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How We Keep 'New Telescope Smell' From Killing Space Telescopes

Like new cars, new telescopes come with their own unique smell. Unlike cars, telescopes are delicate enough that this smell can damage the high-precision instruments, killing them with their own outgassing. Here’s how NASA protects fragile space telescopes from themselves. » 7/12/15 10:40am 7/12/15 10:40am

The Last of the Vulcans Retires After 55 Years of Service

On the 1st of July, 1960 Avro pilot Tony Blackman climbed into the cockpit of a Hawker Siddeley Vulcan delta wing strategic bomber in order to deliver her from the aircraft manufacturer (A.V. Roe and Company, Avro) for Royal Air Force service. The British four-jet aircraft dressed in antiflash white–military serial… » 7/03/15 9:30am 7/03/15 9:30am

These Giant Robot Arms Handle Highly Radioactive Materials

These enormous devices you can see in this fisheye photo are the main parts of remote manipulator arms at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s radiochemistry hot cell facility, where highly radioactive materials are used to produce isotopes for medical purposes. Just look at the worker below, you can see how massive… » 6/09/15 8:05pm 6/09/15 8:05pm

This Siemens MRI Scanner Is a Beautiful Machine That Saves Lives

Siemens’ latest MRI machine (Ma­gne­tom Pris­ma Tim+Dot Sys­tem 3 Tes­la) is one of the most powerful, state of the art medical imaging devices in the marketplace. The first Magnetom Prisma 3-tesla MRI units was installed in the USA at the University of Minnesota a year ago. Now there are about 50 units in… » 4/14/15 8:00pm 4/14/15 8:00pm

The Magnificent Evolution of Polar Icebreakers

Modern icebreakers are the most marvelous of civilian ships. They are huge, they are strong, they are powerful, and their history is amazing. Without them, there would be no safe waterways for other ships in the icy waters around the poles of the Earth. Here is a spectacular look into their evolution, from steamers… » 2/18/15 8:00pm 2/18/15 8:00pm

The R&D Machines That Push Your Smartphone 'Til it Breaks

Ever wondered what machinery smartphone firms use to test out those shiny handsets they keep shifting by the truckload? I have. Well, they spend a full six months of the phone's now-year-long pre-release life just checking if they're fit for purpose, so that's got to be some pretty interesting, exhaustive probing and… » 2/10/15 8:00am 2/10/15 8:00am

All the World's Cows on Treadmills Could Power Six Percent of Earth

When roaming open pastures, cattle can walk up to eight hours a day while grazing but they can't always get as much exercise when confined to a barnyard. One enterprising farmer, however, has invented an ingenious means of getting his herd mooving—and generate a bit of free electricity on the side. » 1/16/15 11:40am 1/16/15 11:40am