NASA

Dream Chaser space plane to conduct first unmanned orbital flight in 2016

Dream Chaser space plane to conduct first unmanned orbital flight in 2016

Most of the news coming out of the NASA private spacecraft programs, that will see astronaut's eventually hitching rides to the ISS and other locations in space via commercial spacecraft, so far has been from SpaceX with its Dragon capsule. Dragon has only carried cargo so far, but it does have a set up for carrying people as well. One of the other firms that received funding from NASA to develop a spacecraft capable of carrying people is Sierra Nevada Corp.

Continue Reading

Mars mystery rock analysis shows unusual composition following sudden appearance

Mars mystery rock analysis shows unusual composition following sudden appearance

The NASA rover Opportunity sent back a couple of surprising images from Mars last week, both of which were taken with its Pancam, revealing the rather sudden appearance of a small rock. Researchers were surprised at the quick change, and though they offered a couple possible explanations, an investigation was kicked off to try and determine how it happened. Fast-forward through the weekend, and an analysis has offered a new surprise: the chemical composition is unlike anything previously analyzed on the Red Planet.

Continue Reading

Google gives an update on D-Wave 2 quantum computer benchmark status

Google gives an update on D-Wave 2 quantum computer benchmark status

As a tech company, Google has been known to branch out into different areas of interests, from self-driving cars to smart wearable technology and, more recently, to robotics. One thing it has dipped its toe in also quite recently is the field of quantum computing, having jointly purchased a fancy D-Wave 2 supercomputer. Now its A.I. Lab Team is trying to give an update on just how much that $10 million expenditure is worth.

Continue Reading

Mars rock appears out of seemingly nowhere in Opportunity rover image

Mars rock appears out of seemingly nowhere in Opportunity rover image

A few NASA rovers have been working their way through the Red Planet, each working to expand scientists' knowledge of Mars and its history. As part of this, large quantities of images are taken and shuttled back to Earth, where researchers analyze them. Recently, the rover Opportunity sent back two images of the same area that had one surprising difference: the sudden appearance of a rock that hadn't been there shortly before.

Continue Reading

RoboSimian is the NASA JPL entry for the DARPA Robotics Challenge

RoboSimian is the NASA JPL entry for the DARPA Robotics Challenge

There are several teams participating in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. The contest is to see what team can create a robot that is capable of performing a set of specific tasks. The robots developed may one day be able to help humans in an emergency situation like a nuclear meltdown or other challenge. One of the teams participating is the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory or JPL.

Continue Reading

NASA SLS avionics system sees “first light”

NASA SLS avionics system sees “first light”

NASA is hard at work on the space launch system and capsule that will replace the retired space shuttle fleet to carry American astronauts into orbit and to the ISS. The Orion capsule that will carry the crew and cargo into orbit is currently in testing. NASA is also working on the rocket that will push the capsule into orbit.

Continue Reading