Tuesday, 21 April 2015

"World's first battery-powered rocket" readied for launch



Though there have been tremendous advances in space technology in recent years, when it comes to getting into space, we're still like cavemen trying to get beyond the breakers on a floating log – at least, that's the view of New Zealand-based company Rocket Lab. In the hopes of increasing the number of satellite launches to over 100 a year and placing constellations of small satellites into orbit numbering in the thousands, the company has developed a "battery-powered" rocket engine to lift its Electron launch vehicle at almost a tenth of the cost of conventional boosters. .. Continue Reading "World's first battery-powered rocket" readied for launch

Section: Space

Tags: Electric, Launch, New Zealand, Rocket

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Monday, 20 April 2015

Rocks reveal secret of Moon's formation



There are a number of ideas about where the Moon came from, but, based on orbital mechanics, the accepted theory is that about 150 million years after the Solar System formed some 4.6 billion years ago, the primordial Earth was struck by an object the size of Mars called Theia. Out of the debris of this massive impact, the Moon was formed. Scientists at the University of Maryland (UMD) have for the first time found evidence to support this theory by analyzing the isotopic “fingerprints” of rock samples brought back by the Apollo astronauts. .. Continue Reading Rocks reveal secret of Moon's formation

Section: Space

Tags: Apollo, Apollo 16, Moon, NASA, Solar System, University of Maryland

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Catch Up



The four-door Panamera may not have sat well with purists when it was introduced in 2009, but it's sold well enough, especially in China, to keep the company happy. So following in the footsteps of various iterations, including the Turbo S, the S E-Hybrid and long-wheelbase Exclusive, Porsche is rolling out three new additions, with more standard equipment and tweaked styling aimed at both the Western and Asian markets... Continue Reading Porsche adds three variants to four-door Panamera model series

Section: Automotive

Tags: Cars, Luxury, Panamera, Porsche

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If you hunt unexploded sea mines for a living, then you might not mind losing your job to a robot. That seems to be the reasoning of the British and French governments, as they embark on a joint venture to develop a prototype autonomous system for detecting and neutralizing sea mines and UnderWater Improvised Explosive Devices (UWIED)... Continue Reading Anglo-French project aims at using robots to fight underwater mines

Section: Military

Tags: Bombs, French Navy, mine detection, Naval Warfare, Robots, Royal Navy, Thales,Underwater

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As the saying goes, you can't keep a good particle accelerator down. In Switzerland, CERN has announced that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is back online after a major overhaul and refit. This power-up of the most powerful particle accelerator in the world marks the culmination of two years of work and months of testing, resulting in a significant boost in performance for the giant collider's "season 2." .. Continue Reading Large Hadron Collider back on line

Section: Science

Tags: CERN, Large Hadron Collider, Particle accelerator, Particle physics

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Jaguar debuted its 2016 XF at the 2015 New York International Auto Show this week, with the premium automaker using the second generation of the four-door luxury sedan to showcase the marque's emphasis on the use of aluminum. When the car launches at the end of the year, Jaguar says all its current and future models models will feature lightweight aluminum construction. .. Continue Reading Aluminum gives 2016 Jaguar XF a light touch

Section: Automotive

Tags: Aluminum, Car, Jaguar, Luxury

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Modern deep space probes may be among the most sophisticated pieces of hardware the 21st century can produce, but that doesn't mean they aren't susceptible to the age-old problem of dust. The European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta space probe was thrown into safe mode recently when it was unable to take a simple star fix due to comet dust. .. Continue Reading Comet dust sends Rosetta into safe mode

Section: Space

Tags: Comets, ESA, Rosetta, Spacecraft

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Porsche drivers tend to have an aversion to change for change's sake, so when the new Porsche Boxster Spyder made its debut at this year's New York International Auto Show, it was with the purists in mind. The first new version of the mid-engine roadster since the 2012 model, the Boxster promises "traditional sports-car driving experience, but with contemporary performance." .. Continue Reading Porsche's new Boxster Spyder is aimed at the purists

