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Rover to probe whether Mars was life-friendly in the past

August 6, 2012 8:48 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

(Reuters) - NASA plans to follow up a decade-long search for Mars' lost water with a mission to learn whether the Red Planet once harbored other ingredients necessary for life. The astrobiological hunt begins once the $2.5 billion Mars Science Lab rover Curiosity lands itself beside a towering mountain that rises from the floor of a vast, ancient impact basin called Gale Crater.

Space weather and the coming storm

August 6, 2012 8:48 am | by Chris Wickham, Reuters | News | Comments

(Reuters) - The delicate threads that hold modern life together are dramatically cut by an unexpected threat from outer space, with disastrous effects.

NASA rover Curiosity makes historic Mars landing, beams back photos

August 6, 2012 8:47 am | by Steve Gorman and Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

(Reuters) - NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity performed a daredevil descent through pink Martian skies late on Sunday to clinch an historic landing inside an ancient crater, ready to search for signs the Red Planet may once have harbored key ingredients for life.

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New Mars rover to land in intriguing giant crater

August 6, 2012 8:39 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- The latest Mars destination is a giant crater near the equator with an odd feature: a mountain rising from the crater floor.   How did it get there?  

Anxiety over rover's Hollywood-style Mars landing

August 3, 2012 4:41 pm | by Alicia Chang AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Seven minutes of terror. It sounds like a Hollywood thriller, but the phrase describes the anxiety NASA is expecting as its car-sized robotic rover tries a tricky landing on Mars late Sunday.

Non-contact infrared temp. transmitters features a response time of 240mS

August 3, 2012 4:27 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Omega introduces its new series of non-contact infrared temperature transmitters.

Battery charging controller, power manager features input max. power point control

August 3, 2012 4:17 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Linear Technology Corporation introduces the LTC4000-1, a high voltage controller and power manager with input maximum power point control (MPPC) that converts virtually any externally compensated DC/DC power supply into a full-featured battery charger.

Not for green technology, but for country

August 3, 2012 3:16 pm | by Clara Ennist, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

When building better weapons, a focus on green technology is untenable; rather, weapons need to be accurate, cost effective, and pose the least harm to US soldiers. How “green” a weapon is can be an unintended, positive consequence. Enter the Navy’s Electromagnetic Rail Gun (EMRG) with guided munitions.

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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.

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.

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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."

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. 

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.

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