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Senior Russia space official quits after loss of satellites

August 16, 2012 2:55 pm | News | Comments

The head of a leading Russian rocket-maker has resigned, the country's space agency chief said on Thursday, after two satellites were lost in a botched launch in the latest failure to dog the once-pioneering space industry. Vladimir Nesterov, 63, is leaving the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Centre, which produces Russia's workhorse Proton rockets, after Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev harshly criticised the industry.

U.S. hypersonic aircraft crashes seconds into military test flight

August 16, 2012 8:45 am | by Alex Dobuzinskis, Reuters | News | Comments

An unmanned experimental aircraft designed to fly six times the speed of sound broke apart over the Pacific Ocean seconds into a military test flight due to a faulty control fin, the U.S. Air Force said on Wednesday.

Hearing the telltale sounds of dangerous chemicals

August 15, 2012 4:12 pm | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

To warn of chemical attacks and help save lives, it's vital to quickly determine if even trace levels of potentially deadly chemicals—such as the nerve gas sarin and other odorless, colorless agents—are present.

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Gamma rays from galactic center could be evidence of dark matter

August 14, 2012 11:42 am | News | Comments

Gamma-ray photons seen emanating from the center of the Milky Way galaxy are consistent with the intriguing possibility that dark-matter particles are annihilating each other in space, according to research submitted by UC Irvine astrophysicists to the American Physical Society journal Physical Review D.

Aircraft shoots for 3,600 mph for 300 seconds

August 14, 2012 10:44 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Air Force plans a key test of an experimental aircraft designed to fly at six times the speed of sound, or about 3,600 mph.

More trial, less error: An effort to improve scientific studies

August 14, 2012 8:31 am | by Sharon Begley, Reuters | News | Comments

So many scientific studies are making incorrect claims that a new service has sprung up to fact-check reported findings by repeating the experiments.

Wind farms: A danger to ultra-light aircraft?

August 13, 2012 1:28 pm | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

For a motorized hangglider or a one-seater weighing 300 kilograms: the business of flying by ultra-light aircraft is booming. That is also why numerous airfields are applying for the license to host these lightweight gliders.

Obama cheers 'mind-boggling' Curiosity mission

August 13, 2012 1:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) -- Hailing NASA's "mind-boggling" Mars landing of the Curiosity rover, President Barack Obama urged the scientists operating the craft on Monday to phone home immediately if they find any extra-terrestrials.

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After Curiosity, uncertainty lingers on NASA's Mars program

August 13, 2012 9:07 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

(Reuters) - This week's arrival of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity set the stage for a potentially game-changing quest to learn whether the planet most like Earth ever had a shot at developing life, but follow-up missions exist only on drawing boards.

US Navy defends renewable fuels strategy in Industrial Biotechnology Journal

August 10, 2012 2:45 pm | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

Despite criticism from Congressional Republicans and other groups, the U.S. Navy recently completed its Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012 international maritime exercises, featuring the "Great Green Fleet" powered by a 50 percent biofuels blend.

Autonomous robotic plane flies indoors

August 10, 2012 2:28 pm | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

For decades, academic and industry researchers have been working on control algorithms for autonomous helicopters — robotic helicopters that pilot themselves, rather than requiring remote human guidance.

Nobel prize-winning crystals fell to earth in meteorites

August 10, 2012 8:56 am | by Chris Wickham, Reuters | News | Comments

(Reuters) - The only known natural examples of a Nobel prize-winning crystal, now used in everyday objects like razor blades and non-stick frying pans, arrived on earth in meteorites, scientists have found.

Medvedev says space failures cost Russia prestige and cash

August 9, 2012 3:02 pm | by Reuters | News | Comments

Moscow is losing prestige and money due to botched space projects, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday after Russia junked two satellites in the latest launch failure to dog the once-pioneering industry.

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NASA test planetary lander burns and crashes

August 9, 2012 2:58 pm | by SETH BORENSTEIN, AP | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A prototype NASA lander crashed and burned in a test flight at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

University of Tennessee engineering team develops chip for Mars rover

August 8, 2012 3:26 pm | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Rover 'Curiosity' would have a hard time completing its mission if it were not for a successful partnership between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a professor-student team at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Mars rover Curiosity sends home first color photo

August 8, 2012 8:34 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

(Reuters) - NASA's newly landed Mars science rover Curiosity snapped the first color image of its surroundings while an orbiting sister probe photographed litter left behind during the rover's daring do-or-die descent to the surface, scientists said Tuesday.

