An unmanned aircraft with the appearance of a flying manta ray could herald the future of jetliners. NASA and Boeing's flying lab has wrapped up the first series of flight tests that should help pave the way for less noisy, more fuel-efficient airplanes that also emit less pollution.
The 500-pound X-48B aircraft celebrated its 80th and last flight of the project's first phase on March 19, 2010, or almost three years after its first flight on July 20, 2007.
The boron carbide that forms body armor plates and helps protect battle tanks has now become a part of T-shirt fabric. The reinforced nanocomposites could eventually lead to more flexible body armor or lightweight materials for cars and aircraft, according to Chemistry World.
Fleets of unmanned drones have become a common weapon in the U.S. military's arsenal, but clunky controls and interfaces that distract human operators can lead to costly mistakes and crashes. Such problems prompted a former U.S. Navy pilot to develop an iPhone app that allows any smartphone user to learn how to fly an unmanned aerial system in just three minutes.
Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi has always served up amazing images via his Twitter account, but his latest is worth special note. The International Space Station resident took a long-exposure shot of an aurora in the Earth's atmosphere.
A more powerful magnetic material may have emerged to topple previous record-holder iron cobalt, until now the most magnetic material on Earth. The new iron and nitrogen compound might also force physicists to revise their understanding of magnetism, according to the Minnesota Daily.
An aging transmission line built in 1948 is the only link between the U.S. power grid and the little city of Presidio in West Texas. So Presidio has invested in a single huge battery that can power the entire town and serve as emergency backup for the frequent outages caused by the line going down, NPR reports.
China is already the world's largest market for wind power, but it's not stopping with the onshore sites. A 102-megawatt wind farm is slated to hit full power this month in the Yangtze River delta near Shanghai, Technology Review reports. And that's just the beginning, as Chinese officials opened bids on creating three or four more offshore wind power projects that could generate 1,000 megawatts total.
A new nanoprobe can slip stealthily into a cell and give researchers an opening to monitor the cell's insides for up to a week. That could make the tiny inorganic device the first to implant within a cell without damaging it.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen might stand astride the world, but they both paid homage last night to the passing of the man who booted up their careers. The Microsoft founders got their start in the computer biz writing software for the Altair 8800, a forerunner of home computing first created by Henry Edward Roberts, BBC reports.
Tapping into the wisdom of the crowds to forecast future trends has served prediction markets well for years, but Twitter might be even more effective than even the biggest and most widely used market, the Hollywood Stock Exchange.