Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

David Szondy

YXT ONE is designed to act as a tender for yachts in the 30 m and 70 m (100 to 230 ft) cla...

The phrase “yacht tender” usually conjures up images of a small, somewhat unassuming launch boat. What generally isn’t expected is something 24 m (78 ft) long that looks like an upmarket tug boat and has never swung from a davit in its life. Designed by Diana Yacht Design and built by LYNX Yachts in Zaandam, the Netherlands, Yacht-X-Tender (YXT ONE) is the first in a new line of bespoke pocket support yachts designed for situations where the main craft isn’t quite big enough to hold all the toys.  Read More

The technology could allow antennas to fit seamlessly into the skins of aircraft and other...

Anyone who’s ever needed a pair of thick eyeglasses has a firm idea that lenses are the one thing where form follows function. However, BAE Systems and Queen Mary’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science in London have put paid to that idea with a flat lens that works like a conventional curved lens, yet without any reduction in bandwidth performance. Using a combination of composite metamaterials and transformational optics for the first time, they have created a lens that's able to bend electromagnetic waves, yet isn't bound by its shape for its function.  Read More

Artist's concept of a ship equipped with a railgun turret (Image: US Navy)

Watching old war movies, we expect firing a navy gun to be accompanied by a deafening bang and a dramatic cloud of burnt powder. This being the 21st century, the US Navy has other ideas as it prepares to install and test a prototype electromagnetic railgun on a Spearhead-class joint high speed vessel in 2016 as part of a program to develop the naval artillery of the future.  Read More

Artist's depiction of LADEE approaching lunar orbit (Image: NASA Ames/Dana Berry)

In space, no one can hear you hit the Moon at near-hypersonic speed. Today, NASA's Ames Research Center announced that the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) made a controlled impact on the far side of the Moon some time between 9:30 and 10:30 pm PDT on Thursday, bringing to an end its mission to study the lunar atmosphere.  Read More

The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off after three previous launches were scrubbed (Photo: SpaceX)...

It took four tries, but SpaceX’s CRS-3 mission is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). Today at 3:25:21PM, EDT, the unmanned Dragon cargo spacecraft lifted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in rainy, overcast weather that NASA said only gave the launch a 40 percent chance of going ahead without delay. The successful launch is SpaceX’s third cargo mission to the ISS and its fourth visit to the station.  Read More

The Phantom Badger deploying from an Osprey

The US military fields some pretty impressive vehicles, but they aren't worth much if they don’t fit on the aircraft intended to transport them. Last month, the US Navy removed one obstacle when it cleared the Boeing Phantom Badger combat support vehicle for transport inside a V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. After a battery of tests, including form-fit checks, pressure tests and structural evaluations of over four G’s, the modular vehicle was a step closer to deployment by the US Marine Corps and US Air Force Special Operations.  Read More

Artist's impression of Kepler-186f (Image: NASA)

The search for extraterrestrial life zeroed in a bit today as NASA announced that its unmanned Kepler Space Telescope detected the most Earth-like planet yet found beyond the Solar System. Named Kepler-186f, the new planet orbits a red dwarf star about 500 light years away from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus, is only 10 percent larger than our planet, and could have liquid water, which is essential for life as we know it.  Read More

The Land Rover Discovery Vision concept on display at the 2014 New York Auto Show (Photo: ...

Land Rover’s been dropping hints about its new Discovery Vision concept in the run up to the 2014 New York International Auto Show. Now before 200 VIP guests, the company has taken the lid off what turns out to be a design template for the new Discovery line as well as a showcase for the technologies that may end up in Land Rovers of the future. The debut aboard the USS Intrepid Air and Space Museum in New York City included a scale model of the Virgin Galactic spacecraft SpaceShipTwo as part of Land Rover’s new partnership with the space tourism company.  Read More

Monday's SpaceX Dragon CRS-3 launch was scrubbed due to a helium leak

Unfortunately, it wasn't third time's a charm for the SpaceX CRS-3 mission to send an unmanned Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station (ISS). In a statement today, SpaceX announced that the Monday launch of the Falcon 9 rocket has been rescheduled until April 18 because of a helium leak in the first stage. However, weather forecasts show conditions around Cape Canaveral deteriorating as the week progresses, so even that date is tentative.  Read More

A growing tray in the Vegetable Production System (Veggie) that is headed to the ISS (Phot...

The International Space Station (ISS) may be a remarkable piece of engineering, but it’s so drab that it needs a window box to brighten things up. That isn't possible in the vacuum of space, but NASA is doing the next best thing on Monday as it sends its Vegetable Production System (Veggie) to the space station aboard the SpaceX Dragon CRS-3 mission. However, this plant-growing chamber will be more than a horticultural experiment, it's also a bit more culinary as it lets astronauts put fresh salad on the menu.  Read More

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