Section: Automotive

Tags: Boxster, Convertible, Porsche, Roadster, Sports Cars, Spyder

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Blue Origin has taken a step closer to lifting into space by announcing that its BE‑3 rocket engine has completed acceptance testing, opening the door to its first flight. The first new hydrogen engine to be developed in the US in over a decade, the BE-3 is part of Blue Origin's program to develop a completely reusable launch system... Continue Reading Blue Origin's BE-3 engine cleared for flight

Section: Space

Tags: Blue Origin, Engine, Hydrogen, Rocket, Spacecraft, Testing, United Launch Alliance

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Since the First World War, airplanes have acted as Close Air Support (CAS) for infantry, though it's been a rocky marriage marked by poor communications and difficult teamwork. DARPA's Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) project aims to improve coordination between air and ground forces by means of a digital system that works up to seven times faster than regular paper maps and voice radio instructions, and with greater accuracy. .. Continue Reading DARPA strengthens lines of communication with digital close air support system test

Section: Military

Tags: Android, Communications, DARPA, US Marines

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For something commonly called a "dummy," the mannequins used in crash tests are surprisingly sophisticated and so specialized that they're not much use out of automotive safety labs. When the US Army went looking for a dummy of its own, it had to go back to square one by awarding a contract to California-based Diversified Technical Systems (DTS) to help develop the first instrumented dummy designed for military vehicle blast testing... Continue Reading World's first military blast test dummy to join the US Army

Section: Military

Tags: Mannequin, Safety, Sensors, US Army

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A shirt-ironing machine from Siemens


One unfortunate fact of modern life is that functional new software becomes non-functional old software with depressing regularity. For most people, this means predictable episodes of frustration, but for the US military, it's a more serious problem. DARPA's new Building Resource Adaptive Software Systems (BRASS) project aims to take a major shot at avoiding this obsolescence by developing software systems that can still operate properly a hundred years from now... Continue Reading DARPA wants to make software obsolescence obsolete

Section: Military

Tags: Algorithms, Computer, DARPA, Infrastructure, Research, Software

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For many people, tape memory is a dead technology found only on reel-to-reel computers in old 1960s movies. However, it’s still a major storage medium and a new breakthrough by IBM Research and Fuji Film has produced a low-cost particulate magnetic tape with a record density of 123 billion bits of uncompressed data per square inch, which represents 88 times more capacity than 2012's LTO-6 tape cartridge... Continue Reading IBM sets new tape storage record

Section: Computers

Tags: Fuji, IBM, Magnetic, Prototype, Storage, Tape

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A remarkable scientific document went under the hammer today at Bonhams in New York. The rare handwritten manuscript by Alan Turing in which he made notes on symbolic logic and mathematics during the Second World War for sold for US$1,025,000... Continue Reading Alan Turing's notebook sells for $1.025 million

Section: Inventors and Remarkable People

Tags: Auction, Bonhams, British, History, Mathematics

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Elon Musk's goal of achieving the first powered landing of a reusable booster had a close brush with success today as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket narrowly failed to survive a touchdown on the deck of a drone barge off the US east coast. The third landing attempt by the company came after the launch of the CRS-6 mission, which sent an unmanned Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station. .. Continue Reading SpaceX Falcon 9 makes landing on drone barge ... then tips over

Section: Space

Tags: Elon Musk, Falcon, International Space Station, Launch, Rocket, Spacecraft, SpaceX,Unmanned

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These days, it seems like every celebrity comes out with a cookbook at some point, and IBM's Watson supercomputer is no exception. The newly released Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson includes 65 recipes, developed with the help of what's billed as "the world’s first cognitive cooking system", is the result of a three-year collaboration between IBM Research and chefs at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE). .. Continue Reading IBM's Watson does some culinary computing for its first cookbook

Section: Computers

Tags: Cooking, Food, IBM, Molecular Gastronomy, Supercomputer, Watson

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According to Dyson, bed mattresses contain anywhere between 10,000 and two million dust mites that churn out around 40 million droppings per day. To deal with the pesky critters and provide relief for allergy sufferers, the company has announced its handheld V6 Mattress cleaner, which packs HEPA filtration and is powered by the Dyson digital motor V6. .. Continue Reading Dyson V6 Mattress cleaner sucks, if you're a dust mite

