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New waterjets could propel LCS to greater speeds

February 5, 2013 3:59 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The Navy's fifth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Milwaukee, will be the first to benefit from new high-power density waterjets aimed at staving off rudder and propeller damage experienced on high-speed ships.

Mars or bust

February 5, 2013 9:10 am | by David Mantey, Executive Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

Could you go to Mars? Sacrifice everything; friends, family, and (possibly) future in order to be one of the first colonists on the red planet? Maybe if you were the first to plant a boot print in the dusty red sand, you would have some sort of historical notoriety....

If space shuttle is doomed, do you tell the crew?

February 4, 2013 9:29 am | by SETH BORENSTEIN AP Science Writer | News | Comments

A NASA top official wrestled with what he thought was a hypothetical question: What should you tell the astronauts of a doomed space shuttle Columbia? When the NASA official raised the question in 2003 just days before the accident that claimed seven astronauts' lives, managers thought - wrongly - that Columbia's heat shield was fine.

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Top 10 posts for January

February 1, 2013 12:41 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

We had a record-breaking January here at ECN online with our most trafficked month in the history of the website. So, without further delay, here’s a rundown of the most read, most popular, most awesome articles on the web. Take a look at what you missed the first time around or check up on an old favorite to see the conversation in the comments.

Space shuttle Columbia's second life - as a cautionary tale

February 1, 2013 10:09 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

Space shuttle Columbia's flying days came to an abrupt and tragic end on February 1, 2003, when a broken wing gave way, dooming the seven astronauts aboard. Although Columbia now lies in pieces, its mission is not over.

Russian rocket falls into sea in failed launch: reports

February 1, 2013 10:08 am | News | Comments

A rocket carrying a communications satellite suffered engine trouble and plunged into the Pacific Ocean shortly after launch on Friday, Russian news agencies reported.

Enfeebled F-35 could impede military readiness

January 31, 2013 3:15 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Picture a Swiss Army Knife with a blunted knife, rusty screwdriver, and a broken can opener. That’s what the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has become — a jack of all trades and master of none. The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has — over the course of a highly tumultuous development period that personifies the phrase "requirements creep" — become the poster child for bloated government programs.

Boeing’s 787 battery eggs: All in one lithium basket

January 31, 2013 11:13 am | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Blogs | Comments

Excuse the tortured metaphor, but the old advice about not putting all your eggs in one basket applies to engineering as well as to other fields.  The implication is that if the basket with all your eggs slips and falls, you’ve lost everything.  Boeing hasn’t lost everything, but the battery troubles besetting its new 787 Dreamliner could not have come at a worse time.

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NASA launches communication satellite

January 31, 2013 9:06 am | by MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

NASA launched a new communication satellite Wednesday to stay in touch with its space station astronauts and relay more Hubble telescope images. An unmanned Atlas V rocket blasted into the starry night sky carrying the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite. This is the 11th TDRS satellite to be launched by NASA.

Did the Justice Department cause Aaron Swartz’s suicide?

January 31, 2013 9:00 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

Aaron Swartz was a 26-year-old computer programmer and online activist who died of apparent suicide on January 11, ahead of a scheduled trial where he was charged with 13 felonies.  Swartz, founder of Demand Progress, an online group actively working against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)...

High-tech airship under construction in California hangar could provide cargo solutions

January 30, 2013 8:55 am | by RAQUEL MARIA DILLON Associated Press | News | Comments

The massive blimp-like aircraft flies but just barely, hovering only a dozen feet off a military hangar floor during flight testing south of Los Angeles. Still, the fact that the hulking Aeroscraft could fly for just a few minutes represents a step forward in aviation, according to the engineers who developed it.

VPX module targets sense-and-response apps requiring high bandwidth, minimal latency

January 29, 2013 11:11 am | Curtiss-Wright Controls | Product Releases | Comments

Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS) has introduced the CHAMP-WB (“WideBand”), said to be the Industry’s first Xilinx Virtex-7 OpenVPX COTS DSP Engine designed for sense-and-response applications that require high bandwidth and minimal latency. In addition, the company

Will a high-velocity, DNA-tagging police pellet gun deter protesters?

