Science

Orion replay: behind-the-scenes, on the ground

Orion replay: behind-the-scenes, on the ground

Over the past 24 hours, NASA's Orion spacecraft had a weather delay, a rocket valve glitch, and a successful launch. The Delta IV Heavy rocket took off at 7:05 AM Eastern Time, reaching low-Earth orbit in around 20 minutes. What you're about to see is the liftoff replay and a set of behind-the-scenes images you would not have seen in the live feed - on the ground, at the launch site, and behind the control boards at NASA as the rocket took off, then as the craft landed in the Pacific Ocean.

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Bats have special cells to help them navigate in 3D say scientists

Bats have special cells to help them navigate in 3D say scientists

A group of researchers studying bats has made an interesting discovery. The team has discovered that bats have specialized cells inside their body that allow them to navigate in 3D. According to the researchers, the bat's have something akin to a metal compass inside their brains thanks to these special cells. The team of neuroscientists is from Israel and made the discovery by studying the brains of bats in mid-flight.

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Orion launch scrubbed over rocket valve glitch

Orion launch scrubbed over rocket valve glitch

NASA has been forced to scrub today's Orion launch, though over technical issues with the rocket rather than the inclement weather conditions which caused numerous hiccups this morning. The team at Cape Canaveral had hoped to begin Orion's first test flight at 7:05 ET today, but were stalled by gusting winds. Issues with the fill and drain valves on the Delta IV Heavy rocket were what finally killed today's chances, however, though the next window isn't far off.

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Weather stalls NASA Orion launch

Weather stalls NASA Orion launch

NASA's launch plans for the Orion spacecraft today have been hit with unexpectedly strong winds, leaving the first flight of the new capsule on hold as weather conditions are monitored. Orion was meant to blast off from Cape Canaveral at 7:05am EST today, but an automatic shutdown was triggered when systems caught strong winds whistling past the launch platform. A second attempt less than an hour later was similarly blocked by NASA's safety-conscious systems.

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NASA talks the path to send humans to Mars

NASA talks the path to send humans to Mars

NASA has been working to develop the technology that will eventually be used to send humans to Mars and other places in the solar system. The goals of the mission to Mars and others were outlined in the US National Space policy that was issued in 2010. NASA says that astronauts living aboard the ISS are helping to prove many of the technologies and communications systems that will be needed for deep space missions, such as putting people on Mars.

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Japan’s Hayabusa 2 takes off to blow a hole on an asteroid

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 takes off to blow a hole on an asteroid

No, there is no asteroid hurtling down towards earth, so no need to break out into an Aerosmith song just yet. The Japanese space agency JAXA has just launched its Hayabusa2 explorer Wednesday to embark on a six-year journey of exploration, research, and blowing up a creator on an asteroid's face. The created crater will allow the ship to gather rock materials inside the crater for further study back on earth, without causing the asteroid to actually start hurtling towards a planet, like Earth.

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Sound sculpting creates holograms you can feel

Sound sculpting creates holograms you can feel

Holograms aren’t exactly new technology; they have been around in various forms for decades. One thing that has held true for all of these holograms is the fact that you can only see them and if you try to touch them, you feel noting but the void. A new technology promises to create holograms that you can touch and feel using a technique called sound sculpting.

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NASA polishes Orion for first test flight Dec 4th

NASA polishes Orion for first test flight Dec 4th

NASA is readying the first flight of its new Orion spacecraft set to take place this week, as it refines the technology that is expected to one day take astronauts to Mars. Due to blast off on Thursday, December 4, Orion - and the mighty United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket it will sit atop - won't be manned this time around, but instead used as a test-bed to see how well it will cosset future human passengers from dangers like radioactivity, heat, and more.

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Graphene may find use as Kevlar alternative

Graphene may find use as Kevlar alternative

Graphene is a wonder material that has lots of potential for use in electronics. Scientists all around the world are studying the material and the applications that it is suited for. One of those groups has been studying graphene for a use that has nothing to do with electronics; this group is looking at the material as a component for making body armor. Today body armor is typically made from Kevlar and other materials.

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We could fuel astronauts with human waste says research

We could fuel astronauts with human waste says research

Future astronauts and planetary colonists may end up breathing and watering plants with human waste, not to mention traveling in vehicles powered by it, if one research team has its way. NASA tasked the group at the University of Florida with figuring out what to do with the inevitable outcome of astronaut's freeze-dried meals, preferably something more productive than simply flushing it away into the nearest black hole. While the initial goal was lightening the load for space-faring folk, though, the research could have new implications down on Earth, too.

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