Section: Around The Home

Tags: Asthma, Dyson, Handheld, Vacuum cleaner

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The United Launch Alliance (ULA) has entered the reusable launcher race with its Next Generation Launch System (NGLS), also known as the Vulcan rocket. This replacement for the current generation of launch systems will incorporate a rocket engine assembly that jettisons from the first stage and is snared in mid-air by a helicopter after reentering the Earth's atmosphere.. Continue Reading ULA Vulcan launcher will return to Earth by helicopter

Section: Space

Tags: Blue Origin, Centaur, Launch Vehicles, Rocket, United Launch Alliance

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We've only just begun to see the huge impact 3D-printing technology will have on manufacturing, and the aerospace industry is a prime example. Earlier this year we saw the first example of a 3D-printed jet engine, now GE has announced the first 3D-printed part certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a commercial jet engine. The fist-sized T25 housing for a compressor inlet temperature sensor was fabricated by GE Aviation and will be retrofitted to over 400 GE90-94B jet engines on Boeing 777 aircraft... Continue Reading GE announces first FAA approved 3D-printed engine part

Section: Aircraft

Tags: 3D Printing, Aircraft, Engine, Engine Technologies, FAA, GE

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Thursday, 2 April 2015

Land Rover previews Range Rover SVAutobiography



Land Rover has tossed out the Autobiography Black as its flagship car, and at the 2015 New York International Auto Show will replace it with the new Range Rover SVAutobiography. Created by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO), the top-of-the-line model is billed as the "most luxurious and powerful series-production Range Rover in the model’s successful 45-year history." .. Continue Reading Land Rover previews Range Rover SVAutobiography

Section: Automotive

Tags: Land Rover, Luxury, Range Rover, SUV

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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

DARPA looks at "system of systems" to maintain US air superiority



Modern warfare is a constant arms race of measures and countermeasures, but with development cycles taking decades and costing billions of dollars, it's not uncommon for military technology to become obsolete by the time it's deployed. To address this dilemma, DARPA's System of Systems (SoS) Integration Technology and Experimentation (SoSITE) program aims at replacing monolithic weapon systems with a more flexible cross-platform approach. .. Continue Reading DARPA looks at "system of systems" to maintain US air superiority

Section: Military

Tags: Aircraft, Communications, DARPA, Drone, Unmanned, Weapons

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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Soundbrenner Pulse: The musician's smartwatch



For over two hundred years the mechanical metronome has been a vital tool for musicians, but it's limited, often distracting, and can't be used in a performance setting. Berlin-based startup Soundbrenner's answer is the Pulse wearable metronome, which keeps the beat by vibration or light and can be programmed for multiple players... Continue Reading Soundbrenner Pulse: The musician's smartwatch

Section: Wearable Electronics

Tags: Bluetooth, Indiegogo, Vibrators, Wearable

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Dyson unveils next-generation air purifier



Not content with vacuums and fans, Dyson is expanding into the realm of air purification with its Pure Cool purifier fan, which was unveiled today. Building on the company's Air Multiplier technology, it's designed to capture ultrafine particles, which are a major component of air pollution. To learn more, Gizmag talked to Dyson engineer Robert Green. .. Continue Reading Dyson unveils next-generation air purifier

Section: Around The Home

Tags: Air Purification Systems, Carbon Monoxide, China, Dyson, Filters, Japan, Pollution

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Saturday, 28 March 2015

NASA outlines Asteroid Redirect Mission



NASA has released new details on how it plans to boldly go to an asteroid and come back with a bit of it. The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is part of the space agency's Asteroid Initiative announced in 2013, which envisions the capture and return of an asteroid to lunar orbit for study by astronauts as a rehearsal for a later mission to Mars... Continue Reading NASA outlines Asteroid Redirect Mission

