Brain Chip 6 months out from being tested on Humans

Romans 1:25 “25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

Important Takeaways:

  • Musk’s ‘brain chip’ could be tested on humans in 6 months
  • Billionaire Elon Musk has said that a wireless ‘brain chip’ developed by his company Neuralink could begin human clinical trials in six months.
  • The Neuralink device will first target restoring vision and enabling movement of muscles in people who cannot do so, Musk said.
  • Most recently, Neuralink has been conducting tests on animals as it seeks approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin clinical trials in people.
  • He wants to develop a chip that would allow the brain to control complex electronic devices and eventually allow people with paralysis to regain motor function and treat brain diseases such as Parkinson’s, dementia and Alzheimer’s. He also wants to meld the brain with artificial intelligence.

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Tesla CEO: “Sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports”

Rev 6:6 NAS And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Elon Musk calls for increase in US oil, gas production to combat Russia despite negative effect on Tesla
  • Musk’s tweet calling for more fossil fuel production was retweeted roughly 20,000 times in 30 minutes
  • “Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately,” Musk tweeted Friday. “Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.”
  • Musk added, “Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.”
  • Additionally, reports have shown that the U.S. is buying 650,000 barrels a day from Russia, which some have argued is essentially financing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war machine.

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SpaceX rocket ship launches 4 astronauts on NASA mission to space station

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) -NASA and Elon Musk’s commercial rocket company SpaceX launched a new four-astronaut team on a flight to the International Space Station on Friday, the first crew ever propelled into orbit by a rocket booster recycled from a previous spaceflight.

The company’s Crew Dragon capsule Endeavour, also making its second flight, streaked into the darkened pre-dawn sky atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as its nine Merlin engines roared to life at 5:49 a.m. (0949 GMT) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The blastoff on Cape Canaveral was aired live on NASA TV.

The crew is due to arrive at the space station, orbiting some 250 miles (400 km) above Earth, early on Saturday following a flight of about 23 hours. On the way they will have time to dine on pre-packaged meals and snacks and to get some sleep.

Within 10 minutes of launch, the rocket’s second stage had delivered the crew capsule to Earth orbit, traveling at nearly 17,000 miles per hour, according to launch commentators.

The rocket’s first stage, meanwhile, descended back to Earth and touched down safely on a landing platform floating in the Atlantic on a drone ship affectionately named Of Course I Still Love You.

The mission marks the second “operational” space station team launched by NASA aboard a Crew Dragon capsule since human spaceflights resumed from American soil last year, following a nine-year hiatus at the end of the U.S. space shuttle program in 2011.

It is also the third crewed flight launched into orbit in 11 months under NASA’s fledgling public-private partnership with SpaceX, the rocket company founded in 2002 by Musk, who is also CEO of electric car maker Tesla Inc.

The first was an out-and-back test mission carrying just two astronauts into orbit last May, followed by SpaceX’s maiden flight of a full-fledged four-member space station crew in November.

“The future’s looking good. I think we’re at the dawn of a new era of space exploration,” the billionaire entrepreneur said at a briefing with NASA officials after watching the liftoff from launch control.

Friday’s Crew 2 team consists of two NASA astronauts – mission commander Shane Kimbrough, 53, and pilot Megan McArthur, 49 – along with Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, 52, and fellow mission specialist Thomas Pesquet, 43, a French engineer from the European Space Agency.

A video camera mounted inside the crew capsule showed the four helmeted astronauts, dressed in white flight suits and black boots, seated side by side at the controls of the capsule early in their journey.

About two hours later, relaxing in their weightless environment, they hosted a brief tour of the cabin for NASA TV’s audience.

“The ride was really smooth, and we couldn’t have asked for anything better,” McArthur said. “Hope you enjoyed the show.”

Pesquet held the camera up to one of the capsule’s windows, giving viewers a glimpse of Madagascar from orbit.

LONG-DURATION MISSION

They are expected to spend about six months aboard the orbiting research platform conducting science experiments and maintenance before returning to Earth. The four members of Crew 1, sent to the space station in November, are slated to fly home on April 28.

The Crew 2 mission made a bit of spaceflight history due to the fact that its Falcon 9 rocket blasted off with the same first-stage booster that lofted Crew 1 into orbit five months ago, marking the first time a previously flown booster has ever been re-used in a crewed launch.

Reusable booster vehicles, designed to fly themselves back to Earth and land safely rather than fall into the sea after launch, are at the heart of a re-usable rocket strategy that SpaceX helped pioneer to make spaceflight more economical.

SpaceX has logged dozens of Falcon 9 booster return landings, and the company has refurbished and re-used most of them, some for multiple flights. But all of those flights, until Friday’s mission, only carried cargo.

Crew 2’s pilot, McArthur, made a bit of history herself as the first female pilot of the Crew Dragon and the second person from her family to ride aboard the SpaceX capsule. She is married to NASA astronaut Bob Behnken, who flew the SpaceX demonstration flight with fellow astronaut Doug Hurley last year. The same Crew Dragon was used for that flight as well.

If all goes well, Crew 2 will be welcomed aboard the space station Saturday by the four Crew 1 astronauts – three from NASA and one from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency JAXA. Two Russian cosmonauts and a U.S. astronaut who shared a Soyuz flight to the space station are also aboard.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Nick Macfie, William Maclean and Steve Orlofsky)

SpaceX to launch astronaut crew in first operational mission

By Joey Roulette

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Elon Musk’s SpaceX is poised to send a crew of four astronauts to the International Space Station on Saturday evening in NASA’s first operational mission using the Crew Dragon capsule.

The Crew Dragon capsule, named “Resilience” by its crew, is due to launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 7:49 p.m. ET on Saturday (0049 GMT on Sunday) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida carrying three U.S. astronauts and one from Japan, Soichi Noguchi.

