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.
The first age of deep space planetary exploration came to an end today as NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto at 7:49 am EDT. The nuclear-powered unmanned probe sped past the dwarf planet at a distance of 7,750 miles and a speed of 31,000 mph, making it the final classical planet to be visited by a spacecraft.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So far, astronauts haven't suffered medical problems much worse than a bad cold, but what about when the inevitable happens and someone needs surgery millions of miles from the nearest hospital? To seek answers, a surgical team recently carried out a simulated operation aboard a Canadian research jet designed to create weightless conditions.
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.
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.
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.