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Science Saturday: Chang'e-6, Starliner, C919 and AI chip

By Tech It Out


China's lunar mission

China's Chang'e-6 probe has collected samples from the far side of the moon for the first time in lunar exploration. These new samples could provide global researchers with valuable insights for answering questions about the moon. The probe spent 48 hours on the surface and completed intelligent, rapid sampling in the South Pole-Aitken Basin. It then transferred the samples to storage devices carried by the ascender. The Chang'e-6 lunar probe, launched on May 3, will now orbit the moon, awaiting the optimal time to return to Earth.

Starliner blasts off

Boeing and NASA have launched the first crewed mission of the next-generation Starliner to the International Space Station (ISS), following several delayed mission take-offs. The CST-100 Starliner took off from Florida on Wednesday. This launch marks a milestone in Boeing's efforts to intensify its competition with Elon Musk's SpaceX program. Once in space, the Starliner must execute precise maneuvers to dock with the ISS, demonstrate it can stay docked for about eight days, and safely return the two astronauts to Earth to gain NASA certification for routine astronaut missions.

C919 first cross-border flight

A C919 jetliner, China's homegrown large passenger aircraft, has commenced its first cross-border commercial chartered flight. The China Eastern Airlines plane, carrying over 100 young Hong Kong talents, flew to Shanghai on June 1. This flight comes one year after the C919 made its first commercial flight. Over the past year, the C919 jetliners have operated on three domestic routes, transporting nearly 300,000 passengers.

'Brain-inspired' AI chip

Chinese researchers have made a breakthrough with the development of Speck, a new low-power "brain-inspired" chip designed for AI applications. Speck integrates a dynamic visual sensor and a neuromorphic chip into a single device, achieving low resting power consumption. The research, led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was recently published in the journal Nature Communications. It represents a significant step towards replicating the human brain's remarkable efficiency.

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