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NASA

— Space

First ISS to Earth "handshake" demonstrates space-to-ground remote control

By - June 4, 2015 3 Pictures

NASA astronaut Terry Virts, aboard the International Space Station (ISS), and ESA telerobotics specialist André Schiele, in the Netherlands, made space history this week with the first telerobotic "handshake" between space and Earth. Using special force feedback joysticks that acquire force data and create the sensation of pressure, Virts and Schiele brought the agencies closer to allowing astronauts in remote locations to naturally and safely control robotic devices and perform potentially dangerous or otherwise impossible tasks.

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— Space

Pluto's wobbly moons dance to a chaotic tune

By - June 3, 2015 3 Pictures

Pluto and its largest satellite Charon are an odd pair. The relative size of the Charon means the two act as a double planet system, orbiting a center of gravity located between them in space. A study of data gathered by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has now found that this interaction is having an odd effect on Pluto's smaller moons, causing them to tumble unpredictably with no apparent method to their madness.

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— Aircraft

Lotus leaf-inspired aircraft wing coating may repel bugs to ease fuel consumption

By - June 2, 2015 1 Picture

Splattered insects may seem like the least of your worries when you're tearing through the air at more than 500 mph (800 km/h), but for those working with Boeing's ecoDemonstrator 757 they present a pretty unique opportunity. NASA has carried out testing of a series of non-stick coatings on the aircraft's wings, finding that one inspired by lotus leaves showed good potential to shrug off blasts of bug guts to lessen drag and, by extension, ease the consumption of fuel.

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— Space

NASA begins testing InSight Mars lander in anticipation of a 2016 launch

By - May 28, 2015 2 Pictures

NASA has begun a comprehensive series of tests for its Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander. Once on the Red Planet, the lander will operate as a stationary science platform, attempting to answer a plethora of questions regarding the interior structure of Mars, and hopefully granting us some of the information needed to make a manned mission to the Red Planet in the 2030s a reality.

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— Space

The International Space Station gets a remodel

By - May 28, 2015 6 Pictures

Mankind's most remote outpost underwent a significant remodel this week, as an entire module of the International Space Station was relocated in order to make way for the next generation of American commercial spacecraft. The move didn't require a spacewalk, with operators instead making use of the 16-m (52-ft) robotic arm to grapple and maneuver the Leonardo, or Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM).

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