Science

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe launches to ‘touch the sun’

NASA's ambitious mission to go closer to the Sun than ever before is set to launch in the small hours between Friday and Saturday — at 3:33 AM Eastern from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, to be pre

Siri is now trained to recognize your local, weirdly named small businesses

Getting directions to the nearest Starbucks or Target is a task Apple’s virtual assistant can handle with ease. But what about local businesses with names that Siri has never heard, and might mi

NASA puts $44 million toward cryogenics and mid-air spacecraft retrieval

NASA has announced a set of public-private partnerships with several U.S. space companies, totaling an impressive $44 million. Blue Origin, Astrobotic Technology, United Launch Alliance and more are

This 3D-printed camp stove is extra-efficient and wind-resistant

I love camping, but there's always an awkward period when you've left the tent but haven't yet created coffee that I hate camping. It's hard not to watch the pot not boil and not want to just go back

NASA’s Open Source Rover lets you build your own planetary exploration platform

Got some spare time this weekend? Why not build yourself a working rover from plans provided by NASA? The spaceniks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have all the plans, code, and materials for you to

OpenAI’s robotic hand doesn’t need humans to teach it human behaviors

Gripping something with your hand is one of the first things you learn to do as an infant, but it's far from a simple task, and only gets more complex and variable as you grow up. This complexity make

Tapping into the power grid could predict the morning traffic

Why is there traffic? This eternal question haunts civic planners, fluid dynamics professors, and car manufacturers alike. But just counting the cars on the road won't give you a sufficient answer: yo

NASA’s 3D-printed Mars Habitat competition doles out prizes to concept habs

A multi-year NASA contest to design a 3D-printable Mars habitat using on-planet materials has just hit another milestone — and a handful of teams have taken home some cold hard cash. This more laid-

This 3D-printed AI construct analyzes by bending light

Machine learning is everywhere these days, but it's usually more or less invisible: it sits in the background, optimizing audio or picking out faces in images. But this new system is not only visible,

Nanotech powers this super-sensitive microphone

The trouble with microphones is that they don't just hear — they have to listen. Powering the mic and its signal processor means using energy, and energy means a battery, and a battery means chargin

There is liquid water on Mars

After years of observation and analysis, researchers announced today that they have identified liquid water on Mars — a ton of it. It's a mile underground and is likely only liquid because it is bri

SpaceX lands Falcon 9 booster on Just Read The Instructions drone ship

SpaceX confirmed on Twitter this morning that it recovered the booster from the latest Falcon 9 launch. Shortly after launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California at 7:39AM ET this

DARPA dedicates $75 million (to start) into reinventing chip tech

The Defense Department's research arm, DARPA, is throwing a event around its "Electronics Resurgence Initiative," an effort to leapfrog existing chip tech by funding powerful but unproven new ideas pe

‘Underwater Pokéball’ snatches up soft-bodied deep dwellers

Creatures that live in the depths of the oceans are often extremely fragile, making their collection a difficult affair. A new polyhedral sample collection mechanism acts like an "underwater Pokéball

Ocean Solutions Accelerator names its first wave of conservation startups

Early this year the Sustainable Oceans Alliance announced that it would be starting its own accelerator with a focus on conservation. The nonprofit has just announced the Ocean Solutions Accelerator's

CRISPR DNA editing may cause serious genetic damage, researchers warn

CRISPR-Cas9, the gene editing tool that is currently the darling of biotech and many other fields, may not be quite as miraculous as early tests suggested. A new study finds that what scientists thoug

Disney tech smooths out bad CG hair days

Disney is unequivocally the world’s leader in 3D simulations of hair — something of a niche talent in a way, but useful if you make movies like Tangled, where hair is basically the main charac

Machine learning boosts Swiss startup’s shot at human-powered land speed record

The current world speed record for riding a bike down a straight, flat road was set in 2012 by a Dutch team, but the Swiss have a plan to topple their rivals — with a little help from machine learni

Facebook independent research commission, Social Science One, will share a petabyte of user interactions

Back in April, Facebook announced that it would be working with a group of academics to establish an independent research commission to look into issues of social and political significance using the

Virgin Galactic agrees to launch space flights from Italy

U.S. space venture Virgin Galactic announced it has partnered with two aerospace companies to help bring commercial space launches to Italy. The agreement with Italy’s largest private space comp
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