NASA Wants to Know Cost of Space Solar Power

Harnessing the sun's energy with orbital space power stations and beaming the power to Earth has been a science fiction dream ever since Isaac Asimov wrote a 1941 short story called "Reason." But the idea has never quite gotten off the ground despite decades of intermittent interest and research for the United States and other countries. NASA hopes to keep the idea going by funding a one-year study of how much it would cost to make commercially viable space-based solar power into a reality.

US Navy Debuts First Underwater Drone Squadron

The U.S. Navy has taken another step forward in deploying swarms of underwater drones for both scientific and military purposes. This past week, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center officially recognized the Navy's first Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Squadron as likely the first of many military units dedicated to making use of undersea robots. Much of the Navy's existing underwater drone fleet with its scientific survey focus is operated by the Military Sealift Command on behalf of the Naval Oc

An Orbital Moon Station Is Our Gateway to Mars

The dream of a human habitat in orbit about the moon came a step closer on Sept. 27, when NASA and the Russian space agency (Roscosmos) signed up to a common vision for future human exploration. The project, a follow-up to the International Space Station (ISS), involves a facility placed in orbit somewhere between the Earth and the moon – a region known as cis-lunar space. Seen as a stepping-stone on the way to deeper space exploration, it has been dubbed the Deep Space Gateway, DSG.

Chimpanzees Learn to Use Tools On Their Own, No Teaching Required

As it turns out, chimpanzees don’t need to see in order to do, no matter what the old mantra might lead you to believe. A common belief among researchers is that chimps need to watch other members of their communities use tools before they can pick the behavior up. In a study published in PeerJ in September, researchers from the University of Birmingham, and the University of Tübingen challenged this belief and checked to see if it would hold for a specific kind of tool use. When A Stick

Eat Less, Age Less?

Eating is one of the great pleasures of life. But eating too much places people at risk for chronic illnesses and shortens life expectancy. Seven of 10 Americans are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Being overweight is so common, people don’t recognize when they’ve crossed the belt line; only 36 percent of overweight/obese people think they weigh too much, says a recent Gallup poll. People want to feel healthy and most want to live a long t

Moth Makes Different Chemical Weapons for Different Predators

You should never bring a knife to gunfight, or try to beat a bird with ant repellant. That's how the expression would go if a wood tiger moth coined it, anyway. Other animals are lucky if they have the resources to make just one poison. But this moth is the first species known to make two different chemical weapons that target different predators. The moth, Arctia plantaginis, lives throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Its wings are bright and boldly patterned, a tactic that many anima

WATCH: Weather satellite video shows a 10-day dance of three powerful Atlantic hurricanes

It has been nine days since Hurricane Maria blasted ashore in Puerto Rico with 150 mile per hour winds, ravaging the entire island and leaving residents without electricity, food and water. Today, thousands of containers of desperately needed supplies are sitting in ports and warehouses on the island, waiting to be distributed. But the hurricane left Puerto Rico's supply chain devastated. So pharmacy and grocery store shelves remain mostly empty, raising fears that the death toll, now off

New York’s Drone Superhighway Officially Launches

Showcasing technology that could help usher in the era of commercial drones, the first phase of New York's 50-mile long drone test corridor took place Thursday at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York. Using NASA-led research, the Unmanned Aircraft System Secure Autonomous Flight Environment (U-SAFE) is a five-year program that will provide the infrastructure and resources to integrate drones into low altitude airspace. Drone detection and sensing company Gryphon Sensors is lea

Why Are There Rockfalls at Yosemite?

The last few weeks have seen multiple rockfalls at Yosemite National Park in California, one of which produced a fatality to a climber on the iconic vertical wall. Yesterday, another rockfall that was ten times bigger than the fatal one earlier in the month occurred that injured a park visitor. So, why are these rock falls so common in Yosemite Valley? It all comes down to the fact that steep rock walls are not as permanent as they might seem. #BREAKING: Another rock fall near #ElCapitan

Flashback Friday: Duct tape can do everything — including cure your warts.

Mmm… warts! Those fun, fleshy skin growths caused by papillomavirus. They are harmless, and yet… ugh. One of the most common methods of removal is to freeze them off using liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy). But apparently there’s a DIY method that, according to this study, works even better: covering them with duct tape. It takes up to a couple months of diligent tape-wearing to work, but hey, it might help you avoid yet another medical bill. And for those of you wanting to try this at home, be aw

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