"Controller is ready, airspace is clear, slight headwind," a loudspeaker announces. "Launching Zipline 140 in 3, 2, 1..." And then an airplane-like styrofoam drone with a 10-foot wingspan catapults into the air above a quiet ranch in Yolo County, California.Startup Zipline is putting its second generation of drones through their paces at its test site in the foothills west of California's Central Valley, a two-hour drive from Silicon Valley if you get really lucky with traffic. The company has shown off some of its technology before, but now it's revealing its faster new drone models -- they travel up to 80 mph, up from 68 mph -- along with an upgraded delivery system that can handle 500 flights a day. It's also offering a first look at how it snatches each drone out of the air when a journey has been completed.Amazon, Google, Walmart and others are experimenting with delivery drones, but Zipline is in business with the the diminutive aircraft already today, delivering blood from a … [Read more...] about Zipline’s second-gen drones speed its medical delivery business
Where are nasa launch sites
A kilonova is produced by the collision of two neutron stars, and it can generate some pretty stellar fireworks. NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI) When a massive star runs out of fuel and dies, it may go out in a blaze of glory, exploding as a supernova. But supernovas aren't the only big booms out there. Enter the "kilonova." It's 1,000 times brighter than a nova (when a white dwarf erupts) but not as bright as a supernova. A kilonova is triggered by the collision of two stellar corpses. These events produce the most powerful electromagnetic explosions in the universe and are responsible for showering the universe in gold. Stellar Husks Neutron stars are the stellar corpses in question. Produced by supernovas, these extremely dense husks are left behind after massive stars end their lives. They are composed mainly of neutrons and measure about a dozen miles wide. But don't let their relatively diminutive size fool you. They pack the mass of an entire star (more massive than our sun) … [Read more...] about Kilonovas Are Some of the Biggest, Baddest Stellar Blasts in Space
NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft officially rendezvoused on Monday with Bennu, an asteroid with a tiny chance of hitting Earth in the distant future."We have arrived," communications system engineer Javi Cerna called out in the mission control center at Lockheed Martin outside Denver at about 10 minutes after 9 a.m. PT.Osiris-Rex, which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer, launched from Earth on Sept. 8, 2016, and has taken more than two years to link up with its target. The goal of the mission is to become the first US spacecraft to return a sample from an asteroid to Earth. Japan's Hayabusa mission successfully brought back particles of an asteroid in 2010 and the follow-up, Hayabusa-2, is currently preparing for the sequel at the space rock Ryugu.Osiris-Rex is equipped with a fancy robotic arm tipped with the equivalent of a super premium Shop-Vac called the Touch-And-Go Sample Arm Mechanism, or Tagsam. Tagsam will … [Read more...] about NASA’s Osiris-Rex meets asteroid Bennu for cosmic pickpocketing
Start the Countdown It might be a while before you can take this kind of trip to space, so why not hop in your car and check out these 10 stops we've compiled instead? Photo courtesy NASA If you always wanted to watch a space shuttle launch in person, or if you were the kid who never got to go to space camp, this article is for you. We've compiled 10 stops across America where you can see the U.S. space program up close, in all its adventurous glory. On this 3,093-mile (4,977-kilometer) road trip, you'll see NASA's launching grounds, lots of machines that the agency has hurled skyward and cool memorabilia, like the instructions for planting the first American flag on the moon. Before you start packing, do a little research. Visit the NASA Web site. There, you'll find all of NASA's latest projects, missions and discoveries. You can even watch launches that you wouldn't otherwise be able to see, even if you tried to show up at the launch pad. However, we're assuming that … [Read more...] about Our Top 10 Stops for a Space Program Road Trip
Texas resident Mac Powell points to a portion of the space shuttle Columbia that fell onto his ranch after the shuttle broke up in 2003. Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images If you think you had a bad day because one of the neighborhood kids hit a baseball through your front window, consider the predicament of a homeowner in Fuquan, China. On August 27, a rocket took off from the Shanxi province's Taiyuan Space Launch Center to put a satellite into orbit. A few hours later, what appears to be a nozzle from the rocket's first stage crashed through the person's roof. The website SinoDefence tweeted these photos of the damage caused by the man-sized piece of debris. Getting hit by rocket parts might sound like a pretty bizarre mishap. But in China, there are numerous news reports of such accidents. “Taiyuan, or Wuzhai as US intelligence calls it, is in a remote but not uninhabited area, and nearby homes are just part of the risk,” says Tim Brown, a satellite intelligence analyst … [Read more...] about Some Space Junk Fell Through Your Roof. Who’ll Pay to Fix That?