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SpaceX Lights Up The Sky And Social Media

SpaceX also has successfully landed Falcon 9 first stages on so-called drone ships off the coasts of Florida and California.

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The night sky is lit up above Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, during the launch of a SpaceX rocket carrying an Argentine Earth-observation satellite. VOA
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When SpaceX launched a rocket carrying an Argentine Earth-observation satellite from California’s Central Coast, both the night sky and social media lit up.

People as far away as San Francisco, Sacramento, Phoenix and Reno, Nevada, posted photos of the Falcon 9 rocket’s launch and return on Sunday night. It was the first time SpaceX landed a first-stage booster back at its launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 130 miles (210 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.

The Air Force warned residents on the Central Coast that they might see multiple engine burns by the first stage and hear one or more sonic booms as it returned.

But many far beyond the region were taken by surprise when the launch illuminated the sky, wondering what the otherworldly looking sight was. Some speculated it was a comet or an alien aircraft.

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SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk, left, announces Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa (R) as the first private passenger on a trip around the moon, VOA

“Something exploded in the sky west of Phoenix,” Laura Gadbery wrote on Twitter. “Anyone catch it or know what it was?”

Lloyd Lawrence, another user in Phoenix — about 490 miles (790 kilometers) away from the launch site — said he was driving on Interstate 10 when he saw the launch and “couldn’t believe my eyes.”

“I wondered who was holding the gigantic flashlight in the sky,” he wrote.

Others in Reno, Nevada — about 340 miles away (550 kilometers) — also saw the galactic wonder.

Jill Bergantz Carley wrote : “OK Twitter, what the heck is this #UFO #brightlight #plume-a-licious thing we just saw in the sky above #Reno — it radiated beams of light!”

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A used Falcon 9 rocket blasted off on Thursday from Space Launch Complex 4E at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. Wikimedia Commons

Debi Hammond wrote : “Strangest thing I’ve ever seen in the sky. Anyone know what this is?”

Californians from Los Angeles to Sacramento — about 270 miles (435 kilometers) from the launch site — also posted their confusion.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was among those trying to clear up the speculation, tweeting a photo of the launch and writing: “Nope, definitely not aliens.”

Those who knew they were watching a satellite launch posted videos they captured of the stunning spectacle, including one taken over the downtown Los Angeles skyline and a timelapse from Kern County.

The primary purpose of the SpaceX mission was to place the SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit, but SpaceX also wanted to expand its recovery of first stages to its launch site at Vandenberg.

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A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket (VOA)

SpaceX had previously flown first-stage rockets back to land after Florida launches but had not done so on the West Coast.

SpaceX also has successfully landed Falcon 9 first stages on so-called drone ships off the coasts of Florida and California, all as part of its effort to decrease the cost of space launches by reusing rockets rather than allowing them to fall into the ocean.

The satellite is the first of two for Argentina’s space agency, the Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales, and will work in conjunction with a constellation of Italian space agency satellites. Its acronym is short for Satelite Argentino de Observacion Con Microondas.

Also Read: Tesla Founder Elon Musk Sued for Fraud

SAOCOM 1A carries a high-resolution instrument called a synthetic aperture radar that will be used for emergency management during disasters and for land monitoring. The second satellite will be SAOCOM 1B. (VOA)

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Robots May Be Able to Perform C-Sections Soon

These big, set-piece operations will become less common as we are able to intervene earlier and use more moderate interventions

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A newborn, one of 12 babies born by C-section, cries inside an incubator at the Bunda Hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dec. 12, 2012. VOA

Robotics are expected to become so sophisticated, hospitals may not need surgeons. Controlled by healthcare assistants, the machines will soon be delivering babies by carrying out C-sections as well as other surgeries, say experts.

The predictions are based on the report by the “Commission on the Future of Surgery” set up by the Royal College of Surgeons in 2017, the Daily Mail reported.

According to the report, the robots controlled by healthcare assistants such as technicians are expected to conduct vaginal surgeries and operations on the bowel, heart and lungs.

This will help advance diagnoses of illnesses like cancer before they destroy organs and, as a result, operations will be smaller in scale and less traumatic.

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FILE – A visitor shakes hands with a humanoid robot at 2018 China International Robot Show in Shanghai (VOA)

Even healthcare assistants — who do not need any formal qualifications to get a job — could one day be trained to perform C-sections with the robots, The Telegraph reported.

Specialists and surgeons will remain in charge of operations but may not always need to be in the room.

“This is always going to be under the watchful eye and careful supervision of a surgeon,” Richard Kerr, neurosurgeon at the Oxford University and Chair of the commission, was quoted as saying.

“These are highly qualified healthcare professionals and they will be trained in a specific aspect of that procedure.

“The changes are expected to affect every type of operation. This will be a watershed moment in surgery,” Kerr said.

While some applications of robots and DNA-based medicines are expected to happen sooner than others, those with healthcare assistant-led C-sections is possible within five years, the report said.

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These are highly qualified healthcare professionals and they will be trained in a specific aspect of that procedure. Flickr

However, the experts warn that the use of robots in surgery could be controversial. This is in light of an investigation which revealed that a 69-year-old man in Newcastle died when a robot was used to carry out his heart surgery in 2015.

The commission’s report also claims that major cancer operations could become a thing of past because screening DNA will pick up diseases earlier, before they ravage the body.

Also Read: AI  to Help the Students of Japan in Enhancing English Speaking Skills

Similarly, people with severe forms of arthritis could be identified early on and faster treatment might reduce the need for major hip and knee replacement ops.

“These big, set-piece operations will become less common as we are able to intervene earlier and use more moderate interventions,” said Professor Dion Mortonm, a member of the commission. (IANS)