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David Szondy

David Szondy

David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.

— Space

Solar winds are stealing the Martian atmosphere

What turned Mars from the warm, wet planet that space scientists believe it was in the distant past into the cold, dessicated world of today? NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) is providing part of the answer, as it measures how fast the Martian atmosphere is being lost today. According to the space agency, the culprit is the solar winds, which are slowly stripping away the atmosphere of the Red Planet atom by atom at a rate of roughly 100 gm (3.5 oz) per second and even more during solar storms.

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— Wearable Electronics

Legacy Machine Perpetual re-invents the perpetual calendar watch

They call functions on mechanical watches "complications" for a reason, but sometimes things get so complicated that it's time to start over. That's the reasoning that led MB&F and Irish watchmaker Stephen McDonnell to produce the Legacy Machine Perpetual – a wristwatch that includes a perpetual calendar with a reinvented movement that's more compact and reliable than conventional designs.

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— Military

F-35A Lightning II fires guns in flight for the first time

A Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft has fired its machine guns for the first time while airborne. The three bursts from the internal Gun Airborne Unit (GAU)-22/A 25mm Gatling gun system mark the second phase of testing to certify that the machine gun configuration is functional in all parts of the F-35A Conventional TakeOff and Landing (CTOL) variant's configurations and flight envelope.

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— Aircraft

US Marine Corps' CH-53K King Stallion prototype takes to the skies on maiden flight

The next generation of US Marine Corp helicopters took to the air recently with the successful maiden flight of Sikorsky's CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter at the company's Development Flight Center in Florida. Known formally as Engineering Development Model-1 (EDM-1), its 30-minute flight at an altitude of 30 ft (9.1 m) included hovering as well as sideward, rearward, and forward maneuvers, and kicks off a three-year, 2,000-hour test program involving four prototypes.

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— Aircraft

ALTACAS aircraft crash avoidance system uses lasers for safer takeoffs and landings

Takeoffs and landings account for 66 percent of fatal air accidents, but current air traffic control systems are designed mainly to monitor aircraft that are in mid-flight. To help fill this gap, ALTACAS Technology has developed its Aerial, Landing, & Takeoff Aircraft Crash Avoidance System (ALTACAS). Designed to be retrofitted to current aircraft and as a supplement to existing next-generation air traffic control and crash avoidance systems, it uses lasers and microprocessors to monitor runways and flight paths during takeoffs and landings.

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— Space

Magnetic anomaly that cast doubt on Voyager 1's entry of interstellar space explained

One question that has been vexing space scientists for the past three years is whether NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft is or isn't in interstellar space. The unmanned explorer was supposed to have passed out of the sphere of the Sun's influence and into galactic space in August 2012, but a magnetic anomaly threw a question mark over the event. Using data from other space missions, a team led by the University of New Hampshire (UHN) has found a clue as to what may have caused the anomaly and produces new insights into the nature of the region where the Solar System and the outer Universe meet.

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— Space

Rosetta spacecraft detects molecular oxygen outgassing from Comet 67P

Despite being the third most abundant element in the Universe, molecular oxygen, or O₂, is relatively rare off Earth. That's why it raised a few eyebrows at ESA when the space agency's Rosetta spacecraft discovered oxygen molecules jetting out of the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. According to the Rosetta team, the oxygen is outgassing in such abundance that its presence may date back to the formation of the comet over 4.6 billion years ago.

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— Around The Home

Teforia infuser promises the perfect cuppa, whatever the blend

There are not only six basic types of tea, but a bewildering number of varieties and blends that often demand a very specific method of brewing to bring out their best flavor. The Teforia infuser from the eponymous Mountain View, California startup is designed to help users more easily navigate these waters, using a proprietary Selective Infusion Process (SIP) technology to not only tailor the brewing to the tea, but also allow the user to control factors like caffeine and antioxidant levels.

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