Using AI-powered Speakers to Monitor Heart Health

               Artificial intelligence has given the world many advantages over the years, from space travel to smart cars. Its next breakthrough is one of the biggest yet, the human heart. Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a new way to determine health issues with the heart and an utterly contactless manner. The current prototype built by academics at the university would use intelligent speakers to detect heart arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats and high blood pressure. It would be able to do it with almost the same accuracy as devices used in today’s hospitals. The studies and prototypes use things like Amazon Alexa devices, Google Home pods, and smart speakers usually used for music.

               The way the technology works is, the patient would sit a few feet in front of the speaker. Depending on how the pitch and resonance of the sound coming back from the speaker changes, the doctor can determine what the heart issue may be to proceed with the treatment as needed. It would also be able to detect breathing patterns as well. If this works, the National Institute of Health (NIH) would undoubtedly take notice. With this exciting innovation, doctors hope that the new technology will help quickly diagnose patients for years to come even further than the heart, possibly even the brain.

               These recent innovations in medical devices like the one Lenox Laser worked with the NIH in a study about protein sampling and delivery into the brain could help doctors prevent and treat diseases. To all those involved with this new study prototype, Lenox Laser would like to send our best wishes for a profound positive outcome. If you would like to read more about the study, click here for an article from ScienceDaily.

The Moxie Box – NASA’s Oxygen Box

Courtesy of NASA

               About a month and a half ago, NASA’s Perseverance rover made landfall on Mars, bringing audio and video skimming across the planet’s surface. NASA sent the rover to Mars on a mission that ended in February this year to search for signs of life on the planet by collecting many different rock samples and broken rock and soil mixture called regolith. Mars is not the safest environment for human exploration. Its harsh atmosphere is a mix of molecular oxygen, carbon monoxide and dioxide argon, and molecular nitrogen.

Carrying several thousand pounds of oxygen for any mission on a rocket can be challenging. NASA created a box codenamed Moxie to take on the challenge. The Moxie box is almost no larger than a car battery. However, it allows explorers to explore the planet’s surface for longer because Moxie would convert Mars’s environment into breathable air for the astronauts. The Moxie box ways in total about 33 pounds and cost about $50 million to make.

               The Moxie box works by siphoning carbon dioxide; then, theoretically, it would split molecules electrochemically into oxygen and carbon monoxide. The Moxie box would mix in a tremendous amount of oxygen with the carbon monoxide. Scientists have plans of making more extensive versions of the Moxie box. At its current size, it should be able to produce about 10 grams of oxygen per hour. The box consumes 300 Watts of power.

               Once perfected, this box would be a game-changer for astronauts and planetary exploration. With the successful use of the box on board the Perseverance rover in February 2021, it is hoped that larger-scale devices can be launched possibly sometime in 2030 and beyond.

If you would like to read more, click here for an article by Popular Mechanics.

NASA and SpaceX International Space Station Agreement

The International Space Station (ISS) has a storied history. It took over 30 missions and thousands of person-hours to complete. It was clear that The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would need a space station to study the vastness of space in minute detail in the space age. The ISS began its construction in 1998 when the first segment launching in a Russian proton rocket on November 20 of that year. NASA engineers completed the massive station’s main parts in 2011, and the station has been occupied by astronauts and scientists since 2000. The ISS now enters its Golden age with a new agreement between SpaceX and NASA. 

The agreement allows SpaceX and NASA to work on any project together for the space station. The Starlink program by SpaceX, which is now the largest existing on the orbiting spacecraft group, is also part of the agreement. SpaceX recently launched 60 additional satellites for their internet network on March 24. This agreement is important as it allows both parties to work smoothly and in unison.

NASA’s taxi ride program, which is still in development with SpaceX, will allow quick and easy transport to and from the ISS on shorter missions. If all goes to plan, this taxi ride program could launch sometime in 2022 with NASA’s approval. Should the taxi ride program be successful, companies would plan additional missions, up to two per year, lasting a month each. Boeing is also interested in partnering on this venture.

This agreement is a huge step forward in the history of space exploration. It will be exciting to see what can be achieved in the future of the ISS. It will also help strengthen and speed up communication between the two parties. SpaceX is an upcoming launch on April 22 for the Falcon 9 Crew 2 mission. We at Lenox Laser wish them all the best.

If you wish to read more, click here for an article by TechCrunch and here for an article by phys.org.

Hubble Space Telescope Discovers New Planet with Second Atmosphere

               The Hubble Space Telescope was created in the 1970s, funding started in 1977, it has made over 1.4 million observations since its creation. It is appeared in over 18,000 publications of literature. It is named after the famed astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble whose claim to fame was discovering the expansion of the universe in the 1920s. Hubble’s discovery in May 2015, a new red dwarf exoplanet codenamed GJ 1132 B, crossed Hubble’s path. An exoplanet is defined as a planet that orbits the star outside the solar system. The first detection of an exoplanet occurred in 1917, with the first official recognition until 1992. The unique thing about the newly discovered planet is that this one has two fully formed separate atmospheres, unlike a traditional planet. Studies showed that it once had a gaseous atmosphere made up of hydrogen and helium. The secondary atmosphere had formed over the first 100 billion years of its existence.

               As far as environmental properties, the helium and hydrogen-rich planet gradually evolved into a poisonous mixture of methane, aerosols, and hydrogen cyanide gases. On the planet’s ground, it formed heavy volcanic activity in several rocky formations. Unlike Earth, GJ 1132 B is so frighteningly close to the sun that it completes one full orbit every one and a half days. The question on scientists’ minds is whether the planet remains hot enough for fresh volcanic activity to occur and, if it does, to be able to continue. This could be made possible by a phenomenon known as tidal heating, which occurs when friction from and planets orbit and rotation stores of energy disperses heat into and around the planet.

               The planet’s statistics show that it is 1.4 million miles from its star, approximately 41 light-years from Earth. The temperature measures 278°F with a radius of 1.2 times that of Earth. Currently, it is thought that the James Webb telescope, once launched, will be able to study the planet in further detail.

If you would like to read more about the new planet discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope, please click here.

James Webb Space Telescope Final Tests

Courtesy of NASA

               Since its creation in 1996, the James Webb telescope has been a monolithic-sized project in scope and scale. The telescopes’ purpose is in-depth investigations of stars and galaxies, not only studying them but going deep inside them and studying them. This could potentially help scientists map the stars and planets. Webb is expected to be the world’s premier space observatory. Once fully operational and tested, the telescope is expected to launch into space on October 31st of this year. James Webb has some last-minute functionality tests to complete but once done, it will be 100% ready for launch on Halloween.

The project has passed many tests and milestones in recent months and years that ensure prospects become a reality. In December 2020, completed environmental testing of its sunshield deployments, to replacing turntables in 2019, the James Webb telescope’s build was completed in 2016. Testing and adjustments have been ongoing ever since. Webb completed a fully functional crown test of all its instruments in August of last year. It is not yet known exactly where in space the telescope will be launched when it finally happens. It is the definitive predecessor to the Hubble telescope. With the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, scientists and engineers are taking every precaution possible during final preparations for launch. So far, James Webb’s team has confirmed that the telescope is sound enough to survive the rigorous tensions of the upcoming launch the satellite will experience.

Lenox Laser is excited to see what the future holds for James Webb and what far reaches of space it will explore. We send our congratulations and best wishes to the entire team involved with the telescope. To see a detailed timeline of the telescope, please click here.

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