Science

After 10 Months In Space, NASA's MAVEN Is Preparing To Enter Orbit Around Mars

Having travelled over 700 million kilometres, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution is getting ready to enter orbit around Mars. Hopefully, it will gather enough information to give scientists a better understanding of the planet’s atmosphere and how its climate and structure has changed over time.


What It Takes To Build The Largest Particle Collider Ever Made

The Large Hadron Collider is an enormous feat of engineering: A 27.36km tunnel packed with fragile scientific instruments that took 25 years to imagine and 10 to construct. But now, scientists at CERN have chosen an engineering firm to build its successor — a collider that will be triple the size of the LHC.


Fingertip Sensor Makes Robots Better (And Far Scarier)

Good as robots are at repeating the same motion over and over, they can’t adapt to situations nearly as well as good ‘old flesh-and-bones. That’s where MIT’s new fingertip sensor comes in. The technology employed to make a robot version of our fingertips is sophisticated, but surprisingly simple.


This Is The Largest Spacecraft Welding Machine In The World

Photo: Behold the new welding “tool” at the Vertical Assembly Center in NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, the largest spacecraft welding tool in the world for the largest rocket ever, the Space Launch System that will take us one day to Mars.


New Ultralight Ceramic Cubes Can Be Squished And Recover Like A Sponge

A CalTech scientist and her team just announced the development of one of the strongest and lightest materials ever created. It’s light enough to float like a feather, and so uniquely strong, it can be crushed and completely recover its shape. And — get this — it’s made of ceramic.


Federal Court Of Australia: Patents On Genes Are Totally Fine

While the legal system plays catch-up with the ever-changing facets of the Digital Age, so to are the medical sciences trying to figure out lawtastic minefields such as stem cell research, cloning and genetics. That last one in particular featured recently in a decision handed down by Federal Court of Australia, with its sitting judges ruling that yes, companies can indeed patent genes.


How Precise Is One Degree Of Longitude Or Latitude?

For those of us with no real navigation experience, encountering longitude and latitude coordinates is usually the result of some hiccup using Google Maps. 40.722272, -73.994194? What? Where the heck is that? Why are there so many digits after the decimal?


Space Station Defies Humans, Launches Satellites Without Permission

The International Space Station has a cannon that launches tiny CubeSat microsatellites into orbit. Most of the time, those launches are triggered by human scientists on board or back on Earth. But this week, the ISS launched two CubeSats entirely on its own. This is how the uprising begins.


The Plan To Make The Moon An Enormous Detector Of Cosmic Rays

About once a century on any given square kilometre of Earth, a cosmic ray hits with mind-boggling intensity. The teeny tiny subatomic particle from space comes careening in with more than 10 million times the energy of particles shot out by the Large Hadron Collider. Where do these ultrahigh energy cosmic rays come from? Astronomers have a plan to find out, using the moon and a massive new radio telescope array.


NASA Will Reformat Mars Rover From 200 Million Kilometres Away

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.


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