Saturday, 27 December 2014

End of year catch up

The European Space Agency is shipping crude oil into space. This may seem like a poor market strategy, but there's method behind this petroleum madness. The space agency is sending a set of small, highly-pressurized containers of crude oil into orbit as part of an experiment aimed at learning how oil behaves in deep underground reservoirs... Continue Reading ESA sending crude oil into space

Section: Space

Tags: China, ESA, Oil, petroleum, QinetiQ, Spacecraft

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Sit out on a clear summer's night and the odds are that you'll be treated to a meteor shower that's the remnant of a comet's passing. However, such showers are not peculiar to our planet. NASA's unmanned MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) orbiter has uncovered evidence that the planet Mercury is subject to the same sort of periodic meteor showers as the Earth, only instead of a light show, it produces a spike in calcium in the planet's exosphere... Continue Reading MESSENGER finds signs of Mercury meteor showers

Section: Space

Tags: Comets, Mercury, Messenger, NASA, Solar System

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Though the new Discovery Sport isn't scheduled to go on sale until next month, Land Rover is putting it in the showrooms all 117 of its retailers in the UK … sort of. Instead of actual cars, the company is offering virtual 3D versions of the Sport that customers can take a tour of using Augmented Reality (AR) technology... Continue Reading Land Rover Discovery Sport arrives in showrooms ... virtually

Section: Automotive

Tags: Augmented Reality, Discovery Sport, iPhone, Land Rover, Virtual

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If there's one steady market for wristwatches, it's astronauts. Omega watches, for example, have flown on manned space missions since the Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph was carried on Project Mercury in the early 1960s. Now the latest version, the Speedmaster Skywalker X-33, is seeing service on the International Space Station. Based on a patented idea by ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy, the timepiece is not only made to withstand the rigors of space, but also to carry out functions useful to space travelers... Continue Reading ESA and Omega create new astronaut watch

Section: Space

Tags: ESA, International Space Station, LCD, Omega Watches, Space Travel, Watches

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The European Space Agency's (ESA) eight-year Venus Express mission has come to an end. Having already extended its lifespan to four times that originally planned, the unmanned orbiter has exhausted its fuel during a final attempt to further prolong its usefulness. According to ESA, the spacecraft can no longer hold the correct attitude to maintain communications with Earth and will soon burn up in the Venusian atmosphere... Continue Reading Venus Express mission ends as fuel runs out

Section: Space

Tags: ESA, Spacecraft, Unmanned, Venus, Venus Express

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On Friday, the Dragon CRS-5 mission lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station atop a Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket. If the launch is successful, the unmanned Dragon spacecraft will carry supplies and experiments to the ISS, but that part is almost routine. What is unusual is that SpaceX has confirmed that it will not only attempt a powered landing of the Falcon 9 booster, but will do so as a precision landing on a robotic sea barge. .. Continue Reading SpaceX to attempt Falcon 9 platform landing on Friday

Section: Space

Tags: CRS-5, Dragon, Falcon, Platform, Rocket, Spacecraft, SpaceX, Unmanned

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The hunt for present or past life on Mars got a boost as NASA's Curiosity rover records spikes in atmospheric methane ten times greater than previously measured by the unmanned probe. Though the levels are far below those found on Earth, methane is a key indicator that life may be or may once have been present. In addition, the nuclear-powered explorer has also detected the first confirmed organic compounds in drill samples taken from Martian rocks... Continue Reading Curiosity finds active organic chemistry on Mars

Section: Space

Tags: Chemistry, Curiosity Rover, Goddard Space Flight Center, Mars, Mars Science Laboratory, Methane, NASA, Organic

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NASA's Kepler space telescope shows that it still has life in it as its extended mission begins to bear fruit. This week, the space agency announced that the spacecraft detected a new exoplanet, demonstrating that its K2 life extension mission is working. The planet, called, HIP 116454b, is 2.5 times larger in diameter than the Earth and orbits a star 180 light years from Earth in the constellation of Pisces every nine days at a distance that makes it much too hot for it to sustain life. .. Continue Reading Kepler finds new exoplanet as it starts new mission

Section: Space

Tags: Exoplanet, Kepler Mission, NASA, Space telescope, Spacecraft, Unmanned

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Space travel is a bit more civilized now that there's a bespoke Italian espresso machineaboard the International Space Station (ISS). Unfortunately, solving one problem just raises another and the astronauts are still having to drink their cappuccinos out of placcy bags. To help the zero-g coffee aficionado, Portland State University's (PSU) Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science has developed a microgravity espresso cup that drinks like its earthbound counterparts... Continue Reading Portland State University creates zero-g espresso cups for space

Section: Space

Tags: Coffee, Engineering, International Space Station, NASA, Portland State University,Space Travel

