Sunday, 30 November 2014

First known official Batmobile up for auction



Everyone knows what the original Batmobile was, right? It was the redesigned Lincoln Futura concept that Adam West drove in the 1966 Batman television series – or was it? It turns out that the earliest known officially licensed Batmobile was built in 1963 and is going to auction at Heritage Auctions next month after receiving extensive restoration... Continue Reading First known official Batmobile up for auction

Section: Automotive

Tags: Auction, Batmobile, Buick, Television, Vintage

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Raise shields: Protective invisible barrier found surrounding Earth



The idea of putting a Star Trek-like force field around the entire Earth seems like the fodder for a fairly silly science fiction epic out of the 1930s, but according to space scientists, such a barrier already exists. Discovered by a pair of NASA space probes, the natural shield protects the Earth and near-Earth satellites from so-called "killer electrons" with a precision that cuts it off like a wall of glass... Continue Reading Raise shields: Protective invisible barrier found surrounding Earth

Section: Space

Tags: NASA, Radiation, University of Colorado, Van Allen Belts

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Friday, 28 November 2014

Mirror coating to cool buildings by pumping interior heat into space



Keeping buildings cool isn't easy. In fact, conventional air conditioning methods are very energy intensive and account for up to 15 percent of the energy used in buildings in the United States alone. However, engineers at Stanford University have come up with a new ultrathin, multilayered, nanophotonic material that not only reflects heat away from buildings, but also directs heat from inside out into space, cooling both the building and the planet as well... Continue Reading Mirror coating to cool buildings by pumping interior heat into space

Section: Environment

Tags: Cooling, Engineering, Infrared, Radiation, Stanford University, Sunlight

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Swiss scientists discover DNA remains active after space journey and re-entry



It may sound like the first chapter of a Quatermass thriller, but scientists from the University of Zurich have discovered that DNA can survive not only a flight through space, but also re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, and still remain active. The findings are based on suborbital rocket flights and could have considerable impact on questions about the origins of life on Earth and the problems of terrestrial space probes contaminating other planets... Continue Reading Swiss scientists discover DNA remains active after space journey and re-entry

Section: Space

Tags: DNA, University of Zurich

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Michelin opens first plant dedicated to production of airless tires



A punctured tire is the definition of a bad day, but Michelin is taking some of the sting out as it announces the opening of its newest North American plant, which the company says is the first in the world dedicated to the manufacture of airless tires called "Tweels". The US$50 million plant will be used to make the Michelin X Tweel Airless Radial Tire and others for commercial and agricultural applications... Continue Reading Michelin opens first plant dedicated to production of airless tires

Section: Automotive

Tags: Airless, Michelin, Production, Tire

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First object 3D-printed in space aboard ISS



The first 3D printer in space housed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) has run off its first object. The item was a faceplate embossed with "NASA and Made In Space, Inc" and is part of a NASA effort aimed at producing spare parts for long-range space flights and greatly simplifying mission logistics... Continue Reading First object 3D-printed in space aboard ISS

Section: Space

Tags: 3D Printers, 3D Printing, International Space Station, Made In Space, NASA

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

NASA prepares to wake New Horizons ahead of historic Pluto flyby



In what must be history’s longest distance wake up call, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft comes out of hibernation on December 6 at 3:00 pm EST. Now about 2.9 billion miles (4.6 billion km) from Earth, and 162 million miles (260 million km) from Pluto, the spacecraft will be put through a month-long preparation for its six month flyby of Pluto, with the primary phase of the mission slated to begin on January 15... Continue Reading NASA prepares to wake New Horizons ahead of historic Pluto flyby

Section: Space

Tags: NASA, New Horizons, Pluto, Solar System, Spacecraft, Unmanned

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Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 provides window into a classic watch



Times change ... and the same goes for timepieces. At one time, making a precision wristwatch and tucking the works into an elegant case was enough. But in the 21st century, a mechanical watch has to show off the gubbins inside to get any cred, so Girard-Perregaux is updating its Vintage 1945 model by adding a transparent sapphire dial to reveal the secrets behind the 69-year old classic... Continue Reading Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 provides window into a classic watch

Section: Wearable Electronics

Tags: Industrial design, Vintage, Watches

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Kairos TBand turns almost any watch into a smartwatch



