Today's "Planet Earth Report" --SpaceX's Elon Musk Warns That AI Will Create an 'Immortal Dictator' in New Documentary 'Do You Trust This Computer'

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"We are rapidly headed toward digital superintelligence that far exceeds any human, I think it's pretty obvious," Elon Musk said in a new AI documentary called "Do You Trust This Computer?" directed by Chris Paine (who interviewed Musk previously for the documentary "Who Killed The Electric Car?"). "If one company or a small group of people manages to develop godlike digital super-intelligence, they could take over the world."

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Today's Top Space Headline --"Wormholes in Spacetime May be Detected By Strange Shadows"

 
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In a new analysis, published in the preprint journal arXiv on March 30, Rajibul Shaikh, a physicist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India, found that a certain type of rotating wormhole would cast a larger and more distorted shadow than the one cast by a black hole. As a wormhole spun faster, its shadow would appear a little smooshed, while a black hole's shadow would remain more disk-like.

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NASA's New Planet-Hunting TESS Launch Postponed To Wednesday (LISTEN Tess Podcast)

 

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SpaceX announced yesterday that it's standing down to conduct additional Guidance Navigation & Control analysis, and teams are now working towards a targeted launch of @NASA_TESS on Wednesday, April 18 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station due to an issue with the spacecraft's rocket ride, a SpaceX Falcon 9.

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Today's Top Space Headline: Liftoff from Proxima b --"Alien Civilizations May Find Barriers to Interstellar Travel"

 


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Almost all space missions launched so far by our civilization have been based on chemical propulsion, writes Harvard's Abraham Loeb. The fundamental limitation here is easy to understand: a rocket is pushed forward by ejecting burnt fuel gases backwards through its exhaust. The characteristic composition and temperature of the burnt fuel set the exhaust speed to a typical value of a few kilometers per second. Momentum conservation implies that the terminal speed of the rocket is given by this exhaust speed times the natural logarithm of the ratio between the initial and final mass of the rocket.

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"A New Era: 200,000 Stars & Alien Planets" --WATCH All-Day-Launch Coverage of NASA's New Alien-Planet Hunter, TESS Spacecraft Today

 

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“My great hope is that TESS will find new mysteries,” said Dr. Stephen Rinehart, a project scientist for the mission at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Maybe we’ll find something out there that nobody expected and will leave people scratching their heads.”

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"20,000 New Planets!" --NASA's TESS Will Reveal a New Map of the Milky Way's Habitable Planets

 
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Some of the most exciting space news of the past few years has been about Earth-like exoplanets revealed by the Kepler Mission that could possibly support life. TESS, a space telescope set to launch Monday aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, will scan the sky for exoplanets faster and better than any existing spacecraft, vastly expanding our knowledge of our home galaxy. Tomorrow's launch will take place at Space Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral. Once it safely enters space, the craft will receive a timely gravitational assist from the moon, which will insert it into a highly eccentric orbit that brings it close to earth about every two weeks.

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Orphaned Planets of Binary Stars --"Poor Place to Search for Alien Life"

 
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Planets orbiting "short-period" binary stars, or stars locked in close orbital embrace, can be ejected off into space as a consequence of their host stars' evolution, according to new research from the University of Washington, making them a poor place to aim coming ground- and space-based telescopes to look for habitable planets and life beyond Earth.

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"Countdown!" TESS Satellite's Search for Alien Worlds --WATCH Tomorrow April 15 NASA's Pre-Launch Press Conference  

 

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The countdown is on! The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is scheduled to lift off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Monday, April 16, at 6:32 p.m. EDT. The space probe will study star systems that are 10 to 300 light-years from Earth. That’s relatively close in astronomical terms — and far closer than the stars that Kepler, which launched in 2009, was designed to study.

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