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Submission + - Evolution of interplanetary trajectories reaches human-competitive levels (esa.int)

LFSim writes: It's not the Turing test just yet, but in one more domain, AI is becoming increasingly competitive with humans. This time around, it's in interplanetary trajectory optimization.

From the European Space Agency comes the news that researchers from its Advanced Concepts Team have recently won the Gold "Humies" award for their use of Evolutionary Algorithms to design a spacecraft’s trajectory for exploring the Galilean moons of Jupiter (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto).

The problem addressed in the awarded article was put forward by NASA/JPL in the latest edition of the Global Trajectory Optimization Competition. The team from ESA was able to automatically evolve a solution that outperforms all the entries submitted to the competition by human experts from across the world.

Interestingly, as noted in the presentation to the award's jury, the team conducted their work on top of open-source tools (PaGMO / PyGMO and PyKEP).


Submission + - TheSpaceGame.org: Design your route to Jupiter (thespacegame.org) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Advanced Concepts Team of the European Space Agency(ESA) is celebrating the World Space Week (4-10 October 2010) with the release of 'The Space Game', an online game for interplanetary trajectory design.

The Space Game (http://www.thespacegame.org/) is an online crowdsourcing experiment where you are given as the role of a mission designer to seek for the best path to travel through space. The interactive game, coded in HTML5, challenges the players to devise fuel-efficient trajectories to various bodies of the Solar System via a user-friendly interface. The aim of the experiment is get people from all ages and backgrounds to come up with better strategies that can help improving the effectiveness of the current computer algorithms.

As part of the events organized world wide for the space week, the first problem of the game is to reach Jupiter with the lowest cost of propellant. The best scores by 10 October will be displayed on the Advanced Concepts Team website and the three best designs will also receive some ESA prizes.

Submission + - Perelman Turns Down Millennium Prize (columbia.edu)

bluescarni writes: Peter Woit reports on his blog that Grigoriy Perelman has turned down the one million dollar Millennium prize that the Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) awarded him for the resolution of the Poincaré conjecture. The Interfax news agency quoted Perelman as saying he believed the prize was unfair and that he considered his contribution to solving the Poincaré conjecture no greater than that of Columbia University mathematician Richard Hamilton. “To put it short, the main reason is my disagreement with the organized mathematical community,” Perelman, told Interfax. “I don’t like their decisions, I consider them unjust.”

CMI president Jim Carlson said institute officials will meet this fall to decide what to do with the prize money.

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