The very definition of a crystal relies on the notion of symmetry: the atoms line up in highly ordered, repeating honeycomb patterns, and that symmetry should be evident whichever way you look at it. Now physicists have stumbled upon a new type of crystal inspired by the orbits of satellites.
Natural disasters seem to be more plentiful and powerful than ever. But an alliance of Asian countries and universities is coming to the rescue. The plan is to launch a flock of small satellites to help monitor destruction as it unfolds on Earth, providing emergency responders with critical information faster than…
If you have’t taken a moment to appreciate the fact that hundreds of Earth-orbiting satellites are photographing our planet right now, and that this is a goddamn technological wonder, here’s your opportunity.
Satellites are built to endure decades in the most inhospitable conditions in the known universe. Paradoxically, engineers are now trying to figure out how to design them so that they do melt—planned obsolescence at 200 miles above the Earth.
A few months ago, the European Space Agency and the University of Nottingham described a new project that would use satellites to monitor aging, at-risk piece of infrastructure was at a given moment, right down to the centimeter. Now, more countries want in.
Space cowboy Richard Branson and his company, Virgin Galactic, showed off a 747-400 airplane that could launch rocket payloads from the air straight into orbit.
You’re aware that your cell service comes from cell towers. And that your mapping app is made possible by GPS satellites. And that wifi signals deliver your fail videos. But the sight of that invisible world is breathtaking.
Gently now. Gently.
The GIF above, created by NASA, may leave you wondering why our government is building a planetary shield. Something you’re not telling us, NASA? According to the space agency, NASA’s shield plan has nothing to do with intergalactic threats—it’s protection against a danger on the ground. The space agency wants to…
There are more than 2,250 satellites orbiting the Earth right now. But that abstract number didn’t prepare me for the shock of watching a Soviet-era rocket body whipping over my house in real-time.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right? That, at least, is the motto the European Space Agency seems to have embraced with respect to two wayward satellites, which are being repurposed to provide the most accurate assessment yet of how gravity affects the passage of time.
For over 50 years the Pentagon has had early warning satellites in orbit aimed at spotting launches of ballistic missiles, especially the big intercontinental kind that can fly around the globe in less than 30 minutes and bring about nuclear Armageddon. Recently, these satellites have made news for their “secondary…
When you launch a new satellite, how do you know for sure that its measurements are accurate? It’s a lot harder than you’d think–and NASA is heading to the Pacific Northwest to do it. Pack animals are involved.
Here’s a wonderful photo from the US Navy showing their launch of a Mobile User Objective System communications satellite. The US Navy says the picture shows “a 5-meter payload fairing lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41”. I say the picture looks like it perfectly captures the idea of shooting for the stars.
When Arx Pax unveiled its “hoverboard” last year, we had a hunch that this was but the first demonstration of the company’s new magnetic field technology. Why was Arx Pax really messing around with magnets? For one, to build a tractor beam.
Part of a rocket engine crashes through the roof of a house in northeast China’s Shanxi province early Friday morning.
Our lives today depend largely on systems and infrastructure that is invisible—a hidden landscape of webs and waves that come from cell towers, routers, satellites, and more.
Alaska’s wildfires burned through their 5 millionth acre this week, making 2015 the third most destructive wildfire season ever recorded in the state, and NASA’s Terra satellite captured this striking image of the fires from above.