hackingbear writes: China's next space laboratory, Tiangong-2 launched from the country's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center today at 10:04 a.m. EDT (1404 GMT) on a Long March 2F carrier rocket. Like its predecessor Tiangong-1, Tiangong-2 is an orbiting space lab – but this latest model has made several improvements in the series. Among the advances: astronauts can remain on the station up to 30 days; New systems allow in orbit refueling of propellant; and 14 new experiments in a wide range of sciences including composite material fabrication, advanced-plant cultivation, gamma ray burst polarization, fluid physics, space-to-earth quantum communications. The space lab is also equipped with a cold atom space clock, that has an estimated precision of 10 to the power of minus 16 seconds, or a one-second error every 30 million years, enhancing accuracy of time-keeping in space by one to two orders of magnitudes. This exactitude will help measure previously undetectable fluctuations for experiments conducted in zero-gravity.
hackingbear writes: On the eve of Mid-Autumn Festival, some people will go to great lengths to get mooncakes, the traditional gift for family, friends and colleagues. At Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., four engineers tried to rig the distribution system of the e-commerce giant’s mooncake selloff—and were fired for their effort. Alibaba confirmed it fired the four this week, after they hacked into the internal website that allows employees to purchase the company’s signature mooncakes, with an orange fluffy Alibaba mascot inside.On Chinese social media, however, the now dismissed engineers were praised with job offers for their entrepreneurial instincts and technical competence.
hackingbear writes: The International Union for Conservation of Nature said in a report released Sunday that the panda is now classified as a "vulnerable" instead of "endangered" species, reflecting its growing numbers in the wild in southern China. It said the wild panda population jumped to 1,864 in 2014 from 1,596 in 2004, the result of work by Chinese government and agencies to enforce poaching bans and expand forest reserves. However, China itself disagrees with the reclassification. China's State Forestry Administration said that it disputed the classification change because pandas' natural habitats have been splintered by natural and human causes. The animals live in small, isolated groups of as few as 10 pandas that struggle to reproduce and face the risk of disappearing altogether, the agency said. International groups and the Chinese government have worked to save wild pandas and breed them at enormous cost, attracting criticism that the money could be better spent saving other (less cute) animals facing extinction.
hackingbear writes: Chinese high-energy physicists proposed four years ago to build a particle collider four times the size of the Large Hadron Collider in Europe. On Sunday, Dr Yang Chen-ning, co-winner of the Nobel Prize in physics in 1957 and now living on campus at Tsinghua University in Beijing, released an article on WeChat opposing the construction of the collider. He said the project would become an investment “black hole” with little scientific value or benefit to society, sucking resources away from other research sectors such as life sciences and quantum physics. Yang’s article hit nearly all social media platforms and internet news portals, drawing tens of thousands of positive comments over the last couple of days. The first stage of the project was estimated to cost 40 billion yuan (US$6 billion) by 2030, and the total cost would exceed 140 billion yuan (US$21 billion) when construction is completed in 2050, making it the most expensive research facility built in China. Yang’s main argument was that China would not succeed where the United States had failed. A similar project had been proposed in the US but was eventually cancelled in 2012 as the construction far exceeded the initial budget. Yang said existing facilities including the Large Hadron Collider contributed little to the increase of human knowledge and was irrelevant to most people’s daily lives. But Dr Wang Yifang, lead scientist of the project with the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of High Energy Physics, argued research in high energy physics lead to the world wide web, mobile phone touch screens and magnetic resonance imaging in hospitals, among other technological breakthroughs.
hackingbear writes: China’s quantum network could soon span two continents, thanks to a satellite launched earlier today. Launched at 1:40pm ET, the Quantum Science Satellite is designed to distribute quantum-encrypted keys between relay stations in China and Europe. When working as planned, the result could enable unprecedented levels of security between parties on different continents. China’s new satellite would put that same fiberb-based quantum communication system to work over the air, utilizing high-speed coherent lasers to connect with base stations on two different continents. The experimental satellite’s payload also includes controllers and emitters related to quantum entanglement.
hackingbear writes: While SpaceX is making news with its recoverable rockets, China announced that it is working on the next big thing in spaceflight: a hypersonic spaceplane. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation is beginning advanced research on a high tech, more efficient successor to the retired Space Shuttle, with hybrid combined cycle engines combining turbofan, ramjet, scramjet and rocket engines, that can takeoff from an airport's landing strip and fly straight into orbit. CASTC's rapid research timeline also suggests that the reports in 2015 of a Mach 4 test flight for a recoverable drone testbed for a combined cycle ramjet/turbofan engine were accurate. And China also has the world's largest hypersonic wind tunnel, the Mach 9 JF-12, which could be used to easily test hypersonic scramjets without costly and potentially dangerous flight testing at altitude. Its nearest competitor, the British Skylon in contrast uses pre-cooled jet engines built by Reaction Engines Limited to achieve hypersonic atmospheric flight, as opposed to scramjets. Both spacecraft will probably first fly around the mid 2020s.
