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Solar plane lands in Dayton, Ohio on latest leg of round-the-world flight
An experimental airplane powered solely by energy from the sun landed in Ohio on Saturday night on the latest leg of its historic bid by pilots and developers to fly around the globe without a drop of fuel. "People told the Wright Brothers & us what we wanted to achieve was impossible," said Bertrand Piccard after landing. "They were wrong!" The locale was of special significance to the pilots, as the home base to aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright.
Sun, 22 May 2016 03:25:35 -0400
Slimy hagfish inspire 'super hydrogels'
By Matthew Stock The unusual secretions of the Atlantic hagfish are being studied by scientists who want to harness the viscous and elastic properties of the creature's slime for human use. When attacked or threatened by a predator the marine creature defends itself by secreting a milky-white substance from its glands. This instantly reacts with the seawater around it to form a mass of slime that clogs the mouth and gills of the would-be attacker. But this slime has special properties that could benefit mankind, according to scientists from ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal institute of Technology). Hagfish slime is an extremely diluted hydrogel, consisting of over 99.99 percent water.
Mon, 23 May 2016 10:50:50 -0400
'ET Comes Home' for NASA fuel tank's ride to LA site
A giant NASA fuel tank completed its final journey on Saturday, with crowds cheering on its parade along Los Angeles streets to a science center where it will go on display with the U.S. space shuttle Endeavour. The orange tank, weighing 65,000 lb (29,500 kg) and 154 feet (47 meters) in length, is the only one of its kind. The California Science Center called the parade of the fuel tank, which stands about three stories tall when towed on its side by a truck, "ET Comes Home," in a play on the "external tank" name and the 1982 movie "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial." The tank, ET-94, arrived at the center after a 16-mile (26-km) journey, the center said on Twitter.
Sat, 21 May 2016 22:05:15 -0400
Developers look to widen repertoire of Pepper, Japan's laughing robot
Japanese developers of a robot are asking the public to come up with ideas for what their waist-high humanoid can do and they are offering a software development kit for programmers to get creative. The fast-selling robot, known as Pepper, can already laugh and serve coffee and is being used as a waiter, salesman and customer service representative in about 500 companies in Japan, including Nestle, Mizuho Bank and Nissan. Now its creators, SoftBank Corp, have started offering a kit, Pepper SDK for Android Studio, that will allow programmers to develop new tasks.
Thu, 19 May 2016 23:09:33 -0400
Skywatchers can see close, bright Mars looming large this month
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in a decade this month, providing sky-watchers with a celestial show from dusk to dawn starting this week, NASA said on Thursday. On Thursday, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released a photograph of Mars taken by the Hubble Space Telescope as the planet neared Earth last week. On May 30, Mars and Earth will come closer than they have been in a decade, NASA said.
Thu, 19 May 2016 18:51:13 -0400
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