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Space

First glide test of Dream Chaser spacecraft successful, but ends in a flip

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) carried out the first gliding approach and landing test of their Dream Chaser spacecraft at Edwards Air Force Base on October 26. The vehicle dropped from its carrier aircraft at 11:10 am, and carried out gliding and landing maneuvers flawlessly. However, the left landing gear door did not function, causing the test spacecraft to flip on landing. Read More

3D Printing

NASA scales up 3D-printed rocket component testing

NASA has shown a keen interest in 3D printed rocket components lately with a series of tests that have had considerable success, with printed parts in test firings working as well as those made by conventional methods. In the latest test firing on August 22, the largest 3-D printed rocket engine component yet tested by NASA withstood ten times the thrust previously generated by an engine using printed components.Read More

Aircraft

Blue Origin completes engine test

Another commercial spaceflight venture has taken a step forward. Early this month, aerospace firm Blue Origin successful test fired its 100,000 lb (444,840 N) thrust BE-3 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine thrust chamber. The full-power static fire test took place at the E-1 test stand at NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi and is part of Blue Origin’s program to develop a launch system for its manned Space Vehicle.Read More

Computers

Civil Rights Captcha employs an empathy test to ward off spambots

Loathe it as we do, the captcha goes a long way to preventing websites from being inundated with spam comments produced by nefarious software. However, there’s room for improvement, and rather than tasking a user with a series of random words which must be entered in order to be allowed to comment on a website, the Civil Rights Captcha employs an empathy test to measure whether you pass muster. Read More

Automotive

Update: BLOODHOUND rocket engine successfully test fired

A 1,000 mph (Mach 1.4, 1,600 km/h) car came a step closer to reality today when the BLOODHOUND SSC team successfully test fired the vehicle’s rocket motor system. Conducted in a hardened aircraft shelter originally designed to house Tornado fighters at Newquay Cornwall Airport, the hybrid rocket motor burned for ten seconds, generating 14,000 lbs (60 kN, 40,000 bhp) of thrust and a roar of 180 decibels. Read More

Medical

FDA approves 20 minute take-home HIV test

One of the biggest problems in fighting the spread of AIDS has always been convincing people to have themselves tested regularly. Unfortunately, getting someone to take a trip to a clinic isn't always easy, particularly in areas where there aren't many options for discreet testing. In a development that could leap right over this privacy hurdle, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just unanimously approved an over-the-counter HIV test that enables people to test themselves in their own home and receive results in just 20 minutes. Read More

Environment

Move over Nessie - new wave power system sighted at Loch Ness

Solar power might be stealing the limelight when it comes to the subject of renewable energy, but ocean waves are also seen as a great, largely untapped source of clean power. The latest news surrounding attempts to mine this potentially limitless energy source comes from Scottish marine energy technology developer, AWS Ocean Energy, which has started testing its new wave energy device in Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. Read More
Health & Wellbeing

Is that really decaf? Caffeindicator lets you know for sure

Nobody likes the jittery feelings that come with too much caffeine, or the insomnia that follows. While it takes a lot of caffeine to affect most people that way, those of us who are caffeine-sensitive can get the same feelings from even one cup of coffee. Other people have medical conditions that make caffeine a big no-no. In either case, these individuals usually order decaf when they’re at coffee shops or restaurants, but ... with all the hustle and bustle in those places, what if they get the coffee pots mixed up? Or what baristas can't be bothered brewing up a pot of decaf and just serve up regular coffee and say it’s decaf? It was no doubt that kind of thinking that led Verification Technology Systems to develop Caffeindicator, a litmus-like caffeine-testing system that anyone can use.Read More

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