Nov 7, 18 / Sag 03, 02 15:34 UTC

General News: Nov 7  

Roscosmos, the Russian space agency has announced that one of the International Space Station’s computers has malfunctioned. However, the issue does not put any of the crew at risk. 

The Russian space agency said Tuesday that one of three computers in the station’s Russian module has failed. They stated that Russian flight controllers intend to reboot it this coming Thursday.

In other news, after more than 50 years of supposition and controversy, Hungarian astronomers and physicists believe they have finally confirmed the existence of two Earth-orbiting “moons” entirely composed of dust.

As they outline in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the team was able to capture snapshots of these puzzling clouds hiding just 250,000 miles away, about the same distance as the moon.

Moreover, future technologies, such as quantum computers and quantum encryption, will require the experimental mastery of complex quantum systems. Thus, scientists from the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences have begun to use more complex quantum systems than two-dimensionally entangled qubits. In doing so, they can now increase the information capacity using the same number of particles. 

Manuel Erhard, the first author of the study, explained that the unique thing about their experiment is that for the first time, it entangles three photons beyond the conventional two-dimensional nature. 

For this purpose, the Viennese physicists employed quantum systems with more than two possible states—in this particular situation, the angular momentum of individual light particles. 

Now, these individual photons have a higher information capacity than qubits. But, the entanglement of these light particles turned out to be tricky on a conceptual level. The researchers surpassed this issue with an innovative, new idea: a computer algorithm that autonomously searches for experimental implementation.

Lastly, for the first time, there have been accurate measures of volume changes in the brain tissues of long-term visitors to the International Space Station (ISS). An international group of neuroscientists, headed by Floris Wuyts at the University of Antwerp, quantified the changes after conducting MRI scans on Russian cosmonauts before, shortly after, and months after their journeys into space. Their results could help identify some previously-unknown risks of long-term spaceflight.

In particular, the team observed volume differences in each cosmonaut’s grey matter – made up of neuronal cell bodies, white matter – or nerve fibres, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) – which occupies the brain’s internal ventricles and the spaces between the brain and the skull.

Wuyts and his team discovered that, on average, the volume of the cosmonauts’ grey matter was reduced during their spaceflights, then partially came back after seven months – but not completely. In comparison, their white matter volumes were unchanged while in space but were significantly lowered after six months back on Earth. 

Moreover, CSF volumes increased aboard the ISS, then continued to expand in the spaces outside the brain once the astronauts were back on Earth; but volumes returned almost back to normal inside the ventricles.

How close do you think we are to true quantum computing? And how close do you think we are to longterm, deep space travel? Why?

Let's discuss in the comments below!

Nov 7, 18 / Sag 03, 02 16:54 UTC

Quantum computing not for the near future but very excited with the current news! In terms of long term, deep space travel possibly nearer than we were 10 years ago, in light of the recent research, but still a long way to go, although some humans are happy to put themselves forward to travel as part of testing, I agree with Dirk, I would be happier to send Robots for a few years to gather more information.

  Last edited by:  Sandra Hodson (Asgardian)  on Nov 7, 18 / Sag 03, 02 16:55 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time