Have you been wondering what it's like to spend 520 days in a little sealed facility in Russia? The Mars500 project has cooped up 6 volunteers with no access to the outside world in an experimental isolation facility in Moscow, measuring just 550 cubic meters, to simulate a trip to Mars.
The experiment started June 3, and already we have some fascinating snapshots of what the volunteers are getting up to. In this gallery, the men play Wii, do chores, play-fight, study Chinese, and even man the "spaceship" controls once in a while.
The solar flare that slammed into Earth's atmosphere earlier this month was a prescient reminder that solar weather -- though sometimes beautiful -- can have serious impacts on the Earth. So perhaps the timing is right for something like AMPERE, the first space-based system capable of monitoring the Earth's immediate space environment in real-time. The system is the first step in a process that will enable around-the-clock monitoring and eventual prediction of solar and space weather and its effects on Earth.
After showing it off to the world in a series of tantalizing videos, Willow Garage has finally announced that they will be making their PR2 robot available for sale next month.
This is the humanoid robot that we've seen shooting pool, folding laundry, fetching beer from the fridge, and even finding an outlet and plugging itself in for a well-deserved recharge. We've compiled a gallery of our favorite PR2 moments.
We owe a lot to our wheeled rovers. Opportunity has contributed reams of data concerning the geology of Mars, while Spirit has found possible evidence of past water there. But Spirit is stuck in the sand while Opportunity lumbers slowly toward Endeavor crater at a top speed of 2 inches per second. A team of MIT researchers thinks we can do better, and to prove it they are developing a new kind of planetary explorer that hops, rather that rolls, across a planet's surface.
This spooky image of a tiny nebula known as IRAS 05437+2502 was recently released by the Hubble Space Telescope, but perhaps even more eerie than the wispy, ghost-like appearance of the little-studied star forming region is the boomerang-like light crowning the nebula. Though the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) first discovered the nebula in 1983, astronomers have no clue what is lighting up this glowing object.
Wiring large building for fire safety systems, climate control mechanisms, and other public safety monitoring schemes consumes a lot of wire -- imagine how much feet of copper connects every room, corridor, stairwell and broom closet in a building like the Empire State.
The core advantage of quantum computing -- the ability to compute for many possible outcomes at the same time and therefore crunch data much more quickly than classical computers -- also creates a problem for data security. Once the first high-powered quantum computers are functioning, they'll be able to quickly saw through many of our most common data encryption algorithms. But as it turns out, an obscure encryption code created in 1978 is resistant to all known methods of quantum attack.
A floating crane prepares to raise from the depths a South Korean navy combat corvette that mysteriously split in two and sank on March 26. To allow military and civilian investigators from South Korea, the U.S., Australia, the U.K. and Sweden to examine the 1,322-ton ship, a tag team of cranes—one capable of lifting 2,200 tons, the other, 3,600—retrieved the two pieces from the ocean floor.
The Internet seems to offer countless chances to win -- "You're Our Lucky 10,000 Visitor!!! Click Here to Claim Your Free iPod!!!" -- but this month you really could be the lucky winner. According to IMS Research, sometime this month the 5 billionth device will connect to the Internet, and within a decade that number will swell by more than four times.