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Former Kennedy Space Center director dies

July 19, 2012 2:49 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Forrest McCartney, a former director of Kennedy Space Center who was crucial in getting NASA's shuttles flying again after the Challenger tragedy, has died. He was 81

Harvard's Wyss Institute to develop smart suit that improves soldiers' physical endurance

July 19, 2012 2:43 pm | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University today announced that it has received a $2.6 million contract (including option) from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a smart suit that helps improve physical endurance for soldiers in the field. The novel wearable system would potentially delay the onset of fatigue, enabling soldiers to walk longer distances, and also potentially improve the body's resistance to injuries when carrying heavy loads.

NASA sees sun send out mid-level solar flare

July 19, 2012 2:18 pm | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare on July 19, 2012, beginning at 1:13 AM EDT and peaking at 1:58 AM. Solar flares are gigantic bursts of radiation that cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to harm humans on the ground, however, when strong enough, they can disrupt the atmosphere and degrade GPS and communications signals.

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NRL brings inertia of space to robotics research

July 18, 2012 12:46 pm | News | Comments

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Spacecraft Engineering Department's space robotics research facility recently took possession of a one-of-a-kind 75,000 pound Gravity Offset Table (GOT) made from a single slab of solid granite. To emulate the classical mechanics of physics found in space on full-scale replica spacecraft on Earth requires not only a hefty amount of air to 'float' the object...

UCF discovers exoplanet neighbor smaller than Earth

July 18, 2012 12:38 pm | News | Comments

The University of Central Florida has detected what could be its first planet, only two-thirds the size of Earth and located right around the corner, cosmically speaking, at a mere 33 light- years away. The exoplanet candidate called UCF 1.01, is close to its star, so close it goes around the star in 1.4 days. The planet's surface likely reaches temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Autonomous robot maps ship hulls for mines

July 18, 2012 8:52 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — For years, the U.S. Navy has employed human divers, equipped with sonar cameras, to search for underwater mines attached to ship hulls. The Navy has also trained dolphins and sea lions to search for bombs on and around vessels. While animals can cover a large area in a short amount of time, they are costly to train and care for, and don't always perform as expected.

The electric atmosphere: Plasma is next NASA science target

July 18, 2012 8:50 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

Our day-to-day lives exist in what physicists would call an electrically neutral environment. Desks, books, chairs and bodies don't generally carry electricity and they don't stick to magnets. But life on Earth is substantially different from, well, almost everywhere else. Beyond Earth's protective atmosphere and extending all the way through interplanetary space, electrified particles dominate the scene. Indeed, 99% of the universe is made of this electrified gas, known as plasma.

NASA's Mars rover may be in for blind landing

July 17, 2012 8:32 am | by Irene Klotz, Reuters | News | Comments

NASA's new Mars rover is heading for a risky do-or-die touchdown next month to assess conditions for life on the planet, but the U.S. space agency may not know for hours whether it arrived safely, managers said on Monday.

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Google searching for human traffickers, drug cartels, to break up illicit networks

July 17, 2012 8:30 am | by MARTHA MENDOZA, The AP | News | Comments

Forget videos of cute kittens or good deals on iPads. For the past few months, Google has been quietly turning its search capabilities to something far more challenging: criminals.

NASA builds menu for planned Mars mission in 2030s

July 17, 2012 8:28 am | by RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI, AP | News | Comments

Through a labyrinth of hallways deep inside a 1950s-era building that has housed research that dates back to the origins of U.S. space travel, a group of scientists in white coats is stirring, mixing, measuring, brushing and, most important, tasting the end result of their cooking.

maxon motors fly into outer space on board the "Dragon" spacecraft

July 16, 2012 11:21 am | News | Comments

The flawless launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on May 22, 2012 is another successful step for maxon motor ag in the use of high precision motors in the astronautics industry. The crucial tasks of the maxon motors in the SpaceX mission included orienting the solar arrays of the Dragon spacecraft towards the sun to provide the power supply.

Nuclear weapons' surprising contribution to climate science

July 13, 2012 10:54 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

Los Angeles (July 13 2012). Nuclear weapons testing may at first glance appear to have little connection with climate change research. But key Cold War research laboratories and the science used to track radioactivity and model nuclear bomb blasts have today been repurposed by climate scientists. The full story appears in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, published by SAGE.

