Eight nations sign NASA’s Artemis Accords that guide cooperative exploration of the moon

Eight countries have signed on as founding member nations to NASA’s Artemis Accords during the 71st International Astronautical Congress this week.

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Those nations include Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.


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NASA released the Artemis Accords in May to establish a framework of principles for safely and responsibly planning for humanity’s return to the moon.

“Artemis will be the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration program in history, and the Artemis Accords are the vehicle that will establish this singular global coalition,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a statement.

“With today’s signing, we are uniting with our partners to explore the Moon and are establishing vital principles that will create a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space for all of humanity to enjoy.”

It’s been more than a year since NASA and Bridenstine released the name of Artemis, the next program to land the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024. The program relies on partnerships, both international and commercial, to create a sustainable and lasting presence of humans on and around the moon, with the goal of eventually using Artemis to land the first people on Mars.

“Fundamentally, the Artemis Accords will help to avoid conflict in space and on Earth by strengthening mutual understanding and reducing misperceptions. Transparency, public registration, deconflicting operations — these are the principles that will preserve peace,” said Mike Gold, NASA acting associate administrator for international and interagency relations, in a statement. “The Artemis journey is to the Moon, but the destination of the Accords is a peaceful and prosperous future.”

It’s likely that more countries will sign and join the Artemis Accords going forward. During the Congress this week, Dmitry Rogozin,

First Solar Series 6 is World’s First EPEAT-Rated PV Module

Global ecolabel registry extends coverage, enabling identification of environmentally-preferable PV

World’s First EPEAT-Rated Photovoltaic Solar Module

The Series 6 photovoltaic (PV) module, designed and manufactured by U.S.-headquartered First Solar, Inc., is the world’s first PV product to be rated in the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registry for sustainable electronics.
The Series 6 photovoltaic (PV) module, designed and manufactured by U.S.-headquartered First Solar, Inc., is the world’s first PV product to be rated in the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registry for sustainable electronics.
The Series 6 photovoltaic (PV) module, designed and manufactured by U.S.-headquartered First Solar, Inc., is the world’s first PV product to be rated in the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registry for sustainable electronics.

PORTLAND, Ore. and TEMPE, Ariz., Oct. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Green Electronics Council (GEC) today announced that the Series 6 photovoltaic (PV) module, designed and manufactured by U.S.-headquartered First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR), is the world’s first PV product to be included in the launch of the EPEAT Photovoltaic and Inverters product category.

EPEAT is the leading life-cycle based Type-1 ecolabel used by public and private sector institutional purchasers globally. To be the first PV product included in the new EPEAT PV Modules and Inverters category, First Solar Series 6 sustainability benefits have been verified by a reputable third-party international certification firm.

The EPEAT ecolabel allows easy identification of credible sustainable electronic products from a broad range of manufacturers, and the online EPEAT Registry lists those products. Designed to help institutional purchasers, EPEAT is used by national governments, including the United States, and thousands of private-sector institutional purchasers worldwide as part of their sustainable procurement decisions. The GEC, which manages EPEAT and ensures its integrity, has launched the new EPEAT PV modules and Inverters product category in recognition of the tremendous growth of the solar sector.

“The EPEAT PV Modules and Inverters category provides those tasked with buying renewable energy the means to specify that the hardware used is truly sustainable,” said

Deep learning artificial intelligence keeps an eye on volcano movements

Deep learning artificial intelligence keeps an eye on volcano movements
Artificial intelligence may help scientists use satellite data to keep an eye on volcanoes, like Mauna Loa in Hawaii. Credit: Axelspace

RADAR satellites can collect massive amounts of remote sensing data that can detect ground movements—surface defomations—at volcanoes in near real time. These ground movements could signal impending volcanic activity and unrest; however, clouds and other atmospheric and instrumental disturbances can introduce significant errors in those ground movement measurements.

