February 16, 2013 |
Earth dodged a gigantic space bullet Friday when the 143,000-ton asteroid known as 2012 DA14 came within 17,200 miles of the Indian Ocean. Scientists and engineers are looking for ways to head off such close calls by targeting potentially dangerous asteroids well before they're in a position to do us any harm. A group called the B612 Foundation (a reference to the home asteroid of the Little Prince in the classic French novella) recently announced a mission to build a spacecraft that would track dangerous midsize asteroids, and a fledgling company called Deep Space Industries has floated a plan to build swarms of robots that could mine - and even destroy - space rocks.
February 8, 2013 |
Dressed in a black leather punk jacket, Al Walser leans conspiratorially across a glass table in a Mid-Wilshire office suite. It's stacked with paperwork, golf clubs and a placard deeming the space an Honorary Consulate of the Principality of Liechtenstein. This is the home of Cut the Bull Entertainment, the production, management and marketing firm of this year's most improbable Grammy nominee. "Have you read that book 'The Mouse That Roared'?" asks the aspiring music mogul from Liechtenstein.
January 22, 2013 |
A German tinkerer has combined his love of Iron Man movies and passion for laser gadgets to build a real-life version of the super hero's robotic arms, and he has sold the laser-firing device for more than $2,660. Patrick Priebe, 29, of Wuppertal, Germany, posted a video of his "Iron Man Laser Gauntlet" on YouTube on Saturday, showing a red and gold full-metal shell gadget for his arm equipped with two 1.2-watt blue lasers and another two 4-milliwatt red lasers. Priebe demonstrates the device and how it works throughout the first half of the video.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 14, 2012 |
N. Joseph Woodland, a co-inventor of the system of thick and thin lines that became the ubiquitous bar code labeling nearly every product regulated by commerce, has died. He was 91. Woodland died Sunday at his home in Edgewater, N.J., from the effects of Alzheimer's disease and complications of his advanced age, said his daughter Susan Woodland. Woodland and fellow graduate student Bernard Silver developed the bar code at Drexel University in Philadelphia - then called the Drexel Institute of Technology - in the late 1940s.
October 23, 2012 |
The Mars Curiosity rover, cozy at the sandy, windblown patch of ground called Rocknest, pulled out its laser late last week, aimed it at a target about 9 feet away and started zapping. The goal? To find out whether frost accumulates on Mars' surface at night, according to Roger Wiens of Los Alamos National Laboratory. "The idea was to take one measurement of Crestaurum at night and one during the day for comparison," the scientist and principal investigator for Curiosity's ChemCam instrument told the Los Angeles Times.
August 19, 2012 |
The Mars rover known as Curiosity zapped its first target with its laser eye this weekend, NASA officials announced. NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover has been stretching its limbs and testing its cameras since landing Aug. 5. Now, the rover has unleashed its laser on a nearby rock named Coronation, hitting the softball-size chunk with 30 pulses in a 10-second span. With more than 1 million watts of power in each 5-billionths-of-a-second pulse, the laser shots from the ChemCam instrument vaporize the rock into plasma.