On August 6 (or late August 5 for many of us in North America), the Curiosity rover landed on the surface of Mars after a journey of several months from Earth. The flight was the easy part. Once the spacecraft carrying the rover was in the thin Martian atmosphere, a braking parachute was deployed, followed by a "sky crane" that lowered the rover gingerly onto the surface. Jubilation erupted at Mission Control following the "seven minutes of terror" during which it wasn't clear whether the landing had succeeded.
LAS VEGAS -- What's the difference between building a successful computer security company and going to Mars?
If you ask Brian Muirhead, who has been instrumental in building and landing Mars rovers for NASA, there's not much difference at all.
Muirhead shared the lessons he's learned about team building during his second-day keynote speech at the annual Black Hat security conference on Thursday.
It's not rocket science -- when building a company you need to take on uncomfortable and unexpected risks and challenges, the self-described "card carrying rocket scientist" told the crowd.
"Take … Read more
The Mars Curiosity rover is the space mission that just keeps on giving. Most people won't get an opportunity to step into mission control and quiz the scientists, but a Reddit Q&A has given us all a glimpse behind the scenes. Ten scientists and engineers fielded queries, covering everything from how long the mission could last to which songs are played at late-night NASA dance parties.
When asked about the rover's most important discovery, deputy project scientist Joy Crisp chose one of the big ones.
"The results from our first rock drilling told us that the past environment, when that mudstone rock formed, was suitable for life," says Crisp, pointing out that microbial life could have possibly existed on the planet, but that Curiosity isn't equipped to detect it.… Read more
America's space agency was created by a stroke of President Eisenhower's pen 55 years ago today.
While this makes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration old enough to retire -- or at least get a discount on movie tickets -- NASA is likely only getting started. A birthday is always a good time to reflect on one's accomplishments before forging onward into the future.
In NASA's case, there's quite a lot of reflecting to do.… Read more
"Get your ass to Mars," as Arnold Schwarzenegger said in "Total Recall." OK, but if you actually land there, can you come back?
Sure, if you're aboard an ambitious mission to the Red Planet conceived by British scientists. It isn't just a flyby.
Not only will you be able to return to Earth after your Martian vacation, you'll have artificial gravity and magnetic shielding from harmful radiation on the way. Aside from your daily cup of tea, what more could you ask for? … Read more
On Sunday night at 11:24 p.m. PT, the CME shot out of the sun's northwest limb (around active region 1794) at about 715 miles per second, or about 2,574,000 miles per hour. NASA considers that rate "a fairly fast speed" for this event.… Read more
HTC's rumored mini version of the HTC One could also be getting a supersized sibling, if a newly leaked network roadmap is to be believed.
The HTC One Mini and Max are mentioned as part of a list of phones supposedly heading to German network O2 in July, Mobiflip reports.
As if that wasn't enough to raise our eyebrows skywards, two mysterious Nokia mobiles are also mentioned -- the "Eros" and "Mars". Those monikers don't chime with the Finnish firm's usual naming conventions, but the quotation marks suggest they're code names. … Read more
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The National Institute of Informatics has developed infrared LED glasses that let you slip through an airport undetected by the NSA. We take a quick look inside home theaters built for a king, and Crave introduces a new segment called the Lego Block. Can you guess what it's about? … Read more
NASA is going big. Very big. The space agency used technology from panoramic equipment and software company GigaPan to help stitch together a massive image of the surface of Mars that hits 1.3 billion pixels. The interactive view of the Rocknest landscape is courtesy of the Curiosity rover.
It took the rover's three cameras and image collection activities spread over several different days to gather all the visual data. This is the first NASA-produced image from the surface of Mars to top the 1-billion-pixel mark… Read more
Here's another accomplishment that NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover can add to its resume: the Mars-trotting robot will soon become an official Lego model.
Lego recently announced Curiosity's new gig after wrapping up its formal review process of creations that passed 10,000 votes on Lego's Kickstarter-esque Web site Cuusoo. Ironically, mechanical engineer Stephen Pakbaz, who worked on Curiosity for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, created the design for the 1:20 scale Lego version of the rover. … Read more