Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Catch up

Reaching space in a balloon may sound like something out of a children’s book, but Spain’s zero2infinity company doesn't think so. The Barcelona-based company specializes in near-space balloon flights for scientific and engineering clients, and is working on a nanosatellite launch vehicle called bloostar, which uses a high-altitude balloon as a first stage and rockets for reaching orbit... Continue Reading zero2infinity mixes balloons and rockets to launch nanosats

Section: Space

Tags: Balloon, Launch, Rocket, Satellite, Spain

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SpaceX founder Elon Musk has made it no secret that he plans to go to Mars, and it looks like he’s giving NASA’s ambitions about the Red Planet a bit of a boost along the way. During a Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in September, the space agency sent a pair of chase planes up to take high-resolution images of the booster as it made a powered test landing on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean as a way of gather critical engineering information for future Mars missions... Continue Reading NASA looks to SpaceX for Mars landing tips

Section: Space

Tags: Falcon, Mars, NASA, Spacecraft, SpaceX

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After completing its 10 month-long voyage, NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft is taking its first look at the Martian atmosphere. Part of the unmanned orbiter’s commissioning phase, it limbered up its sensors by observing the effect of a massive solar event and returned its first images of the fountain-like coronas that are slowly peeling away the Red Planet's atmosphere... Continue Reading MAVEN spacecraft provides first look at Martian upper atmosphere

Section: Space

Tags: Atmosphere, Mars, MAVEN, NASA, Spacecraft

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A secret mission came to a public end this morning as the US Air Force’s top secret X-37Bspaceplane landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The unmanned reusable spacecraft touched down on the runway like a conventional aircraft this morning at 9:24 am EDT after a record-breaking 674 days in orbit. According to the Air Force, the automatic landing was monitored by the 30th Space Wing and occurred without incident... Continue Reading Top secret X-37B spaceplane breaks orbital endurance record

Section: Space

Tags: Boeing, Reconnaissance, Record-breaking, Spacecraft, Unmanned, US Air Force,Vandenberg AFB, X-37B

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A team of MIT researchers has completed an analysis of the Mars One mission to colonize the Red Planet that throws the feasibility of the non-profit project into question. By analyzing the mission’s details, the team found that as the plan stands, there are a number of hurdles that must be overcome if the colonists aren't to end up dead within 10 weeks of landing. .. Continue Reading MIT team throws feasibility of Mars One mission into question

Section: Space

Tags: International Space Station, Mars, Mars One, MIT

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The US Air Force’s reusable unmanned spacecraft, the X-37B, is scheduled to return to Earth this week. Although the exact day and time remains undetermined, preparations are underway at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in anticipation of the arrival of the mini-shuttle as it ends its classified Orbital Test Vehicle mission 3 (OTV-3)... Continue Reading US Air Force awaiting landing of X-37B after top-secret space mission

Section: Space

Tags: Boeing, California, Spacecraft, Unmanned, US Air Force, X-37B

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Having a 21st century robot doesn't help if the control is like something designed to handle a model plane circa 1965, so iRobot has come up with something that is not only up to date, but also more intuitive, so operators can worry more about the job at hand than the robot used to complete it. The iRobot uPoint Multi-Robot Control (MRC) system is a universal control system for the company’sdefense and security robots that uses combines a touchscreen interface with a mobile robotic radio relay... Continue Reading iRobot unveils one tablet-based control system to rule them all

Section: Robotics

Tags: iRobot, Remote Control, Tablet

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BAE Systems has begun construction of the first of the Royal Navy’s three new River class Batch 3 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV). During a ceremony at BAE Systems Surface Ships’ Govan facility in Glasgow, Bernard Gray, the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Chief of Defence Material, activated a plasma cutting machine, which sliced through first plate of steel for HMS Forth. The ship will be the first in the Royal Navy to incorporate the state-of-the-art Shared Infrastructure operating system in its construction. .. Continue Reading Construction of Royal Navy's new River class OPVs gets underway

Section: Military

Tags: BAE Systems, Marine, Royal Navy, Ships

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Driver assistance technologies are becoming more common and more sophisticated with each passing year, but despite this, their function is still to reduce accidents rather than eliminate them – at least, for now. Volvo's project 360° is going the whole hog with a new technology that the Swedish car maker believes has the potential to eliminate deaths and injuries by a Volvo car or truck by 2020... Continue Reading Volvo's 360° view technology aimed at making accidents a thing of the past

