The XSS-11, an Air Force satellite that can automatically track and orbit around other objects in space, downloads its first pictures to the public.
By Dawn Stover
Posted 10.26.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
This is the first photograph taken by a microsatellite of another object in space that has ever been released to the general public. The object near the center is the upper stage of a Minotaur I rocket that was used to launch the Experimental Satellite System-11, commonly known as XSS-11. The photograph was taken by the digital "witness camera" aboard XSS-11, a dishwasher-size microsatellite developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory.
XSS-11 is an experimental Air Force technology demonstrator designed to track other satellites. Controllers simply tell the spacecraft where to look for a piece of orbiting hardwareanother U.S. satellite, for instanceand the XSS-11 autonomously plots a course, accelerates to the object, and begins to orbit and observe. It's the first step toward automatic satellite inspection and repair.
By Michael Moyer
Posted 10.24.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
The PopTech conference, curated by Popular Science contriubting futurist Andrew Zolli, showcases the world's most exciting ideas and inventions every October in Camden, Maine. This year's gathering tackles the "grand challenges" facing humankind today. PopSci executive editor Michael Moyer has posted his notes from the conference-the Cliff Notes, if you will, to the ideas and trends shaping the intersection of technology and culture. Detailed speaker bios are available at poptech.org.
By Phillip Torrone
Posted 10.19.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
You bet. But first, a primer: Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) is a service from Microsoft that uses FM radio waves to send personalized text feeds-including news, stock quotes, weather, movie listings, appointments and instant messages-to SPOT-enabled wristwatches. A number of models are available from Suunto, Swatch, Tissot and others (see spotstop.com for a full list).
I've had a SPOT watch (two, actually, plus one for my wife) since their debut in 2004, and I love it.
The man behind the world's most powerful camera confronts killer viruses, nude sunbathers and the San Diego Padres
By Tom Vanderbilt
Posted 10.19.2005 at 2:00 am 6 Comments
Graham Flint is the sort of man who uses the structural bracing of a nuclear reactor's safety door as a camera stand. The bracing secures his camera casing to the inside of his minivan and is indicative of the precision and focus with which he approaches all aspects of his life, none more so than his current and most ambitious project: a 1,000-shot survey of America at the dawn of the 21st century, his Portrait of America, taken with the camera he designed and built, the highest-resolution landscape camera ever created.
While the rocket races will have to wait a year, inventors showed off plenty of private space technology at this year's X Prize Cup showcase
By Michael Belfiore
Posted 10.18.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
The X Prize Cup, an annual rocket race and showcase set to touch down every October in Las Cruces, New Mexico, held its inaugural gathering on October 9. Founder Peter Diamandis, whose X Prize Foundation last year awarded $10 million for the first private manned spaceship, plans for the XP Cup to be a chance for space fans to meet the engineers and pilots of a new generation of commercial spaceships and to watch them compete in rocket races both in and out of the Earth's atmosphere.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.