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Technology for future long duration missions for astronauts NASA selects hibernation Technology for future long duration missions for astronauts NASA selects hibernation

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Technology for future long-duration missions for astronauts: NASA selects hibernation design for space travel

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In the next fifteen years, NASA, the Chinese space agencies and SpaceX will take a new step in space exploration – sending the first crewed space missions to Mars. However, this plan faces many challenges, including the distance that separates us from the “Red Planet.” Even during opposition, when Mars and Earth are closest to each other, the distance is about 55 million kilometers. Using conventional propulsion systems such as chemical rockets, travel to Mars can take six to nine months, resulting in a mission time of about three years, including operations on the planet’s surface.

Technology for future long-duration missions for astronauts: NASA selects hibernation design for space travel

An astronaut in hibernation in a neural network image

Such extended periods of time in microgravity pose a number of challenges to the human body, including exposure to solar and cosmic radiation. To address this issue, NASA is already exploring the possibility of reducing transit time and developing hibernation technologies that allow the crew to sleep for most of the trip. NASA’s NIAC program introduced the Studying Torpor in Animals for Space-health in Humans (STASH) project, which is a hibernation method developed by California biotech firm Fauna Bio Inc.

There are areas of biotechnology that study the characteristics of mammals in order to develop new drugs for human health. One such direction is the study of the phenotypes of hibernating mammals and their application in the field of space exploration to mitigate risks to the health of the crew. Prolonged stays in space present special challenges, and studies on the ISS, including NASA’s Twin Study, are assessing the effects of microgravity on the human body. Among the consequences: muscle atrophy, weakening of bone tissue, negative effects on organs, vision, cardiovascular system and nervous system. In addition, supplying space expeditions will take several months.

A solution to these problems could be the use of hibernation for crews during space travel. This approach can ensure that by the time they arrive on Mars, the crew will be in a healthy state and ready to conduct a mission on the surface of the planet. Project STASH, being developed in collaboration with BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado Boulder, is a hibernation laboratory that will be used on the ISS. The experiment involves two chambers where rodents will be kept and the ambient temperature will be reduced to 4°C to induce hibernation.

The system will also be equipped with instruments that measure the animals’ metabolism in real time, monitoring their oxygen consumption, body temperature and heart rate. One of the short-term goals of the STASH project is to study the science behind microgravity hibernation, including assessing its ability to protect against muscle and bone loss.

Mid-term goals include testing bioactive molecules that could help space mission crews stay healthy on long journeys. In the future, the hibernation system could become a key tool for future crewed space missions. The system will be equipped with advanced instruments capable of monitoring the metabolism, oxygen consumption, body temperature and heart rate of animals in real time. Its developers, researchers in the field of hibernation, set themselves several goals.

Initially, this is an investigation of the scientific basis of hibernation in microgravity in order to determine how effectively it protects the body from loss of bone and muscle mass. A longer-term perspective is to test bioactive molecules that can mimic the genetic manifestations of hibernation and evaluate methods to induce artificial hibernation. Ultimately, the team plans to develop hibernation technology that can be applied in deep space.

As project leader Kharkov Sprenger and his colleagues note, the understanding of hibernation and its potential for space flight is incomplete. Currently, there is no infrastructure capable of conducting research on hibernation in the space environment, and hibernation in microgravity has not yet been studied in detail. The STASH project will be the first step on this path, which will lay the foundation for future research and development of hibernation systems for long-duration space missions.

Having received funding to develop the first phase of the project, the team of scientists is preparing to overcome the first obstacles. As noted by the project participants, research conducted using the STASH hibernation system will be an important first step towards obtaining fundamental knowledge about the potential of hibernation to protect the health of astronauts in space. This knowledge will be useful for the development of drugs and future infrastructure capable of supporting astronauts capable of hibernation on long-term interplanetary missions.

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Apple is making changes to its stores as it prepares for new product announcements

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Apple is making changes to its stores as it prepares

Apple is reportedly preparing to launch some new products. The company allegedly informed retail teams that it would be revamping physical stores in addition to holding media briefings.

Apple is making changes to its stores as it prepares for new product announcements

In particular, changes are made to the interior design of stores, marketing banners are placed, and old demo products are replaced with new ones.

