NASA’s revolutionary metamaterial “morphing” wing mimics birds wings

NASA’s revolutionary metamaterial “morphing” wing mimics birds wings

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Aircraft wings are subject to different conditions during flight, but until now rigid wings weren’t optimal for any of them.   A team of researchers led by NASA and MIT in the US have come up with a radical new aeroplane wing design that is...

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NASA to test revolutionary X-Ray communications system on the ISS soon

NASA to test revolutionary X-Ray communications system on the ISS soon

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Traditional RF communications in space are slow, and can be blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere during re-entry, X-Ray communications have no such problems.   Recently NASA tested the world’s first interplanetary space internet by sending a selfie from the Arctic to the International Space Station...

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX capsule lands successfully in crucial step toward human spaceflight

Elon Musk’s SpaceX capsule lands successfully in crucial step toward human spaceflight

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF One of Elon Musk’s ambitions is to allow people to live off world, but first you have to get them there and this is the first step in a long journey.   SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, which Elon Musk first showed off a few months ago,...

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NASA’s ISS robot companion CIMON gets caught copping an attitude

NASA’s ISS robot companion CIMON gets caught copping an attitude

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As more machines and humans work alongside one another how we interact with one another will become increasingly crucial.   As he entered his final month on the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday, Alexander Gerst could be proud that he’s helped given birth to...

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Here’s how NASA plans to build on Mars and the Moon

Here’s how NASA plans to build on Mars and the Moon

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the cost of launching equipment and people into space plummets the reality of colonising other planets is getting closer.   It’s one thing to send an astronaut to Mars to be an extraterrestrial tourist for a few hours. But if humanity wants to actually...

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Virgin Galactic soars into space and the record books with succesful test flight

Virgin Galactic soars into space and the record books with succesful test flight

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the costs of accessing space fall we’re seeing the start of a new era in tourism – space tourism.   Late last Thursday a Virgin Galactic rocket plane blasted to the edge of space, capping off years of difficult testing to become the first US commercial...

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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...

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Lockheed Martin goes full throttle to develop NASA’s quiet supersonic jet

Lockheed Martin goes full throttle to develop NASA’s quiet supersonic jet

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Regulators don’t like noisy supersonic aircraft flying over land, so Lockheed and NASA have teamed up to create a quiet supersonic aircraft.   One of the reasons why the iconic Concorde was mothballed was because it was too noisy when travelling at supersonic speeds, so...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Scientists produce smart windows that generate their own electricity

Scientists produce smart windows that generate their own electricity

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The use of glass is increasing around the world and scientists are trying to find new ways to enhance its properties.   Recently we saw new research that lets windows turn into mirrors at the flick of a switch, and now researchers from the Institute...

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Step inside the SpaceX capsule that will take astronauts to the ISS

Step inside the SpaceX capsule that will take astronauts to the ISS

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Since the end of the Space Shuttle program the US has had to rely on rides from the Russians to get to the ISS, this marks America’s return to its own manned spaceflight.   After making history in 2012 as the first commercial spacecraft company...

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Jeff Bezos wants to colonise the Moon and move heavy industry off Earth

Jeff Bezos wants to colonise the Moon and move heavy industry off Earth

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are an increasing number of billionaires who believe heavy industry should be moved off of Earth and onto the Moon, and Bezos might be one to help make it a reality.   Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is convinced that one day “we are going...

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3D printed Graphene Aerogel, stronger than steel and 99.8% lighter

3D printed Graphene Aerogel, stronger than steel and 99.8% lighter

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Tomorrow’s materials will be lighter, stronger and more flexible than todays, and that opens up a whole host of new applications.   The world’s lightest 3D printed structure, a Graphene Aerogel, is so lightweight that it can be placed on top of a cotton ball...

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IBM’s “flying brain” Watson heads into space

IBM’s “flying brain” Watson heads into space

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the space industry steps looks to explore more space and even colonise and mine new planets the demands on astronauts is increasing, so CIMON and its descendents will be used to help lighten their load and make them more productive.   IBM Watson is...

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SpaceX launches the world’s most powerful rocket into space

SpaceX launches the world’s most powerful rocket into space

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Not only is the SpaceX Falcon Heavy the world’s most powerful rocket, but it’s also destined to be the one that takes colonists to Mars and help Musk realise his ambitions to ferry people around the world in under thirty minutes or less.   SpaceX’s...

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NASA inspired tech designed for outer space triples crop yields on Earth

NASA inspired tech designed for outer space triples crop yields on Earth

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As Earth’s population grows by another 2 billion in the next few decades scientists are coming up with new ways to feed them and produce food in previously unimaginable ways.   Over the next few decades it’s estimated that the Earth’s population will grow by...

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NASA’s tests its new interplanetary space internet system, sends a selfie to the ISS

NASA’s tests its new interplanetary space internet system, sends a selfie to the ISS

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As humanity reaches for the stars and pens its plans to become an interplanetary species today’s Earth bound internet system just won’t hack it, so an alternative  is needed.   As humanity reaches for the stars, and to colonise Mars from 2024, NASA used a...

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Revolutionary new single stage Aerospike rocket preps for take off

Revolutionary new single stage Aerospike rocket preps for take off

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF All of today’s rockets are two stage rockets, ARCA’s new revolutionary single stage rocket will cut the cost of space launches by up to 80 percent increasing our access to space.   ARCA Space Corporation, who are funded by NASA, has announced that their revolutionary linear...

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