NASA

We’ve just figured out how Earth’s force-field works

We’ve just figured out how Earth’s force-field works

A planet-scale force field sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but scientists using NASA probes have discovered that Earth is in fact protected by just such a phenomenon, with speedy electrons from a vast and naturally-occurring twin torus of radiation kept away from us. The Van Allen belts were first measured in 1958, each a gathering of charged particles kept in place by the planet's own magnetic field, and varying in size and strength according to the output of the sun. However, it's only now that their interaction with Earth's plasmasphere and how it acts as a forcefield has been understood.

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New footage shows Antares rocket explosion from the ground

New footage shows Antares rocket explosion from the ground

Late last month, the unmanned Antares rocket launched. Shortly after lift-off, a problem occurred, and there was an explosion that sent the rocket back to earth. When Antares hit the ground, a second and much more jarring explosion took place, destroying the rocket and damaging much of the structure surrounding it. On the ground were a few cameras, put there to record a successful launch. Now that the cameras have been recovered, we get a first-hand shot of what a rocket explosion really looks like from near the launch pad.

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Espresso finally arrives on the ISS

Espresso finally arrives on the ISS

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoferetti has made it to the International Space Station along with the rest of Expedition 42, but it may be the Italian's luggage that prompts the most excitement on the orbiting research platform. Among the equipment being brought up to the ISS is a special espresso machine, the first designed to work in zero-gravity, dubbed ISSpresso: handiwork of coffee stalwarts Lavazza and aerospace engineering firm Argotec, it needed to work around some significant environmental issues, like the fact that hot espresso couldn't be relied upon to drip down neatly into a cup.

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Craigslist was down: a short interview with the hacker blamed for it

Craigslist was down: a short interview with the hacker blamed for it

Overnight Craigslist experienced some down time in the form of a hacker redirect. Today we've had a short chat with one of the hackers blamed for the mess, along with word on his most recent project as a musician called YTCracker - a project we've also covered very recently. It would seem that it's no coincidence that one event happened right on top of the other - it might also be no coincidence that 15 years ago today, YTCracker broke into NASA's webpage for the Goddard Flight Center, vandalizing it with a warning for US government to beef up security.

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NASA remasters stunning image of Jupiter’s moon Europa

NASA remasters stunning image of Jupiter’s moon Europa

NASA has again remastered images taken in the 1990s of Jupiter's icy moon Europa, and it is the most stunning version yet. In it we get a look at the moon's vein-like threading through an otherwise pitted and etched white landscape -- says the space agency, this image best shows what Europa would look like to the human eye, never mind that it itself resembles a close-up shot of an eye. This follows a different version of the moon NASA released back in 2001, which was lower resolution and had more saturated colors.

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Google takes over NASA’s Moffett Field for aviation, robotics

Google takes over NASA’s Moffett Field for aviation, robotics

In an interesting agreement, Google will take control of NASA’s Moffett Field. the 60-year agreement will see Google invest up to $200 million in the property. Though they’re operating and investing in the air strip, which previously used by Google as a private airstrip, NASA will ultimately retain ownership. According to NASA, Google’s Planetary Ventures LLC branch, a shell company for investment purposes, will dole out $1.16 billion over the contract, and reduce NASA’s operating cost by $6.3 million annually.

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Lytro cuts deals with NASA and DoD for camera dev kit

Lytro cuts deals with NASA and DoD for camera dev kit

Innovative light field camera specialist Lytro has inked new deals with NASA and the US Department of Defense, among others, launching its Lytro Platform and companion development kit for pushing new ways of implementing the technology. The Lytro Development Kit will consist not only of software but of key parts of the Lytro hardware, like a 41-megapixel camera sensor with C-mount f/2.0 lens, and a dedicated prototyping board, giving third-party developers and hardware manufacturers hitherto-unavailable access to the light field processing engine.

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Astronauts trap GoPro in floating water orb on ISS

Astronauts trap GoPro in floating water orb on ISS

This week NASA posted a video on its YouTube page of astronauts playing with a GoPro and an orb of water they had floating around. Like magic, they trapped the action camera in the sphere of water while it was recording, showing what the world looks like from inside of a water bubble, as well as what a GoPro looks like when encased and floating. As you'd expect, this took place on the International Space Station, and was part of a look at water surface tension as experienced in a microgravity environment.

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Orbital to rent rockets to keep ISS resupply going

Orbital to rent rockets to keep ISS resupply going

Astronauts on the International Space Station won't go hungry, despite the Antares resupply rocket exploding last week, with Orbital Sciences planning to outsource launches while it brings forward its next-gen rocket plans. The incident shortly after takeoff on Monday last week, which saw Orbital's third resupply mission to the ISS unexpectedly curtailed though thankfully with no loss of life, has forced the company to "accelerate" its upgrade of the medium-class launcher's main production system, it announced today. Still, there should be no extra cost or delay to NASA, Orbital insists.

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Antares ISS resupply rocket explodes on takeoff

Antares ISS resupply rocket explodes on takeoff

Orbital Sciences Corp.'s high-profile Antares rocket launch has ended in failure, exploding shortly after takeoff and crashing back down onto the launch pad. The unmanned rocket had been expected to start the Cygnus cargo spacecraft's voyage to the International Space Station, carrying supplies and experiments. Luckily, there are no indications of injuries or fatalities as a result of the rocket failure.

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