Smartwatches may be to the time-and-date mechanical timepiece what the smartphone is to the landline candlestick job, but not everyone likes digital watches, much less smart ones. In June,Kairos rolled out its smart/mechanical hybrid, which is one option, but what if you like the watch you already have? The Kairos Tband is trying to square that circle by moving the "smart" from the watch to the band... Continue Reading Kairos TBand turns almost any watch into a smartwatch

Section: Wearable Electronics

Tags: Indiegogo, OLED, Smartwatch, Watches

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Monday, 24 November 2014

Nuclear weapons write their own security codes



Nuclear weapons are a paradox. No one in their right mind wants to use one, but if they're to act as a deterrent, they need to be accessible. The trick is to make sure that access is only available to those with the proper authority. To prevent a real life General Jack D Ripper from starting World War III, Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) Defense Technologies Division is developing a system that uses a nuclear weapon's own radiation to protect itself from tampering... Continue Reading Nuclear weapons write their own security codes

Section: Military

Tags: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Nuclear weapons, Radiation, Security

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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Lunar Mission One aims to take Moon exploration to new depths



Another private space exploration venture is under way with the British-led Lunar Mission One announcing plans to send an unmanned robotic landing module to the South Pole of the Moon. Initially funded by a Kickstarter campaign, the non-profit organization hopes to drill ten times deeper into the lunar surface than has ever previously been attempted and use the borehole to store a giant digital time capsule of human knowledge. .. Continue Reading Lunar Mission One aims to take Moon exploration to new depths

Section: Space

Tags: British, Kickstarter, Lunar Mission One, Moon, Royal Society, Spacecraft, Unmanned

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Lockheed Martin begins Insight Mars lander final assembly



At some point in every project, you stop unpacking the parts and start putting them together. What's true for flat-pack furniture is also true for spacecraft, so Lockheed Martin has begun the Assembly, Test and Launch Operations (ATLO) phase of NASA's INterior exploration using Seismic investigations, geodesy and heat transport (InSight) Mars lander project. Scheduled to launch in 2016, the unmanned InSight probe will be the first deep-drilling mission sent to the Red Planet... Continue Reading Lockheed Martin begins Insight Mars lander final assembly

Section: Space

Tags: InSight, Lockheed Martin, Mars, NASA, Solar System, Spacecraft, Unmanned

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LiquidPiston unveils X Mini engine



Back in 2012, Gizmag looked at LiquidPiston’s X2 rotary engine. The compact, low-vibration, high-efficiency 70 bhp and 40 bhp compression ignition engine was something of a sensation. Now the company is back with the 70 cc X Mini engine, which LiquidPiston’s President and Co-Founder, Dr Alexander Shkolnik unveiled on Wednesday at the SAE International/JSAE 2014 Small Engine Technology Conference in Pisa, Italy... Continue Reading LiquidPiston unveils X Mini engine

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Tags: Engine, Fuel efficiency, Power

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NASA prepares to wake New Horizons ahead of historic Pluto flyby



In what must be history’s longest distance wake up call, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft comes out of hibernation on December 6 at 3:00 pm EST. Now about 2.9 billion miles (4.6 billion km) from Earth, and 162 million miles (260 million km) from Pluto, the spacecraft will be put through a month-long preparation for its six month flyby of Pluto, with the primary phase of the mission slated to begin on January 15... Continue Reading NASA prepares to wake New Horizons ahead of historic Pluto flyby

Section: Space

Tags: NASA, New Horizons, Pluto, Solar System, Spacecraft, Unmanned

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Rosetta tracks Philae's cometary bouncedown



The European Space Agency (ESA) has released an image mosaic taken by the Rosetta mothership showing the Philae lander’s November 12 touchdown on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The composite image shows the unmanned spacecraft making its approach to the surface of 67/P and its first rebound after its anchoring harpoons failed to deploy, along with timestamps in GMT (lander time) and images contrasting the touch sites before and after landing... Continue Reading Rosetta tracks Philae's cometary bouncedown

Section: Space

Tags: Comets, ESA, Philae, Rosetta, Spacecraft

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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Ionospheric Connection Explorer mission gets green light for development



NASA has announced that it is going forward with its Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON). Scheduled to launch in 2017, the orbital mission aims to study the effects of the lower atmosphere on the ionosphere and its impact on the Earth’s surface... Continue Reading Ionospheric Connection Explorer mission gets green light for development