hackingbear writes: China's developing space program took another major step forward on Saturday with the launch of its Long March 7 rocket, a new class of booster capable of lifting up to 13.5 metric tons to low-Earth orbit (LEO). The primary payload of the flight was a dummy version of its next-generation crew capsule and some CubeSats. It marked the first launch from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, located on Hainan Island, the country's southernmost point, though they should build a launch site on one of its small islands in the South China Sea which is even closer to the equator. This allows better access to geostationary orbit for Chinese satellites. The Long March 7 also operates with kerosene and liquid oxygen fuels, rather than more environmentally dangerous hypergolic fuels used to power earlier launchers that were based on 1970s technology. Later this year, China will debut another new rocket, the Long March 5, capable of delivering 25 tons to LEO. The rocket's core stage is powered by two YF-100 engines, which China has been developing for more than a decade. The engine has a thrust of about 270,000 pounds at sea level, which is less than one of the space shuttle's main engines (418,000 lbf), but more than one of the Merlin 1D engines (190,000 lbf) used by SpaceX in its Falcon 9 rocket.
hackingbear writes: While you're free to express anything in the Land of Free and waiting to hear some real actions after posting to the White House Petition Website, online protests in the restrictive China resulted in actions swiftly. Chinese regulators have imposed limits on the number of lucrative healthcare adverts carried by Baidu Inc days following the death of a student who underwent an experimental cancer treatment which he found using China's biggest Internet search engine and his blogging of the ordeal triggered a huge public outcries. The rules mean the company must clean up in-search healthcare adverts and the positioning of paid-for search adverts of any kind cannot only be based on the highest bidder, "If they do enforce that, it would likely significantly cut into revenues," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting. A separate investigation Chinese regulators had ordered the fixing of "serious problems" at the military-run hospital, which had been found to be illegally working with a private healthcare business, unlawfully advertising services and using unauthorized clinical technology, according to the official Xinhua news agency. In addition, the People's Liberation Army and the Armed Police Force selected 17 units to be the first to close their commercial activities such as housing rentals, medical services and hospitality; the goal is to shut down all military's commercial activities, meaning they would have to rely on tax payer's money to run, like the U.S. military. Link to Original Source
"The human race may still have a long way to go before we can colonize the space. But before that, we have to figure out whether it is possible for us to survive and reproduce in the outer space environment like we do on Earth. Now, we finally proved that the most crucial step in our reproduction – the early embryo development – is possible in the outer space," said Duan Enkui, Professor of the Institute of Zoology affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and principle researcher of the experiment. The U.S. conducted similar experiment on Space Shuttle Columbia in 1996 and China conducted one abroad its SJ-8 in 2006, neither was able to show any viable embryos back then.
hackingbear writes: According to report by Hongkong's Mingpao Daily (Google translation), Beijing Postal and Telecom University Professor Fang Xingbin, widely known as the Father of the Great Firewall for his role in architecting the Great Firewall, caught breaking the Great Firewall openly during a public speech. During his presentation on the necessity of the Great Fire Wall, Professor Fang tried to demonstrate his points by pointing out the fact that South Korea also builds an Internet Firewall, but the South Korean site was blocked by the GWF and the message was displayed prominently to the audience. So, right there, he logged into a VPN service and bypassed the GWF to get to the site and continue his talk. The scene was described as embarrassing. And Chinese Internet users quickly accused him of accessing banned foreign site while not allowing ordinary citizens do the same.
hackingbear writes: While those general steps of long-term memory formation are clear, the details such as how exactly the molecular signals get shuttled to the command center, which generally has tight security, are unclear. A new study, led by neuroscientist Yi Zhong of Tsinghua University in Beijing, may finally have that answer. In the tiny minds of fruit flies, a protein called importin-7 acts to shuttle the memory-triggering signal into the nucleus with its top-level clearance to the restricted area, researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. With genetic tweaking, the researchers dialed up and down the amount of importin-7 in the flies and then put them through the memory training and test. They found that cranking up levels of the shuttle protein strengthened the long-term memories of the flies, while turning it off weakened their memory.
In the tiny minds of fruit flies, a protein called importin-7 acts to shuttle the memory-triggering signal into the nucleus with its top-level clearance to the restricted area, researchers report in the .