By John Mahoney and Katie PeekPosted 09.15.2011 at 2:00 pm 21 Comments
A mournful French horn blows. An angsty Luke Skywalker stomps out of his aunt and uncle's sand hut and peers up at Tatooine's double sunset, his hair blowing in the breeze. It's a memorable scene from Star Wars—but now, a precedent for such a sky with two suns has been found in our universe.
Using data from the Kepler space observatory, scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and SETI have discovered for the first time a planet orbiting a binary star system, passing in front of both its parent stars along its orbit.
Beware, enemies of India: Star Wars are back in fashion. With perennial (and nuclear armed) foe Pakistan always teetering on the brink of political collapse and neighboring regional superpower China taking greater strides into space technology, India has announced that it is developing an exo-atmospheric "kill vehicle" that will knock enemy satellites out of orbit.
By John Scott LewinskiPosted 09.08.2009 at 12:06 pm 1 Comment
Harry Kloor may be the world’s most well-rounded nerd. He is the only person to have earned doctorates in physics and chemistry simultaneously, and he has penned episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. And when NASA asked him for help in improving its image with young people, he drew on both of those experiences. The best way to get kids enthused about outer space, Kloor figured, was to hide their medicine in a bucket of popcorn. Next February, Quantum Quest, a star-studded CGI space adventure that pairs animated protons with real footage from NASA spacecraft, hits theaters. “Many of NASA’s scientists were inspired by Star Trek and Star Wars,” he says. “I want to inspire that kind of passion.” We caught up with Kloor to find out why kids will go nuts for quarks.
Not long from now, in a galaxy that looks surprisingly similar to your garage, you might be the director and star of a scene from Star Wars. And thankfully, George Lucas isn't involved in any way.
The site Star Wars: Uncut has decided to crowd-source a remake of the film by chopping it up into 15-second increments. Using the social video site Vimeo, people can sign up to download one of 472 15-second chunks of Star Wars: A New Hope and re-film it however they choose. Once complete, all 472 Vimeo clips will be stitched together in sequence to re-create the entire film. The results are already rolling in, and they're awesome.
SpaceX's new Falcon 9 takes a crucial step to the launchpad
By Marshall Louis ReavesPosted 03.27.2009 at 12:56 pm 2 Comments
Since January, SpaceX's heavy-payload Falcon 9 launch vehicle has stood 180 feet above Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, undergoing ground-systems tests in the run-up to its first test flight. The reusable Falcon series, named for the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars, has nine engines that provide more than a million pounds of thrust. Last September, the smaller, 70-foot-tall Falcon 1 became the first privately developed liquid-fueled rocket to orbit the Earth.
I am hunter, warrior, slayer of Jedi. I am Darth Vader's secret apprentice in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, which hits shelves for the first time today. ($60, PS3/Xbox 360).
Thanks to Euphoria artificial intelligence, which simulates every quaking adversary's nervous and muscular systems (they convincingly dive and cower when the explosive crates and invisible energy waves start flying), the galaxy trembles before my wrath. Molecular Matter software emulates realistic material breakage, causing metal to warp and wood to splinter along the grain according to the point of impact. Unlike rival games' predictable battles, each neon-tinted firefight and lightsaber duel promises singular mayhem every time you hoist the controller.
Six tons of steel that lumbers around on eight giant legs
By Charles CrainPosted 08.26.2008 at 1:25 pm 10 Comments
Martin Montesano had been captivated since childhood by enormous walking machines like the ones in The Empire Strikes Back. A few real-life versions have been built before, but they never lived up to his vision. He wanted his to be huge.
After running from Sprint, the Grouse predicts the constant battle for decent cellphone service might finally start favoring the consumer
By Jonathan ChasePosted 03.05.2008 at 1:25 pm 6 Comments
To spend our precious time here together moaning about how royally screwed up our cellphone companies are here in the States would at this point be too easy. You know the drill: Half-assed handsets, crippled functionality, spotty signals, dumbfounding user interfaces, outrageously priced call plans, incomprehensible outsourced customer service reps from a far-off land, and lets not even talk about the indentured servitude contracts. No, the topic is cliché at this point, so today Id like to take a positive spin on things.