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View from space taken by Greg Olsen
 Photo: Space Adventures

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has forked out a US$5 million deposit to reserve a seat on future orbital spaceflights and join the select group of private space tourists. Space Adventures, the company that helped Dennis Tito become the world’s first private astronaut in 2001, has also announced an agreement with the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation (FSA) to launch a dedicated mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2011.  Read More

The 2000 bhp uncatchable RIB

There’s something about a bespoke piece of high-ticket kit that resonates with congruity of purpose and this Rigid Inflatable Boat is a case in point. Apparently at some time the property of a company which purpose-built boats and marketed them as “uncatchable”, it got caught up in a drug case with large amounts of cocaine allegedly found aboard. Being a lighweight RIB with no less than eight 250 horsepower outboards, it has 2000 horses on tap and a low radar signature, and making it very suitable for long-range, high-speed, high-stealth, medium-payload operations.  Read More

Warrior's GULL 36 UAV

UK based marine aircraft developer Warrior (Aero-Marine) has commenced flying its GULL 36 amphibious UAV over the English Channel. Demonstrating the company's wave-piercing stepless hull, the 4-meter wide craft is designed to cleave through choppy water, handle large waves and overcome strong winds and high tow.  Read More

The Celestron SkyScout

There are few things that reinforce the unfathomable wonder of our existence as much as pointing a telescope at the night sky and that goes double if you happen to be using a Celestron SkyScout Personal Planetarium. As we have written before, SkyScout technology uses GPS to provide information and history on what you are looking at through the viewfinder – an invaluable educational tool your child, available for $299.99 (51% off) for the next 22 hours at Amazon.  Read More

iRobot announces entry into underwater vehicle market

Best known for its ventures in land-based military vehicles and home-helper robots, iRobot has now branched out into the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) market. The company will commercialize "Seaglider" technology from the University of Washington, a system which assists civilian, academic and military personnel in taking oceanographic measurements at a lower cost than traditional research vessels or moored instruments.  Read More

Honda's Combined ABS system

Motorcycle 'driver aid' technology is becoming more and more prevalent; the 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R, for example, features a primitive traction/stability control system, and the latest Yamaha R1 and R6 engines feature 'fly by wire' throttles, in which an ECU interprets and moderates throttle inputs before they reach the engine. Anti-lock braking is beginning to feature on almost all touring-style motorcycles, and Honda's Combined Braking system, or CBS, is fitted to several of the company's less sports-focused models, where it distributes braking force between front and rear wheels even if only one brake lever is pressed. Honda's latest advancement in rider aid technology is to combine ABS and CBS into one electronically-managed system that prevents braking lock-ups and also manages weight transfer under heavy braking to help stop the rear wheel from lifting in an emergency stop.  Read More

BRABUS BULLIT BLACK ARROW

German auto-performance specialist Brabus has again pushed the envelope with its latest creation - the wickedly styled BULLIT BLACK ARROW.  Read More

Existing Clear Skies solar installation at St. Josephs, West New York, NJ

In yet another example of California's leading role in solar-power, Clear Skies Solar has announced plans to build an 8MW solar farm in Cantil. The project will encompass 34 acres of land and cost around US$44 million.  Read More

Lamborghini Reventón - airborne

Residents of Turin, Italy were treated to an unique spectacle earlier this week as the € 1 million euro Lamborghini Reventón supercar made its way to a conference hosted by the company courtesy of a helicopter lift from the Italian marines.  Read More

The Frisian Solar Challenge for boats

Human beings respond well when challenged and the bolder the challenge, the greater the result. The Frisian Solar Challenge for boats is proof of this and its second running later this month portends a new age – one of silent, non-intrusive and respectful water-based leisure and ultimately, a plethora of distributed power generation solutions. The inaugural 2006 Challenge turned the Dutch province into a hotbed of commercial sustainable energy development and the week-long solar-boat tour of the region has developed a most intriguing man versus machine competition. From June 22 to June 28, Friesland will be home to the world’s largest race of solar vessels: The Frisian Solar Challenge. The race runs along the 220-kilometres-long route of the Frisian Eleven Cities route already famous as the birthplace of competitive skating and the pictured space-age boat is the current favourite for the race with its expected 20 km/h top speed.  Read More

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