Technology 

New SpaceX drone ship arrives at Port Canaveral

A new SpaceX drone ship named “A Shortfall of Gravitas” was towed into Port Canaveral Thursday, completing a shuffling of SpaceX’s rocket landing platforms to support upcoming launches from Florida and California. “A Shortfall of Gravitas” was towed from a construction facility in Louisiana after completing an initial series of sea trials. SpaceX teams at Port Canaveral will finish readying the drone ship for offshore landings of Falcon rocket boosters. The name of the new landing platform is a nod to “Experiencing A Significant Gravitas Shortfall,” a starship featured in…

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Mars rover gearing up for first sample collection work

Five months after landing on Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover is gearing up to collect its first core sample next month, mission managers said Wednesday, drilling out a lipstick-size bit of rock from the floor of an ancient lakebed where the remnants of past microbial life might be preserved. “When Neil Armstrong took the first sample from the Sea of Tranquility 52 years ago, he began a process that would rewrite what humanity knew about the Moon,” Thomas Zurbuchen, director of science at NASA Headquarters, said in a statement. “I have…

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Technology 

One Giant Leap for MIT’s Robotic Mini Cheetah

A new control system, demonstrated using MIT’s robotic mini cheetah, enables four-legged robots to jump across uneven terrain in real-time. A loping cheetah dashes across a rolling field, bounding over sudden gaps in the rugged terrain. The movement may look effortless, but getting a robot to move this way is an altogether different prospect. In recent years, four-legged robots inspired by the movement of cheetahs and other animals have made great leaps forward, yet they still lag behind their mammalian counterparts when it comes to traveling across a landscape with rapid…

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