Monthly Archives: January 2016

Elon Musk wows students at Hyperloop contest

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology won the top rating in the design phase of a SpaceX-sponsored contest to develop levitating cars for a Hyperloop rapid-transit test track. More than 20 other teams, including a student group from the University of … Continue reading

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Google tests Internet drones at spaceport

The latest twist in the race to provide high-speed Internet access from above comes in the form of a report in The Guardian, to the effect that a hush-hush Google project called SkyBender is testing drones in the skies above … Continue reading

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Startups bring new attitude to fusion quest

The lab where a company called General Fusion is trying to spark an energy revolution looks like a cross between a hardware store and a mad scientist’s lair. Bins full of electrical gadgets are piled high against the walls. Capacitors … Continue reading

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Scientists trace link between the moon and rain

When the moon is high in the sky, its gravitational pull warps the atmosphere enough to reduce rainfall ever so slightly. At least that’s the conclusion that researchers from the University of Washington reached after reviewing 15 years of detailed … Continue reading

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EMC2 revives its quest for nuclear fusion

After languishing in limbo for most of the last year, EMC2 Fusion Development Corp. says it’s back in business with an unorthodox concept for nuclear fusion power plants. The concept is variously known as Polywell fusion, inertial electrostatic confinement or magnetic cusp … Continue reading

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Boeing’s 737 MAX jet gets ‘wow’ reviews

Boeing’s newest breed of airplane, the fuel-efficient 737 MAX, took to the air for the first time on Jan. 29– and the first pilots to fly it had nothing but glowing reviews. “This is our first airplane of our second century, … Continue reading

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Map reveals more water ice on Pluto

A color-coded map from NASA’s New Horizons mission shows where Pluto’s frozen water is concentrated, just in case we need to fill up our tanks on the way toAlpha Centauri or Planet Nine. Water ice turns out to be more widespread … Continue reading

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Elon Musk wants to go into space by 2021

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says he has his heart set on going into space himself, perhaps in the next four or five years, and organize the first flights to Mars by 2025. Musk’s travel timetable came out this week during … Continue reading

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Quake summit focuses on ‘the Really Big One’

The Pacific Northwest mega-quake known as “the Really Big One” may not be televised, but a White House summit focusing on earthquake preparedness will be streamed online next Tuesday. The White House says new commitments to adopt an earthquake early-warning system for … Continue reading

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How robots are taking over the milking parlor

OAKVILLE, Wash. – The Austin family’s cows seem a lot more contented since the robots took over the milking. It’s the humans, not the cows, who have had to make the biggest adjustments. “At first, you’re a deer in the headlights,” Ron … Continue reading

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