Friday, 31 July 2015

F-35B Lightning II declared operational

The US Marine Corps has declared the F-35B Lightning II operational. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, based in Yuma, Arizona, which has ten of VSTOL multi-role fighters, was today officially cleared for worldwide deployment after a five-day Operational Readiness Inspection.

.. Continue Reading F-35B Lightning II declared operational

Section: Military

F-35 JSF
US Marines

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Spitzer Space Telescope confirms nearest rocky planet

The Earth's cosmic neighborhood got a bit more crowded as NASA announced that itsSpitzer Space Telescope has confirmed the presence of the closest rocky planet to the Solar System. Orbiting a visible main-sequence star 21 light years away in the constellation of Cassiopeia, HD 219134b is larger than Earth and is uninhabitable.

.. Continue Reading Spitzer Space Telescope confirms nearest rocky planet

Section: Space


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Lockheed tests Orion fairing design changes

Lockheed Martin announced that it's completed tests of design changes for NASA's Orion spacecraft’s fairing separation system. Based on information from Orion's unmanned maiden flight on December 5 last year, the alterations are meant to improve performance while reducing weight.

.. Continue Reading Lockheed tests Orion fairing design changes

Section: Space

Orion Spacecraft
Lockheed Martin

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Thursday, 30 July 2015

Intel and Micron announce memory breakthrough

If being a processor chip was a human job, it would be one of the most boring. That's because modern processors spend a lot of their time doing not much of anything, as they wait for the slower memory chips to catch up with them. But that may change if Intel Corporation and Micron Technology's new 3D XPoint (3D Crosspoint) technology pans out. Described by the makers as a "major breakthrough in memory process technology," it's the first new class of non-volatile memory to be released since 1989 and is reportedly 1,000 times faster than NAND flash memory.

.. Continue Reading Intel and Micron announce memory breakthrough

Section: Computers

Flash memory

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

CERN develops miniature linear accelerator for medical use

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is where the miraculous meets the impractical. In addition to probing the secrets of the Universe at the subatomic level, it also has potential for a variety of medical applications. Unfortunately, with a circumference of 27 km (16.7 mi) the LHC is so unwieldy that it would be about as practical as using Big Ben for a wristwatch. In the hopes of creating something a bit more useful for the medical fraternity, CERN engineers have come up with a miniature linear accelerator (mini-Linac) that, at 2 m (6.5 ft) long, is small enough to be set up in hospitals for medical imaging and radiotherapy applications.

.. Continue Reading CERN develops miniature linear accelerator for medical use

Section: Medical

Medical Imaging
Large Hadron Collider
Particle physics

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GE sees robots as the apprentices of the future

It's widely believed that we're in the middle of a robotics revolution, but at this stage robots are still largely confined to cages doing tasks that don't require a lot of intelligence or interaction with us humans. We spoke with John Lizzi, Manager of the Distributed Intelligent Systems Laboratory at GE Global Research, about General Electric's approach to the future of robotics – specifically the future of what the company calls "service robotics," where robot apprentices will work closely with humans and take over many of the dull, dirty and dangerous jobs of today.

.. Continue Reading GE sees robots as the apprentices of the future

Section: Robotics

General Electric

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Human error and inadequate training blamed for SpaceShipTwo crash

The United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released the conclusions of its accident investigation into the crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo last year over the Mojave Desert. According to the report, the accident was due to an error by the co-pilot, who prematurely released the spacecraft's feather system, placing too much stress on the fuselage and causing it to break up.

.. Continue Reading Human error and inadequate training blamed for SpaceShipTwo crash

Section: Space

Virgin Galactic

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Mars orbiter prepares for next year's InSight lander arrival

Space travel is a constant exercise in forward planning, with mission control thinking years and sometimes decades in advance. A case in point is NASA's InSight Mars lander, which is scheduled to touchdown on the Red Planet on September 26, 2016. This may be more than a year away, but the space agency is already moving its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) into a new orbit to provide communications support during the landing.

.. Continue Reading Mars orbiter prepares for next year's InSight lander arrival

Section: Space

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

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Monday, 27 July 2015

Ice flows, hazy hydrocarbons among latest Pluto reveals

NASA has detailed fresh discoveries and released the latest batch of images from New Horizons. Sent as the unmanned probe hurtles away from Pluto and out of the Solar System, the new images and readings show a haze that may be the source of Pluto's reddish color and exotic ice that flows like glaciers. The space agency has also shared a spectacular New Horizons flyby simulation video.

.. Continue Reading Ice flows, hazy hydrocarbons among latest Pluto reveals

Section: Space

New Horizons

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Could bomb-proof lining prevent another Lockerbie?

On December 21, 1988, a terrorist bomb detonated in the luggage hold of Pan Am flight 103 causing the 747 airliner to break up over Lockerbie, Scotland, and killing 243 passengers, 16 crew, and 11 people on the ground. To help prevent such a tragedy from occurring again, a European consortium, including the University of Sheffield, is developing Fly-Bag; a flexible fabric and composite liner capable of containing explosions inside an aircraft to improve its chances of survival.

.. Continue Reading Could bomb-proof lining prevent another Lockerbie?

Section: Aircraft


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Friday, 24 July 2015

Kepler discovers "Earth's bigger, older cousin"

The odds of finding a habitable planet outside of our Solar System got a significant boost today, as NASA announced the discovery of the most Earthlike world orbiting the most Sunlike star yet. Named Kepler-425b, the new world located 1,400 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus was detected by the Kepler space telescope. It has been characterized by the space agency as "Earth's bigger, older cousin."

.. Continue Reading Kepler discovers "Earth's bigger, older cousin"

Section: Space

Kepler Mission

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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Metal foams could provide lightweight radiation shielding

Radiation generally comes under the heading of "things you want to stay away from," so it's no surprise that radiation shielding is a high priority in many industries. However, current shielding is bulky and heavy, so a North Carolina State University team is developing a new lightweight shielding based on foam metals that can block X-rays, gamma rays, and neutron radiation, as well as withstanding high-energy impact collisions.

.. Continue Reading Metal foams could provide lightweight radiation shielding

Section: Science

North Carolina State University

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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Fossil fuel emissions threaten to reduce radiocarbon dating reliability

Radiocarbon dating is one of the great tools of science that has allowed archeologists to shed new light on everything from the building of Stonehenge to the beginnings of international trade. However, a new study from the Imperial College London suggests that fossil fuel carbon emissions may be so diluting radioactive carbon isotopes that within decades it will difficult to differentiate between modern artifacts and those over a thousand years old.

.. Continue Reading Fossil fuel emissions threaten to reduce radiocarbon dating reliability

Section: Science


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