Section: Automotive

Tags: Accidents, Driver Assistance, Prototype, Safety, Sensors, Volvo

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HMS Ocean is already the largest vessel in the British Royal Navy, so to help lighten ship, BAE Systems and Ministry of Defence is deploying a new system on the helicopter carrier that hosts software across multiple systems from a single console... Continue Reading HMS Ocean receives all-in-one computer system

Section: Military

Tags: BAE Systems, Computer, Royal Navy

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In the 21st century, the world lives with two futures ahead of it – one of looming energy shortages, and another of godlike energy abundance. The key to this whether it’s possible to turn fusion reactor technology from a laboratory exercise into a real-world application. Engineers that the University of Washington are working on a fusion reactor that, when scaled up, could produce energy on a practical scale, yet at a cost rivaling that of a conventional coal-powered plant... Continue ReadingUniversity of Washington fusion reactor promises "cheaper than coal" energy

Section: Science

Tags: Coal, Energy, Fusion, University of Washington

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Digital gadgetry for cars is progressing by leaps and bounds, which is great – except when they your car doesn't have them. Japan's Pioneer Corporation has developed one way to keep up with the high-tech motoring Joneses in the form of its rearview mirror telematics unit – a wireless information module that fits over a car's original rearview mirror. .. Continue Reading Pioneer packs latest in-car tech into rearview mirror telematics module

Section: Automotive

Tags: Cars, Driving, Japan, Navigation, NTT Docomo, Pioneer, Touchscreen, Wireless

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Ever since Antonie van Leeuwenhoek turned his simple microscope on a bit of pond water in the 17th century, optical microscopes have been a key tool for biologists. Unfortunately, they’re rather limited as to the smallness of what they can see – or at least, they were. This year's winners of theNobel Laureates in Chemistry, Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner, changed all that. Their discovery of two methods to bypass the physical limits of optical microscopes led to the creation of the field of nanomicroscopy. .. Continue Reading Super-resolved fluorescence microscopy pioneers awarded 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Section: Inventors and Remarkable People

Tags: Chemistry, Fluorescent, Microscopes, Nanoscale, Nobel prizes, Optical

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With the Royal Navy (RN) working hard to cast off the "Jonah" reputation of its Astute class nuclear attack submarines, BAE Systems has successfully completed the latest RN boat Artful’s maiden dive. The third of the British A boats, which are billed as the most advanced submarine in the world, Artful submerged while tied to the BAE dock at Barrow in Furness, Cumbria as part of its commissioning process... Continue Reading HMS Artful completes maiden dive

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Tags: BAE Systems, Nuclear, Royal Navy, Submarine

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Thomas Edison may have invented the lightbulb, but he never received the Nobel Prize for it. Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano at the University of Nagoya, and Shuji Nakamura working at Nichia Chemicals in Tokushima, Japan have proven more successful, being awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention of the blue LED, which is the key to modern energy-efficient lighting... Continue Reading 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to inventors of blue LEDs

Section: Inventors and Remarkable People

Tags: Energy-efficient, Inventors, Japan, LED, Light, Nobel prizes

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Last month, the US MAVEN space probe and the Indian MOM orbiter arrived at the planet Mars within days of one another. As part of a welcome to India as the newest interplanetary spacefaring nation, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), signed a pair of documents formally sealing agreements between the US and India for greater cooperation in the exploration of Mars and for a joint NASA-ISRO Earth observation mission later this decade... Continue Reading India and the US to team up for Mars exploration and Earth-observing missions

Section: Space

Tags: India, ISRO, Mars, Mars Orbiter Mission, MAVEN, NASA, Spacecraft

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The sinking feeling of calling a help line and discovering that there’s a robot at the other end may not be as sinky in the future. IPsoft’s "virtual service-desk employee" Amelia is designed to bring advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to help desks and other interactive operations by engaging callers in more intuitive and natural conversations... Continue Reading IPsoft’s Amelia AI platform making its way to work

Section: Computers

Tags: Artificial Intelligence, Business, Interactive

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One of nature’s most notorious psychopaths may be giving cancer patients new hope. The mantis shrimp is famous for having a punch like a .22 bullet and a perpetual bad attitude, but is also has the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom, which are excellent at detecting polarized light. With this in mind, the University of Queensland is developing new cameras based on the mantis shrimp’s eyes that can detect a variety of cancer tissues... Continue Reading Mantis shrimp's eyes inspire new cancer-detecting camera

Section: Science

Tags: Animals, Cameras, Cancer, Cancer Tissue, Diagnosis, Imaging, Neuroscience, Non-invasive, University of Queensland

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