Now, Penn State researchers have used artificial intelligence (AI) to clear up that noise, drastically facilitating and improving near real-time observation of volcanic movements and the detection of volcanic activity and unrest.

“The shape of volcanoes is constantly changing and much of that change is due to underground magma movements in the magma plumbing system made of magma reservoirs and conduits,” said Christelle Wauthier, associate professor of geosciences and Institute for Data and Computational Sciences (ICDS) faculty fellow. “Much of this movement is subtle and cannot be picked up by the naked eye.”

Geoscientists have used several methods to measure the ground changes around volcanoes and other areas of seismic activity, but all have limitations, said Jian Sun, lead author of the paper and a postdoctoral scholar in geosciences, funded by Dean’s Postdoc-Facilitated Innovation through Collaboration Award from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

He added that, for example, scientists can use ground stations, such as GPS or tiltmeters, to monitor possible ground movement due to volcanic activity. However, there are a few problems with these ground-based methods. First, the instruments can be expensive and need to be installed and maintained on site.

“So, it’s hard to put a lot of ground-based stations in a specific area in the first place, but, let’s say there actually is a volcanic explosion or an earthquake, that would probably damage a lot of

The US Army wants to smoothen the ordeal of firing artillery

WASHINGTON — The Army is using internal development and small-business ideas to figure out how to fire artillery faster, exploring every facet from how projectiles are stored all the way to automated reloading.

Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, who is in charge of Long-Range Precision Fires modernization, told Defense News in an interview ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference that he is “a little bit embarrassed” to describe to innovative small companies how the Army handles ammunition in an artillery battalion, realizing that the process hasn’t changed in over 50 years.

“When you evaluate the amount of time and man hours these soldiers doing these tasks, one-by-one unbanding projectiles and inspecting them one-by-one, inventorying them one-by-one,” Rafferty said. “What if we could automate some of those tasks? And then how much more effective that unit would be in its operational mission, if those soldiers were preparing for the next mission, were doing reconnaissance, were sleeping, eating, doing maintenance, point security,” Rafferty said. “Would that unit be available for missions rather than be out because it has to resupply?”

The Army has teed up three lines of effort to tackle the entire chain of handling ammunition, loading and reloading in order to fire faster.

While capability garnered from these efforts could feed into current weapons, they will also be incorporated into the Extended Range Cannon Artillery system that the service is planning to deliver to the force in 2023, according to Rafferty.

That programs aims to increase the range and lethality of artillery, but will also have an increased rate of fire.

While the Army is busy determining which operational units will first get the new weapon, and how many of them, officials are also reconfiguring the existing architecture of its original prototype autoloader “to get one that’s

Festivals of the future ‘won’t be limited by time and space’: CEO

Post-pandemic music and theater performances are likely to use a hybrid model, according to the chief executive of one of Singapore’s largest arts centers.

Yvonne Tham, CEO of Esplanade, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” that a mixture of in-person and streamed performances are set to be common in the future.

“Many artists are really open now to what’s known as hybrid, which (means they) may be performing in a particular space in a particular time, but how does that performance have an afterlife? And that’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves even as we’ve been producing lots of digital programs,” Tham said on Monday.

“We’re going to see festivals in future that are not just limited by time and space, therefore what goes on to complement that live experience in the digital space becomes quite important,” she added.

Pre-pandemic, around 3,000 performances took place annually at the Esplanade and it had to close its doors on March 26 due to coronavirus restrictions placed on venues. Since then it created its Esplanade Offstage website so people could continue to watch concerts and other performances and is now gradually reopening some of its venues — its Pip’s Playbox children’s space reopened on October 9, while its Jendela visual arts venue is set to reopen on October 16.

While some performances have continued outdoors, Tham said others work better inside. “We are looking at all ways of reaching audiences, be that in the open air, out in the garden, we are looking at our concert hall venues. Some (performances) they work far better in the concert hall and some in the theater space,” she said.

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