Thursday, 30 April 2015

1927 Nobel Prize in chemistry medal up for auction

If you've ever wanted a Nobel Prize and don't have the time to come up with a major intellectual contribution, you can just buy one… the medal, that is. Not the prize itself. At Nate D Sanders Auctions, the 1927 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is on the block today. It was originally awarded to German biochemist Dr Heinrich Otto Wieland and, according to Sanders, it's the first Nobel Prize in Chemistry medal to go up for auction, and the eighth in all... Continue Reading 1927 Nobel Prize in chemistry medal up for auction

Section: Inventors and Remarkable People

Tags: Auction, Chemistry, Prize

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NASA to test atomic clock to keep space missions on time

If you thought the Apple watch was something to write home about, take a look at NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC). This miniaturized, ultra-precise mercury-ion atomic clock is described by the space agency as "orders of magnitude more stable than today's best navigational clocks," and is smaller and more accurate than any that's been previously sent into space. In 2016, it will fly on a test mission to demonstrate a technology that NASA sees as key to a number of high-priority Earth-orbit and deep space missions... Continue Reading NASA to test atomic clock to keep space missions on time

Section: Space

Tags: Chronometer, Clock, Communications, GPS, NASA, Navigation, Spacecraft

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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

New Horizons detects possible polar ice caps on Pluto

After over nine years of travel, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is starting to provide hints of what its July flyby of Pluto will reveal. Earlier this month, the unmanned probe sent back the clearest images yet of the most distant planet of the classic Solar System, which have revealed light areas on the surface that show it may have polar caps. .. Continue Reading New Horizons detects possible polar ice caps on Pluto

Section: Space

Tags: Dwarf planet, Images, Kuiper Belt, NASA, New Horizons, Pluto, Solar System,Spacecraft, Unmanned

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World-first remote air traffic control system lands in Sweden

Small airports are often in a no-win situation. They don't have much traffic because they don't have an adequate tower system, and they don't have an adequate tower system because they don't have much traffic. That could be about to change, with the opening of theworld's first remotely operated air-traffic control system in Sweden. Thanks to the Remote Tower Services (RTS) system, the first plane landed last week at Örnsköldsvik Airport, but it was controlled from the LFV Remote Tower Centre 123 km away in Sundsvall... Continue Reading World-first remote air traffic control system lands in Sweden

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Air Traffic Control, Airports, Aviation, Remote Control, Saab,Sweden

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Hall ion thrusters to fly on X-37B spaceplane

The US Air Force's most public secret, the X-37B unmanned spaceplane, is now a little less top secret. The Air Force has revealed that when the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) 4 mission lifts off from Cape Canaveral AFB on May 20, it will be carrying a Hall thruster as part of an experiment to improve the design for use on Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications spacecraft... Continue Reading Hall ion thrusters to fly on X-37B spaceplane

Section: Space

Tags: Boeing, ion engine, Spacecraft, US Air Force, X-37B

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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Twin-fuselage Carplane prototype makes public debut

We've been teased with the prospect of a flying car for years now, with many designs, like the Terrafugia Transition, having been under development for some time but yet to arrive in garages or hangars. The Braunschweig-based company, Carplane hopes to square the circle with a twin-fuselage roadable monoplane that made its first public appearance in prototype form at the recent AERO show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. .. Continue Reading Twin-fuselage Carplane prototype makes public debut

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Aircraft, Aviation, Cars, Flying Cars, Prototype

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If Formula1 racers are thoroughbreds that need to pampered and cosseted, then armored combat vehicles are warhorses that need to stand up to the worst of the worst. That makes it a surprise when BAE Systems announces that it's taken an active damping suspension designed for F1 cars and adapted it for Sweden's Combat Vehicle 90 (CV90). Billed as a world's first for a tracked vehicle, the upgrade is claimed to improve battlefield speed and handling. .. Continue Reading BAE System's CV90 armor vehicle uses F1 racing suspension technology

Section: Military

Tags: Active Suspension, Armor, BAE Systems, Battlefield, F1,Suspension, Sweden, Tanks

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3D-printable AstroGro system to foster astronauts' green thumbs

Manned missions beyond Earth orbit face the rather important problem of how to feed the crew and maintain the capsule environment for years on end without any resupply from home. The product of a NASA challenge, AstroGro is a space garden pod aimed at addressing this problem. It relies on 3D printing to produce a system that can be replicated and modified while in the depths of space... Continue Reading 3D-printable AstroGro system to foster astronauts' green thumbs

Section: Space

Tags: 3D Printing, Food, Garden, NASA, Vegetables

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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Ikea Concept Kitchen 2025 – the future of cooking?

What will the world be like in 2025? How will the kitchen of the future adapt to that world? Those are the questions that Ikea's Concept Kitchen 2025 hopes to answer. Developed in collaboration with design firm IDEO London and students from Lund and Eindhoven universities, the Concept Kitchen is designed to make people more creative about food while nudging them toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle... Continue Reading Ikea Concept Kitchen 2025 – the future of cooking?

Section: Around The Home

Tags: Cooking, IKEA, Kitchen, Milan Expo 2015, Recycling

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SABRE engine concept passes US Air Force feasibilty test

Reaction Engines' Skylon reusable spaceplane project has been given a boost, with analysis by the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) confirming the feasibility of the SABRE engine cycle concept that lies at its heart. .. Continue Reading SABRE engine concept passes US Air Force feasibilty test

Section: Space

Tags: Engine, Launch Vehicles, Rocket, Scramjet, Skylon, Spacecraft,US Air Force

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Pan-Robots could streamline operations in factories

No good deed goes unpunished and that goes double for robots. They may improve manufacturing efficiency, but an improvement in one place often shows up a glaring inefficiency somewhere else. In an effort to help supply logistics keep up with robotic manufacturing, the EU's Pan-Robots project is working to create warehouse robots that are faster, more efficient, and safer than both manual operations or current robotic systems... Continue Reading Pan-Robots could streamline operations in factories

Section: Robotics

Tags: Cameras, EU, Europe, Forklifts, Manufacturing, Robotics,Robots, Warehouse

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X-47B completes first ever unmanned refueling exercise

The US Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft has gone out on a high note (and added yet another acronym to the military lexicon) by conducting the first ever Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) exercise. The autonomous aircraft rendezvoused with an Omega K-707 tanker plane off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, successfully taking on 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) of jet fuel as it completed the project's final test objective. .. Continue Reading X-47B completes first ever unmanned refueling exercise

Section: Military

Tags: Aircraft, Autonomous, Aviation, Northrop Grumman, UAV,Unmanned, US Navy, X-47B

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Cornell's robot barista learns as it brews

If robots are going to become part of our everyday lives, they'll need to learn to work with everyday things. That means being able to read instruction manuals and figuring out how to use new machines. That's the plan of researchers at Cornell University, who have programmed a robot barista that can not only make a latte, but figure out how to use an unfamiliar espresso maker... Continue Reading Cornell's robot barista learns as it brews

Section: Robotics

Tags: Coffee, Cornell University, Learning, Robotic, Robots

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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

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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

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Tags: Mannequin, Safety, Sensors, US Army

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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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