Back in June, after installing a new lithium-ion battery into its ape-inspired RoboSimian and plugging it into charge, researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory had their lunches cut short when the battery suddenly exploded in a spectacular fireball that completely torched the bot.
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More than just sharing the most detailed photo of Pluto we've ever seen, NASA's New Horizons probe has another mission: it's gathering data on the Plutonian surface on a flyby 12,600km above the dwarf planet, then continuing out further through the solar system to run more studies.
During Microsoft's demo of its fascinating holographic headset HoloLens today, the company barely mentioned the coolest way it's already using it: to develop software with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory that will let scientists explore and work on the Red Planet remotely.
With Rosetta hanging out so closely with an asteroid, we're getting better views than ever before of what the surface of an asteroid looks like. But compared to one another, how do the surfaces we've visited in our Solar System stack up?
NASA's Opportunity rover is still trundling across the surface of Mars, more than 11 years after its 90-day mission began. But its software is getting bogged down, so NASA's doing a full system backup, memory wipe and reboot. It's just like your routine computer clean-up, just from the next planet over.
This is NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, "a rocket-powered, saucer-shaped test vehicle" designed to land huge payloads on Mars. So there — suck on that Martians, because after all these decades of sci-fi invasions, we are going to be the ones seizing your planet with our very own flying saucers.
PlanetQuest is NASA's effort to search for new Earths, exoplanets like ours that would probably contain life too. They're doing some really cool stuff, like this sunflower-telescope combo spaceship — "a cutting-edge effort to take pictures of planets orbiting stars far from the sun." Imagine that — seeing the actual planets!
Curiosity is the hip name in Mars-rovin, but the Opportunity rover was doing it long, long before. Just yesterday Opportunity hit its 10-year anniversary on Mars — it left Earth 10 years ago in July. Not bad for a mission intended to last a mere three (Earth) months. In celebration it sent back a selfie.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory drew some raised eyebrows when it first announced its latest hi-tech robot, based on primates, called Robosimian. But now it's being put into action — and it's amazing.
Last year NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory revealed a Spiderman-inspired grippy claw that would let spacecraft easily grab onto passing asteroids and comets. Since then the technology has been further refined and now integrated into a rock-climbing robot called the LEMUR IIB that could put Sir Edmund Hillary to shame.
Elon Musk wants to live on Mars, but he probably won't have the pleasure. And you aren't likely to either. But here's the next best thing, thanks to the help of the Oculus Rift and Virtuix Omni. Walk the red planet, without giving up the rest of your life to do it.
This moon looks even more like it's made from green cheese than ours does, but it's not. Lame. Io, the innermost moon of Jupiter, is the most volcanically active body in our solar system because of gravitational "tides" exerted by Jupiter and its other moons. And the constantly flowing lava gives Io's surface frequent makeovers.