In 1983, engineers at General Electric experimented with an "unducted fan" engine. Without the external casing, airflow through the blades increased, delivering more power for the same amount of fuel. The thing was loud, but the company pressed on because the trick could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 26 percent. Then fuel prices dropped, gas guzzling became acceptable, and GE mothballed the project. Now that airlines are again conscious of fuel costs and carbon, the idea is back, and new tech is making it feasible.
After cost overruns, a series of delays, and almost a decade of hype, the F-35 Lighting finally performed a vertical landing for the first time. Yesterday at 1 P.M., after descending from a 150-foot-high hover, the test plane touched down on the tarmac at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. This is a significant step forward for the F-35, as its vertical takeoff and landing capability are crucial to the fighter's role as a replacement for the aging Harrier jet.
It will probably take another decade to perfect the sophisticated rocket and life-support technology needed to put a human on Mars. But once we’re there, NASA may use centuries-old technology to keep us from getting lost during a stroll.
Hangar One's behemoth structure once housed airships such as the doomed U.S.S. Macon, and is so large that clouds can supposedly form and rain inside it. Now NASA and the U.S. Navy have promised to replace the hangar's toxic siding with a new Teflon-covered fiberglass fabric skin, The Register reports.
We do a lot of Hubble gawking here. Arguably NASA's most enduring mission, the telescope has provided humans with the deepest possible look into the corners of the universe and papered many a desktop background. It's beamed back so much beauty that it's easy to take it for granted.
But Hubble 3D reminds us how miraculous a thing the Hubble telescope truly is. It is the apotheosis, the pinnacle of Hubblegasms. It's IMAX 3D in space.
Perhaps it's time for Space Ghost to hand over his moniker to the International Space Station (ISS). The orbital outpost makes for an eerie blue shadow in this image taken by a German radar satellite, SPACE.com reports.
The snapshot was taken by Germany's TerraSAR-X satellite on March 13, 2008. But the German space agency only released the startling view of the then-incomplete space station this month.
NASA's aptly-named Stardust spacecraft may have returned the first-ever samples of interstellar dust to Earth. Scientists hope to confirm their possible discovery of two dust grains, based upon the sharp eye of a citizen scientist, BBC reports.
In an attempt to shorten the gap between the end of the Space Shuttle and the deployment of its replacement, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) has introduced a bill that would extend the life of the Shuttle by two years. The bill directly contradicts the White House's space policy, which favors a rapid decommissioning of the Shuttle, followed by an emphasis on the private sector to maintain support of the International Space Station (ISS).
Last year's "moon bombing" proved that water ice exists beneath the lunar south pole, but new findings from a NASA instrument aboard an Indian orbiter have determined that tons of water ice is hiding on the lunar surface in permanently shadowed craters at the north pole as well.