The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission is poised for a flyby of asteroid 21 Lutetia, the largest asteroid to ever be visited by a spacecraft. On Saturday, July 10, Rosetta will skim past Lutetia at a speed of about 33,000 miles per hour, coming to within 1,965 miles of the asteroid.
The space shuttle program ain't over till Congress says it's over. A Senate committee is working on a bill that would add an extra shuttle flight next year, as well as defy some of President Obama's scaled-down NASA plans, the New York Times reports today.
Liquid armor has been shown to stop bullets more effectively than plain Kevlar, according to British firm BAE Systems. The material could be used to make thinner, lighter armor for military personnel and police officers, the BBC reports.
Materials scientists combined a shear-thickening liquid with traditional Kevlar to make a bulletproof material that absorbs the force of a bullet strike by becoming thicker and stickier.
We can now tweet from the International Space Station and make phone calls from the summit of Mount Everest, so why can't we get any check our email from the ocean floor? A new Lockheed Martin program, plainly named Communications at Speed and Depth, will plug deep-diving stealth submarines into the DoD's Global Information Grid, just like any other surface vessel.
The roboticists at Willow Garage, like the rest of us this summer, are thirsty. But they have the quick-learning PR2 bot to help out. Having mastered other handy tasks, like folding laundry and playing pool, the robot has now learned to fetch beer for its masters.
Perhaps ranking behind only bullets and water, blood is one of those things you really don't want to run out of on the battlefield. But better battlefield medicine -- as well as some of the more malicious combat techniques employed by insurgent guerrilla fighters -- mean more soldiers are surviving their injuries, and that puts military blood banks in a bind. But a DARPA program launched in 2008 is coming to fruition, potentially providing medics an endless stream of universally accepted O-negative blood through a process known as blood pharming.
The rapidly aging population of the United States as the Baby Boomers reach their golden years doesn't bode well for our collective vision: 30 percent of Americans over age 75 suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common condition that causes the retina to degrade and decay, resulting in partial blindness. But after five years of deliberation, the FDA has approved the first implantable miniature telescope (IMT) that fits directly into the eye to correct the effects of AMD.
The next Mars rover, Curiosity, has been outfitted with a new cutting-edge mobility system that's enough to make off-road enthusiasts drool with envy. The rover, which will carry ten times the payload mass of Spirit and Opportunity, is about the size of an SUV, and too heavy for an airbag landing.
In a move that is poised to become extremely unpopular with privacy advocates, the National Security Agency -- you may remember them from the warrant-less wiretapping scandal -- is launching a program dubbed "Perfect Citizen" to detect cyber attacks on private companies running critical infrastructure like the electricity grid or nuclear plants. All companies have to do is let the NSA deploy a bunch of sensors within their networks, and trust that the nation's best eavesdropping agency won't abuse the system.
A team of visionary Swiss engineers and at least one test pilot with nerves of steel have pushed solar-powered flight to the next level, completing an overnight flight that proves solar flight is possible even when the plane's fuel source dips behind the horizon. This morning test-pilot André Borschberg successfully put Solar Impulse HB-SIA on the ground safely after 26 hours and nine minutes of flight powered solely by the sun.