January 24, 2013 3:43 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

Gun control is a hot button issue, so it makes sense that police and security firms would look towards expanding effective methods of nonviolent interaction. This becomes particularly important during riot situations with a lot of people and confusion, where police are often outnumbered and overwhelmed.

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Into deep space: Second U.S. firm takes aim at mining asteroids

January 23, 2013 2:19 pm | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

A team of entrepreneurs and engineers unveiled plans on Tuesday for a space mining company that would tap nearby asteroids for raw materials to fuel satellites and manufacture components in orbit. Deep Space Industries, based in Santa Monica, California, said its inaugural mission is targeted for 2015....

Tantalum capacitor protects from short circuit conditions

January 23, 2013 11:02 am | Kemet Electronics Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

KEMET Corporation introduced its new T496 Hi-Rel Fused Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) MnO2 Series of tantalum surface mount capacitors. These devices are ideal for use in high reliability applications where a capacitor failing short will disrupt the overall performance of the system. The internal fuse in the capacitor results in a fail open condition.

Pentagon researches new life for dead satellites

January 23, 2013 9:01 am | by Alicia Chang AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Call it space grave robbery for a cause: Imagine scavenging defunct communication satellites for their valuable parts and recycling them to build brand new ones for cheap.It's the latest pet project from the Pentagon's research wing known for its quirky and sometimes out-there ideas. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Pressure switches available with two million life cycle rating, IP67 environmental sealing

January 22, 2013 12:00 pm | Honeywell Sensing And Control | Product Releases | Comments

Honeywell introduced its Pressure Switches, High Pressure Premium, HPS Series, the only pressure switches available in the industry with a two million life cycle rating, IP67 environmental sealing, and multiple port and termination options that improve equipment uptime,

“Smart pills” could save firefighters from injury or death

January 22, 2013 11:27 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

While the idea of “Smart Medication”  didn’t go over very well with the ECN crowd, there is a group to which it could be the difference between life and death.Firefighters often battle in extreme environmental conditions that can be pretty tough on the body’s vitals.

NASA, Europeans uniting to send spaceship to moon

January 17, 2013 8:51 am | by MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

NASA is teeming up with the European Space Agency to get astronauts beyond Earth's orbit. Europe will provide the propulsion and power compartment for NASA's new Orion crew capsule, officials said Wednesday. This so-called service module will be based on Europe's supply ship used for the International Space Station.

Space station to get $18 million balloon-like room

January 17, 2013 8:50 am | by HANNAH DREIER Associated Press | News | Comments

NASA is partnering with a commercial space company in a bid to replace the cumbersome "metal cans" that now serve as astronauts' homes in space with inflatable bounce-house-like habitats that can be deployed on the cheap.

World warm last year, but not like record US heat

January 16, 2013 8:56 am | by SETH BORENSTEIN AP Science Writer | News | Comments

While the U.S. was smashing heat marks last year, the world as a whole barely slipped into the top 10 hottest years on record, two American science agencies said Tuesday

Astronomers discover largest known structure in the universe

January 14, 2013 8:58 am | by Reuters | News | Comments

  (Reuters) - Astronomers have discovered the largest known structure in the universe - a group of quasars so large it would take 4 billion years to cross it while traveling at speed of light. The immense scale also challenges Albert Einstein's Cosmological Principle, the assumption that the universe looks the same from every point of view, researchers said.  

British waterway deploys ship safety aid to combat GPS attacks

January 11, 2013 12:20 pm | by Jonathan Saul, Reuters | News | Comments

Britain is deploying a back-up ship navigation system in the English Channel, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, to tackle the growing risks of disruptions of vessel satellite devices and jamming by criminal gangs.Mariners increasingly rely on global navigation systems that use satellite

Weightlessness no cure for "morning clumsies," astronaut says

January 11, 2013 9:00 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

Like many people, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield confesses that he's sometimes clumsy in the morning just after waking up. The three-time astronaut, now living aboard the International Space Station, was surprised to learn that did not change in the weightless environment of space.

Whew! Big asteroid no longer threat to Earth

January 11, 2013 8:51 am | by SETH BORENSTEIN AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Upon further review, a big scary-sounding asteroid is no longer even a remote threat to smash into Earth in about 20 years, NASA says. Astronomers got a much better look at the asteroid when it whizzed by Earth on Wednesday from a relative safe 9 million miles away. They recalculated the space rock's

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