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Category: Aerospace Engineering

NASA spacecraft reaches most distant target in history — ScienceDaily

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past Ultima Thule in the early hours of New Year’s Day, ushering in the era of exploration from the enigmatic Kuiper Belt, a region of primordial objects that holds keys to understanding the origins of the solar system. “Congratulations to NASA’s New Horizons team, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and the Southwest Research Institute for making history yet again. In addition to being the first to explore Pluto, today New Horizons flew by the most…

Gas cylinder explosion in India’s premier government lab kills 1 person, wounds 3 more

Posted By Jyllian Kemsley on Dec 31, 2018 in Accidents, Featured, Government laboratories | The interior of the building housing the IISc Department of Aerospace Engineering, photographed in 2011. Credit: Mohammadulhaque. Contributed by K. V. Venkatasubramanian, special to C&EN. A gas cylinder blast in a laboratory at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) on Dec. 5 killed one researcher and left three others grievously wounded. The researchers were working in the Laboratory for Hypersonic and Shock Wave…

Holiday asteroid imaged with NASA radar — ScienceDaily

The December 2018 close approach by the large, near-Earth asteroid 2003 SD220 has provided astronomers an outstanding opportunity to obtain detailed radar images of the surface and shape of the object and to improve the understanding of its orbit. The asteroid will fly safely past Earth on Saturday, Dec. 22, at a distance of about 1.8 million miles (2.9 million kilometers). This will be the asteroid’s closest approach in more than 400 years and the closest until 2070, when the…

NASA’s InSight places first instrument on Mars — ScienceDaily

NASA’s InSight lander has deployed its first instrument onto the surface of Mars, completing a major mission milestone. New images from the lander show the seismometer on the ground, its copper-colored covering faintly illuminated in the Martian dusk. It looks as if all is calm and all is bright for InSight, heading into the end of the year. “InSight’s timetable of activities on Mars has gone better than we hoped,” said InSight Project Manager Tom Hoffman, who is based at…

Fighting fire with cutting-edge technology

The goal of the project is to develop a system that uses multiple UAVs to make accurate predictions on the fire spread path and deliver real-time results. Part of the difficulty in fighting wildfires is the inability to accurately predict their path of destruction. A Mizzou Engineering researcher is working to solve this critical problem. Ming Xin, an associate professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is partnering with researchers from the University of Kansas and Georgia State University on “Collaborative…

NASA InSight lander ‘hears’ Martian winds — ScienceDaily

NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport InSight lander, which touched down on Mars just 10 days ago, has provided the first ever “sounds” of Martian winds on the Red Planet. InSight sensors captured a haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind, estimated to be blowing between 10 to 15 mph (5 to 7 meters a second) on Dec. 1, from northwest to southeast. The winds were consistent with the direction of dust devil streaks…

Researchers devise 3-D printer that can make energetic materials safer, more environmentally friendly

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Purdue University researchers have devised a method of 3-D printing that can produce energetic materials with fine geometric features faster and with less expense than traditional methods, while also being safer and more environmentally friendly. Jeffrey Rhoads, a professor in Purdue’s School of Mechanical Engineering, and Emre Gunduz, a former research assistant professor at the school, along with a few colleagues, have launched a faculty-owned startup called Next Offset Solutions Inc. that makes the printers and…

Using drones to simplify film animation

Actors’ movements can be easily recorded using commercial drones, which greatly reduces the technical effort required for animated film. Credit: ETH Zurich / Tobias Nägeli Producing realistic animated film figures is a highly complex technical endeavour. ETH researchers have now shown how drones can be used to greatly reduce the effort required in the process. Drones are going to change the film industry in a major way. Tobias Nägeli, for one, is sure of that. The computer scientist, who recently…

How well do you know website performance?

How quickly did this blog post load? Did you happen to notice? Most website visitors do notice that sort of thing, even if they don’t realize it consciously. In fact, virtually all visitors have strong opinions about how quickly a website should load, how responsive it should be, and how often it should go down (preferably, never). Most users strongly prefer webpages that take under 5 seconds to load, and they’re much more likely to leave without buying products or…

The silent, lightweight aircraft doesn’t depend on fossil fuels or batteries — ScienceDaily

Since the first airplane took flight over 100 years ago, virtually every aircraft in the sky has flown with the help of moving parts such as propellers, turbine blades, and fans, which are powered by the combustion of fossil fuels or by battery packs that produce a persistent, whining buzz. Now MIT engineers have built and flown the first-ever plane with no moving parts. Instead of propellers or turbines, the light aircraft is powered by an “ionic wind” — a…