The roughly eight-hour flight to the station will be SpaceX’s first operational mission, as opposed to a test, after NASA officials this week signed off on Crew Dragon’s design, ending a nearly 10-year development phase for SpaceX under the agency’s public-private crew program.

“The history being made this time is we’re launching what we call an operational flight to the International Space Station,”  NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a press conference at Kennedy Space Center.

Musk, who usually attends high-profile SpaceX missions in person at Kennedy Space Center, said Thursday that he took four coronavirus tests on the same day, with two returning negative and two producing positive results.

Bridenstine, asked on Friday if Musk will be in the launch control room for liftoff on Saturday, said agency policy requires employees to quarantine and self-isolate after testing positive for the disease, “so we anticipate that that will be taking place.”

Whether Musk came into contact with the astronauts was unclear, but unlikely since the crew has been in routine quarantine for weeks prior to their flight on Saturday.

NASA contracted SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 to develop competing space capsules aimed at replacing its shuttle program that ended in 2011 and weaning off dependence on Russian rockets to send U.S. astronauts to space.

SpaceX’s final test of its capsule came in August, after the company launched and returned the first astronauts from U.S. soil on a trip to the ISS in nearly a decade. Boeing’s first crewed test mission with its Starliner capsule is planned for late next year.

(Reporting by Joey Roulette; editing by Bill Tarrant and Diane Craft)

Musk’s Neuralink venture promises to reveal a ‘working’ brain-computer device

By Tina Bellon

(Reuters) – Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s neuroscience startup Neuralink on Friday is expected to detail its latest innovations for implanting minuscule computer chips in human brains, fueling expectations among scientists who closely watch the company.

Co-founded by Musk in 2016, Neuralink aims to implant wireless brain-computer interfaces that include thousands of electrodes in the most complex human organ to help cure neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia and spinal cord injuries and ultimately fuse humanity with artificial intelligence.

The company said it will provide an update on its work during a live webcast late on Friday afternoon, with Musk tweeting that the presentation will include a “working Neuralink device.”

Musk, who frequently warns about the risks of artificial intelligence, is no stranger to revolutionizing industries as chief executive of electric vehicle company Tesla Inc and aerospace manufacturer SpaceX.

During a Neuralink presentation in July 2019, Musk said the company was aiming to receive regulatory approval to implant its device in human trials by the end of this year.

“This has a very good purpose, which is to cure important diseases — and ultimately to secure humanity’s future as a civilization relative to AI,” Musk said at the time.

The company promises to implant a sensor roughly eight millimeters in diameter, or smaller than a fingertip, potentially under only local anesthesia. With the help of a sophisticated robot, flexible threads or wires smaller than a human hair are implanted in brain areas responsible for motor and sensory functions.

Neuroscience experts said that while Neuralink’s mission to read and stimulate brain activity in humans is feasible, the company’s timeline appeared overly ambitious.

“Everyone in the field would be very impressed if they actually showed data from a device implanted in a human,” said Graeme Moffat, a neuroscience research fellow at the University of Toronto.

Small devices that electronically stimulate nerves and brain areas to treat hearing loss and Parkinson’s disease have been implanted in humans for decades.

Neuroscientists have also conducted brain implant trials with a small number of people who have lost control of bodily functions due to spiral cord injuries or neurological conditions like strokes. Humans in those trials could control robotic limbs or small objects, like a computer keyboard or mouse cursor, but have yet to complete more sophisticated tasks.

Most of the current cutting-edge research in brain-machine interface is conducted on animals, scientists note, with safety challenges and lengthy regulatory approval procedures preventing larger human trials.

Brain-machine interface science has had a surge in investment and business activity over the past five years, largely thanks to advancements in material, wireless and signaling technology.

But scientists still face a range of issues, including preventing tissue scarring around the implant, the quality of measurements and the development of machine-learning algorithms to interpret brain signals, said Amy Orsborn, an assistant professor at the University of Washington who researches neural interfaces.

“I don’t think we know what the magic bullet is, we only know the problem,” Orsborn told Reuters.

(Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York; Editing by Joe White and Dan Grebler)

NASA sets launch date for SpaceX U.S. manned mission to space station

By Joey Roulette

(Reuters) – NASA on Friday set a launch date of May 27 for its first astronaut mission from U.S. soil in nearly ten years.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted that billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space company, SpaceX, will send two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station aboard its Falcon 9 rocket from Florida – marking the company’s first mission carrying humans aboard.

“BREAKING: On May 27, @NASA will once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil!” Bridenstine wrote on Twitter.

The U.S. space agency had previously said the mission, in which NASA astronauts Bob Behnken, 48, and Doug Hurley, 52 will ride SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule to the space station, would launch sometime in May.

As with most high-profile missions, the new date could slip. If all goes as planned, the mission would mark the first time NASA launches its astronauts from U.S. soil since the 2011 retirement of the space shuttle.

The space agency has since relied on Russia’s space program to ferry astronauts to the space station.

A decade in the making, next month’s mission is the final test for Crew Dragon before regularly flying humans for NASA under its Commercial Crew Program, a public-private initiative. Boeing Co is developing its competing Starliner astronaut taxi as the agency’s second ride to space.

The agency is mulling whether to extend Behnken and Hurley’s stay aboard the space station from a week as originally planned to up to six months in order to ensure U.S. astronauts are staffed on the station continuously.

Timelines for the crew program have been pushed back by years, with the first crew launch originally slated for early 2017.

The development delays with Crew Dragon and Boeing’s Starliner have forced NASA to buy more crew seats from Russia’s space agency, an increasingly costly expense as Moscow scales its own Soyuz program back to just two missions a year.

(Reporting by Joey Roulette; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Bill Berkrot)