This Robotic Bridge Inspector Was Originally a Disney Camera-Bot

De-icing slippery winter roads is a vital public safety measures in cold-weather climates. However, the annual cycle of salting streets only to have the mineral seep into the blacktop and rot it from the inside wreaks havoc on transportation infrastructure throughout the U.S. and around the world. This little bot… » 8/29/14 11:40am Friday 11:40am

NASA Approves Construction of the World's Most Powerful Rocket

For all the super-cool and otherworldly space vehicle and satellite concepts that NASA engineers dream up, only a very small percentage of them ever make it off the drawing board and onto the production line. But the next generation Space Launch System is now part of that select few, having completed NASA's rigorous… » 8/27/14 11:40pm Wednesday 11:40pm

Jump Safely from Burning Buildings Wearing This Window Escape Pack

As more and more cities battle urban sprawl by building taller and more densely-packed buildings, threats from fire, terrorism, or similar calamities become more pronounced, especially for people living and working on the upper floors where the designated exits are their only options. But this lifesaving device aims… » 8/26/14 11:40am Tuesday 11:40am

The Future of Telescopes Is Looking Bigger and Brighter Than Ever

Astronomy has come a long way in the 405 years since Galileo's historic first survey of the night sky over Florence in 1609. The next generation of terrestrial telescopes are set to peer deeper into the cosmos and further back in time than ever before. We sat down with Dr. Patrick McCarthy, Director of the Giant… » 8/25/14 2:42pm 8/25/14 2:42pm

The Prius of Planes Could One Day Replace Helicopters and Jump Jets

Getting an aircraft to launch and land vertically is not difficult. Getting one to launch vertically and then complete a long-endurance flight, however, is an entirely different bag of cats. But a team from NASA's Langley Research Center believe that they've developed a flight system that can do both tasks equally… » 8/22/14 11:40am 8/22/14 11:40am

Of Course the First Object Ever Recovered From Orbit Was for Spying

In the early days of the U.S. satellite surveillance program, our orbital cameras employed state-of-the-art technologies to get the physical film back to Earth for development and analysis. They shot it back into the atmosphere like 300-pound bullets, and tried to catch the falling canisters by their parachutes using… » 8/21/14 11:40am 8/21/14 11:40am

This Passive Exoskeleton Makes 36 Pounds Feel Like Nothing

You all remember the TALOS, right? That big cybernetic exosuit designed to boost the physical abilities of its wearer? This is its unpowered cousin and, while it won't turn you into Captain America (regardless of how friggin awesome that would be), it is already revolutionizing how America's Navy builds its… » 8/20/14 11:45am 8/20/14 11:45am

​Africa's First Indigenous Aircraft Will Compete With Surveillance UAVs

While Africa's backyard space program has yet to get off the ground, the continent's first (arguably) homegrown aircraft has already taken flight. Throughout the continent, these ultralight two-seaters could soon fill the skies where long-range surveillance UAVs are too expensive to fly. » 8/19/14 11:40am 8/19/14 11:40am

This Electron Gun Turns Titanium Powder Into Turbine Blades For Planes

Titanium aluminide is a 3D-printable metal compound that holds great promise for lighter, stronger aircraft turbines but is notoriously difficult to work. That is, it was notoriously difficult to work with, until additive manufacturing firm Avio developed this metal-melting 3 kW electron gun. » 8/18/14 11:55am 8/18/14 11:55am

The Secret US Drone Program that Killed JFK's Eldest Brother

The Ryan Firebee is widely considered the first true UAV developed by the US military, however, it was far from their first attempt. Take Operation Aphrodite, which loaded B-17s with high explosives and remotely crashed them into enemy targets, for instance. This early UAV program wasn't just an abject failure, it may… » 8/15/14 11:40am 8/15/14 11:40am

The Salmon Cannon Will Launch Live Fish Over Dams

It's not easy being a migratory fish these days. Not only do you have to deal with natural obstacles like friggin bears, there are also man-made obstacles standing in the way—like 500-foot-tall dams. One enterprising company has figured out a safe and effective way to get around these problems: a fish cannon. » 8/13/14 12:13pm 8/13/14 12:13pm

The World's First Fully Robotic Telescope Is Hunting for New Earths

Tracking down Earth-like exoplanets with a terrestrial telescope is no easy feat because our planet's atmosphere makes distant solar systems even harder to see. Adaptive optic technology can help make things go a little faster, but it does so at a snail's pace—requiring up to 10 minutes per target. The fully… » 8/12/14 12:18pm 8/12/14 12:18pm