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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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Chandra Observatory By NASA Back in Action

Scientists are currently performing analyses and tests to determine what options were available to recover the gyro to operational performance

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NASA's Chandra Observatory back in action. Pixabay

NASA Chandra X-Ray Observatory, observing the universe in high-energy light since 1999, is back in action after suffering a glitch due to the failure of the gyroscope and going into safe mode last week.

The cause of Chandra’s safe mode on October 10 has now been understood and the Operations team has successfully returned the spacecraft to its normal pointing mode, according to the US space agency.

“The safe mode was caused by a glitch in one of Chandra’s gyroscopes resulting in a 3-second period of bad data that, in turn, led the on-board computer to calculate an incorrect value for the spacecraft momentum. The erroneous momentum indication then triggered the safe mode,” NASA said in a statement late on Monday.

The team has completed plans to switch gyroscopes and place the gyroscope that experienced the glitch in reserve.

Once configured with a series of pre-tested flight software patches, the team will return Chandra to science operations which are expected to commence by the end of this week, NASA said.

On October 10, Chandra X-ray Observatory entered safe mode, in which the observatory is put into a safe configuration, critical hardware is swapped to back-up units, the spacecraft points so that the solar panels get maximum sunlight, and the mirrors point away from the Sun.

Chandra is 19 years old, which is well beyond the original design lifetime of five years. In 2001, NASA extended its lifetime to 10 years.

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NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, which has been orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres since March 2015, is also nearly out of fuel and might run out as early as October. Flickr

The US space agency said that it was also continuing to work towards resuming science operations of the Hubble Space Telescope that on October 5, entered safe mode after one of the three gyroscopes (gyros) being used to point and steady the telescope failed.

Gyroscopes help spacecraft maintain proper orientation.

Scientists are currently performing analyses and tests to determine what options were available to recover the gyro to operational performance.

Till that time, science operations with Hubble have been suspended.

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Besides Chandra and Hubble, NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope is also almost out of fuel. Kepler has found about 70 per cent of all known alien worlds to date.

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, which has been orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres since March 2015, is also nearly out of fuel and might run out as early as October.

The space agency’s Mars rovers Opportunity and Curiosity too have faced issues of late. (IANS)

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