research

NASA plans oxygen alchemy for manned Mars mission

NASA plans oxygen alchemy for manned Mars mission

NASA's manned mission to Mars could take a MacGyver approach to the flight home, potentially relying on oxygen extracted from the red planet's own atmosphere to support crew both during the mission and on the return journey. Dubbed in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), the strategy could mean a very different approach to mission design, particularly when it comes to the planned 2020 robotic rover NASA intends to send to Mars.

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Largest ever dinosaur species unearthed

Largest ever dinosaur species unearthed

Dinosaurs researchers are suggesting could be the largest species ever discovered have been identified from their fossil remains, around 130 feet long and weighing roughly the same as 14 elephants. Despite being considerably larger than a tyrannosaurus rex, the freshly-discovered dinos were herbivores, and belong to the group titannosaurida, or titanosaurs.

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Russian satellite launch ends in embarassing flames

Russian satellite launch ends in embarassing flames

After threatening to lock US astronauts out of the International Space Station, all Russia needed was a solid rocket launch to declare itself the current cowboys of space. Unfortunately, that's exactly what didn't happen, with an attempt to put Russia's most technologically-advanced satellite into orbit last night ending in disaster as the $206m Express-AM4P burned up over China after a fault with the Proton rocket.

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Researcher makes new plastics in lab faux paus

Researcher makes new plastics in lab faux paus

We all have the occasional oopsie, but rarely does that result in an unexpected creation. IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose hit a pocket of luck, however, accidentally creating the first recyclable durable thermoset plastic in a moment of absent-mindedness. The discovery could result in improved plastics in automobiles and more.

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Octopus tentacles could teach more flexible robots

Octopus tentacles could teach more flexible robots

Octopus arms are laced with a special chemical that stops their hundreds of suckers sticking to themselves, researchers have found, allowing their flexible limbs to act semi-autonomously in ways that could have implications for tomorrow's robotics. The average octopus has nearly 2,000 suckers across its eight arms, but despite the potential for tying itself up in sticky knots, it never actually does. Now, we know why that's the case.

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Alien teeth and mystery bones: Fish leaves science floundering

Alien teeth and mystery bones: Fish leaves science floundering

It's the sort of fish that HR Giger might have had in his aquarium, a mysterious catfish with more teeth than you'd expect, that has left scientists scratching their heads and comparing it to Alien Xenomorphs. At only a few inches long it shouldn't cause as many nightmares as the monster that stalked Ellen Ripley, but the odd skeleton of Kryptoglanis shajii is nonetheless causing sleepless nights among researchers at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

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