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Valkyrie: NASA humanoid robot dances to techno music

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New Delhi: US Space agency NASA released a new video of a humanoid robot R5 on Thursday, popularly known as Valkyrie. The video shows the robot dancing and waving hands on techno music.

According to a newspaper, NASA has plans to send the humanoid robot to Mars and further into deeper space locations.

Although, it is needed to be understood that why is this dancing robot important for humans and the most probable reason is that it can very soon lead to a technology of robots living in tune with the human environment. The major reason of the video being published and awareness being created is so that people can soon expect a human-technology interphase.

The R5 is expected to be a stepping stone at finding a convenient way to achieve a safe expedition for humans working in a nuclear or any high explosive place. The aim of developing the robot was to make it function in an environment designed for humans. The developers of the R5, Darpa Robotics claims that Valkyrie, if sent into securing a nuclear reactor, can navigate walkways, doorways, and control rooms and be able to manipulate everything from buttons to valves.

Likewise, if the robot is sent into space, it would be helpful as it can effortlessly ride in a spacecraft designed for a human crew and also help astronauts explore the surface of Mars.

That is one of the major reasons for NASA being interested in a working humanoid. Though, for the humanoid to be useful as assistants on space missions, a navigational sense of the terrain along with dexterous and swift reactions as a human are yet to be installed. If the humanoid can’t lunge over a crater, it will of less importance as compared to humans.

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Scientists spot massive ice deposits on Mars

Recent observations by MRO's ground-penetrating Shallow Radar instrument revealed a buried ice layer that covers more ground than the state of New Mexico.

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Scientists found layers of ice on the surface of Mars. Wikimedia Commons
  • Recently, scientists have found layers of ice on the Martian land.
  • Scientists think this ice might be a useful source of water for future humans.
  • The researchers had researched 8 locations on the surface of Mars.

Scientists have unearthed thick and massive deposits of ice in some regions on Mars.

The images taken by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) showed the three-dimensional structure of massive ice deposits on Mars.

The ice sheets extend from just below the surface to a depth of 100 meters or more and appear to contain distinct layers.

It extending downward from depths as shallow as 1 to 2 meters below the surface, which could preserve a record of Mars’ past climate, the researchers noted in the journal Science.

This ice which was found can help scientists understand the climate history of Mars. IANS
This ice which was found can help scientists understand the climate history of Mars. IANS

“We expect the vertical structure of Martian ice-rich deposits to preserve a record of ice deposition and past climate,” said Colin M. Dundas, from the US Geological Survey.

“They might even be a useful source of water for future human exploration of the red planet,” Dundas added.

The researchers investigated eight locations on Mars and found thick deposits cover broad regions of the Martian mid-latitudes with a smooth mantle.

However, erosion in these regions creates scarps that expose the internal structure of the mantle.

The scarps are actively retreating because of sublimation of the exposed water ice.

The layers of ice can be used as water source by future humans on Mars, VOA
The layers of ice can be used as water source by future humans on Mars, VOA

The ice deposits likely originated as snowfall during Mars’ high-obliquity periods and have now compacted into massive, fractured, and layered ice.

Previous researchers have revealed that the Red Planet harbours subsurface water ice.

Recent observations by MRO’s ground-penetrating Shallow Radar instrument revealed a buried ice layer that covers more ground than the state of New Mexico.

NASA’s Phoenix lander had also dug up some ice near the Martian north pole in 2008, however, it is not clear if that is part of the big sheet. IANS

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