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Lasers have been used to analyze the bones of sailors who drowned when the Royal Navy warship the Mary Rose sank in 1545. The new non-destructive technique carried out by the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, North London, shows that the men suffered from rickets, shedding new light on nutrition in Tudor England... Continue Reading Lasers shed new light on life aboard the Mary Rose

Section: Science

Tags: Archeology, Disease, Laser, Royal Navy, Sailors, University College London

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Proving that not all the space spectaculars are on the big screen at Christmas, NASA has released video taken from inside the Orion spacecraft during its re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere earlier this month. The ten-minute video shows the final minutes before its December 10 splashdown as it made a fiery descent ahead of a parachute landing in the Pacific ocean... Continue Reading NASA releases video of Orion re-entry

Section: Space

Tags: EFT-1, NASA, Orion Spacecraft, Reentry, SLS, Spacecraft, Unmanned, US Navy, Video

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Mars is regarded as the most Earth-like of the planets in the Solar System, but its atmosphere is only 0.6 percent as dense as Earth's and is constantly leaking what little air it has into space. NASA'S Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) Mars orbiter is providing new insights into the loss of the Martian atmosphere by discovering how the solar winds penetrate to surprisingly low altitudes... Continue Reading MAVEN uncovers secrets of Martian atmosphere loss

Section: Space

Tags: Atmosphere, Magnetic field, Mars, MAVEN, NASA, Spacecraft

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If there were any dinosaurs around, they could tell you that an asteroid impact can ruin your whole day. But if we did learn that one was actually going to strike the Earth in a month, what would the authorities do? To find out, the European Space Agency held its first ever mock asteroid drill to work on solutions and identify problems in how to handle such a catastrophe. .. Continue Reading ESA carries out asteroid impact drill

Section: Space

Tags: Asteroid, Chelyabinsk Meteor, ESA, Impact

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For doctors, nurses, soldiers, and other responders fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, currently available protective suits are both too hot to wear in the tropics and often a source of contagion when they're being taken off. To make moving and treating patients safer, Johns Hopkins University, along with international health affiliate Jhpiego and other partners, is developing a new anti-contamination suit for health care workers that is both cooler to wear and easier to remove. .. Continue Reading Johns Hopkins develops safer suit for Ebola workers

Section: Health and Wellbeing

Tags: Disease, Ebola, Health, Johns Hopkins University, Prototype, Safety

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One thing that is guaranteed to put a naval ship commander in front of a court martial is running aground. Unfortunately, despite all the advances in satellite technology and other aids, navigation is still as much an art as a science – and a very time-consuming one at that, with it taking days and sometimes weeks to chart out a mission. To free up captains and reduce their chances of having to answer awkward questions, the US Navy is introducing a new automated navigation planning system into its surface fleet that speeds up course planning and reduces the chance of human error. .. Continue Reading US Navy introducing system to help commanders plot the best course

Section: Military

Tags: Automation, Marine, Navigation, ONR, Submarine, US Navy

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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are the eyes in the skies for soldiers and disaster relief crews, but despite over a century of aviation progress, they still leave a lot to be desired and close quarters are very difficult for them to navigate on their own. To make UAVs more practical in debris-strewn areas, DARPA's Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program aims to develop algorithms that will allow autonomous fliers to negotiate obstacles as easily as a bird of prey... Continue Reading DARPA puts out call for super-agile UAVs

Section: Military

Tags: Autonomous, DARPA, Navigation, UAV, Unmanned

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The Chinese calendar may see 2014 as the Year of the Horse, but Rolls-Royce sees it as the Year of the Bespoke Car. To celebrate, the car maker presented its Suhail Collection; its first bespoke collection to cover all current Rolls-Royce models. .. Continue Reading Rolls-Royce releases its Suhail Collection to mark "Year of the Bespoke Car"

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Tags: Car, Collection, Rolls Royce

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It's been a busy year in space. In a mixture of triumph and tragedy, space exploration reached new horizons, tested new technologies, and pushed the limits of the possible in 2014. So as the old year draws to close, Gizmag looks back on the space highlights of the past twelve months... Continue Reading 2014: A space odyssey

Section: Space

Tags: 3D Printing, Antares, Cygnus, Elon Musk, ESA, Falcon, International Space Station,Mars, Mars Orbiter Mission, Moon, NASA, New Horizons, Orion Spacecraft, Philae, Rosetta,Solar System, Space Launch System, Spacecraft, SpaceShipTwo, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic

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At the moment, if you want to fly to the International Space Station, you're only option is to hitch a lift on one of Russia's 1970s-vintage Soyuz space capsules. That may not be the case for too much longer, with NASA announcing that it has approved the first milestone for the manned version of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft. .. Continue Reading NASA approves first SpaceX milestone for Crew Dragon spacecraft

Section: Space

Tags: International Space Station, NASA, Spacecraft, SpaceX

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