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Three firms share $1.1 billion of NASA space taxi work

August 3, 2012 2:32 pm | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

Calif. Aug 3 (Reuters) - NASA will pay more than $1 billion over the next 21 months to three companies to develop commercial spaceships capable of flying astronauts to the International Space Station, the agency said Friday.

'Cry' of a shredded star heralds a new era for testing relativity

August 3, 2012 10:25 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

Last year, astronomers discovered a quiescent black hole in a distant galaxy that erupted after shredding and consuming a passing star. Now researchers have identified a distinctive X-ray signal observed in the days following the outburst that comes from matter on the verge of falling into the black hole.

History littered with failed Mars probes

August 3, 2012 8:59 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

Launching probes to Mars is not for the faint of heart. Out of the 40 spacecraft dispatched to the Red Planet, only 14 lived to fulfill their missions.

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History littered with failed Mars probes

August 3, 2012 8:50 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

(Reuters) - NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter was about a week away from wrapping up an 11-month journey to the Red Planet in 1999 when engineers noticed a problem - the spacecraft, designed to study Mars' environment, was not where it was supposed to be.

MSL, EDL, huh? Guide to NASA's Mars mission lingo

August 3, 2012 8:49 am | by Alicia Chang AP Science Writer | News | Comments

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Fascinated by NASA's latest Mars mission and planning to tune in? Well, good luck understanding the space agency's everyday lingo, which resembles a sort of Martian alphabet soup.

5 things you may not know about the planet Mars

August 3, 2012 8:49 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Mars is set to get its latest visitor Sunday night when NASA's new robotic rover, named Curiosity, attempts to land there. Mars has been a prime target for space exploration for decades, in part because its climate 3.5 billion years ago is believed to have been warm and wet, like early Earth. Here are five other key points:

Within reach: Drexel engineers to add arms and hands to unmanned aerial vehicles

August 2, 2012 2:13 pm | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

PHILADELPHIA - Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as those used by the military for surveillance and reconnaissance, could be getting a hand –and an arm– from engineers at Drexel University as part of a National Science Foundation grant to investigate adding dexterous limbs to the aircrafts. The project, whose subject harkens to the hovering android iconography of sci-fi movies, could be a step toward the use of UAVs for emergency response and search and rescue scenarios.

Anti-aging elixir for solar cells

August 2, 2012 2:12 pm | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

Sometimes it's just a couple of cents that decide the success or failure of a technology. As long as solar power, for instance, is still more expensive than energy extracted from fossil fuels, photovoltaics will not be competitive on the broad open market. "Power generation from solar energy continues to be reliant on public subsidies – this is no different in the USA than in Germany," explains Christian Hoepfner, Scientific Director of the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. "If we want renewable energy to penetrate the global market over the long term, then we must ensure it gets cheaper."

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Within reach: Drexel engineers to add arms and hands to unmanned aerial vehicles

August 2, 2012 1:26 pm | News | Comments

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as those used by the military for surveillance and reconnaissance, could be getting a hand –and an arm– from engineers at Drexel University as part of a National Science Foundation grant to investigate adding dexterous limbs to the aircrafts. The project, whose subject harkens to the hovering android iconography of sci-fi movies...

Silicone cables designed for long-term cold temperatures, severe weather

August 2, 2012 11:32 am | Product Releases | Comments

Cicoil's Arctic Grade Silicone Cables are designed for extremely cold temperatures (-65°C), punishing weather, and severe operating conditions.  Ideal in land, air and marine equipment, these Halogen-free and Flame Resistant (UL 94 V-0) cables are an excellent alternative to PVC, Neoprene and Polyurethane cables that do not match the reliability of silicone in sub-zero temperatures.

Study projects growing demand for commercial spaceflights

August 2, 2012 9:01 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

(Reuters) - Commercial suborbital spaceflights should bring in between $600 million and $1.6 billion in revenue in their first decade of operations, according to a study commissioned by the U.S. and Florida governments and released on Wednesday.

Do you have what it takes to be a Roundtable expert?

July 31, 2012 4:30 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

We here at ECN love to hear what you have to say, so for our October issue we’re opening up the Roundtable discussion to our faithful readers. Typically, the Roundtable is an editorial section consisting of short commentary by five or six experts in a particular vertical market. Check out the most recent Roundtable from August here.

