NASA to build a quieter supersonic passenger jet
The return of supersonic passenger air travel is one step closer to reality with NASA's award of a contract for the preliminary design of a 'low boom' flight demonstration aircraft. This is the first in a series of ‘X-planes’ in NASA's New Aviation Horizons initiative, introduced in the agency’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget.
NASA Aeronautics proposes return of X-Planes
America stands on the cusp of a new era in aviation that’s dramatically cleaner, quieter, and even faster. The details of NASA’s plan to get from here to there are spelled out in President Obama’s recently released federal budget request for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2016. If approved, next year will be the first in a bold 10-year plan by NASA Aeronautics to achieve huge goals in reducing fuel use, emissions, and noise b...
X-ray Space Observatory to study black holes
Black hole enthusiasts, galaxy cluster aficionados, and X-ray astronomers have much to be excited about. Last week, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched their sixth satellite dedicated to X-ray astronomy, ASTRO-H, from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima, Japan. The observatory carried a state-of-the-art instrument and two telescope mirrors built at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
NEA Scout: Solar sail deployment for asteroid-surveying
Progress continues on the journey to Mars as NASA plans to send astronauts deeper into space than ever before, including to an asteroid and ultimately to the surface of Mars. Before humans embark on the journey, the agency will survey an asteroid to learn about the risks and challenges asteroids may pose to future human explorers. Therefore, NASA will perform a reconnaissance flyby of an asteroid with Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, or NEA Scout.
NASA to build first integrated-photonics modem
A NASA team has been tapped to build a new type of communications modem that will employ an emerging, and potentially revolutionary, technology that could transform everything from telecomms, medical imaging and advanced manufacturing to national defence. The space agency’s first-ever integrated-photonics modem will be tested aboard the ISS from 2020 as part of NASA’s multi-year Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD).
WiFi reflector chip speeds up wearables
Whether you're tracking your steps, monitoring your health or sending photos from a smart watch, you want the battery life of your wearable device to last as long as possible. If the power necessary to transmit and receive information from a wearable to a computer, cellular or WiFi network were reduced, you could get a lot more mileage out of the technology you're wearing before having to recharge it.
NASA seeks CubeSat payload providers
Space enthusiasts have an opportunity to contribute to NASA’s exploration goals through the next round of the agency’s CubeSat Launch Initiative. The Initiative provides access to space for CubeSats developed by NASA centres, accredited educational institutions and non-profit organisations, giving CubeSat developers access to a low-cost pathway to conduct research in the areas of science, exploration, technology development, educ...
Crippled probe discovers distant relative
“The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment,” said 17th-century mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer Johannes Kepler. Inspired by his work, NASA's Kepler mission has just ‘unearthed’ (sorry) what could easily be seen as one of the greatest results of human endeavour yet - ...
Take off like a helicopter, fly like a plane
On 19th August, National Aviation Day, pilots, engineers and passengers alike will reflect on how far aviation has come in the last century. Could this be the future - an aircraft with 10 electric motors that can hover like a helicopter and fly like a plane? Forget future - this is a concept currently being developed by NASA researchers, under the name Greased Lightning, or GL-10.
NASA telescope detects stratosphere
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has detected a stratosphere, one of the primary layers of Earth’s atmosphere, on a blazing-hot exoplanet known as WASP-33b.
Robotics teams compete for $1.5m in NASA challenge
Twenty robotics teams, ranging from university students to small businesses, are currently taking part in NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge for a cash prize of $1.5m.
Spacecraft's success celebrated as it nears its end on Mercury
After extraordinary findings and technological innovations, a NASA spacecraft launched in 2004 to study Mercury will impact the planet’s surface, most likely on 30th April 2015, after it runs out of propellant. NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft will impact the planet at more than 8,750mph on the side of the planet facing away from Earth, out of view of engin...
NASA mission one step closer to bringing asteroid material to Earth
NASA's groundbreaking science mission to retrieve a sample from an ancient space rock has moved closer to fruition. The Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has passed a critical milestone in its path towards launch, and is officially authorised to transition into its next phase.
NASA hands over the reins to amateur asteroid hunters
Thanks to NASA’s Asteroid Data Hunter contest, the public can play with a software application that has the potential to increase the number of new asteroids discovered. The application is based on an algorithm which proved a 15% increase in positively identifying asteroids between Mars and Jupiter during testing. You don’t have to be a NASA scientist to work the application - it can be used by amateur astronomers and c...
Submarine space mission aims to explore Titan's seas
Dropping a robot onto a comet was arguably one of the most audacious space achievements of recent times, but one concept mission being studied by NASA could top even that. Scientists are proposing to send a robot submarine to the oily seas of Saturn's moon Titan. The seas are filled with hydrocarbons like methane and ethane, kept in their liquid states by an average temperature of -180°C.