in the cosmos.

Are we alone? Personally, I dont think we are, Nelson told CNN in a video interview on Sunday.

The interview came after the Pentagon finally released the unclassified version of its long-awaited report on unexplained aerial phenomena (UAP). And despite the reports main conclusion being we dont really know what those things were, Nelson seems convinced that life exists somewhere out there, even if aliens dont end up being the explanation for the bizarre sightings.

The report, to be clear, revealed absolutely zero evidence that theres any life beyond Earth. But it also failed to explain nearly all of the UAP sightings on file. So while Nelson isnt saying that he has proof that aliens are behind the UAPs, he does think its likely they exist.

But when it comes to the universe, remember, the universe is so large, Nelson told CNN. We have a program in NASA called the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. But thus far, we dont have any receipt of communication from something thats intelligent.

Another distinct possibility is that the UAP sightings were some sort of advanced drone or aircraft sent by another country. But Nelson doesnt think thats likely, he said, in part because the amazingly fast speeds and rapid direction changes exceed the capabilities of any countrys known tech.

We dont know the answer to what those Navy pilots saw, Nelson added. Now they know that they saw something. They tracked it, they locked their radar on to it, they followed it, it would suddenly move quickly from one location to another. And what the report does tell us that is public is that there have been over 140 of these sightings.

READ MORE: NASA administrator on UFO report: I dont think we are alone [The Hill]

More on UAPs: The Pentagon Just Released Its UFO Report

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The Hubble Space Telescope Is in Really Serious Trouble – Futurism

NASA scientists are running out of options.Death Watch

NASAs groundbreaking Hubble space telescope is in deep trouble. According to a Friday update from NASA, both the aging telescopes main payload computer as well as the backup computer are experiencing the same glitch.

In other words, Hubble is on thin ice and, since its been four days since we last heard from NASA about Hubbles condition, it seems increasingly likely that the agency is running out of options to fix the aging space telescope.

We may not hear about Hubble any time soon, either. During a meeting today, Paul Hertz, director of NASAs astrophysics division, reiterated that NASA will be very deliberate in their analysis of the computer glitch, as quoted by SpaceNews reporter Jeff Foust, and wont be making any quick moves to correct the problem.

On June 13, an issue with the payload computer forced the scientific instruments on board the space telescope into safe mode. NASA scientists conducted tests on June 23 and 24 to see if they could fix the glitch and resume scientific operations.

But even turning on the backup computer for the first time in space, after being installed 12 years ago, led to more problems. Both the primary and backup payload computer are now experiencing the same error with their onboard memory, according to NASA.

The scientists are now turning their attention to other pieces of Hubbles hardware, including its data formatter tasked with formatting and transmitting data and the telescopes power regulator, which supplies specific and steady voltages to each part of the telescope.

A power regulator ensures a steady constant voltage supply, the update reads. If the voltage is out of limits, it could cause the problems observed.

This week, engineers will spend some time assessing the situation and barring a fix will attempt to switch to a backup data formatter and power regulator.

Hubble has made huge contributions to the exploration of our cosmos for 31 long years, allowing us to peekat the atmospheres of other planets beyond our solar system for the first time.

All we can do is hope that itsdays arent numbered yet.

READ MORE: No quick fix for Hubble Space Telescopes computer glitch, NASA says [Space.com]

More on Hubble: Welp, the Hubble Backup Computer Just Broke Too

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This Startup Is Paying People to Scan Their Eyeballs – Futurism

Use Sam Altman's bizarre orb to scan your iris and you can walk away with some crypto.Hello Worldcoin

Prominent tech entrepreneur and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is back with a new venture called Worldcoin that says it will distribute a new cryptocurrency to every single human on Earth.

There are, of course, plenty of challenges associated with that, not the least of which is the fact that only 59.5 percent of the worlds population uses has access to the internet.

Even stranger, Bloomberg reports,is that in order to verify everyones identity, Altman wants Worldcoin to travel the world with orb-like devices that will scan peoples irises before doling out the crypto cash.

Altman has long been an advocate of universal basic income. He attempted several experiments on the concept during his tenure as head of Y Combinator, but Bloomberg reports that they faced delays and complications. Now, though, he sees Worldcoin as a new way to distribute wealth directly to everyone out there who needs it.

Ive been very interested in things like universal basic income and whats going to happen to global wealth redistribution and how we can do that better, Altman told Bloomberg. Is there a way we can use technology to do that at global scale?

Its worth noting, though, that it remains pretty hazy how Worldcoin plans to actually make money.

For now, Blania says that Worldcoin is running a small beta test in which participants scan their iris using the companys $5,000 orbs in exchange for crypto. But because Worldcoins homebrewed crypto isnt quite ready for distribution, theyre paying the volunteers in Bitcoin instead.

Blania told Bloomberg that the iris scans are an important aspect of the startups authenticity protocols, but he also understands that people might be hesitant to entrust a small crypto startup with their biometric data. In typical blockchain startup fashion, though, he promised that the company would operate with the utmost transparency to instill confidence in people that their personal data would never be misused.

READ MORE: Sam Altman Wants to Scan Your Eyeball in Exchange for Cryptocurrency [Bloomberg]

More on Sam Altman: AmeriCoin: This Idea To Tokenize the US Dollar Is Compelling And Thorny

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CDC Warns Americans Not to Have Diarrhea in the Pool – Futurism

Image by Unsplash / Tony Tran

The US Centers for Disease Control has a frank (and gross) warning for Americans this summer: Dont use the pool if you have diarrhea.

On Thursday, the CDC tweeted out their warning to not swim if youre experiencing the effects of diarrhea and other intestinal-related illnesses this summer. The tweet linked to their guidance on what to do to protect yourself against poop in the pool.

Dont swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea, the tweet read. One person with diarrhea can contaminate the entire pool.

The post also included a very gross gif of a cartoon child going down a waterslide with a brown streak following behind her:

While as gross as this whole topic (and the gif) is, its actually very good advice. According to the CDC guidance on diarrhea and swimming, fecal matter in water can spread germs such as E. coli thatll cause even more diarrhea to whomever is infected.

To prevent the spread of these germs, the CDC recommends keeping out of pools, hot tubs, lakes, oceans, and rivers if youre sick with diarrhea or if youve been diagnosed with Crypto, a parasite known to cause intestinal issues.

If you own a pool or a hot tub, you can use test strips to make sure that the water has high enough chlorine or bromine level to kill germs in the water. Also, be sure to shower and rinse off before you get into the water itself.

Hilariously, they also include advice like dont poop in the water which would be funnier if it wasnt so disconcerting that they have to say anything at all.

READ MORE: Diarrhea and Swimming [CDC]

More on poop: Scientists Discover Coronavirus in Sewage

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