Science

NASA wants to drift two satellites for awesome space pics

NASA wants to drift two satellites for awesome space pics

A "virtual telescope" which owes its precision not to complex, high-strength optics but to precisely flying a pair of satellites in tandem and combining the data from each could help the hunt for Earth-like planets in the galaxy and even picture the event horizon of a black hole, NASA scientists suggest. Although space telescopes like Hubble have been operating for several decades, the new virtual telescope project will take a distinctively different approach, initially using two CubeSats - tiny satellites far cheaper and easier to launch, thanks to their compact and standardized design - that would each contribute a part of the overall vision process.

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DARPA turns its attention to atom-wide brain sensors

DARPA turns its attention to atom-wide brain sensors

DARPA, known half-jokingly as the Department of Mad Scientists, has again turned its attention to the human brain, this time hoping to expand our insight into it and its structure through the use of incredibly tiny (read: atom-sized) graphene sensors. It detailed its latest effort on Monday, explaining its work in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin at Madison to create a new form of technology for peering into how the brain functions. This is done as part of President Obama's brain initiative, says the research agency.

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Hendo Hoverboard tries to make a childhood dream come true

Hendo Hoverboard tries to make a childhood dream come true

Ludicrous as it may sound, the hoverboard has been one of the most elusive applications of science and technology in the past decades. Ever since Marty McFly stood atop that seemingly magical plank in Back to the Future II, the hoverboard has been the stuff of dreams of children, many of whom have grown up trying to make that into a reality. One of the latest attempts come from husband and wife Greg and Jill Henderson, who founded Hendo to bring the hoverboard to life.

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Boeing X-37B orbital test vehicle touches down after third successful flight

Boeing X-37B orbital test vehicle touches down after third successful flight

Boeing is bragging that its X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle has touched down at Vandenberg Air Force base to complete its third successful flight. We still have no idea exactly what the orbital test vehicle is being used for, but the spacecraft and its siblings are racking up some significant time spent in space. In March, another X-37B landed after spending 469 days in space. This time out, the X-37B spent 674 days in space.

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Robots to contribute to new Ebola-fighting efforts

Robots to contribute to new Ebola-fighting efforts

As fears continue to grow over the recent outbreak of Ebola, scientists and researchers in the U.S. are hoping to develop a strategy for combating the virus' spread through the use of robots and autonomous vehicles. November 7th will see workshops put together by the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue that brings robotocists together with members of the medical and humanitarian aid communities to hopefully find a solution.

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Government halts funding for research that creates superbugs

Government halts funding for research that creates superbugs

Concern about so-called super bugs -- mutated viruses and bacteria resistant to treatment -- is exceptionally high. The Centers for Disease Control issued a report last year, for example, warning about the threat superbugs pose and potential ramifications if certain actions aren't taken. It is for these reasons the deliberate creation of mutated viruses for research purposes (gain of function research) has been highly controversial, a controversy the US government has stoked by announcing a temporary halt to its funding of such studies.

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New battery tech warns when an explosion is possible

New battery tech warns when an explosion is possible

Though they're rare, we've all heard the horror stories: people innocently using their smartphones and tablets, only to have them catch fire and/or explode, sometimes causing severe injuries to the users. The reasons this happens are numerous, but in the case of lithium-ion batteries, they can usually be narrowed down to a specific cause: internal short-circuiting. Thanks to a team of researchers from Stanford, that issue could be partially solved via a new technology that alerts when something has gone awry.

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Mars One mission could fail terribly, says MIT students

Mars One mission could fail terribly, says MIT students

The world's interest in sending people to Mars has never been higher, and for good reason: it is cited as both a necessity for the human race, and the technology to pull it off is advancing quickly. Multiple entities are looking into sending people to the Red Planet, perhaps the most notable being Mars One, which is looking to send a group of astronauts on a one-way trip. Unfortunately, as exciting as the prospects are, a group of MIT students says the mission is doomed, and that with the current plan the astronauts would starve.

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Lumia 1020 provides the eyes for 3D-printed observatory

Lumia 1020 provides the eyes for 3D-printed observatory

If you've grown tired of the things you can do with your smartphone's camera, on land or even underwater (depending on your device), perhaps it's time to look to the stars, quite literally. Especially if you have a Lumia 1020, one of pre-Microsoft Nokia's most notable creations, sporting a massive 41 megapixel PureView camera. Although the rest of its specs are pretty dated by today's standards, the is still being put to good use in Ultrascope, the world's first 3D-printed robotic telescope.

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NASA to live chat during Wednesday’s lunar eclipse

NASA to live chat during Wednesday’s lunar eclipse

Every year brings interesting celestial phenomenon, things that have been happening for eons and that continue on regardless. One total lunar eclipse has already taken place this year, and it was grand; if you missed it, however, there's still hope -- this coming Wednesday morning will have the year's second total lunar eclipse take place, lasting for a few or so hours, depending on where you're located. To prepare for this, NASA has collected some relevant data that will, among other things, let you know if you can see it from your spot on the planet.

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