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David Szondy

View of 'Cooperstown' taken by Curiosity's navigational camera (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

After over a year on Mars, NASA's Curiosity rover has pretty much run through its list of firsts. As it continues its “long trek” to Mount Sharp, however, it’s still showing a few surprises. This week, NASA announced that Curiosity picked up the pace of its travels by completing its first two-day autonomous drive, in which the unmanned explorer did one leg of an autonomous drive on Sunday, then completed it on Monday.  Read More

Artist's concept of the SR-72 (Image: Lockheed Martin)

When the last SR-71 Blackbird was grounded in 1998 it was a double blow. Not only did aviation lose one of the most advanced aircraft ever built, but also one of the most beautiful. Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works has now revealed that it is building a successor to the Blackbird: the SR-72. Using a new hypersonic engine design that combines turbines and ramjets, the company says that the unmanned SR-72 will be twice as fast as its predecessor with a cruising speed of Mach 6.  Read More

The GE Industrea Mk7.0 TIER 3 Mine Cruiser is designed to operate safely in colleries

The depths of a coal mine couldn't be considered ideal driving conditions for most vehicles, but the Mk7.0 TIER 3 Mine Cruiser isn't most vehicles. GE recently announced that it has delivered its 500th Mine Cruiser, which is a four-wheel drive utility vehicle capable of carrying up to 14 passengers, yet is built to operate safely in the vast galleries of modern underground coal mines.  Read More

The prototype Mars sample return container (Image: ESA)

A mission to return samples from the planet Mars is still many years away and, officially, not on the calendar. That hasn't stopped ESA from producing a proof-of-concept prototype of the scientific “box of delights,” which could one day bring bits of the Red Planet back to Earth for study.  Read More

The Fuelmatics Automatic Refueling System in action (Image: Husky)

There was a time when pulling into a service station would coincide with an attendant in a pressed uniform and a peaked cap running up to your car to ask if you’d like to fill ‘er up. That scene may be relegated to Mad Men, but a robotic replacement has arrived. At this month’s 2013 PEI Convention at the NACS Show in Atlanta, the Husky Corporation’s booth played host to a robotic fuel attendant called the Fuelmatics Automatic Refueling System (ARS) that the company is developing in collaboration with Stockholm-based Fuelmatics Systems AB.  Read More

Zeno R25 is designed to recognize emotions

More and more, robots are moving into our everyday lives, and if they’re not going to end up being incredibly annoying, they’re going to have to learn to recognize and cope with human emotions. RoboKind of Dallas, Texas has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise capital for the further development of its Zeno R25 interactive humanoid robot, which is designed to interact with humans in an intuitive way by detecting and mimicking emotions.  Read More

Technicians powering up Orion (Image: Lockheed Martin)

NASA took another step back into the astronaut-launching business when it announced on Monday that last week it had powered up the crew capsule of the Orion spacecraft for the first time. According to the space agency, the test of the spacecraft’s avionics systems, conducted at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is a major milestone in preparing the craft for its first unmanned test flight in the autumn of next year.  Read More

Artist's concept of the MAVEN spacecraft (Image: NASA/Goddard)

On Monday, NASA confirmed the launch date of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission (MAVEN). According to the space agency, MAVEN will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida at 1:28 PM EST on November 18 on the first leg of its mission to study the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet.  Read More

The HF120 is designed to power the HondaJet executive jet

As airliners have grown bigger, so have the jet engines needed to thrust them into the air. We're now at the point where the words “jet engine” conjure up something with a maw big enough for a Mini Cooper to easily drive through. But not every jet aircraft is a double decker people carrier and not every engine is a behemoth. On Thursday, General electric announced that the HF120 jet engine it’s co-developing for the HondaJet completed its US FAA certification testing – and its fan aperture is only 18 inches (45.7 cm) across.  Read More

Art is Motion is installed in a Lexus IS 300h sedan

Many cars have been described as "works of art" over the years, but aside from the odd maniac smearing the wheels with paint and running over canvases, they've rarely been used to create art. Lexus is looking to change that with the Art is Motion system in one of its IS 300h sedans, which has the peculiar ability of painting a portrait of the driver while they're behind the wheel.  Read More

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