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Russia Proposes Nuclear Spaceship for Manned Mars Mission: Mimics 1960's NASA Project Orion (VIDEO)

Orion_blastoff Anatoly Perminov, Russia's space chief, in a replay of the early 1960's NASA Orion Project,  proposes building a nuclear-powered ship with a megawatt-class nuclear reactor at a government meeting Wednesday but didn't explain its purpose. President Dmitry Medvedev backed the project and urged the government to find the money.

The 1960s Project Orion project was a nuclear-pulse rocket the size of the Empire State building fueled by atomic bombs with the power to destroy half of Planet Earth. The mission was to take us to Saturn in five years. The project lives today in limbo at NASA possibly to be activated should an asteroid arrive with our name on it.

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BioHacking: The Plot for the Next Real-life Blockbuster Thriller?


Solitary citizens are toiling over test-tubes, sacrificing their time and money to create brand new lifeforms - but this isn't a science fiction movie, it's a hobby.  "DIY Biochemistry" sees private citizens converting their dining rooms into DNA labs.  It's only a pity that Michael Crichton has passed on, because we've got the plot of his next book right here.

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MIT, Volkswagen's In-Car Personal Robot Says "Make a U-Turn, NOW!"

4055884320_6a3867e678 MIT researchers and designers are developing the Affective Intelligent Driving Agent (AIDA) - a new in-car personal robot that aims to forever change the way we interact with our car. The project is a collaboration between the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab, MIT’s SENSEable City Lab and the Volkswagen Group of America’s Electronics Research Lab.

"In developing AIDA we asked ourselves how we could design a system that would offer the same kind of guidance as an informed and friendly companion," says professor Carlo Ratti, director of the SENSEable City Lab.

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The Quasar-Based, Black-Hole-Powered NexGen GPS

200159main_rs_image_feature_805_946x710 A collection of remote quasars, whose positions in the sky are precisely known, form a map of celestial landmarks ideal to orient the Earth. The first such map, called the International Celestial Reference Frame (ICRF), was completed in 1995. It was made over four years using painstaking analysis of observations on the positions of about 600 of these celestial beacons.

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The Daily Flash -Eco, Space, Tech (10/30)

Emdrive-spaceplane-300x175 ‘Impossible’ Device Could Propel Flying Cars, Stealth Missiles

The Emdrive is an ‘impossible’ electromagnetic drive that generates thrust from a closed system. To critics, it’s flat-out junk science, not even worth  thinking about. But its inventor, Roger Shawyer, has doggedly continued his work, and, as Danger Room reported last year, Chinese scientists claimed to have validated his math and were building their own version.

Armada_640x3501 What Mars Needs Is an Armada of Robots and Blimps

Airships may be the key component in a new robotic system for exploring the celestial bodies most likely to harbor life like Mars and Jupiter’s moon, Titan. “The balloon or airship has a lot of advantages: It’s buoyant, so it keeps its altitude and you do not need to invest energy to keep it afloat,” said Wolfgang Fink, who led the work at Cal Tech’s Visual and Autonomous Exploration Systems Research Laboratory, before accepting an appointment at the University of Arizona. “It has a lot of advantages, especially in places like Titan, which has a dense atmosphere that’s perfect for an airship.”

_46631398_-2 East-west climate row at EU talks

Merkel is a key player at the summit, chaired by Swedish PM Reinfeldt

EU leaders have begun a summit in Brussels deeply divided over how much money to offer developing nations to cope with climate change..


Stellar Blast a Record Breaker

Astronomers have confirmed that an exploding star spotted by Nasa's Swift satellite is the most distant cosmic object to be detected by telescopes.

Gardenia05 Toyota Creates Its Own Flower Species to Gobble Harmful Gases

Automakers make cars and trucks, no surprises there. Some even make other interesting things, like Honda, which also builds motorcycles, jets, robots and solar cells. But up until now, we haven't been able to think of any car companies that develop their own species of flowers. Thankfully, Toyota has reportedly stepped in to correct that oversight by creating two derivatives of the cherry sage and gardenia at its factory in Toyota City, Japan.

500x_Dealz-October29 Gadget Deals of the Day

Apple TV 3.0 just dropped and they promise it'll make your HDTV "everything it should be." But what to do if you don't have an HDTV to begin with? Today's Deals can help you sort that out.


Why Every Country Has a Different F*ing Plug!!!

The more you look at the writhing orgy of plugs in the world, the sillier it seems. If you buy a phone charger at the airport in Florida, you won't be able to use it when your flight lands in France. If you buy a three-pronged adapter for le portable in Paris, you might not be able to plug it in when your train drops you off in Germany. And when your flight finally bounces to a stop on the runway in London, get ready to buy a comically large adapter to tap into the grid there. But that's cool! You can take the same adapter to Singapore with you! And parts of Nigeria! Oh yeah, and if said charger doesn't support 240v power natively, make sure you buy a converter, or else it might explode

First the Moon, Now Antarctica: China Mapping Bottom of the World in Awesome Detail

6a00d8341bf7f753ef00e54fa4c4fe8834-800wi Chinese scientists have shifted its focus from mapping the moon to completing the world's first land cover map of the Antarctica at the end of this year. The result will be the most accurate map of the continent ever published.

Using the application of high resolution remote sensing technology, the map will be the first ever to show the distribution of key features on the continent, including sea ice, snow, blue ice, rocks, soil marshes, lakes and ice crevasse. The map is also based on 1,073 images acquired from the U.S. satellite Land sat mainly during the austral summer from 1999 to 2002,according to Cheng Xiao, deputy dean of the College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, in an interview with Xinhua.

"The precision of the map is 15 meters, about 20 times of former Antarctic maps made by other countries," Cheng said. "It will greatly advance our geographic knowledge of the Antarctica."

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Sixty-Billion Stars: SuperComputing the Universe

4-2707_opo9734iThe most powerful computer in the world is running the ultimate calculation, where rebooting the program would reset the entire universe.  In simulation.  The National Nuclear Security Administration's ultraputer is crunching numbers bigger than you imagine - to help work out where those numbers, the computer counting them, and the universe it's in came from.

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Can the Human Mind Be Uploaded for Space Exploration?


The idea of uploading out of these meatsacks has always appealed to certain people, and you can tell an awful lot about them by their use of the phrase "meatsacks."  Athena Andreadis recently wrote an article on why we can't be uploaded, explaining how any ghosts in the machine would just be copies.  But we ask the more important question: is that a problem?

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The 7.3 Billion Year Race Through the Milky Way! A Dead-heat Finish

Grb050709_ill Racing across the universe for the last 7.3 billion years, two gamma-ray photons arrived at NASA's orbiting Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope within nine-tenths of a second of one another in a dead-heat finish that may fuel the fires of debate among physicists over Einstein's special theory of relativity because one of the photons possessed a million times more energy than the other.

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Unnatural Selection: Evolving, Improving, Implacable Robots


It's official: robotics scientists are now just daring the things to kill us.  An Aberdeen University have built a robot programmed to fulfill one objective no matter what, to evolve in order to do so, and to make use of extra materials when they're available.  We're assuming the only reason they didn't call it "Terminator" is because they don't have enough to kill all the MGM lawyers.  Yet.

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