Platinum is wrong stuff for fuel cells

July 12, 2012 4:06 pm | News | Comments

Fuel cells are inefficient because the catalyst most commonly used to convert chemical energy to electricity is made of the wrong material, a researcher at Case Western Reserve University argues. Rather than continue the futile effort to tweak that material - platinum - to make it work better, Chemistry Professor Alfred Anderson urges his colleagues to start anew.

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Solar storm protection

July 12, 2012 3:39 pm | News | Comments

Massive explosions on the sun unleash radiation that could kill astronauts in space. Now, researchers from the U.S. and South Korea have developed a warning system capable of forecasting the radiation from these violent solar storms nearly three hours (166 minutes) in advance, giving astronauts, as well as air crews flying over Earth's polar regions, time to take protective action.  

To extinguish a hot flame, DARPA studied cold plasma

July 12, 2012 3:33 pm | News | Comments

Fire in enclosed military environments such as ship holds, aircraft cockpits and ground vehicles is a major cause of material destruction and jeopardizes the lives of warfighters. For example, a shipboard fire on the aircraft carrier USS George Washington in May 2008 burned for 12 hours and caused an estimated $70 million in damage.

Apple pulls its products from environmental ratings registry, San Francisco stops buying Macs

July 12, 2012 8:29 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple's withdrawal from an environmental ratings registry has prompted at least one city - San Francisco - to stop buying its computers.

It's not lunacy: Not-a-planet Pluto boasts 5 moons

July 12, 2012 8:25 am | by Alicia Chang AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Pluto may have been kicked out of the planet club, but it has gained yet another companion.

Navy closer to landing UAV on aircraft carrier

July 11, 2012 3:17 pm | by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Leona Mynes, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs | News | Comments

A team from the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System program office tested communication software for the Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) during its sea trials, July 7-10. The UCAS-D program, based at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) on Naval Air Station (NAS) Paxutent River, Md., is designed to demonstrate the ability for the unmanned, autonomous X47-B unmanned air vehicle...

Board mount pressure sensors offer cost-effective, basic performance

July 11, 2012 9:52 am | Product Releases | Comments

Honeywell announced the release of its new Basic Board Mount Pressure Sensors, NBP Series. These are a cost-effective, basic performance, mV output, unamplified, uncompensated, high quality, and high resolution solution for customers seeking high-volume, economical board mount pressure sensors.

Transmitter’s 1.8mm thickness is ideal for narrow, flat spaces

July 11, 2012 9:33 am | Product Releases | Comments

Transducers USA has introduced their new piezo ceramic MLCT (Multilayer Ceramic Transmitter) series. Its unique simple acoustic multi-layer ceramic construction produces a high output of 80 Db with only 16V low driving voltage. Its milliwatt of power consumption and high conversion efficiency lead to an even broader range of applications.With an overall size of 30 X 20 X 1.5mm, the series is ideal for flat and narrow spaces. 

Push-pull connectors promise space and time savings

July 11, 2012 9:15 am | Product Releases | Comments

Intelliconnect (Europe) Ltd. announced a complete range push-pull connectors that rival screw and locking types. The company states they offer panel designers space savings since there is no need for a coupling-tool or locking by hand and fast and easy mating and un-mating for

Virgin boss Branson gets kids on board for first space flight of his Galactic venture

July 11, 2012 8:42 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

British mogul Richard Branson says he and his two children Holly and Sam will be on the first space flight of his Virgin Galactic venture next year.

NASA's Mars chief frets over heat shield for probe

July 11, 2012 8:37 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

So far, the scorecard for missions to Mars reads attempts 40, successes 14.

Giant ice telescope hunts for dark matter's space secrets

July 10, 2012 2:17 pm | News | Comments

Scientists are using the world's biggest telescope, buried deep under the South Pole, to try to unravel the mysteries of tiny particles known as neutrinos, hoping to shed light on how the universe was made. The mega-detector, called IceCube, took 10 years to build 2,400 meters below the Antarctic ice.

Hubble unmasks ghost galaxies

July 10, 2012 2:09 pm | News | Comments

Astronomers have puzzled over why some extremely faint dwarf galaxies spotted in our Milky Way galaxy's backyard contain so few stars. The galaxies are thought to be some of the tiniest, oldest, and most pristine galaxies in the Universe. They have been discovered over the past decade by astronomers using automated computer techniques to search through the images of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

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