Science

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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We’ve just figured out how Earth’s force-field works

We’ve just figured out how Earth’s force-field works

A planet-scale force field sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but scientists using NASA probes have discovered that Earth is in fact protected by just such a phenomenon, with speedy electrons from a vast and naturally-occurring twin torus of radiation kept away from us. The Van Allen belts were first measured in 1958, each a gathering of charged particles kept in place by the planet's own magnetic field, and varying in size and strength according to the output of the sun. However, it's only now that their interaction with Earth's plasmasphere and how it acts as a forcefield has been understood.

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Sub shows Antarctic ice not as thin as we thought

Sub shows Antarctic ice not as thin as we thought

When we discuss the overall health of our planet, we typically have to entertain the idea that ice is melting at a rate quicker than we’re comfortable with. The way we currently measure ice is via satellite flyovers and boring through ice caps, which doesn’t give as accurate a picture as we’d like. A new submarine, dubbed SeaBED, is taking much of the work below the surface. The unmanned sub sends a sonar blast from the bottom, and what we’re learning is that ice caps may not be as thin as we’d imagined.

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This little rover thinks it’s time we went back to the moon

This little rover thinks it’s time we went back to the moon

The attentions of the space-faring industry may have turned to more distant targets, like Mars or even hurtling comets, but that's not to say there's not still room to explore a closer neighbor, like our own moon. Carnegie Mellon has revealed the robotic rover it believes will not only clinch it part of a $20m+ Google Lunar XPrize, but discover new and unseen pits and caves that pock the moon's surface. Dubbed Andy, the robot is predominantly the handiwork of students, and took just nine months to develop.

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New footage shows Antares rocket explosion from the ground

New footage shows Antares rocket explosion from the ground

Late last month, the unmanned Antares rocket launched. Shortly after lift-off, a problem occurred, and there was an explosion that sent the rocket back to earth. When Antares hit the ground, a second and much more jarring explosion took place, destroying the rocket and damaging much of the structure surrounding it. On the ground were a few cameras, put there to record a successful launch. Now that the cameras have been recovered, we get a first-hand shot of what a rocket explosion really looks like from near the launch pad.

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Face to face with the Devil: Rare anglerfish caught on tape

Face to face with the Devil: Rare anglerfish caught on tape

Coming face to tooth-filled face with a deep-sea anglerfish that's more mouth than anything else might not seem like something to celebrate, but it's different when it's one of the first times the fish has been caught on camera. Usually the small predators - which use a bioluminescent lure suspended over their heads to attract prey - are only found at depths of around 2,000m, but researchers stumbled unexpectedly on a Black Sea Devil at around 580m in Monterey Bay, California after discovering it with their remote-controlled sub, dubbed Doc Ricketts.

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