A Brief History Of Voyager 1 Not Quite Exiting The Solar System

You may have heard that Voyager 1 has exited the Solar System. And that it hasn’t. This is a chronicle of that probe’s greatest journey in headlines, including a few of our own.


Monster Machines: America's Next Big Space Launch Rocket Is A Total Beast

With its forthcoming Space Launch System, NASA hopes to send astronauts farther into space than it ever has ever before — to Mars and beyond. And when the first crew does leave to make interplanetary history, they will do so aboard these rocket engines.


Tiny Gold Nanomotors Spin 10 Times Faster Than A Race Car Engine

Nanomotors are an amazing feat of engineering: tiny gold rods less than a micrometer long, powered by ultrasonic waves to spin at crazy-fast speeds. How fast? Scientists just figured out a way to measure, and it’s astonishing: 150,000 RPM, 10 times faster than the fastest race car engine.


How To Turn An Old Satellite Dish Into A Working Radio Telescope

Radio telescopes, which you may remember Jodie Foster intently listening to for signs of alien life in Contact, pluck out radio waves from far away space. Ordinary communications satellite dishes also pick up radio waves, but of manmade origin. So hmm, how easily can you convert one into another? It’s totally possible, according to New Zealand astronomers who detail how they turned an obsolete satellite dish into a radio telescope for astronomy.


The Ice-Diving Robot That Could Look For Alien Life On Jupiter's Moon

The search for extraterrestrial life begins, often enough, on Earth. In this case, it’s an Alaskan glacier, where the robot VALKYRIE is proving its ice-chomping abilities in a field test. VALKYRIE is supposed to one day land on Jupiter’s moon, Europa, where it will drill through miles of ice to reach the liquid oceans that could harbour alien life.


Good News! Sitting Won't Kill You After All

Sitting is undeniably one of the comfiest ways to arrange your body. Almost as good as lounging, really, and just short of “dangling worry-free from hammock”. But it has acquired a very bad rap over the past few years. A bad rap it doesn’t quite deserve.


Amazing Trees Produce 40 Different Types Of Fruit

When Sam Van Aken found out that a New York state orchard — with varieties of stone fruit 200 years old — was about to be abandoned in 2008, he bought it to save those species and to experiment: Grafting from the existing trees, he created the magical Tree of 40 Fruit, which produces over 40 types of fruit.


Monster Machines: NASA's Moon-Bound Geology Lab That Never Quite Got Off The Ground

The rigour of operating outside the atmosphere has often led to rather outlandish NASA vehicle designs, but few have been more alien than this mobile lunar field laboratory from the heyday of the Space Age. Shame it never actually made it past New Mexico.


New Nanotech Sensors Could Put Bomb-Sniffing Dogs Out Of A Job

Airport security checkpoint lines are the very definition of a “necessary evil”. Everyone hates the long waits and the awkward disrobing dances as you rid yourself of all your shoes, smartphones, metal, etc. Yet, we’re eternally grateful when crazy people with samurai swords don’t fly coach. Now, a new breakthrough in nanotechnology could help ease our collective dread for airport security, at least a little bit.


How One Australian Man's Blood Donations Saved Over Two Million Lives

Today I found out about a man who saved over two million lives just by donating his somewhat unique blood plasma. Australian James Harrison is called “the man with the golden arm” due to the unusual composition of his blood. Harrison’s blood contains an antibody called Rho(D) Immune Globulin that is used to treat Rhesus disease, a severe form of anemia where antibodies in a pregnant woman’s blood destroy her baby’s blood cells.