SpaceX isn't the only private company racking up space firsts. Having successfully flown to space and completed a powered landing last November, Blue Origin's New Shepard booster on Friday became the first rocket to repeat the feat. According to Blue Origin founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the single stage rocket lifted from its West Texas launch site, flew straight up to an altitude of 333,582 ft (101.7 km), which is past the Karman line that designates the official beginning of space, then descended for an autonomous powered landing.
SpaceX has shown off its new party trick with the release of a video of the Crew Dragon manned space capsule conducting a powered hover test. Though no one was aboard, the tethered mock-up craft managed to lift itself into a hover position using the its SuperDraco thrusters during a five-second burn.
NASA has released a composite image of the star cluster Trumpler 14, compiled from data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope between 2005 - 2006. The cluster is located roughly 8,000 light-years from Earth in the Carina nebula.
A team of researchers is using a potent machine-learning system to study an infection that's highly resistant to antibiotic therapies. With the work already yielding positive results, it could lead to improved understanding of bacteria, and ultimately the discovery of new treatments.
After 400 years, the original telescope design is getting a major upgrade. Part of a DARPA funded project, Lockheed Martin's Segmented Planar Imaging Detector for Electro-optical Reconnaissance (SPIDER) telescope replaces the large primary lenses used in refracting telescopes with an array of tiny ones that allow the instruments to shrink by a factor of 10 to 100.
Although there are various other types of eco-friendly weed control, organic farm workers often end up doing what most of us do in our backyard gardens – bending down and yanking weeds out by hand. Thanks to the relatively new process of "abrasive weeding," however, that may not always be necessary. As an added benefit, crops could be fertilized and weeded in one step.
A revolutionary new type of smart window developed by University College London (UCL) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) could cut window-cleaning costs in tall buildings while reducing heating bills and boosting worker productivity. Partially inspired by the reflective properties of moth eyes, this smart window is said to be self-cleaning, energy-saving, and anti-glare.
Keeping an eye on one's heart rate is a big part of fitness tracking, with wearables from the Apple Watch to dedicated chest straps delivering the feature to users. But what if you could get the benefits of heartbeat sensing without even having to strap on a piece of tech? A team of researchers from the Kyoto University, together with Panasonic, is working on making that dream a reality, utilizing millimeter-wave radar tech and a specially-designed algorithm.
DARPA has announced a program aimed at developing a cutting edge neural implant capable of forming a communication bridge between a human brain and electronic devices. It is hoped that technology developed under the Neural Engineering System Design program will have a wide range of applications in research and healthcare.
Extreme temperatures can seriously compromise the performance of lithium batteries. We've seen a number of developments promising to reduce the risk of them overheating and catching fire, but at the other end of the scale, freezing temperatures aren't too friendly either, often leading to substantial power loss. In an advance that could have ramifications for everything from electric vehicles to space exploration, researchers have built a lithium battery that warms itself up to battle the winter chill.