Section: Space

Tags: Ionosphere, NASA, Satellite, Weather

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Philae lander goes to "sleep" after batteries die



After its historic landing on a comet, the Philae spacecraft has gone silent. Trapped on its side in a shadowed hole, the unmanned European Space Agency lander was unable to receive enough sunlight to recharge its battery and contact was lost today at 00:36 GMT when power levels dropped below critical... Continue Reading Philae lander goes to "sleep" after batteries die

Section: Space

Tags: Batteries, Comets, ESA, Philae, Rosetta, Spacecraft, Unmanned

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Saturday, 15 November 2014

Philae bounce on comet landing may cut mission short



During Wednesday’s historic landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the European Space Agency's Philae lander suffered a setback that may cut its mission short. Due to equipment malfunctions, the unmanned, washing machine-sized lander failed to secure itself to the surface of the comet. In the 1/100,000 gravity, Philae bounced back into space twice, eventually landing in a hole about a kilometer (0.6 mi) from its designated landing area, where its batteries may not be able to charge properly... Continue Reading Philae bounce on comet landing may cut mission short

Section: Space

Tags: Batteries, Comets, ESA, Philae, Rosetta, Unmanned

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Philae makes historic first landing on comet



History was made today as a spacecraft the size of a fridge executed the first successful landing on a comet. The European Space Agency (ESA) confirms that at about 16:00 GMT the unmannedPhilae space probe touched down on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at the landing site known as Agilkia. The comet and spacecraft are 510 milion km (310 million miles) from Earth, so the news of the landing took 28 minutes and 20 seconds to reach mission control in Darmstadt, Germany. .. Continue Reading Philae makes historic first landing on comet

Section: Space

Tags: Comets, ESA, Historic, Philae, Rosetta, Spacecraft

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New method of conserving wood gets tested on historic ship artifacts



In 1545 Henry VIII’s flagship the Mary Rose sank suddenly under mysterious circumstances. In 1982, the rediscovered ship was raised to the surface in a remarkable feat of underwater archaeology that sparked decades of heroic preservation work. Now a team of scientists led by the University of Cambridge is working with the Mary Rose Trust conservation team to test a new way of conserving waterlogged wood in order to preserve the great ship and her cargo of history for later generations... Continue Reading New method of conserving wood gets tested on historic ship artifacts

Section: Science

Tags: Conservation, History, Museum, Polymer, University of Cambridge, Wood

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Rosetta spacecraft picks up target comet's mysterious "song"



On the eve of the planned first landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that the unmanned Rosetta orbiter carrying the Philae lander has recorded a "song" emanating from the comet. The electromagnetic melody was detected by the probe’s Rosetta Plasma Consortium, which is a suite of five instruments used to study 67P... Continue Reading Rosetta spacecraft picks up target comet's mysterious "song"

Section: Space

Tags: Comets, Electromagnetic, ESA, Magnetometer, Plasma, Rosetta

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MAVEN uses special radio to relay data from Curiosity Mars rover



NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft is the latest link in the space agency's Martian communications network for keeping in touch with its surface rovers. Last week, the unmanned orbiter carried out a test using a special radio apparatus that allowed it to relay 550 megabits of data from the Curiosity rover to NASA’s Deep Space Network back on Earth. .. Continue Reading MAVEN uses special radio to relay data from Curiosity Mars rover

Section: Space

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

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Supercomplication, the world's most complicated watch, breaks the record – again



It says something that a watch made in 1932 keeps breaking world records, and the Henry Graves Supercomplication watch did just that today as it was knocked down by Sotheby’s Geneva for a record-breaking CHF 23.2 million (US$24 million). The Supercomplication, which also holds the Guinness record for the most complicated handmade pre-digital timepiece, was purchased by an anonymous buyer after 15 minutes of competition between five bidders... Continue Reading Supercomplication, the world's most complicated watch, breaks the record – again

Section: Mobile Technology

Tags: Auction, Geneva, Guinness, Patek Philippe, Record-breaking, Sotheby's, Watches, World Records

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Philae gets green light for historic comet landing



The European Space Agency (ESA) has given the green light for its unmanned Philae probe to attempt the historic first landing on a comet. At a press conference at at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, representatives of ESA and the German Aerospace Centre told the media that both the Rosetta mothership and the Philae lander are in excellent shape for Wednesday morning’s (GMT) planned separation and landing on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko... Continue Reading Philae gets green light for historic comet landing

