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NASA may send probe to nearby exoplanet by 2069

Although most of the technology NASA needs for such a mission does not exist yet, it could involve travelling at one-tenth the speed of light.

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The new mission will try to find signs of life on other planets

Washington, Dec 20: To look for signs of life beyond our solar system, the US space agency could send a spacecraft to the nearby Alpha Centauri system by 2069, according to a mission concept presented by a NASA scientist.

Details of the mission concept were presented by Anthony Freeman of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the 2017 American Geophysical Union conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, the New Scientist reported on Tuesday.

Although most of the technology NASA needs for such a mission does not exist yet, it could involve travelling at one-tenth the speed of light.

The impetus came from a 2016 US funding bill telling NASA to study interstellar travel that could reach at least 10 percent of the speed of light by 2069, the report said.

The Alpha Centauri star system, located in the constellation of Centaurus at a distance of 4.3 light-years from Earth, is the closest star system to the Earth. It has three stars — Centauri A, Centauri B, and Proxima Centauri.

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) discovered in 2016 an Earth-sized planet that orbits in the habitable zone around Proxima Centauri.

New research, published in the Astronomical Journal, suggests that there may some small, Earth-like planets around Alpha Centauri A and B as well.

Right now, only one human-made spacecraft has left our solar system?Voyager 1, which launched 40 years ago and is currently traveling at about 38,000 miles per hour, less than one percent of the speed of light, the Newsweek reported. IANS

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NASA Planning to Use Blockchain Technology For Air Traffic Management

The prototype demonstrates how this method can be economically and rapidly deployed in a scalable modular environment, Reisman said

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NASA to use Blockchain technology for air traffic management. Pixabay

US space agency NASA is planning to advance its technology by adding Blockchain to secure air traffic services and support, the media reported.

The agency will work with an open source Blockchain platform called “Hyperledger Fabric” that is specifically designed for enterprise transactions that resemble typical air traffic management interactions, Ronald J. Reisman, an aero-computer engineer at the NASA Ames Research Centre, said in a statement.

Blockchain would address the potential issues of privacy, prevent spoofing, denial of service and other attacks, Reisman said.

He asserted that Blockchain presents an engineering prototype that embodies a design and method that may be applied to mitigate security issues.

NASA, Hubble, Keplar, asteroids
Blockchain would address the potential issues of privacy, prevent spoofing, denial of service and other attacks, Reisman said. Flickr

“The design innovation is the use of an open source permissioned Blockchain framework to enable aircraft privacy and anonymity while providing a secure and efficient method for communication with air traffic services, operations support, or other authorised entities,” he noted.

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The new framework also features certificate authority, smart contract support, and higher-bandwidth communication channels for private information that may be used for secure communication between any specific aircraft and any particular authorised member.

The prototype demonstrates how this method can be economically and rapidly deployed in a scalable modular environment, Reisman said. (IANS)