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Unmanned

In flight: NASA's X48-C Blended Wing Body prototype (Photo: NASA/Carla Thomas)

It's easy to forget that, between roving Mars and maintaining a permanent manned space presence, NASA also takes a keen interest in conventional flight. Developed in conjunction with Boeing, NASA's X-48C is the latest iteration in its six-year X-48 program to develop an unmanned Blended Wing Body aircraft. So perhaps we should modify that prior statement: NASA also takes a keen interest in unconventional conventional flight.  Read More

Russia is planning to launch probe Luna-Glob in 2015 as a first step toward building a ful...

The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) is planning to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the Moon in 2015, a first step toward the ambitious long-term plan to establish a robotic base on the surface of our largest satellite. The spacecraft, called Luna-Glob ("Moon globe"), will be followed by two more orbiters and two rovers that will study the lunar soil locally and collect samples of rocks and dust, bringing them back to Earth for analysis.  Read More

The unveiling of Taranis, July 2010

It's been 30 months since Taranis, the UK's autonomous stealth drone, featured on the pages of Gizmag when a prototype of the aircraft was unveiled. According to a report in the UK's Telegraph last Sunday, the unmanned combat aircraft is set to undergo flight testing later this year.  Read More

Artist's concept of the Keck asteroid capture mission (Image: Rick Sternbach / Keck Instit...

To paraphrase an old saying, if the astronaut can’t go to the asteroid, the the asteroid must come to the astronaut. In a study released by the Keck Institute for Space Studies, researchers outlined a mission to tow an asteroid into lunar orbit by 2025 using ion propulsion and a really big bag. The idea is to bring an asteroid close to Earth for easy study and visits by astronauts without the hazards and expense of a deep space mission.  Read More

The ACTUV uses a very high-frequency sonar to take an acoustic image of its target, which ...

The murky details of DARPA's sub-hunting drone project are a bit clearer, thanks to a new concept video published by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). DARPA is spending US$58 million to have SAIC build the first Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vehicle (ACTUV), which will detect and track a growing number of stealthy, inexpensive diesel-electric subs.  Read More

The Northrop Grumman X-47B aboard the USS Harry S. Truman

The Northrop Grumman X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator completed its first sea trials aboard the Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman this week. The unmanned aircraft was shipped aboard the Truman on November 26 and has been subjected to a wide variety of tests to see how the robotic vehicle operates on a warship.  Read More

The X-47B UCAS arrives onboard the USS Truman, the first modern aircraft carrier to host t...

Northrop Grumman has delivered two X-47B Unmanned Combat Aircraft Systems (UCAS) to the US Navy, which has begun three weeks of tests aboard the USS Truman – the first aircraft carrier to host test operations for an unmanned aircraft. The X-47B is based on the Pegasus X-47A (originally designed in 2001) but features improved landing gear and folding wings for work aboard carriers.  Read More

The Subaru SHARC has taken out the 2012 LA Design Challenge

Subaru’s SHARC (Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept) has taken out the 2012 LA Design Challenge. The futuristic concept car was chosen by the judges as the best embodiment of the “Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025."  Read More

Launching crew prepares the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) for its first land-bas...

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator has taken yet another step on the path towards unmanned aircraft operating amongst piloted aircraft on a carrier deck with its first ever steam-powered catapult launch. While the inaugural launch was conducted on land at a shore-based catapult facility at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, it gives the team confidence as it progresses towards a planned launch from a carrier next year.  Read More

The nEUROn Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator on its maiden flight

The European designed nEUROn Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator successfully completed its maiden flight on December 1, 2012. The flight took place at Dassault Aviation’s flight test base in Istres in southern France and marks a milestone for the nEUROn program that was launched in 2005 by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) that involves the collaboration of six European countries.  Read More

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