Aerospace 3D printing went Mach 5 this week, with Orbital ATK announcing that it has successfully tested a printed hypersonic engine combustor at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia. A key scramjet component, the 3D-printed combustor spent 20 days undergoing high-temperature hypersonic flight conditions as well as one of the longest duration propulsion wind tunnel tests for such a component.
After 400 years, the original telescope design is getting a major upgrade. Part of a DARPA funded project, Lockheed Martin's Segmented Planar Imaging Detector for Electro-optical Reconnaissance (SPIDER) telescope replaces the large primary lenses used in refracting telescopes with an array of tiny ones that allow the instruments to shrink by a factor of 10 to 100.
One could get ridiculously carried away in the quest for the perfect headphones, but there are no shortage of options for those of thus for whom money is still very much an object. Among these is Soundpeats' A1 Bluetooth over-ear headphones.
Space-based laser communications are moving out of the testing phase and into orbit as the first satellite in the European DAta Relay System (EDRS), or SpaceDataHighway, prepares for launch at the end of January. Likened to having a fiber optic cable in space, the 1.8 Gigabit per second system is a joint public–private partnership between Airbus Defence and Space and ESA that will act as a relay system between ground stations, satellites, and aircraft.
There's good news for those who were annoyed when Pluto was knocked off the list of planets. According to a pair of scientists at Caltech, there may actually be nine planets in the Solar System after all. Researchers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown say that a planet ten times the mass of Earth may be circling the Sun in a highly elliptical orbit 20 times the distance of Neptune or 36 billion mi (60 billion km), with a year of 10,000 to 20,000 Earth years.
As the range of wireless home security systems broadens, the choices offered range from elaborate information centers that monitor the local environment to simple cameras designed for economy and ease of use. One example of the latter is the Turcom Cyberview Mini, which is a plug-and-play camera with an emphasis on fast setup and expandability. We plugged one in to see what it could do.
Not so long ago the ocean floor was as unknown as the far side of the Moon. Now, an international team of scientists is using satellite data to chart the deep ocean by measuring the Earth's gravitational field. The result is a new, highly-detailed map that covers the three-quarters of the Earth's surface that lies underwater. The map is already providing new insights into global geology.
In an age of wireless speakers dominated by singing soda cans and the occasional light show, the Zeppelin Wireless from British audio firm Bowers & Wilkins keeps the focus refreshingly on the task at hand. The latest in the Zeppelin line takes what was previously a muscle-bound iPod dock, upgrades it, and delivers a top-tier speaker that just happens to be wireless. Let's take a listen.
SpaceX's latest attempt to make a powered landing on a sea barge has ended in failure. At 10:51 am PST, a Falcon 9 booster touched down on the unmanned drone barge "Just Read the Instructions" in Pacific Ocean 250 miles off San Diego, but telemetry indicated that a landing leg buckled on touchdown. The failed landing came about nine minutes after the Falcon 9 delivered the Jason-3 mission into a polar low-Earth orbit..
SpaceX is having a busy week. As the company prepares for another water landing, Founder and CEO Elon Musk has announced that the Falcon 9 booster that made the historic first powered controlled landing of a space rocket has successfully completed a post-flight static test fire.