Section: Space

Tags: Comets, ESA, Historic, Philae, Rosetta, Spacecraft

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Monday, 10 November 2014

Holland & Holland Range Rover is a luxury gun case



Luxury goods can be a bit of a vicious circle. You buy an expensive wristwatch and you need asafe to keep it in, and if you buy a brace of bespoke shotguns from a prestigious firm of English gunsmiths, you need a suitable set of wheels to carry them to the grouse shoot. Case in point is the Holland & Holland Range Rover, which is designed by Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) to act as luxury ride wrapped around a specially engineered gun case.. Continue Reading Holland & Holland Range Rover is a luxury gun case

Section: Automotive

Tags: Land Rover, Luxury, Range Rover, Shotguns

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Orbiters study effect of giant comet-caused meteor shower on Mars



"Dodging a bullet" is a well-worn cliche, but it looks as if the small armada of space probes orbiting Mars dodged a shrapnel blast last month. According to observations made by NASA and ESA orbiters, the extremely close flyby of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring was accompanied by a meteor shower larger than any seen on Earth... Continue Reading Orbiters study effect of giant comet-caused meteor shower on Mars

Section: Space

Tags: Curiosity Rover, ESA, Mars, Mars Express, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MAVEN, Meteor shower, NASA, Opportunity, Siding Spring, Spacecraft

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NASA tests aircraft with shape shifting wings



In January, we looked at FlexFoil; a variable geometry airfoil system that seamlessly integrates into the trailing edge of the wing. During the year the system has made the leap from the test bench to the sky, with NASA conducting tests of the FlexFoil on a modified Gulfstream III business jet... Continue Reading NASA tests aircraft with shape shifting wings

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Aircraft, Aviation, Efficiency, FlexSys, Gulfstream, NASA, Wings

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Friday, 7 November 2014

BAE Systems using VR tech to design Royal Navy warships



Like many endeavors, making warships is a matter of specialization, with the various parts of the project scattered about the country or even across the world. For the Royal Navy and its principal shipbuilder BAE systems, this means engineers in Glasgow, Portsmouth, and Bristol having to work together despite being hundreds of miles apart. BAE’s answer is a network of "visualization suites" that allow teams to meet in a virtual environment where they can build and test designs as full-scale 3D prototypes before sending them to the shipyards... Continue Reading BAE Systems using VR tech to design Royal Navy warships

Section: Military

Tags: 3D, BAE Systems, Royal Navy, Ships, Virtual Reality, VR

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HM6 Space Pirate watch has an out-of-this-world look



When watchmaking collides with childhood memories, it usually ends with something along the lines of Mickey Mouse. But when Maximilian B├╝sse of MB&F was inspired by the 1970s cartoon character Captain Future, the result was Horological Machine No.6 (HM6) "Space Pirate." This luxury bit of haute horlogerie not only reflects the style of an outer space adventurer’s ship, but is also piece of high-tech mechanical watchmaking with 475 components – 80 in the case alone... Continue Reading HM6 Space Pirate watch has an out-of-this-world look

Section: Wearable Electronics

Tags: Luxury, Mechanical, Tourbillon, Watches

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Quantum of the Seas sets sail with robotic bartenders and entertainers



Not content with working as sales assistants and burger flippers, robots are landing jobs on cruise ships as bartenders and entertainers. Leading the way is Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, which is currently on its maiden voyage... Continue Reading Quantum of the Seas sets sail with robotic bartenders and entertainers

Section: Robotics

Tags: Alcohol, Cruise, Drink, Performance, Robotics, Robots, Ships

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Rethink Robotics lets industrial robots work alongside people



The robotic revolution is very often less about replacing human workers than finding ways of working alongside them. That means being as flexible at doing tasks as humans, as well as being able to work with all the jostling and chaos that people take for granted. Rethink Robotics’ new Robot Positioning System lets the Baxter robot do factory work without being bolted to the floor, adjusting itself as it endures random bumps... Continue Reading Rethink Robotics lets industrial robots work alongside people

Section: Robotics

Tags: Manufacturing, Rethink, Robotics, Robots, Safety, Software

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Lowe's trials robot sales assistants



