Can AI help crack the code of fusion power?

From Verge Science. Practical fusion power, as the joke goes, has been “decades away…for decades.” But recent advancements in advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence promise to speed up the slow, slow progress towards a fusion-powered utopia. We visit one company that’s using machine learning to try and crack the code on fusion once and for…

Your future tech may rely on deep-sea mining

From Verge Science. As the demand grows for the metals that power electronics, we may have to look farther and farther for mining opportunities. The next big mining frontier is the deep sea: along the seafloor, mysterious vents shoot scalding hot fluid into the ocean. These vents are a haven for miraculous and unique sea…

This is SpaceX’s very first human crew

From Verge Science. This year, if all goes well, astronauts will launch to space on a private craft for the first time in history. It’s SpaceX’s big chance to show NASA that it can be trusted with the work of ferrying astronauts to and from the international space station. We met the two astronauts selected…

Why doctors are worried about the Apple Watch EKG

From Verge Science. The Apple Watch Series 4 learned a new trick: it can now perform an EKG, or electrocardiogram. It’s a test that can detect heart problems, and it could save lives. But it could also have some unintended side effects: self-diagnosis, false positives, and other headaches for doctors and hospitals everywhere. We took…

Training for Mars on an active volcano

From Verge Science. There’s no way to know what life at a Mars colony will really be like — but on the side of an active volcano in Hawaii, NASA has built the next best thing. We visited a remote habitat on the island of Hawaii built to simulate the conditions that future astronauts might…

The kilogram has changed forever. Here’s why.

From Verge Science. In November, scientists from around the world met in Paris to do something remarkable: they redefined the kilogram. This standard of measure was once based on a hunk of metal under lock and key in France — but in 2019, it will officially be defined by something far, far stranger. Take a…

NASA’s InSight Mars landing: what it really took

From Verge Science. After a six-month long journey, NASA’s InSight spacecraft successfully landed on Mars. The probe will now begin to collect data on Mars’ crust, mantle, and core, providing a never-before-seen look at the red planet’s inner workings. Getting a new spacecraft on the surface of the red planet is no easy feat –…

The new supercomputer behind the US nuclear arsenal

From Verge Science. “Sierra” was just crowned the second-most powerful supercomputer on the planet. And while most of its peers use their power for climate simulations, astrophysics, and other civilian work, Sierra is purpose-built for an entirely different mission: nuclear weapons. We took a tour of this massive system, and found out why the US…

Supersonic air travel is finally coming back

From Verge Science. Supersonic air travel is back. 15 years after the Concorde was grounded, everyone from aerospace companies to NASA to small startups is working to bring back ultrafast civilian aircraft. We take a look at the engineering challenges that make supersonic flight so difficult, and try to figure out what’s different about this…

What the world looks like to an algorithm

From Verge Science. Artificial intelligence is governing more and more of our lives, but the way it sees and understands the world is completely different from you or me. For this video, we found a way to look around inside AI’s “brain.” First, we asked fellow humans to guess paintings made by a computer program.…

We decoded NASA’s messages to aliens by hand

From Verge Science. In 1977, twin golden records were sent into space on the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft. Still sailing through space at nearly 60,000 km per hour, the records contain sound, songs, and images from earth. But how did NASA include images on an analog record? Here, we decoded the audio, and see…