There is no data yet on what these products are, but presumably we are talking about the new iPad Pro with OLED screens, which we recently learned will be ultra-thin, as well as an updated MacBook Air based on the M3 SoC.

The announcement is expected to take place on March 7, but it is not yet clear in what format. Perhaps fresh press releases will simply appear on the Apple website.

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A relatively silent liquid cooling system without a pump. Testing of such a prototype from Wieland has been published

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A relatively silent liquid cooling system without a pump Testing

Liquid cooling systems, like air cooling systems, also make noise. It is formed primarily due to the operation of the pump. The German company Wieland has developed a prototype of liquid CO without a pump, and there is already a review of it on the Internet.

A relatively silent liquid cooling system without a pump.  Testing of such a prototype from Wieland has been published

The famous overclocker Der8auer tested this device, comparing it with the classic liquid CO from Corsair, and using the same fans for a more correct comparison.

A relatively silent liquid cooling system without a pump.  Testing of such a prototype from Wieland has been published

It turned out that the pumpless system is quite viable. Yes, under maximum load, in this case in the form of the Cinebench R23 benchmark, the Corsair cooler did better, gaining 8 degrees (70 degrees versus 78 degrees). However, firstly, both results are quite good, taking into account the test 16-core Ryzen 9 7950X, and secondly, in games there was no difference between the COs at all, that is, there will be no difference in average loads.

But in terms of noise level, of course, the Wieland prototype is significantly ahead. That is, if you use some very quiet fans, the system as a whole will be relatively silent. Additionally, the reviewer says the system could be improved by, for example, closing the gaps on the sides of the radiator and using a copper cooling plate instead of the current aluminum one.

As for the principle of operation, we are talking about the principle of a thermosyphon.

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Adaptive suspension, increased ground clearance, all-terrain tires. Lexus NX 2024 Overtrail presented – the fashionable crossover will now feel better off-road

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Adaptive suspension increased ground clearance all terrain tires Lexus NX 2024

Lexus has announced the updated NX crossover in its home market in Japan. There are not so many innovations, and basically they are all concentrated in the Overtrail version, which is completely new for this model. This Lexus NX is the most off-road in the range.

Adaptive suspension, increased ground clearance, all-terrain tires.  Lexus NX 2024 Overtrail presented - the fashionable crossover will now feel better off-road

It’s certainly not nearly as extreme as the new Lexus GX Overtrail, but the NX Overtrail should perform better off-road thanks to new 18-inch alloy wheels shod with all-terrain tires. By the way, due to this, the ground clearance increased by 15 mm. The crossover also received special settings for the adaptive adjustable suspension, due to which the car should shake less on uneven surfaces.

Externally, the Lexus NX 2024 Overtrail can be easily distinguished by its combination paintwork with black elements (wheels, grille, door handles, mirror housings and roof rails) and a body painted in Moon Desert color.

Adaptive suspension, increased ground clearance, all-terrain tires.  Lexus NX 2024 Overtrail presented - the fashionable crossover will now feel better off-road

The Overtrail version is available for the crossover versions: NX350 (with a 2.4-liter engine), NX350h (a hybrid based on a 2.5-liter engine) and NX450h+ (a rechargeable hybrid based on a 2.5-liter engine). The power plants and engines themselves have not changed in any way.

Adaptive suspension, increased ground clearance, all-terrain tires.  Lexus NX 2024 Overtrail presented - the fashionable crossover will now feel better off-road

As part of overall updates for all 2024 Lexus NXs, engineers retuned the suspension for greater ride and comfort, and increased chassis rigidity by adding additional bracing. The sound insulation has also been improved. All models receive illuminated rear door handles, two USB-C ports on the center console, and the 14-inch touchscreen media system, previously only available on the top-end NX450h+, is now standard on the NX250 and NX350h models.

Adaptive suspension, increased ground clearance, all-terrain tires.  Lexus NX 2024 Overtrail presented - the fashionable crossover will now feel better off-road

The updated 2024 Lexus NX is now available to order in Japan. Prices start at $34,000 for a single-wheel drive NX250. The most expensive is the Lexus NX450h + Overtrail AWD for $51.3 thousand.

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