In the near future, you might be surprised to visit to the giant hardware store in your town and find yourself greeted by a chatty robot rather than a human sales assistant. A harbinger of this age of robotic shopping is being trialled with two Oshbot robot sales assistants at an Orchard Supply Hardware store in San Jose, California. Built by Lowe’s Innovation Labs and Silicon Valley technology company Fellow Robots using "science fiction prototyping," the OSHbots are designed to not only identify and locate merchandise, but to speak to customers in their own languages... Continue Reading Lowe's trials robot sales assistants

Section: Robotics

Tags: Autonomous, Lowes, Robotics, Robots, Voice recognition

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First carrier landing kicks off two weeks of sea trials for F-35C



On Monday at 12:18 pm PDT off the coast of San Diego, California, the F-35C Lightning II made its first arrested landing on a carrier aircraft. Taking place on the first day of a two-week sea trial, the landing of the F-35C test aircraft CF-03 on the flight deck of the nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) with test pilot commander Tony Wilson at the controls marked a major step towards the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter entering operational service... Continue Reading First carrier landing kicks off two weeks of sea trials for F-35C

Section: Military

Tags: Aircraft, F-35 JSF, Lockheed Martin, US Air Force, US Navy

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Opinion: Is space tourism dead in the wake of the SpaceShipTwo crash?



With the crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo within four days of Orbital Science’sAntares/Cygnus spacecraft exploding on the launch pad, it’s been a bad week for commercial spaceflight in general and space tourism in particular. Even though the investigations into the SpaceShipTwo incident are only beginning, there are those who already claim that Sir Richard Branson’s dream of sending tourists on suborbital flights into space is as dead as the Hindenburg. But is it?.. Continue Reading Opinion: Is space tourism dead in the wake of the SpaceShipTwo crash?

Section: Space

Tags: Accidents, Safety, Sir Richard Branson, Space Tourism, Spacecraft, Spaceflight,SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic

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Monday, 3 November 2014

MINER may help locate hidden nuclear devices in minutes



It’s been a common trope in films since the 1950s; a madman with an atomic bomb holds a city for ransom while the authorities race to find it in time. If such a thing ever does come about, Sandia National Laboratories is working on taking the suspense out of the situation with its Mobile Imager of Neutrons for Emergency Responders (MINER) – a nuclear device detector capable of narrowing a search to within a city block without door-to-door sweeps... Continue Reading MINER may help locate hidden nuclear devices in minutes

Section: Science

Tags: Emergency, Neutrons, Nuclear, Nuclear weapons, Portable, Radiation, Sandia Labs

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SpaceShipTwo pilots named as crash investigation begins



The pilots of the SpaceShipTwo spaceplane that crashed during a test flight on Friday have been identified. Meanwhile, Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart of the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a press conference on Saturday evening, where he provided details of the ongoing accident investigation. .. Continue Reading SpaceShipTwo pilots named as crash investigation begins

Section: Space

Tags: NTSB, Pilots, Sir Richard Branson, Spacecraft, SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic

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Saturday, 1 November 2014

NASA seeks proposals for deep space missions



NASA is preparing to launch its Orion spacecraft in December and its Space Launch System (SLS) is scheduled to fly by 2018. However, impressive as this is, more is needed if buyer's regret isn't to set in. To avoid this, the space agency is asking for proposals to develop new technologies to send astronauts to the asteroids and Mars using "sustainable, evolvable, multi-use space capabilities.".. Continue Reading NASA seeks proposals for deep space missions

Section: Space

Tags: Asteroid, Astronauts, ion engine, Mars, NASA, Orion Spacecraft, Space Launch System,Spacecraft

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Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crashes on test flight



Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed today during a test flight over the Mojave Desert in California. The spaceplane, which is designed to carry passengers into space on a suborbital trajectory, was lost after suffering a "serious anomaly." .. Continue Reading Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crashes on test flight

Section: Space

Tags: Spacecraft, Virgin Galactic

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CSEM's white solar panels are made to blend into buildings



Solar panels are seen as a way of making buildings greener and more sustainable, as well as making them less dependent on the grid for power. The problem is that the blue/black panels stick out like sore thumbs and end up exiled to rooftops. With the goal of making solar panels aesthetically invisible, the Swiss private, nonprofit technology company CSEM has developed what it bills as the world's first white solar modules – designed to blend into buildings instead of sitting on the roof. .. Continue Reading CSEM's white solar panels are made to blend into buildings

Section: Environment

Tags: Architects, Colors, Photovoltaic, Solar Power

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