Science

Bezos’ Blue Origin teases 2018 missions as it chases SpaceX

Bezos’ Blue Origin teases 2018 missions as it chases SpaceX

Blue Origin, the private space flight start-up funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has successfully tested off-the-shelf hydrogen rockets ahead of 2018 unmanned missions starting, though the company says it expects to switch eventually to rockets of its own design. The company, which will present its engine work to NASA in May 2014 as part of its ongoing part-funding from the US space agency, expects to also have human passengers flying - albeit suborbital - in the same timeframe, Rob Meyerson, president and program manager, told Aviation Week, as Blue Origin revealed a few extra details about what has been one of the more clandestine space projects.

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Life on Mars: Curiosity sends back first rock datings

Life on Mars: Curiosity sends back first rock datings

This week the NASA folks behind the Curiosity Mars rover mission have published a set of papers which suggest that they're closer than ever to finding habitable environments on the planet. These findings are pre-emptive in finding actual organic materials, and show how life could maybe, possibly have existed on Mars at one time. Basically the scientists on this project have said they're confident that there's a possibility of life at this point without literally saying they've found that life outright.

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Scientists trace superconductivity anomalies to a single point

Scientists trace superconductivity anomalies to a single point

Superconducting materials that function at room temperature make electrons behave unpredictably. The electrons sometimes arrange themselves in lines or around atoms in an asymmetrical arrangement. This is one reason superconductors have not proliferated into everyday use -- an advance that would render everything from power lines to personal computers far, far more efficient. But two scientists now say they have discovered the cause of those anomalies in zero-resistance systems and are now working on a practical way to get rid of them.

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NASA PhoneSat 2.4 finally phones home

NASA PhoneSat 2.4 finally phones home

Back in November, NASA launched the latest version of its PhoneSat into orbit. The PhoneSat 2.4 satellite launched at 8:15pm on November 19 hitching a ride into orbit using a Orbital Minotaur I rocket. PhoneSat 2.4 built on the successful flights of other small satellites that used smartphones for their brain.

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Luna Ring concept puts solar panels on the moon to power Earth

Luna Ring concept puts solar panels on the moon to power Earth

Solar energy is one method for powering homes and such with renewable resources, something that has seen great strides in past years but that still suffers from various limitations. One Japanese company has a big vision for the technology that would overcome some of these limitations, and it involves putting solar panels on the moon and beaming electricity at the Earth with lasers.

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