By Andrew RosenblumPosted 08.03.2011 at 4:23 pm 0 Comments
From the Explorer I satellite in 1958 to the new Mars Science Laboratory rover set to blast off at the end of the year, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has built the country's most ambitious robotic space vessels. And every summer, about 280 undergraduates arrive there to participate in one of 16 internship programs for engineering or science students.
By Matthew YglesiasPosted 08.02.2011 at 5:29 pm 0 Comments
The information-technology revolution that should have made the traditional university obsolete happened in 1439, when Johannes Gutenberg brought moveable-type printing to Europe. Until then, books had been hand-copied and were too expensive for all but the wealthiest seekers of knowledge. Instead, students would listen as a lecturer (from the Latin legere, "to read") recited the contents of these unattainably complex devices. Centuries later, even as the Internet further reduces the cost of knowledge distribution, the lecture hall continues to dominate higher education.
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 07.15.2011 at 4:03 pm 0 Comments
Every month, some 1,300 ships heading to or from the Suez Canal must pass through the lawless waters off the coast of Somalia. Pirate attacks are at an all-time high—more than 200 have already been reported this year. As of May, pirates were holding more than 500 hostages and 26 hijacked ships, and companies are losing up to $8.3 billion a year.
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 07.15.2011 at 3:41 pm 0 Comments
The next generation of carrier ships will run on cleaner fuel and less of it. They will transform to optimize performance under different conditions and be more versatile than ever, revolutionizing the way we ship. Explore the latest designs in the gallery below.
Click here to launch a gallery of the newest, most efficient carriers that have been thought up.
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 07.15.2011 at 3:35 pm 0 Comments
For a few short weeks last September, the Northwest and Northeast passages through the Arctic Ocean were simultaneously ice-free from end to end, the first such clearing in the time that satellites have monitored the region. Merchants have long sought routes through the ice packed waters that link the pacific and Atlantic. But researchers at the Naval postgraduate school in Monterey, California, say that we could now see an entire Arctic Ocean, not just passages along the coasts, with icefree summers, as soon as 2016.
What’s next for the system that moves most of the stuff on Earth?
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 07.07.2011 at 7:48 pm 0 Comments
The basic unit of the global economy is the humble container. Every year, a vast fleet of freighters hauls more than 17 million of them to destinations around the world. Now the ships are getting bigger, the routes are getting better, and the ports are getting smarter than ever before. Oh, and for a longer-term look at the future of shipping, check out Cargotec's plan for Port 2060.
Click the links below to explore how our shipping system is moving into the future.
Nearly a decade ago, NASA built an Earth-monitoring satellite that could have observed global warming in action. Then the agency stashed it in a warehouse in Maryland, where it remains to this day.
By Bill DonahuePosted 04.06.2011 at 12:28 pm 50 Comments
It all began so hopefully. Al Gore proposed the satellite in 1998, at the National Innovation Summit at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Gazing skyward from the podium, the vice president described a spacecraft that would travel a full million miles from Earth to a gravity-neutral spot known as the L1 Lagrangian point, where it would remain fixed in place, facing the sunlit half of our planet. It would stream back to NASA video of our spherical home, and the footage would be broadcast continuously over the Web.
Since the first 3-D printer was invented by Charles Hull in 1984, machines have seen vast improvements in speed and accuracy. Today's best 3-D printers operate much like a standard inkjet, spraying millions of droplets of polymer to build an object layer by layer. But there's a hitch: Most 3-D printers use only use a single material at once, thus each product they produce can be just one color or consistency.
Veteran astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz has spent four decades developing his rocket fueled by nuclear reactors and liquid hydrogen. Now NASA just might let it fly
By Sam Howe VerhovekPosted 10.13.2010 at 3:10 pm 41 Comments
You might expect to find our brightest hope for sending astronauts to other planets in Houston, at NASA's Johnson Space Center, inside a high-security multibillion-dollar facility. But it's actually a few miles down the street, in a large warehouse behind a strip mall. This bland and uninviting building is the private aerospace start-up Ad Astra Rocket Company, and inside, founder Franklin Chang Díaz is building a rocket engine that's faster and more powerful than anything NASA has ever flown before. Speed, Chang Díaz believes, is the key to getting to Mars alive.