Recent tests of a metal-coated graphite power source promise low-cost thrust
and electricity for satellites and other space vehicles. Here's the scenario:
Conventional booster rockets launch the vehicle into low-earth orbit. Deployment of inflatable mirrors then focuses sunlight into a solar engine, heating liquid hydrogen fuel. Escaping through a nozzle, the expanded gas "thrusts" the payload from low-earth to geosynchronous orbit in 30 days or less with twice the efficiency of chemical propulsion systems.
On-orbit, the solar engine stays with the satellite, turning trapped solar heat into electricity. Because it replaces batteries and solar arrays, the "integrated solar upper stage" cuts payload weight and launch costs.
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Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.