A pair of spacewalking astronauts wrapped up battery improvements outside the International Space Station on Monday, completing a job begun last fall.
NASA's Jessica Meir and Christina Koch installed the last new battery in a set of six launched to the orbiting lab in September. They also removed two old batteries in their second spacewalk in under a week to upgrade the station's solar power grid.
This marked the women's third spacewalk together. They conducted the world's first all-female spacewalk last October, replacing a failed charging device that bumped the battery replacements into this year.
The women had just completed the battery work when Koch inadvertently deployed the hand controller on her emergency jet pack, called a Safer. Meir hurried over to get the controller back in its proper place. Koch called her "my hero."
Mission Control cautioned that, given the current set-up, "we would not count on Christina's Safer" in an emergency. NASA's spacewalking astronauts always wear small Safer jet packs in case they become untethered from the station and float away. It's never been needed.
During last Wednesday's spacewalk, Koch's helmet lights and camera came loose. She later found a faulty latch in the helmet assembly and replaced it before floating out Monday.
Koch has been aboard the space station for more than 10 months, the longest single spaceflight by a woman. She returns to Earth in just over two weeks.
NASA gradually has been replacing the space station's 48 aging, original-style nickel-hydrogen batteries with new and more powerful lithium-ion batteries. Only half as many of the new batteries are needed. So far, 18 new batteries have been installed over the past three years and 36 old ones removed.
Another batch of six new batteries will be launched to the orbiting lab this spring to complete the power upgrade. The old batteries, meanwhile, will be discarded in a supply ship.
These oversized, boxy batteries keep all the space station's systems running when the outpost is on the night side of Earth, drawing power from the sprawling solar wings. They're not easy to handle: Each is about a yard, or a meter, tall and wide, with a mass of about 400 pounds (180 kilograms.)
"To our astro-sisters, we wish you the best of luck on this," astronaut Andrew Morgan radioed from inside Monday.
In all, five spacewalks were needed to complete the battery work this time around.
Morgan and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano will venture outside Saturday to complete repairs to a cosmic ray detector on the space station. The science instrument's cooling system had to be replaced, an intricate job requiring four spacewalks.
Google's chief executive called Monday for a balanced approach to regulating artificial intelligence, telling a European audience that the technology brings benefits but also "negative consequences."
Sundar Pichai's comments come as lawmakers and governments seriously consider putting limits on how artificial intelligence is used.
"There is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. The question is how best to approach this," Pichai said, according to a transcript of his speech at a Brussel-based think tank.
He noted that there's an important role for governments to play and that as the European Union and the U.S. start drawing up their own approaches to regulation, "international alignment" of any eventual rules will be critical. He did not provide specific proposals.
Pichai spoke on the same day he was scheduled to meet the EU's powerful competition regulator, Margrethe Vestager. She's also due to meet Microsoft President Brad Smith separately on Monday.
Vestager has in previous years hit the Silicon Valley giant with multibillion-dollar fines for allegedly abusing its market dominance to choke off competition. After being reappointed for a second term last autumn with expanded powers over digital technology policies, Vestager has now set her sights on artificial intelligence, and is drawing up rules on its ethical use.
Pichai's comments suggest the company may be hoping to head off a broad-based crackdown by the EU on the technology. Vestager and the EU have been the among the more aggressive regulators of big tech firms, an approach U.S. authorities have picked up with investigations into the dominance of companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon.
"Sensible regulation must also take a proportionate approach, balancing potential harms with social opportunities," he said, adding that it could incorporate existing standards like Europe's tough General Data Protection Regulation rather than starting from scratch.
While it promises big benefits, he raised concerns about potential downsides of artificial intelligence, citing as one example its role in facial recognition technology, which can be used to find missing people but also for "nefarious reasons" which he didn't specify.
In 2018, Google pledged not to use AI in applications related to weapons, surveillance that violates international norms, or that works in ways that go against human rights.
Pichai was also due on Monday to meet Frans Timmermans, the EU commissioner overseeing the European Green Deal, the bloc's plan to fight climate change by making the continent carbon neutral by 2050, including through technology. He's then scheduled to head to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week.
Huawei received ‘Best Pavilion’ award in ‘Digital Bangladesh Fair 2020’, which was arranged for the first time in the country.
The award was given to Huawei for its contribution to make the fair successful by grabbing majority visitors through offering 5G experience, Real time VR testing, Humanoid Robot show, 5G smartphone experience and many more exciting facilities for free.
Zhang Zhengjun, CEO of Huawei Technologies (Bangladesh) Ltd, received the prize from the Post and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar on Saturday evening in the closing ceremony at Bangabandhu International Conference center.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal and other high officials of the ministry of Post and Telecommunications and Huawei Technologies (Bangladesh) Ltd. were also present there.
Huawei, the titanium sponsor of the fair, demonstrated 5G in the 'Digital Bangladesh Mela 2020'.
Moreover, there was an arrangement of amazing Robot show, where the interactive humanoid robot had played soccer following the command of hand gesture.
The aim of the arrangements was to showcase the advancement of 5G technology in Human-to-Machine or Machine-to-Machine communication.
There was another exciting play-zone where visitors had experienced real-time virtual reality (VR) test through 5G technology.
Germany's interior minister is suggesting that his country can't build a 5G mobile network without Chinese tech giant Huawei, at least for now, intervening in an issue that has caused tensions between the U.S. and its allies.
Washington has been pressuring its allies to ban Huawei, the world's biggest supplier of telecom gear, from new 5G networks. It alleges that the company poses an espionage threat.
Germany, however, has decided not to ban Huawei from competing for contracts to build the country's 5G networks, instead agreeing that companies must meet strict standards, which still could end up excluding the Chinese firm.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, Germany's top security official, was quoted Saturday as saying he is "against taking a product off the market just because there is a possibility that something might happen."
Seehofer said Germany must be protected against espionage and sabotage, but estimated that shutting out Chinese providers could delay building the new network by five to 10 years, the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.
"I don't see that we can set up a 5G network in Germany in the short term without participation by Huawei," Seehofer told the newspaper.
Rough seas prompted SpaceX on Saturday to delay the emergency escape test of its new crew capsule by a day.
Liftoff is now set for Sunday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
The Falcon rocket was supposed to blast off Saturday on a 10-minute flight to demonstrate the capsule's emergency escape system before astronauts climb aboard in a few months. But the wind and waves were too high in the recovery area out in the Atlantic.
Once launched, the capsule will catapult off the rocket and, if all goes well, parachute into the ocean with a pair of mannequins. The rocket - being recycled after three previous flights - will end up being destroyed.
The test is the last major hurdle for SpaceX before launching two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA officials said that could happen as soon as March.
Boeing, meanwhile, is still investigating why its Starliner crew capsule ended up in the wrong orbit last month following liftoff. It was the Starliner's first test flight, with no one on board, and the mishap prevented the capsule from flying to the International Space Station.
NASA is looking for SpaceX and Boeing to start flying astronauts to the space station this year. The last time NASA astronauts launched from the U.S. was in 2011; they've been riding Russian rockets in the interim for hefty prices.