Category Archives: Business

Russian space officicals have announced that the Soyuz replacement will be ready to launch in 2013, and will start bringing cosmonauts into space by 2015.

Soyuz capsules are currently used to send both people and supplies to the International Space Station exclusively while the shuttle is grounded. They have proven them selves to be very reliable craft.

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The European Space agency has done tests on a new design for an Ion propulsion engine which they expect will be 10 times more efficient then existing designs. The Ion electric engine are ideal for long deep space missions because the fuel source is much smaller than with conventional chemical rockets. They work by using electricity to generate an electromagnetic field that can propel charged particles (ions) at extremely high speeds.

The new engine can create an ion stream out of the engine at a speed of 210 km/sec. That’s 10 times faster than the engine on the SMART-1 probe, and 4 times faster than other current prototypes.

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This year at CES Seagate announce the next greatest thing in hard drive technology. In February this year they expect to start shipping notebook hard disks with a 160GB capacity. They’ve accomplished this by developing a perpendicular recording technology that has the potential to provide up to 500Gbpsi (Gigabytes per square inch). That level of aural density would be able to provide 3.5 inch drives with a capacity of 2 Terabytes or a 2.5 inch notebook drive with 500 Gigabytes to play with.

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The Mythbusters
In the Premiere issue of Robot magazine, the Discovery-Channel-Made-Famous Mythbusters Jamie Hyneman, Adam Savage and Grant Imahara put their methods to use in an effort to test the VEX Robotics Design System.

Grant, an electrical engineer turned mythbuster puts the system to the test, which at first glance appears to be no more than a vastly superior alternative to the Lego Mindstorms kits.

This article comes complete with video snippets (windows media player format) of the Day One testing of the VEX as well as the Project Overview.

Click Here to Check out the Article from Robot Magazine

A new site: LinuxRobots.org has the neat idea of having a robot that can be controlled and even programed from the web. Simply ssh into the robot and modify or add to the software, recompile and watch how the robot behaves by following the webcam on the website.

The robot is powered by a striped down Gentoo installation running on a mini-itx VIA mainboard. It has 2 independant motors, 1 distance sensor, 4 light sensors, and a webcam.

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The US government is investing the possibility of a hyperspace engine that could make a trip to Mars just a short 3 hour flight and an interstellar trip of 11 light years in only 80 days.

The engine is based on a controversial scientific paper written in the 1950’s by Burkhard Heim, who theorized that an intense magnetic field could produce a gravitational field which could propel a space craft faster than light. In effect the gravitational warping would create a space where the speed of light is actually faster, allowing the ship to also travel faster.

more details on Scotsman.com

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The slowing of the planet’s orbit around the sun has put the extremely precise atomic clocks out of sync with the calendar time by one second. So at 7pm EST on New Years Eve an extra second was inserted into the clocks which define the official Coordinated Universal Time which is maintained around the world by over 80 clocks housed in vaults scattered around the globe.

Though the planet has always been slowing down, it has only been since the invention of the atomic clock in 1958 that we were actually able to measure it.
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As part of the re-authorization bill passed by the congress and awaiting Bush’s signature NASA will lead a search for asteroids that could be threatening Earth. The scope of objects that NASA will be looking for are asteroids larger than 140m in diameter. Currently NASA has only been searching for asteroids larger than 1km. As part of the task, NASA will be charged with cataloging 90% of the potentially threatening asteroids in 15 years.

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Richard Branson made the announcement today that the launch site for the Virgin Galactic Space program would be built in New Mexico 25 miles south of the town of Truth or Consequences. It will be 90 percent underground with only the runway and support facilities above ground.

Construction is expected to begin early 2007 and will cost $225 million.

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Halo ZeroThis game is absolutely worth a check. Halo Zero is a classic style 2-D adventure featuring the Master chief battling the god forsaken covenant in Contra Styled interface. The final version has just been released, version 1.8.3 of Halo Zero.

It’s all there, the battle rifle, the pistol, the Rocket Launcher, your friendly marine backup and of course, the Warthog. It brings a tear to one’s eye, just the sheer beauty of it. If only Super Mario Brothers had been like this, maybe the world would have been a different place. Perhaps most impressive is the included multiplayer capability of the game; the game’s fun just builds.

So if you have Hi-speed (or failing that, if you have the time), check this out. These guys did a fantastic job.
Let’s just hope they don’t get sued :^)
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