By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. drive to end its reliance on Russian rocket motors got a boost this week when Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos unveiled a new engine project, but officials and industry insiders say it will take years and hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a locally built alternative. … …read more
For two robotic spacecraft set to arrive at Mars over the next few days, the toughest task will be slowing down. After streaking through space at mind-numbing speeds for 10 months, NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft and India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft will have to slam on the brakes if they hope to enter orbit around the Red Planet. There’s no other need to fire that big rocket on the way to Mars until you get there,” said Joe Guinn, manager of the Mission Design and Navigation Section at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who is helping both the MAVEN spacecraft (short for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) and MOM get to the Red Planet.
A festival of tech enthusiasts, DIYers and crafters is taking over the New York Hall of Science in Queens this weekend. The fifth annual World Maker Faire in New York will be open Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 20-21). This celebration of innovation, hands-on education, science and technology will feature some of the latest 3D printing and drone technology, science demonstrations and a host of DIY projects. World Maker Faire describes itself as “the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth.” The event will include exhibits, discussions on technology and education, and workshops and lessons on topics such as how to build a simple circuit and how to get started in 3D printing.
CAPE CANAVERAL Fla (Reuters) – Space Exploration Technologies delayed its cargo run to the International Space Station for NASA on Saturday after thick cloud and rain socked in its central Florida launch site. Liftoff of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon freighter was rescheduled for 1:53 a.m. EDT/0553 GMT on Sunday. Meteorologists expected a 60 percent chance of acceptable weather. The mission is the fourth under the company’s 12-flight, $1.6 billion contract with NASA to fly cargo to the station, a $100 billion research complex that flies about 260 miles (420 km) above Earth. …
Vernon McDonald is vice president for Science, Technology and Engineering Group at Wyle. NASA’s selection of Boeing and SpaceX to provide crew transportation to the International Space Station (ISS) is a major milestone for civil space exploration. It also demonstrates the value of public-private partnerships, necessary for leveraging decades of NASA investment and experience in human low-Earth orbit operations and establishing reliable, lower cost commercial systems for delivering cargo — and soon, people — to the ISS.
By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) – The Ebola virus raging through West Africa is mutating rapidly as it tears a deadly path through cities, towns and villages, but the genetic changes are for now not giving it the ability to spread more easily. Concern that the virus could gain capability to transmit through the air – creating a nightmare scenario of the disease being able to spread like a flu pandemic, killing millions – was fuelled by a top infectious disease expert in the United States. …
By Daniel Wallis (Reuters) – U.S. government researchers working with divers and sonar equipment have located the wrecks of what they dubbed “forgotten ghost ships” in waters just outside San Francisco’s Golden Gate strait. The discoveries by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists follow a two-year project to find, identify and better understand some of the estimated 300 wrecks in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and adjacent Golden Gate National Recreation Area. … …read more
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgium could keep two of the country’s oldest nuclear reactors running for up to 10 years longer than planned if other plants remain offline because of safety shutdowns, two sources close to government coalition talks said. The 433 megawatt (MW) Doel 1 and 2 reactors operated by GDF Suez unit Electrabel, built in 1975 and scheduled to for shutdown in 2015, may now be kept operational until 2025, by which time Belgium plans to decommission all its nuclear plants. … …read more
By Tom Polansek CHICAGO (Reuters) – A second company has sued Syngenta AG over sales of genetically modified corn seed not approved by China, raising the stakes for the Swiss-based seed maker by including byproducts used for animal feed in its complaint and seeking class-action status. Trans Coastal Supply Co, a major exporter of livestock feed products, said in court documents it expects to lose more than $41 million because Syngenta sold Agrisure Viptera corn seed, known as MIR 162, to U.S. farmers without first obtaining import approval from Beijing. …
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say the National Public Radio show “Science Friday” and host Ira Flatow have settled civil claims that they misused money from a nearly $1 million federal grant aimed at boosting the show’s reach to younger listeners. …read more
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