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All posts tagged "NASA"

  • Hello Pluto: dissecting the tech behind the New Horizons space probe

    It has been almost a decade since NASA launched the unmanned New Horizons space probe as the beginning of their New Frontiers project (a series of space exploration missions conducted by NASA). Launched in January 2006, the purpose of the New Horizons mission was to travel to and study the dwarf planet of Pluto, its moons and the Kuiper Belt. As you most certainly have heard by now, the space probe very recently completed its 3-billion km journey to one of the Sun's most distant rocks, and for the last week has been transmitting various images and data of its...

  • NASA spiderbots begin construction on ‘Death Star’ in space

    Ok, so perhaps the title is a bit of stretch. But NASA’s plan to use robots in space to build massive space stations, space craft, and satellites is real. It also provides us a clear example of the current state of our nation’s space program, and assurance that the future of space travel and space exploration remain promising. For decades, key hurdles to space exploration has been the enormous cost in lives and dollars of developing and launching space craft. Most of us growing up in the 1980s can remember the horrific experience of watching NASA’s Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Seven brave crew...

  • Future NASA astronauts will wear skintight spacesuits

    Let’s face it, although NASA’s new Z-2 spacesuit features plenty of awesome upgrades astronauts will no doubt appreciate, the Z-2 is definitely not winning any design awards. Fortunately, researchers at MIT are already working on a truly next generation spacesuit (the MIT BioSuit) that seeks to shed the traditional bulkiness of existing space suits in favor of suits that are skintight and can instantly conform to an astronaut’s body shape. The BioSuit will also make deep space exploration much more convenient due to the suit’s reduced mass that will allow for increased mobility. Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and...

  • This handmade silk leaf produces oxygen and is ideal for space travel

    Plants are those useful green things humans cultivate from seed for food, or chop down to provide materials like paper. Most importantly, we also need the oxygen they provide to survive. A new development led by an RCA graduate student has blossomed the first oxygen-producing "man-made biological" leaf, which could be used for future space travel or to fight climate change. The "synthetic biological" leaf created by Julian Melchiorri may be a glaring oxymoron, but is perhaps the only way to explain his creation adequately. It functions wholly like a naturally-grown leaf, producing oxygen through photosynthesis and looks pretty hanging from...

  • NASA’s Valkyrie robot drive cars, break down walls and ‘feels natural’

    NASA unveils the Valkyrie, and the world watches on in wonder. More importantly, it's a robot that looks like it should be one of Iron Man's archenemies. Part of DARPA's Robotics Challenge (DRC), IEEE reports that NASA's battery-powered humanoid robot is 1.9 meters tall, weighs 125kg and has 44 degrees of movement. More importantly, this humanoid robot could be used for space exploration, breaking through walls and driving cars. The NASA JSC team leader Nicolaus Radford, in charge of overseeing this project said, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing cool. has a little bit of a superhero feel...

  • Coming real soon: the NASA-funded food replicator

    Replicators, fictional devices that create food from thin air, are now one step closer to our sad reality thanks to NASA. According to Venturebeat.com, the US-based space institute is offering US$125 000 to the first individual who can who can bring a 3D-printed food solution into our reality. And thanks to a machine that uses “food cartridges” created by mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor, food replication just took one giant leap for mankind. Watch this and try not to be amazed. Contractor said in an interview recently that “I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can’t supply 12-billion people...