KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.--The automated approach of an unmanned Russian Progress supply ship to the International Space Station was aborted Friday when telemetry between the spacecraft and the Russian command module was lost during final approach.
The Progress 38 cargo ship flew safely past the lab complex and the station's six-member crew was not in any apparent danger. But Russian flight controllers were unable to immediately resolve the problem.
Amid ongoing troubleshooting, the Russians plan to carry out two Progress rocket firings overnight Friday and one on Saturday, setting up a second docking attempt around 12:17 p.… Read more
IBM is looking to help genome experts further their research by providing a cloud where they can better share information with their colleagues.
IBM and the University of Missouri announced Friday a new initiative to develop a cloud-computing environment where universities and medical professionals could work together on genome research on a large-scale, regional basis.
Tapping into Big Blue's high-performance computers, the joint IBM-Missouri cloud would let researchers share their findings and discoveries with each other more quickly and efficiently than they do now. Such an advancement would push the university's current bioinformatics research even further, potentially improving … Read more
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.--After assessing payload-processing issues and projected traffic to and from the International Space Station, NASA managers on Thursday formally retargeted the program's final two missions for launches November 1 and February 26.
The shuttle Discovery, which had been scheduled for launch September 16 on mission STS-133, is now targeted for liftoff at 4:33 p.m. EDT on November 1. The primary goals of the two-spacewalk mission are to deliver spare parts and supplies, along with a modified cargo transfer module that will be permanently attached to the station to provide additional storage space.
This 4th of July weekend, you might, either at its beginning or its end, find yourself wishing your car could fly.
Thanks to a new FAA decision, this wish might seem slightly less Peter Pan and slightly more Peter Perfect.
It seems that the soaring minds behind the Terrafugia Transition have secured a remarkable weight exemption from the FAA, allowing it to carry such vital necessities as crumple zones, airbags, and a structural cage on its revolutionary flying car.
No, the airbags won't help much in the air. But road safety is just as vital for this dual-purpose flying … Read more
Even origami--that centuries-old art of folding paper into delicate shapes--isn't safe from the cold, metal hand of robotics. Thanks to scientists at Harvard and MIT, programmable electronic sheets can now fold themselves into a cute little boat or plane that virtually any origami aficionado could appreciate.
Why would the brilliant minds at two of the nation's top universities concern themselves with the likes of origami? The technology behind the self-folding sheets, they say, could lead to all sorts of shape-shifting devices, including "smart" cups that adjust themselves based on the amount of liquid needed, or Swiss Army knife-type devices that could transform themselves into tools like wrenches and tripods.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) helped fund the research, which suggests the multitasking material could hold promise for military applications where space--and free hands--are limited.
The researchers, who detail their work this week in an online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, constructed the thin and flexible sheets from a composite of rigid tiles and elastomer joints.
Their material, which they call "programmable matter by folding," is studded with thin foil actuators. The sheets are made up of interconnected triangular sections with universal crease patterns; triggering the right actuator groups in sequence leads the sheets to fold themselves into a given shape. … Read more
This is Oscar. The cute little feline from Jersey in the U.K. had an accident about nine months ago when a combine harvester ran him over while he napped in a field, severing the bottom part of his two back legs.
But Oscar is plucky. His local vet, Peter Haworth, consulted another vet, Noel Fitzpatrick of Surrey, England, who has an advanced practice. They discussed Oscar's case via phone and e-mail, and after viewing X-rays and photos, they reasoned that Oscar was a good candidate for a cutting-edge new procedure Fitzpatrick had been developing: bionic cat legs.
If you live either in the central or western regions of the United States, get up early on Saturday. It'll be worth the extra effort, and you can always take a nap later.
With the exception of the East Coast, a partial lunar eclipse will be visible starting around 3:17 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, and will reach its peak about 80 minutes later. As Earth's long shadow falls across the Moon, the part in the shadow will turn dark. It will look as though a chunk were missing from the Moon.
Can robots tell us about our distant past? German researchers think they can help us understand how we evolved language skills. Engineers at the Neurorobotics Research Laboratory at Humboldt University in Berlin are creating humanoids that will be able to form their own language to communicate.
Crafted by industrial design firm Frackenpohl Poulheim and manufactured with the help of plastics company Bayer MaterialScience, Myon is part of a European project called Artificial Language Evolution on Autonomous Robots, or ALEAR.
The project aims to get robots to "self-organize rich conceptual frameworks and communication systems with similar features as those found … Read more
Two men who led one element of Amazon.com's successful cloud-computing services have launched their own a start-up called Nimbula to focus on a private version of the technology.
Cloud computing takes several forms, but Amazon Web Services generally delivers building blocks available over the Internet that developers can use to construct their own higher-level services. Nimbula, in contrast, focuses more on a "private cloud" approach geared for companies building their own computing services based on a similar but in-house approach.… Read more
Summer vacations for a class of California seventh graders might pale in comparison to the class trip they recently took to Mars.
At least that's what astronomers might say after the class' discovery of an opening into a cave on the Red Planet.
The science class from Evergreen Middle School in Cottonwood, Calif., found the opening while working on a research project with the Mars Space Flight Facility run out of Arizona State University in Tempe.
"The students developed a research project focused on finding the most common locations of lava tubes on Mars," said their teacher, … Read more