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David Szondy

Diagram of the ExoLance penetrator that would search for signs of life below the surface o...

If there’s life on Mars, it will have a great impact on Earth. But to answer the question, a group of engineers want to make an impact on Mars. Explore Mars, Inc., a private organization made up technologists and former NASA engineers, wants to look for signs of any present life on Mars not by scratching about on the surface, but by dropping supersonic lances on the planet that will penetrate deep into the Martian soil to seek out protected, potentially wet strata where life might still exist.  Read More

X-47B is readied for launch along side an F/A-18 Hornet (Photo: Mass Communications Specia...

Anyone who’s seen an aircraft carrier in full operation knows that everything needs to be carried out with absolute precision by a small army of sailors as one plane lands and is hurried aside to make room for the next. To show that its X-47B Unmanned Combat Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) can work in this hectic environment alongside manned ones, the US Navy sent it to carry out landing and deck maneuvers aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in concert with an F/A-18 fighter.  Read More

MIT hopes to turn old lead batteries into new solar cells (Image: Christine Daniloff/MIT)

The world of modern technology is one of out with the old, in with the new. For battery technology, that means the expected demise of lead-acid batteries and replacement by a more efficient, cheaper, and environmentally-friendly alternative. This is good news, but leaves the problem of what to do with all the lead in the batteries currently in use when the time comes to dispose of them? Researchers at MIT have an answer – use it to make solar cells.  Read More

Curiosity looking up the ramp at the north-eastern end of 'Hidden Valley' (Image: NASA/JPL...

Very few road trips go exactly according to plan and that goes double for ones on Mars. At the start of its third year on the Red Planet, NASA’s Curiosity rover was slated to head for the "Pahrump Hills" for its fourth rock drilling exercise, but after encountering unexpectedly hazardous terrain, it’s making a detour to a similar site called "Bonanza King" to carry on its mission.  Read More

Confocal microscope image of the artificial neural tissue developed at Tufts University

One approach to studying the brain rather than working on the whole thing at once is to examine small bits of it. With that in mind, researchers at the Tissue Engineering Resource Center at Tufts University, Boston have developed a three-dimensional brain-like tissue that is structurally similar to living rat brain tissue, functions enough like it for experimental purposes, and one that scientists have been able to keep alive for up to two months.  Read More

The Seven 480 headed for the US market

American devotees of the Caterham brand got a little love this week as the car maker presented two new models for the US market at Monterey Car Week. The Seven 480 and 360 are the latest variant on the classic, minimalist Caterham Seven sportscar introduced four decades ago, and are available to US customers directly through Caterham’s US distributor.  Read More

The largest interstellar dust track found in the Stardust aerogel collector (Image: UC Ber...

Good things come in microscopic packages – at least, so says NASA. According to the space agency, our first ambassadors from interstellar space may be seven particles measuring only about two microns, that were returned to Earth by the unmanned Stardust probe in 2006. They could provide new insights into the origin and evolution of interstellar dust.  Read More

Only six of the Lightweight E-Type watches will be built – one for each car

Over at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance this week, Jaguar unveiled its continuation Lightweight E-Type sports car, and to keep it company, British watchmaker Bremont chose the same venue for the début of its Lightweight E-Type wristwatch. No prizes for guessing, but the bespoke watch with a limited run of six is a commemoration timepiece on offer to the buyers of the Jaguar replica racers.  Read More

The continuation Lightweight E-Type will complete the production run suspended half a cent...

In May, Jaguar announced that it was making up for lost time by building the remaining six of the 18 Lightweight or Special GT E-Types that were originally planned in 1963 but never built. That turns out to be more than just talk, because the newly-completed prototype Car Zero of the new run is having its public début at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.  Read More

The 2015 Range Rover Sport SVR is the fastest Land Rover model

Last month, Land Rover claimed a new record for a production SUV as its 2015 Range Rover Sport SVR ran the 20.8 km (13 mile) Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring in eight minutes and 14 seconds. Now the company has lifted the bonnet and revealed the specs behind how a two and a half tonne Chelsea tractor is able to do a lap time like a stabbed rat.  Read More

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