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David Szondy

The Rosetta spacecraft is now in orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (Image: ESA)

The list of space firsts got a little longer this week. On August 6 at 11:30 am CET, ESA's Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany received radio signals confirming that Rosetta had begun its approach and was going into orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, making Rosetta the first spacecraft to go into orbit around a comet.  Read More

The visual microphone can reconstruct sounds from video images, such as subtly-vibrating p...

If you've ever had the feeling that you’re being listened to by chip bags, spied on by your houseplants, and eavesdropped by chocolate bar wrappers, then you may not be paranoid; you may just be up on the latest technology. That’s because a team of scientists led by MIT that includes participants from Microsoft, and Adobe has created a "visual microphone" that uses a computer algorithm to analyze and reconstruct audio signals from objects in a video image.  Read More

Artist's impression of Curiosity (Image: NASA)

Break out the party hats – NASA’s Curiosity rover is celebrating its second anniversary on Mars. On August 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm PDT (August 6, 05:31 GMT), the unmanned spacecraft touched down at Bradbury Landing in Gale Crater on the start of a multi-year mission to seek out areas where life could or may once have existed, and is now preparing to carry on for a third year.  Read More

Rolls-Royce has announced the development of a new convertible for 2016

The Rolls-Royce stable is getting bigger by one more convertible, as the company has announced the development of a new luxury drophead design. Though exactly what will roll out the door isn't certain, it will likely be based on the Rolls-Royce Wraith Coupé, the smallest of the seven-model Rolls-Royce line.  Read More

Flying For Freedom plans to send up to five microlights to the South Pole

If you think going outside to collect the mail isn't on because it’s a bit nippy, then you might want to give a thought to a squadron of disabled British servicemembers who plan to spend next January flying to the South Pole in little more than hang gliders. Organized by the charity Flying For Freedom, up to five open-cockpit microlights will be piloted by the veterans to show what severely disabled people can achieve, as well as inspire others to seek rehabilitation.  Read More

The Mars Odyssey spacecraft is one of the 3D-printable models made available by NASA

If you have access to a 3D printer, then you can build your own space fleet courtesy of NASA – provided you don’t mind spacecraft that are plastic and four inches long. As part of its continuing program of education and outreach, the space agency has released 22 printable models of NASA and European space probes, asteroids, and planetary landscapes for the hobbyist and space enthusiast.  Read More

Subsystems on the MOXIE instrument (Image: NASA)

Oxygen is such an abundant resource on Earth that we rarely think about it unless we get locked in a cupboard. However, for space engineers, the question of how to get enough of the vital gas is constant, frustrating problem. To help future explorers of the Red Planet get enough oxygen for life support and powering spacecraft, NASA has included MIT’s MOXIE experiment on the Mars 2020 mission to study how to make oxygen out of the Martian atmosphere.  Read More

The Tourbillon 1000%

Buying a mechanical watch with a finely-crafted tourbillon movement can set you back tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, but if you don’t mind one made out of plastic and a bit larger than usual, 3D printing may be the answer. Computer scientist and watchmaking enthusiast Nicholas Manousos has created a printable version of the famous watch movement called Tourbillon 1000%. Fabricated from thermoplastic and ball bearings, it may not be practical, but it's certainly eye catching.  Read More

The seven instruments selected for Mars 2020 (Image: NASA)

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has been trundling around the Red Planet for almost two years now, so the space agency is looking for a trade in. At a press conference in Washington DC, it announced the seven instruments selected to fly on the Mars 2020 rover mission that is scheduled to launch in July or August 2020 with a landing set for February 2021 at a yet to be determined site. The instruments were selected out of 58 proposals from US and international scientists and engineers, and represent a development cost of US$130 million.  Read More

The first production version of the ICON A5 on display at EAA AirVenture this week (Photo:...

Small amphibians are sort of the hot hatchbacks of the aviation world and one aimed at the beginner pilot is always worth a look see. At EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) manufacturer ICON Aircraft debuted its first production A5 amphibious, folding-wing plane for the general public. Built in Tehachapi, California, a second is now under construction for structural testing later this year.  Read More

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