Top Science Stories This Week

Posted: Jan 1 2017, 5:06am CST | by , Updated: Jan 1 2017, 5:10am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
Top Science Stories This Week
Credit: Hankook Mirae Technology

China Plans to Land Probes on Mars and Moon by 2020

China has revealed its ambitious space program for the next five years. The program includes landing a probe on the far side of the moon in early 2018 and reaching Martian surface by 2020.

Although China and two other countries have already landed their spacecraft on lunar surface but this time around China is planning to explore the far side of the moon. If successful, China would be the first country to reach that region of the moon.

In the next five years and beyond, China is hoping to speed up the development of its space industry so it can contribute more to both serving national development and improving the well-being of mankind.

Scientists Create Novel Self Healing Material Inspired by Wolverine

Inspired by X-Men’s Wolverine character, researchers have developed a self healing, highly stretchable conductive material that can allow robots to self-heal.

The novel material is electrically activated that can be used to power artificial muscle. So, just like how a human muscle that moves when the brain sends a signal it, the artificial muscle also reacts when it receives a signal. Most importantly, the material has a remarkable ability to heal itself. If the material is cut in half, it can reattach or heal itself within 24 hours at room temperature.

The material can give robots and batteries the ability to self heal as well as extend their lifetime.

Avatar-Style Robot Becomes Reality

A South Korean robotics company has created a massive robot that is twice the size of a tall man and can walk like a human. The robot is so heavy that it shakes the ground when it takes a step.

Above all, the robot is controlled by a human pilot sitting inside its torso, making it the first robot of its kind. The robot mimics the actions of the pilot. Similar to what we have seen in the blockbuster sci-fi Avatar.

The robot is designed by Vitaly Bulgarov – a prolific robot designer who has previously worked on movies like Transformers, Terminator and Robocop.

NASA Picks Landing Site for Mars 2020 Probe

NASA has made some progress on picking a location for its 2020 mission to Mars. Starting off on August 2015 with an initial list of 54 locations, the potential landing zones are now down to just 8 high-priority sites. The next workshop is scheduled to take place February this year, where more important decisions will be made.

NASA is sending its rover to Mars in 2020 with many carefully selected instruments. The Mars 2020 rover will collect samples of soil and rock on Martian surface and will search for the evidence of microbial life existent in the past.

Bats Talk a Lot Like Humans

Bat caves are noisy for a reason. Researchers have found that when Egyptian bats make noises in their colonies, they are actually communicating with one another.

To learn about bat vocalizations, the researchers from Tel Aviv University recorded different sounds from captive Egyptian fruit bats. It turns out that bats just do not make random noises when they are in the community. They are doing it with a specific purpose.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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