Imagine controlling an airplane in flight just by holding your iPhone out in front of you: tilting it in the direction you want the plane to travel, or raising it to make the plane fly higher. Or tapping a point on a map on the screen, and having the plane automatically fly to the designated spot. Now, imagine if the plane itself were a continent away from where you're doing this iPhone-based controlling. What might seem like a figment of the imagination is actually fact.
Alaska Airlines will fly 75 commercial passenger flights in the United States powered by biofuel, starting this Wednesday. These flights signal aviation's next era, where sustainable biofuels can provide a viable alternative to conventional fuel and enable airlines to reduce their environmental impact.
The Shenzhou 8 craft that was launched by China Tuesday docked today with the already orbiting Tiangong 1 module. The maneuver puts the country closer to manning its own space station, which could occur within the next decade. The U.S. and Russia are the only other countries to master the space docking technique.
On Monday, more than 100 Boeing, NASA and state and federal officials gathered in the massive empty former space shuttle hangar—Orbiting Processing Facility No. 3—for the announcement of the first-of-its-kind agreement allowing a private company to take over the government property.
After a years-long delay, NASA’s newest climate satellite blasted into space early Friday on a dual mission to improve weather forecasts and monitor climate change. Five scientific instruments will extend more than 30 key long-term NASA datasets, including ozone layer measurements, land cover, and ice cover.
When the M-Cubed satellite, built by University of Michigan students, goes into orbit, it will become the first CubeSat to test a NASA instrument for major space missions. It is scheduled to be launched on October 28.
Expecting the worst, NASA agents swept in on a 74-year-old woman in a Denny’s restaurant five months ago to recover what believed to be a moon rock being sold on the black market. The woman claimed the tiny speck of rock, encased in acrylic, was given to her husband by Neil Armstrong. Armstrong says otherwise, and NASA is silent on the case.
In a bid to establish a system that is more precise and more reliable than the U.S.-established Global Positioning System, a Russian-French collaboration Friday launched the first two satellites of the European Union's Galileo navigation system.
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announced it has successfully completed the preliminary design review of its launch abort system, a system designed for manned missions using its Dragon spacecraft. This represents a major step toward creating an American-made successor to the space shuttle.
According to a study out Wednesday venture capitalists invested more money in more U.S. startups in the third quarter than they did a year earlier. Though overall investments dropped from the second quarter, the software industry showed especially big jumps in venture capital quarter to quarter.
The last decade has been challenging for the aerospace industry, but a host of breakthroughs have given both big business and private consumers reason to hope.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or systems (UAS)—vital components in the national security and military arsenal—can be controlled from a remote location or flown autonomously based on pre-programmed flight plans using complex automation systems. Military UAS perform reconnaissance, attack missions, or other missions deemed too dirty or dangerous for personnel.
The European Union Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, published annually by the European Commission, tracks the world’s top 1,400 companies and ranks their investments in R&D. The report shows global R&D investment increased by 4%, but some regions are lagging behind others in investment growth.
Tests on five tennis-court sized sunshield layers designed to protect NASA's James Webb Space Telescope mirrors and instruments from the heat of the sun will tell Northrop Grumman Corp. (Falls Church, Va.) engineers how the full-size sunshield layers will behave in orbit.
Thirteen 12-m antennas manufactured by General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies have been installed at the 16,500-foot-high Chajnanator plateau in Chile, home to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) astronomical observatory.
Boeing and Lion Air, the largest private carrier in Indonesia, pioneered precision navigation technology in South Asia with the introduction of Required Navigation Performance (RNP) flight operations.
In July, Lufthansa launched the first daily commercial passenger flights using biofuel—50% Hydro-processed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA)—flying four daily flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt on an Airbus A321.
Joined by Gov. Susana Martinez, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and scores of would-be space travelers, billionaire Richard Branson rappelled from a balcony in New Mexico Monday to christen the world’s first built-from-scratch commercial spaceport. More than 450 people have already purchased Virgin Galactic tickets.
The European Space Agency’s Venus Express spacecraft has discovered an ozone layer high in the atmosphere of Venus. Ozone has only previously been detected in the atmospheres of Earth and Mars. On Earth, it is both generated by and protects life from the sun’s harmful rays, but on Mars and Venus, the effect is non-biological.
The powerful influence of the Sun and the nature of mysterious dark energy motivate ESA’s next two science missions. Solar Orbiter will venture closer to the Sun than any previous mission, and Euclid will be a space telescope designed to map out the large-scale structure of the cosmos.
California space-launch entrepreneur Elon Musk said Thursday his company will try to develop an orbital booster system with components capable of flying back to Earth for reuse. The complexities of the engineering have canceled previous efforts by others.
For decades scientists had puzzled over whether Mercury had volcanic deposits on its surface. The latest set of images from MESSENGER, the NASA orbiter, affirmed their existence and also discovered a new class of landform known as a ‘hollow’.
On Thursday, the box car-sized Tiangong-1 module was shot into space from a launch pad at the edge of the Gobi Desert. Within the next few weeks, another spacecraft will be launched to practice remote-controlled maneuvers with this experiment capsule, setting the stage for what China hopes to a full space station launch beginning in 2020.
The Bolshoi supercomputer simulation, the most accurate and detailed large cosmological simulation run to date, gives physicists and astronomers a powerful new tool for understanding such cosmic mysteries as galaxy formation, dark matter, and dark energy.
NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, is expected to re-enter Earth's atmosphere late Sept. 23 or early Sept. 24 Eastern Daylight Time, almost six years after the end of a productive scientific life. Although the spacecraft will break into pieces during re-entry, not all of it will burn up in the atmosphere.