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David Szondy

David Szondy

David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.

— Space

New Horizons re-establishes contact with Earth after historic flyby

NASA can breathe again now that its New Horizons Pluto probe has phoned home. The unmanned nuclear-powered probe re-established contact with the Deep Space Network at 8:54 pm EDT – 13 hours and five minutes after today's historic flyby of the distant dwarf planet. This marks the successful completion of New Horizons' exploration of Pluto and provides scientists with information that should shed new light on the origins of the Solar System.

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— Military

MAXFAS exoskeleton improves soldiers' aim

Mention military exoskeletons and it will likely conjure up visions of something like Iron Man, that gives a soldier super strength or the ability to march all day with a pack the size of a piano. However, exoskeletons can provide more than brute strength. Taking a page from therapy exoskeletons, Dan Baechle, a mechanical engineer at the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL), is developing the MAXFAS exoskeleton that doesn't make soldiers stronger, but better shots instead.

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— Space

New Horizons is go for Pluto flyby

After over nine years of travel in deep space, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is within hours of its historic flyby of Pluto. When the unmanned nuclear-powered probe speeds past the frozen dwarf planet tomorrow at 7:49 am EDT, it will mark not only the success of one of man's most ambitious space missions, but also the completion of the first era of planetary exploration that began in 1962 when the US Mariner 2 mission flew past Venus. Here's what to expect as events unfold. Read More
— Aircraft

Electric aircraft makes first English Channel crossing

An electric aircraft has crossed the English Channel for the first time. The question is, which one is it? On Friday, Airbus Group announced that its E-Fan technology demonstrator claimed the prize by flying from Lydd, Kent to Calais. However, it soon came to light that French Aerobat Hugues Duval had flown from Dover to Calais 12 hours earlier on Thursday in a Cri-Cri electric plane. Exactly which one gets in the record books may hinge on a technicality.

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— Space

Quantum satellite reconfigures itself in orbit

In the early days of spaceflight, every new satellite was a one off. Today, satellites are produced in classes, but each new mission still needs a satellite that's individually configured for its role. With the goal of creating a next-generation universal satellite, ESA, Eutelsat, and Airbus Defence & Space have signed an agreement to develop the first fully reconfigurable Quantum satellite.

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— Space

Durham University astronomers find evidence of hidden supermassive black holes

The nature of the universe recently became a little clearer, as astronomers from Durham University announced the discovery of a large population of supermassive black holes that were previously hidden from view by gas and dust. Using data from NASA's NuSTAR satellite observatory, the researchers confirmed the detection of high-energy x-rays from black holes that could be billions of times the mass of the Sun.

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— Environment

Atomic clocks could be used to monitor volcanoes and predict eruptions

If you've ever been to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, you may have been aware of two things; its magnificent grandeur, and the fact that it's an active supervolcano that, if it ever erupted again, would be worst event to hit the Earth since the dinosaur-killing asteroid. To help keep an eye out for this and similar events, a team at the University of Zurich have developed a means of monitoring volcanic events using atomic clocks.

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— Aircraft

Spike Aerospace updates S-512 supersonic jet design

Ever since the retirement of Concorde, the aviation industry has looked forward to the rebirth of civilian supersonic air travel. The question is, will it be an airliner or something else? Spike Aerospace is betting that it will be a business jet – to be specific, the Spike Aerospace S-512 supersonic jet, which was unveiled as a concept in 2013. The company has now released its latest design.

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