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David Szondy

The 2015 Ford Focus enjoys Ford new global design strategy

Ford hasn't done too bad with its Focus line. In 2012, it surpassed the Toyota Corolla as the world's best selling car model and, according to Ford, it still holds the crown with 12 million sold worldwide. The economical all-round commuter car enjoys a good reputation with reviewers and drivers, so it's not surprising that Ford doesn't go in for radical redesigns, but the company does tweak a bit now and then. This year at the Geneva Motor Show, Ford is unveiling its latest Focus with a slightly sleeker design package containing some new engine and other technologies for the European market.  Read More

Aston Martin Vantage N430

Aston Martin has been around for 101 years and to mark the occasion the car maker is debuting two new special editions at this year’s Geneva Motor Show: the Vantage N430 and the DB9 Carbon Black and Carbon White. Highlighting styling and a power boost for the Vantage N430, Aston Martin says both are intended to combine sport-focused style elements with an air of elegance.  Read More

Netting a satellite (Image: ESA)

With the film Gravity hoovering up awards for its portrayal of astronauts dodging colliding satellites, now seems a good time to talk about the very real threat posed by space debris. It’s small wonder, then, that ESA’s Clean Space initiative is looking at developing a satellite that can rendezvous with space debris and render it harmless by netting it like fish. The proposal is just one of the ideas to be discussed as part of a symposium this May focusing on the space agency's e.DeOrbit mission.  Read More

Chris Ferguson (center) at the simulator controls

The commander of the last Space Shuttle mission recently returned to space, but never left the ground. No, this isn’t one of those annoying lateral thinking puzzles. Chris Ferguson, commander of the STS-135 Atlantis mission in 2011 and currently director of Crew and Mission Operations at Boeing, went on a virtual flight to the International Space Station (ISS) in a ground-based simulator as part of NASA’s testing requirements for Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft.  Read More

The SPHERES robots are designed for upgrading (Image: NASA)

If you want to know how big the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) is at present, the answer depends on whether or not you’re counting the robots on board. Some of the non-human residents will soon be getting smarter, with NASA announcing that the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) robots currently on the station will later this year get a new smartphone. The increased capability of the soon to be Smart SPHERES is designed to help transition them from engineering testbeds to workaday companions that can take over some of the duties of the station astronauts.  Read More

Artist's concept of exoplanet systems (Image: NASA)

It’s a good thing that planets outside our Solar System get catalog designations instead of proper names, or space scientists would now be scraping the barrel for “Ralph” or “Tigger.” That’s because on Wednesday, NASA announced that the Kepler space telescope had hit the “motherload” of exoplanets, confirming 715 new planets in 315 star systems. It used a new statistical technique that the space agency says has removed a bottleneck that has plagued the analysis of the Kepler data.  Read More

Artist's impression of the undersea pipline X-ray in operation (Image: GE)

Using X-rays and other forms of radiation has been a standard tool for testing pipelines for decades, but until now it's been largely confined to factories and land-based pipelines instead of the deep seabed. That’s changing as GE adapts its medical X-ray systems to work in the crushing pressures of the deep oceans, as part of a remote-controlled submersible rig for examining pipelines in place.  Read More

The Hennessey Venom GT hit 270.49 mph on February 14, 2014

The Bugatti Veyron SuperSport caught the world’s attention in 2010 when it set the record for the world's fastest production car, but that crown may now have been passed on. Hennessey Performance announced on Monday that its Venom GT hit 270.49 mph (435.31 km/h) at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Driven by former Michelin tire test engineer, race driver, and Director of Miller Motorsport Brian Smith, the time for the Venom GT was independently verified, but has yet to be officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.  Read More

The SPARCS round round has a CMOS camera sending back real-time images to a computerized r...

Imagine a scenario where an earthquake brings down an industrial complex, trapping the survivors inside and as the disaster response team arrives, they unpack a grenade launcher and start lobbing rounds into the air. This may seem like madness, but there’s method in it. In this hypothetical case, the grenades are part of the Soldier Parachute Aerial Reconnaissance Camera System (SPARCS) built by Singapore-based ST Engineering. Instead of a warhead, each 40 mm grenade round has a CMOS camera sending back real-time images to a computerized receiver; turning disaster teams, police, and foot soldiers into recon units.  Read More

The Range Rover Autobiography and Autobiography Dynamic Evoque will debut at the Geneva Mo...

It’s been a week of previews for this year’s Geneva Motor Show and Land Rover has added another to the list by announcing that the Range Rover Evoque Autobiography and Autobiography Dynamic will make their debut next month. The smallest of the Ranger Rover line, the four-seater Evoque limited editions will include some tweaked styling and a power boost, with the the Autobiography Dynamic billed as the most performance-focused Evoque ever produced.  Read More

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