Section: Space

Tags: Asteroid, Asteroid Redirect Mission, NASA, Orion Spacecraft, Spacecraft

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Catch up





When we laid eyes on the Elytron 2S tiltrotor plane prototype last year at the Experimental Aircraft Association's fly-in airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, it was a half-built concept with only part of its Prandtl wing box installed. The company has now completed the airframe ahead of planned flight tests later this year... Continue Reading Elytron 2S tiltrotor demonstrator airframe completed




Section: Aircraft




Tags: Aircraft, Elytron, Experimental, Prototype, Tiltrotor




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Marathons may be an everyday occurrence for people on Earth, but are a little more noteworthy when you're a little robot on Mars. According to NASA, as of March 16, the Mars Opportunity rover has covered 26.219 mi (42.195 km) in the leisurely time of about 11 years and two months. or 3,968 Martian days. In 2014, Opportunity broke the record of any space rover when it passed the distance covered by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 moon rover, which was launched in 1973... Continue Reading Opportunity rover completes Martian marathon




Section: Space




Tags: Mars, NASA, Opportunity, Spacecraft




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In another hopeful sign that Mars was once habitable, NASA's Curiosity rover has detected nitrogen in the soil of the Red Planet for the first time. While NASA doesn't think that the compounds are biological in origin, they are still significant to Mars having been more favorable to life in the ancient past... Continue Reading Curiosity rover finds nitrogen on Mars




Section: Space




Tags: Curiosity Rover, Mars, Mars Science Laboratory, NASA, Spacecraft




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Table saws can make working with wood a breeze. They can also take fingers off the unwary in the blink of an eye. To help avoid the latter, Bosch has come up with its Reaxx portable jobsite table saw, which can tell the difference between a piece of wood and a finger, and drop the blade out of the way to prevent a messy accident... Continue ReadingBosch Reaxx table saw saves fingers and blades




Section: Good Thinking




Tags: Accidents, Bosch, Portable, Safety, Wood




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In anticipation of more ambitious planetary missions, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, in collaboration with Masten Space Systems in Mojave, California, has recently been testing new landing technologies using an Autonomous Descent and Ascent Powered-flight Testbed (ADAPT). Aimed at developing new systems for landing on Mars and other planets with much greater precision, a new imaging landing system and algorithm were tested using the demonstration vehicle on two successful flights... Continue Reading Precision planetary lander technology tested by NASA




Section: Space




Tags: Autonomous, JPL, Masten Space Systems, NASA, Navigation, Rocket, Test Flights




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It had to happen sooner or later; robots have replaced infants... at least, as subjects in psychological research being conducted by a team at the Indiana University (IU) Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences. The robots are being used to study how infants learn and have revealed that posture and body position are important factors in early learning... Continue Reading Robotic infants reveal posture may play an important role in learning




Section: Robotics




Tags: Behavior, Humanoid, Indiana University, Learning, Psychology, Robotic, Robots




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The European Space Agency (ESA) has temporarily suspended its attempt to reestablish contact with its Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. For eight days, the agency’s Rosetta probe unsuccessfully beamed a wake up signal to the hibernating lander, which has been silent since its batteries were exhausted in November. .. Continue ReadingFirst attempt to wake up Philae lander unsuccessful

Section: Space

Tags: Comets, ESA, German Aerospace Center, Philae, Rosetta, Spacecraft

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Though the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Dream Chaser spaceplane was kicked out of the running to ferry crew to the ISS, a variation on the craft may still end up visiting the station. As part of its bid to win NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract, SNC has unveiled an unmanned autonomous version of Dream Chaser to carry cargo into orbit... Continue Reading Unmanned version of Dream Chaser spaceplane unveiled

Section: Space

Tags: Autonomous, Dream Chaser, International Space Station, NASA, Spacecraft,Unmanned

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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Study claims lunar caverns could hold city-size colonies



We tend to think of future lunar colonies as being cramped futuristic domes or subsurface rabbit warrens, but what about underground caverns big enough to hang glide in? According to a study by a Purdue University team, that may not be so daft as it calculates that the Moon may contain lava tubes large enough to house entire cities... Continue Reading Study claims lunar caverns could hold city-size colonies

Section: Space

Tags: Cave, Engineering, Lunar, Moon, Purdue University

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