Ten tips for smart battery implementation

August 7, 2012 4:47 pm | by Adam Hickerson, Raveon Technologies, www.raveon.com | Blogs | Comments

Smart battery design starts with knowing the details of the system that is using the battery power. A battery does not make a system battery-powered. For operational lifetimes measured in days, weeks or years, power must be a design consideration from the ground up.

The Golden Touch: Behind the Webb Telescope

August 7, 2012 4:06 pm | by HubbleSiteChannel | Videos | Comments

The Webb Telescope's mirrors are coated in an extremely thin film of gold. This gold layer, only a few millionths of an inch thick, enables the mirrors to best reflect the infrared light the telescope seeks. The thinner the layer, the better off the telescope will be -- every bit of weight counts when a telescope as big as Webb is being lifted into space by a rocket. Join us at Quantum Coating in New Jersey, where engineers are vaporizing gold to apply a thin, even layer to the telescope's mirrors. - HubbleSiteChannel

This week from NASA: Landing Curiousity, test firings for project Morpheus, International space station

August 7, 2012 4:02 pm | Videos | Comments

This week on @NASA Following a daring plunge through the Martian Atmosphere -- billed as 7-minutes of Terror, The Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover made a successful, on-target landing on the Red Planet in Gale Crater. Curiosity is scheduled to conduct a two-year mission to investigate the most intriguing places on Mars in an effort to determine if microbial life is possible on the planet. Also, engineers at the Johnson Space Center have conducted test firings of the Project Morpheus Lander, the quickest trip ever to the International Space Station of an unpiloted Russian Progress resupply ship, Marking History at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility and more! -NASA Television

California's hydroelectricity production is vulnerable to climate change

August 7, 2012 2:23 pm | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

 California's hydropower is vulnerable to climate change, a University of California, Riverside scientist has advised policymakers in "Our Changing Climate," a report released July 31 by the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Energy Commission (CEC).

PBS Off Book: Seeing Beyond the Human Eye

August 7, 2012 10:20 am | by PBS Off Book | Videos | Comments

Technology defies the boundaries of human perception. From photomicrography to astrophotography, size and distance are no longer barriers, and through slow-mo and timelapse, we are allowed to see time and humanity in a new light. Through our curiosity and thirst for the unknown, the beauty of the universe can now be explored beyond the limits of the naked eye. - PBS Off Book

This week in Engineering: Inflatable Heat Shield

August 7, 2012 10:07 am | by Engineering.com | Videos | Comments

This Week in Engineering - Paint absorbs weaponized chemicals; Pioneer anomaly solved; tires from dandelions; nanobots target Hepatitis-C; Japanese trashcan bot; and inflatable heat shield.

Disinformation flies in Syria's growing cyber war

August 7, 2012 8:55 am | by Peter Apps, Political Risk Correspondent, Reuters | News | Comments

(Reuters) - On Sunday, it was a hijacked Reuters twitter feed trying to create the impression of a rebel collapse in Aleppo. On Monday, it was another account purporting to be a Russian diplomat announcing the death in Damascus of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Mars rover landing "miracle of engineering," scientists say

August 7, 2012 8:53 am | by Steve Gorman and Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

(Reuters) - NASA scientists hailed the Mars rover Curiosity's flawless descent and landing as a "miracle of engineering" on Monday as they scanned early images of an ancient crater that may hold clues about whether life took hold on Earth's planetary cousin. The one-ton, six-wheeled laboratory nailed an intricate and risky touchdown late on Sunday, much to the relief and joy of scientists and engineers eager to conduct NASA's first astrobiology mission since the 1970s Viking probes.

In RI waters better known as playground for yachts, US Navy develops undersea drones

August 7, 2012 8:52 am | by MICHAEL MELIA Associated Press | News | Comments

 NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) -- Just beneath the placid, sailboat-dotted surface of Narragansett Bay, torpedo-shaped vehicles spin and pivot to their own rhythm, carrying out missions programmed by their U.S. Navy masters.

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