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Collision

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

A special polymer material created by UCLA professor Vijay Gupta has been found to reduce ...

One of the most feared football-related injuries is concussion. With the new NFL and NCAA college seasons just about to kick off, fans will be praying that none of their team suffers any serious impact collisions that could end their season or result in memory loss or depression later in life. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) biomechanical engineering professor, Vijay Gupta, is testing a special polymer material that when applied to the inside of helmets, can reduce G-force impact by 25 percent.  Read More

Tesla's Model S has achieved a 5 star NHTSA safety rating  (Photo: NHTSA)

With glowing reviews and positive sales, Tesla's Model S seems to be on a roll in 2013. Now the EV has joined the 1 percent of vehicles to have achieved a 5-star safety rating in testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), scoring a record 5.4 rating in its overall Vehicle Safety Score (VSS) ... and breaking a roof crush testing machine in the process.  Read More

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is funding a biomechanics study of flopping on the baske...

Mark Cuban, billionaire entrepreneur and outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, has awarded Southern Methodist University (SMU) Associate Professor Peter G. Weyand a grant of over US$100,000 to carry out an 18-month biomechanics study of flopping on the basketball court. The study is aimed at determining if video or other records of the on court action can be used to distinguish between a player going down as a result of a collision or whether they are taking a dive.  Read More

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has a near-collision with Cosmos 1805

Julie McEnery is NASA's Project Scientist for the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. When she checked her email on March 29, 2012, she was startled to find an automatically generated message stating that in six days, her half-billion-plus dollar satellite was going to cross paths with Cosmos 1805, a Soviet-era spy satellite. The predicted encounter had the two satellites occupying the same coordinates only 30 milliseconds apart. Not only that, but Cosmos was in an orbit moving nearly perpendicular to Fermi such that their collision would be equivalent to tons of high explosives. Essentially total destruction.  Read More

The Japanese edition of the latest Fit/Jazz will be the first to feature Honda's new City-...

Starting this summer (Northern Hemisphere), the Japanese-market version of the Honda Fit/Jazz will be offered with the automaker’s new City-Brake Active System. It’s designed to minimize the chances of collisions at low speeds.  Read More

BikeSpike is a device that adds an extra layer of security to bicycles by enabling cyclist...

Bicycles are a notoriously easy target for thieves, but technology is here to help in the form of a new device that promises to help cyclists safeguard their property and recover it if stolen. Currently seeking funds on KickStarter, the Chicago-based BikeSpike team has designed a GPS tracker that features a built-in antenna, an on-board accelerometer and a connection to a GSM mobile phone network that allows users to keep tabs on their bike via a smartphone or computer.  Read More

Volvo's Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake system can ascertain the mov...

You couldn’t accuse Volvo of ignoring those people at risk of encountering the exterior of its vehicles rather than sitting inside them. The Swedish automotive manufacturer has already introduced pedestrian airbags and an automated braking system designed to avoid hitting pedestrians. Now Volvo has enhanced the latter to develop the world’s first auto-braking cyclist detection system, which is being presented at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show.  Read More

A rendering of a future version of the crash-proof AirBurr, navigating a disaster site

If you’ve ever watched a fly trying to find its way around a house, you might have noticed that it didn’t take a particularly graceful approach – it probably bounced off a lot of windows and walls, until by process of elimination, it found a route that was clear. Well, researchers at Switzerland’s EPFL Laboratory of Intelligent Systems are taking that same approach with the latest version of their autonomous AirBurr UAV – it’s built to run into things, in order to map and navigate its environment.  Read More

Representation of a satellite being destroyed by collision with orbital debris (Image: ESA...

Orbital debris is (nearly) forever, and threatens to render near-Earth space unusable, and all but impassible. The 2007 Chinese anti-satellite test and an accidental collision between two communications satellites in 2009 highlighted the need to study orbital collisions of modern satellites. The NASA Standard Breakup Model, based on hypervelocity collision studies of 1960s-era satellites, fails to accurately describe collisions of modern satellites, owing to advances made in materials and construction. To address this problem, NASA is updating the SBM by building and destroying a modern dummy satellite called DebriSat.  Read More

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