Full steam ahead for the Navy’s controversial “Great Green Fleet”

July 30, 2012 4:43 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

The Navy has embarked on an ambitious green energy program, which could cost upwards of $2 billion per year. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus must convince a skeptical Congress, Senate, and public that investing in pricey alternative fuels — in the midst of the worst recession in decades — will reap dividends. 

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Why Mars again? A look at NASA's latest venture

July 30, 2012 3:57 pm | by Alicia Chang AP Science Writer | News | Comments

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- NASA's new robot rover named Curiosity has spent 8 1/2 months hurtling through space toward its destination Sunday on Mars. It is set to land near the foot of a mountain rising from a giant crater. This marks NASA's 19th mission and eighth landing attempt.

NASA to athletic Mars rover: 'Stick the landing'

July 30, 2012 3:56 pm | by Alicia Chang AP Science Writer | News | Comments

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- It's NASA's most ambitious and expensive Mars mission yet - and it begins with the red planet arrival late Sunday of the smartest interplanetary rover ever built. Also the most athletic.

NASA rover closing in on Mars to hunt for life clues

July 30, 2012 9:19 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

(Reuters) - NASA's Mars rover was on its final approach to the red planet on Sunday, heading toward a mountain that may hold clues about whether life has ever existed on Mars, officials said.

China aims to land probe on moon next year

July 30, 2012 9:18 am | by Reuters | News | Comments

(Reuters) - China aims to land its first probe on the moon in the second half of next year, state media reported on Monday, the next step in an ambitious space progam which includes building a space station.

Cybercom chief: U.S. unprepared for serious cyber attacks

July 27, 2012 8:57 am | by Claudette Roulo, American Forces Press Service | News | Comments

The United States is not adequately prepared for a serious cyber attack, the commander of U.S. Cyber Command told the audience at the Aspen Institute's annual security forum today. Army Gen. Keith Alexander, who also serves as the director of the National Security Agency and the chief of the Central Security Service, said that, in terms of preparation for a cyber attack on a critical part of its network infrastructure...

NASA X-ray concept inspired from a roll of Scotch® tape

July 27, 2012 8:45 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

The inspiration behind NASA scientist Maxim Markevitch's quest to build a highly specialized X-ray mirror using a never-before-tried technique comes from an unusual source: a roll of Scotch® tape.

NEMA Type 6 enclosure protects electronic equipment in shipboard applications

July 26, 2012 11:11 am | Product Releases | Comments

Equipto Electronics new N6 heavy-duty NEMA Type 6 enclosure is especially designed and constructed to protect electronic equipment in military shipboard applications and other situations where sensitive equipment must be protected from hostile environments. Because of its ruggedness and flexible design, the N6 has been enlisted by the US Navy, on-board the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford.

Homemade South Korean satellite to go boldly into space

July 26, 2012 8:42 am | by Eunhye Shin, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Years of rummaging through back-alley electronics stores will pay off later this year for a South Korean artist when he fulfills his dream of launching a homemade, basement-built satellite into space.

Anti-matter universe sought by space-based detector

July 25, 2012 3:41 pm | by Robert Evans, Reuters | News | Comments

A seven metric ton particle detector parked for over a year on the International Space Station (ISS) aims to establish whether there is an unseen "dark universe" woven into the cosmos, the scientist leading the project said on Wednesday.

Gabrielle Giffords tours European physics lab

July 25, 2012 9:59 am | by JOHN HEILPRIN Associated Press | News | Comments

Former U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords toured the European particle physics laboratory Wednesday, cheerfully facing reporters but saying little during her first trip abroad since being shot in the head last year.

Air Force-funded research and the Higgs Boson

July 24, 2012 4:02 pm | by Robert P. White, Ph.D. Air Force Office of Scientific Research | News | Comments

On 4 July, scientists at Geneva-based CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, announced they had found the Higgs boson, or something significantly like the Higgs boson. This piece of subatomic matter, dubbed the "God Particle," in physicist Leon Lederman's 1993 book of the same name, has been hunted since the early 1970s, but theorized about for many years prior.

UK to rule in October on Pentagon hacker U.S. extradition

July 24, 2012 9:24 am | by Peter Griffiths, Reuters | News | Comments

A British computer hacker accused by the United States of breaking into top secret military and space agency networks will learn the result of his six-year fight against extradition within three months, a court heard on Tuesday. Gary McKinnon faces up to 60 years in jail if convicted in American courts for what one U.S. prosecutor has described as the "biggest military computer hack of all time".

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