Russia unveils new nuclear powered spacecraft destined for Mars

Russia unveils new nuclear powered spacecraft destined for Mars

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many countries have tried to develop miniaturised nuclear reactors for space flight applications, but Russia’s by far the closest.   Elon Musk wants to travel to Mars using SpaceX’s planned monolithic rocket booster, the Big Falcon Rocket. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world in...

Read more
US military identifies virtual nations as a potential security threat to US sovereignty

US military identifies virtual nations as a potential security threat to US sovereignty

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The internet means citizens can now become part of large, virtual collectives, or nations, and there are fears these nations, with their own rules, welfare and support systems, could threaten the power and influence of sovereign nations.   When is a nation not a nation?...

Read more
After four year wait Cape Canaveral gets its license to launch commercial space planes

After four year wait Cape Canaveral gets its license to launch commercial space planes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In the past you would need a rocket to get into space, but today there are more planes taking on that role, and Cape Canaveral wants to dominate the future of commercial space flight.   As the race for space heats up, Cape Canaveral is...

Read more
Pentagon seriously considers using rockets to move soldiers and equipment around the globe

Pentagon seriously considers using rockets to move soldiers and equipment around the globe

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the cost of access to space continues to fall it opens up new possibilities for a wide range of industries, the us military included.   Today the US already uses its unmatched fleet of cargo planes to project its influence and move its forces...

Read more
Scientists have created the world’s first Star Trek like tractor beam

Scientists have created the world’s first Star Trek like tractor beam

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF If you’ve ever been too lazy to go and get something yourself then tractor beams are for you.   Hot on the heels of researchers in the UK and US who over the years have created a variety of different types of tractor beams that...

Read more
Inside Google’s plan to make sure AI is safe

Inside Google’s plan to make sure AI is safe

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As AI becomes more deeply embedded into our every day lives it is imperative that there are safeguards in place to make sure it’s safe.   Making sure Artificial Intelligence (AI) does what we want and behaves in predictable ways will be crucial as the...

Read more
Scientists jumped out of a plane to create a new wonder material

Scientists jumped out of a plane to create a new wonder material

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Everything is made from some form of material, whether it be organic or inorganic, which means the right breakthroughs can change industries forever.   Most people don’t care about materials – even self-healing materials, or state of the art programmable materials, or materials that will...

Read more
Record breaking solar powered aircraft stays aloft for 26 days straight

Record breaking solar powered aircraft stays aloft for 26 days straight

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The aviation industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters so companies around the world are trying to find new ways to power aircraft.   Recently I talked about SolarStratos, a company that’s looking to produce “the world’s first commercial solar aircraft,” and a couple...

Read more
A creative AI designed NASA’s next spider-like interplanetary lander

A creative AI designed NASA’s next spider-like interplanetary lander

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As humans we tend to believe that creativity is our exclusive domain, but AI is muscling in in a big way, and creative machines are improving all the time.   Over the past couple of years I’ve been banging the drum, through my articles and...

Read more
Worldwide surveillance, Hawkeye satellites use radio to track illegal shipping

Worldwide surveillance, Hawkeye satellites use radio to track illegal shipping

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Over $3Trillion worth of goods are transported illegally, and this new technology gives law enforcement a major new weapon in the race to find them.   A little while ago I talked about a company called Planet, that can watch the world, and everything on...

Read more
The UK’s new Quantum Compass makes GPS satellites obsolete

The UK’s new Quantum Compass makes GPS satellites obsolete

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF GPS signals are often unreliable and they don’t reach every part of Earth, such as the deep oceans, this breakthrough replaces GPS everywhere.   Over the past year I’ve been increasingly discussing how researchers around the world, from the US to China, have been experimenting...

Read more
Futurist Keynote, Dubai: The Future of Urban Mobility 2040, GITEX

Futurist Keynote, Dubai: The Future of Urban Mobility 2040, GITEX

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The rate and pace of change is accelerating, and in the next two decades the transportation industry will change more than it has in the past thousand years.   Last year I was writing about the goings on and unveilings, for example, of Dubai’s first...

Read more
Meet the robot surgeon that’s going to be taking aim at your organs

Meet the robot surgeon that’s going to be taking aim at your organs

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Surgery is getting the robotic treatment, and it could mean better working conditions for doctors, and better outcomes for patients.   When Luke Hares met with gynecological surgeon Mark Slack four years ago to talk him through his idea of Versius, the first UK built surgical...

Read more
Virgin Orbit strapped a rocket to their 747 to democratise access to space

Virgin Orbit strapped a rocket to their 747 to democratise access to space

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many companies are trying to lower the cost of launching goods and people into space, and this is one of the craziest yet, but it’s likely going to work.   A number of companies are exploring ways to launch a rocket not from a launchpad,...

Read more
US Navy puts AI brains into its 3D printers to make them “creative and intelligent”

US Navy puts AI brains into its 3D printers to make them “creative and intelligent”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF By combining the power of AI with 3D printing the US military hopes to revolutionise how products are designed and made everywhere.   One thing about aircraft, especially ones that fly from aircraft carriers, that are increasingly being turned into floating factories and flying fortresses,...

Read more
NASA starts assembling the spacecraft that will save Earth from an asteroid strike

NASA starts assembling the spacecraft that will save Earth from an asteroid strike

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Somewhere out there there’s an asteroid withEarth’s name on it, and NASA’s new spacecraft will be the one to try to deflect it.   Within near-Earth space there are a crazy 18,000 asteroids whose orbit occasionally brings them close to Earth. Over the course of millions of...

Read more
First came robots, then robotic plants that grow

First came robots, then robotic plants that grow

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robotic plants could help find mines and pollutants buried in soil, or be used to explore alien planets for signs of organic material.   Plants are getting a lot of attention all of a sudden, whether it’s from researchers who are trying to turn them...

Read more
Neural implants let military pilots control three jets at once with their minds

Neural implants let military pilots control three jets at once with their minds

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The future of warfare is digital and telepathic, and both types of warfare are now starting to enter the mainstream.   Asides from the fact we are increasingly entering the world where brains meets brawn, literally, and where, future cyber warriors will telepathically roam the...

Read more
BAE is developing a “wearable” cockpit for fighter jets

BAE is developing a “wearable” cockpit for fighter jets

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Aircraft cockpits haven’t changed much in decades, and digitising them opens up a host of new opportunities.   BAE Systems has announced that it’s looking to make the fighter jet cockpit of tomorrow a much simpler place for pilots by replacing conventional instruments and controls...

Read more
Scientists have created an ultrasound patch to monitor your vital health

Scientists have created an ultrasound patch to monitor your vital health

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Having access to ultrasound is like having a window into your body, and now it’s on a patch.   Earlier this year we heard how scientists from the University of California San Diego in the US had developed a flexible ultrasound patch that allows users to see...

Read more