Items tagged with NASA

Leave it to a couple NASA scientists to develop technology that supercharges their smartwatches. NASA announced this week that it has applied for a patent on a technology that lets wearable devices reflect wireless signals instead of using traditional transmitters and receivers. Once the new tech is implemented, it should speed up data transmission over Wi-Fi networks while simultaneously reducing power costs – dramatically.Image credit: NASA“The idea is if the wearable device only needs to reflect the Wi-Fi signal from a router or cell tower, instead of generate it, the power consumption can go... Read more...
Space travel is back, baby! Not that it ever truly stopped, but with the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011, NASA has been transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) by way of Russia's Soyuz spacecraft. That's set to change with NASA's Commercial Crew Program, which will see Boeing and SpaceX offering commercial spaceflights from U.S. soil. NASA has selected four astronauts to train and prepare for commercial spaceflights from the private sector. They include Robert Behnken, Eric Does, Douglas Hurley, and Sunita Williams, all of which will work closely with Boeing... Read more...
Since it unveiled HoloLens in January, Microsoft has wanted us all to believe that its AR product can deliver an out-of-this-world experience. Now, it's proven that it's willing to go to great lengths to prove it. In a partnership with NASA for a project called Sidekick, Microsoft is going to be sending two HoloLens units up to the International Space Station, with transit provided by SpaceX, during its seventh resupply mission to the station. With astronauts equipped with HoloLens, NASA hopes that it will help both improve the work they're able to do, as well as make things easier for the engineers... Read more...
At the behest of President Obama, Federal Chief Information Officer Tony Scott yesterday issued Memorandum M-15-13 calling for the provision of government service for all Federal websites via HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure).  The HTTPS standard was described by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as a "great first step", this despite it being written off as a "top-down solution" by a database administrator for NASA.  Memorandum M-15-13 explicitly states that "All browsing activity should be considered private and sensitive." It also provides guidance to... Read more...
The good news for SpaceX is that its Dragon resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) was a resounding success. This was the sixth Commercial Resupply Services flight (CRS-6) of fifteen planned. Falcon 9 rocket approaches the barge platform (Source: SpaceX) The Dragon capsule blasted off from Cape Canaveral at 4:10 pm EST this afternoon atop a Falcon 9 rocket. Dragon was successfully placed into orbit and will rendezvous with the ISS on Friday morning. The Dragon is loaded with just over 4,000 pounds of cargo including 1,103 pounds of supplies for the ISS crew and over 1,200 pounds... Read more...
Mars rover Opportunity is in the news again, this time for suffering a spell of "brief amnesia" related to its 256MB flash memory just five (5) days after a full reformatting of its memory banks. No scientific data was lost as a result of the blip in the device's nonvolatile memory, though, and the rover continued its current schedule of activities, including the examining of a rock named "Athens" by its robotic arm. Opportunity, which landed on Mars in January 2004 just three weeks after its sister rover Spirit, has thus far functioned a remarkable 4000+ days beyond its original 90 sol (92.5 day)... Read more...
NASA is teaming up with a San Francisco company called Osterhout Design Group (ODG) to test the feasibility of using smart glasses on space missions. By taking advantage of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology, astronauts will don computerized glasses built by ODG to making working on space projects a bit easier. There are several early uses that have already been identified, such as using "Assisted Reality" software to enable line of sight check lists, guided support via telepresence, and the ability to overlay digital markers on machinery or equipment,... Read more...
If anyone can make failure look like a magnificent achievement in rocket design, launch, and recovery, then it’s definitely Elon Musk. On Saturday, SpaceX launched a Dragon capsule into space via its Falcon 9 launch vehicle. The Dragon went on to make its fifth successful cargo run to the International Space Station, while the Falcon 9 was scheduled to make history by landing vertically on a 300 ft. by 100 ft. target under power… at sea… in the dark.SpaceX's floating barge, docked just days before the Falcon 9's attempted landing SpaceX was nearly able to successfully accomplish its mission with... Read more...
Following a day of delays that temporarily grounded the project, NASA this morning launched its Orion spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, Florida this morning. This is a test run for the crewless spacecraft, which lifted off the ground without issue and is now "flying comfortably through space," according to NASA's blog. Orion is now orbiting above Earth at a low altitude before the United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy rocket sends the spacecraft higher into space. If all goes to plan, Orion will fly 3,600 miles high before returning to Earth -- it's scheduled to splash down into the Pacific Ocean... Read more...
NASA is working hard to launch its [currently] unmanned Orion spacecraft this morning, though multiple issues have kept it grounded so far. It was initially supposed to blast off at 7:05 AM ET before being put on hold because a boat came too close, followed by another delay due to a gust of wind, and most recently because a fill and drain valve on the rocket did not function correctly. If NASA isn't able to launch Orion by 9:44 AM ET, it will have to wait until another day. That scenario becomes increasingly likely with each passing moment, especially since mission managers made the decision to... Read more...
When Lytro's light-field camera technology first hit the scene in late 2011, it seemed pretty certain from the get-go that it was going to be a hit. What it brought to the table was a "focus later" mechanic, and just as it sounds, photos taken with Lytro can be refocused after-the-fact. A license plate that's unreadable in the default shot, for example, could suddenly become readable after the user adjusts the focus. Ever since Lytro released its first consumer camera, it seems that business has been quite good. But as we can see today, it looks like it's the company's technologies - not its actual... Read more...
An abandoned NASA satellite is under new management. After floating in space without a mission for 17 years, the International Solar-Environment Explorer (ISEE-3) has been brought out of retirement by a group of scientists and engineers who used their spare time to reestablish contact with the satellite. The ISEE-3 Reboot Project, which is being supported by Space College, Skycorp, and SpaceRef, ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in May that raised nearly $160,000. NASA is aware of the project and, in fact, Mission Control for this venture is located on the NASA campus, at “McMoons,”... Read more...
We’d bet that when Mark Zuckerberg drunkenly dashed off the original Facebook precursor in his dorm room, he never imagined that within a decade he’d be actively trying to connect two-thirds of the world to the Internet and working with NASA to do so, but that is indeed what has transpired. Zuckerberg announced that Internet.org, the organization comprising Facebook and many other Internet companies, is “working on ways to beam internet to people from the sky” by building drones, satellites, and lasers in the new Facebook Connectivity Lab. Different population densities... Read more...
In an embarrassing revelation, NASA admitted that it has been selling jet fuel at a steep discount to a company called H2-11, which is owned by Google’s top brass--Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin--and has hangar space at Moffett Field. According to NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Team, NASA allowed H2-11 jets to fuel up at a price tag of between $2.37 and $3.20 a gallon while the same stuff went for $5 to $8.50 per gallon at nearby airports. Over time, that’s allowed H2-11 to save between $3.3 million and $5.3 million worth of taxpayer-subsidized jet fuel. Senator Chuck... Read more...
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