NASA is enlisting Hollywood to help promote its blockbuster new Mars rover, Curiosity, in a couple of new videos. Below you can watch both William Shatner and Wil Wheaton, vets of various "Star Trek" franchises, describe Curiosity’s “seven minutes of terror” as it touches down on Mars.
The year 2245 is just too distant — we should build and commission a real USS Enterprise right now, cracking the champagne across her hull within 20 years, according to an enterprising engineer. The gigantic ship would use ion propulsion, powered by a 1.5-GW nuclear reactor, and could reach Mars in three months and the moon in three days. Its 0.3-mile-diameter, magnetically suspended gravity wheel spinning at 2 RPM would provide 1G of gravity, and the thing looks just like the "Star Trek" ship of lore.
By Sean KanePosted 12.02.2011 at 4:25 pm 8 Comments
The Japanese seem to have the most fun aboard the ISS, making space sushi and taking Twitpics. Now, Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa has accomplished what so many only children on Earth have unsuccessfully attempted: playing baseball by himself. In this video, shot aboard the ISS during missions 28 and 29, the JAXA astronaut throws a few pitches, hits them with a tiny bat, and even manages to get himself out.
Labs-on-a-chip are useful tools for diagnosing diseases, but most can only pick out one or two sickness signatures amid an array of symptoms. The X Prize Foundation, responsible for innovation challenges in anything from spacecraft to oil spills, wants an all-purpose mobile device that can diagnose a patient better than a doctor. A tricorder!
Science fiction writers may have to rethink how their starship crews survive travel near or beyond the speed of light. Even the occasional hydrogen atom floating in the interstellar void would become a lethal radiation beam that would kill human crews in mere seconds and destroy a spacecraft's electronics, New Scientist reports.
Star Trek introduced the world to a wide range of fictional technology, most of which, like beaming or warp drive, will likely remain fiction. However, a team of scientists from the University of Canada has taken the phaser, the show's famous stun-laser, out of the TV and into reality. Unfortunately, right now it only works on worms.