Commercial passenger spaceflight has gone on the books with Boeing announcing that it's received the first contract ever issued to a private company to carry out a manned space mission. The NASA task order means that Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft will ferry crews to the International Space Station (ISS) on up to six missions.
The LightSail solar sail mission has been "paused" due to a software glitch related to a design flaw in the avionics software, which has frozen the onboard computer in a fashion all too familiar to terrestrial technology users.
It sounds like an old Goon Show joke, but soldiers may one day protect themselves from blasts by wallpapering temporary shelters. It may not be very decorative, but the new ballistic wallpaper under development by the US Army Corps of Engineers uses a special fiber inlay to help prevent walls from collapsing under blast effects.
Breitling appears to be targeting a pretty niche market with its Superocean Chronograph M2000. It might look like just another upmarket diving watch, but this particular timepiece is rated water-resistant to depths of 2,000 m (6,600 ft), so it seems to be aimed at record-breaking mixed-gas deep-sea divers and people who would take comfort in knowing that the watch they lost overboard is still ticking on the bottom of the ocean.
CubeSats, tiny satellites about the size of a loaf of bread or smaller, hold the promise of opening space up to low-budget space missions, but currently they're largely restricted to Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). To broaden the scope of these pint-sized spacecraft, NASA is developing its CubeSat Application for Planetary Entry Missions (CAPE) concept, which would see the development of miniature space probes that can be sent in fleets on interplanetary missions for multi-point sampling, as opposed to the bus-sized, do-it-all probes that are currently in service.
The smallest distraction can break a golfer's concentration and ruin their shot, so how would they react to tanks and explosions? If they were at the 18 hole course at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, last week, probably not at all. That's because the fairways and greens were only turned into a battlefield complete with tanks, mortar fire, and smoke thanks to the Office of Naval Research's (ONR) Augmented Immersive Team Trainer (AITT), which made the firefight visible only to participants wearing special glasses.
Biomedical engineering company Össur has announced the successful development of a thought controlled bionic prosthetic leg. The new technology uses implanted sensors sending wireless signals to the artificial limb's built-in computer, enabling subconscious, real-time control and faster, more natural responses and movements.
As digital technology becomes more ubiquitous and the Internet of Things takes shape, the question of how to power it all becomes more pressing. Japanese technology firm Ricoh is looking at its new "energy-generating rubber" as one solution. According the company, the new piezoelectric polymer converts pressure and vibration into electric energy with high efficiency, yet is extremely flexible and durable.
Texting is so much a part of modern life that some people can't even pause for a meal of fried chicken without sending a message. As part of an advertising campaign and in an effort to avoid an epidemic of greasy smartphone screens, KFC restaurants in Germany have been giving away paper tray liners with built-in Bluetooth keyboards, so patrons can text away while munching on their extra crispy.