Science & technology

Earth May Have Made its Own Oceans from Within

The conventional theory is that our Blue Planet was once dry and hospitable, that is until icy comets from the far reaches of the solar system collided with us, depositing water on the surface. Now, researchers at The Ohio State University are suggesting that a series of geologic processes at the Earth's interior, in addition to these icy comets, helped create our water.

NASA Holds Off on Asteroid-Capture Mission Decision Until Early 2015

NASA officials were expected to make a decision between two mission profiles for its so-called Asteroid Redirect Mission after a meeting Tuesday (Dec. 16); however, more work needs to be done before either of the options can be chosen. Space agency officials should decide on the final mission plan by early 2015, according to NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot.

US Army chooses lightweight body armour system

The US Army has chosen a new body armour system that incorporates Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology to deliver unparalleled ballistics protection combined with unprecedented weight reduction.

SpaceX will attempt to land a rocket on a gigantic floating lander pad this Friday

One massive problem with current space travel methods is that the vast majority of rockets and other spacecraft aren’t designed to be reusable. Millions of dollars go into constructing and launching them into orbit, yet most are left to float through space or crash back down to Earth rather than being recovered. This is part of why space travel remains so expensive. Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 is scheduled for 1:22 p.m. ET.

100Mbps Internet available to 59% of US, while gigabit still at just 3%

At the lower end, the report found that 98 percent of Americans can get at least 3Mbps, while 88 percent can choose from at least two providers, and 56 percent can choose from at least three. Two percent of Americans had no options even at 3Mbps.

NASA Satellites Measure Increase of Sun’s Energy Absorbed in the Arctic

NASA satellite instruments have observed a marked increase in solar radiation absorbed in the Arctic since the year 2000 – a trend that aligns with the steady decrease in Arctic sea ice during the same period. While sea ice is mostly white and reflects the sun’s rays, ocean water is dark and absorbs the sun’s energy at a higher rate.

As Robots Grow Smarter, American Workers Struggle to Keep Up

A machine that administers sedatives recently began treating patients at a Seattle hospital. At a Silicon Valley hotel, a bellhop robot delivers items to people’s rooms. Last spring, a software algorithm wrote a breaking news article about an earthquake that The Los Angeles Times published.

NASA Rover Finds Active, Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill.

NASA to narrow asteroid retrieval options

A meeting this week will determine what kind of asteroid astronauts might take a chisel to in a decade or so, if NASA succeeds in capturing such a target for human exploration missions.

Study to Examine Effects of Artificial Intelligence

Scientists have begun what they say will be a century-long study of the effects of artificial intelligence on society, including on the economy, war and crime, officials at Stanford University announced Monday. The project, hosted by the university, is unusual not just because of its duration but because it seeks to track the effects of these technologies as they reshape the roles played by human beings in a broad range of endeavors.

NSF Awards $17.9 Million to Fund Broad-Impact Science

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has renewed funding for The Ohio State University’s Center for Emergent Materials (CEM): an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). The six-year, $17.9 million grant funds Ohio State’s long-term studies of forward-looking new materials.

Making commercial and recreational drones safe

The Potential for unmanned aircraft — also known as drones — to make life easier is tantalizing, eliciting images of tiny package-delivery devices zipping around town so UPS trucks wouldn’t have to. On the other hand, as The Post’s Craig Whitlock reported, the Federal Aviation Administration has received 25 reports of drones nearly striking manned aircraft in the past six months, often near airport runways. So should the government crack down or loosen up? In fact, it should do both.

Time Frame Set for US Tech Initiative

The long-range research-and-development initiative recently touted by top Pentagon leadership to help counter advances being made by potential adversaries is still taking shape, but now there is at least a tentative timeline. A team being run by Stephen Welby, deputy assistant secretary of defense for systems engineering, is leading the effort and will spend the next six months looking at proposals from the defense industry and commercial firms to determine which ideas deserve further scrutiny and, potentially, investment.

Scientific advancement takes time to develop

Science is full of trial and error, and sometimes I focus too much on what has yet to come, which isn’t always a bad thing. I fail to remember that right now we are making progress. Right now we have achieved plenty and we should focus on that progress and not be bogged down by the things we wait in vain for.

Futuristic Laser Weapon Ready for Action, US Navy Says

The next generation of futuristic weapons has arrived. The U.S. Navy announced that its high-tech laser weapon is ready to disable and destroy enemy drones and small boats, should the need arise. The 30-kilowatt laser weapon system (LaWS) is housed aboard the USS Ponce, a naval vessel stationed in the Arabian Gulf— a body of water located south of Iraq that separates the Saudi Arabian peninsula from Iran.

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