Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has provided a dazzling array of images that have awed and inspired the public. More than just pretty pictures, the dozens of terabytes of data collected has provided insight into the universe, from objects as close as the moon to the most remote galaxies, with incredible photos of supernovas and nebulas in between. Below we explore the history of the telescope and its discoveries, plus Hubble facts and links to some of the orbiting observatory's best pictures. First, we take a look at an iconic photo. No Hubble picture is more widely recognized than the view of the so-called Pillars of Creation within the Eagle Nebula. [See a gallery of recent Hubble pictures.] The telescope initially launched with a flaw in its mirror that hampered its ability to do observations. This caused much consternation among the scientific community, given that Hubble cost $1.5 billion in 1990 dollars (approximately $2.87 billion in 2017 … [Read more...] about Hubble Space Telescope: Pictures, Facts & History
Space mountain mission 2
A process traditionally used to treat cardiac arrest or traumatic brain injury is now showing promise as a possible method to enable long-term space travel through hibernation. Behind this effort is John A. Bradford, president of Spaceworks, and making this a reality is much closer than you might think.Doctors refer to this strategy as something called “therapeutic hypothermia.” Essentially, the body is cooled slowly to a temperature between 32 and 34 degrees Celsius (normal body temperature is 37C). This will slow down both heart rate and blood pressure, giving doctors additional time to work on serious health issues.The patient stays in stasis for about 2-4 days, although the technique has worked for as long as two weeks without any measurable harm. There’s evidence that even longer periods of stasis may be possible: a Japanese man once survived 24 days in a hypothermic state after a fall off a mountain ledge in Japan.Bradford hopes through additional work to … [Read more...] about Spaceworks may have a real-world stasis chamber for space travel by 2018
Against all odds, Borderlands 2 is going to grow yet again in fall 2013. Sure, the game’s made a crapton of money and there’s no Borderworlds headed our way in the immediate future, but games don’t typically extend into a second year of downloadable content. And yet that’s exactly what’s happening here.Gearbox Software’s 2012 “looter shooter” is due for another round of DLC drops, starting on September 3 with the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2: Digistruct Peak Challenge. A series of pint-sized “Headhunter” packs will follow, starting in October with the Halloween-themed mission-and-a-boss-fight, TK Baha’s Bloody Harvest. We scored an opportunity to try out both packs during a visit to Gearbox’s Texas offices. Read on for some impressions, and be sure to take a peek at our deep dive looks at Borderlands 2‘s story DLC and character DLC when you’re done.Story/ConceptClimbing Digistruct … [Read more...] about We head back to Pandora with a first look at the new ‘Borderlands 2’ DLC
After four chunky content packs, two add-on characters, and an assortment of downloadable character skins/heads, not to mention a core game that can easily consume 50 hours or more, you’d think that Gearbox Software would be ready to move on from Borderlands 2. Nope. There’s another level cap bump incoming on September 3, 2013, complete with new playable content and three more “Headhunter” packs, the first of which is the Halloween-themed TK Baha’s Bloody Harvest, due in October.The September 3 release is much more than a boost to the level cap. That’s there too, giving players the opportunity to reach as high as level 72, but the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2: Digistruct Peak Challenge also introduces a new area and mission that links to an entirely new ranking system of “Overpower” levels. We’ll get to that last bit shortly.The location is Digistruct Peak, a mountaintop training ground for the … [Read more...] about Exclusive: Upcoming ‘Borderlands 2’ DLC powers you up and sends you hunting for heads
Apple would be making a "brilliant" move if it decided to give away OS X Mountain Lion to Mac users as a free upgrade, an analyst said today.One clue that that is a possibility was buried in a July 2011 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in which Apple for the first time said it was deferring a small portion of the revenue from each Mac sale to account for "unspecified software upgrades and features free of charge to customers.""I think it's a great idea," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research when asked about a potentially-free upgrade for OS X users. "It would be brilliant."Talk of a free upgrade to OS X 10.8, aka Mountain Lion, was kick-started by bloggers two weeks ago when Business Insider's Jay Yarrow brought it up. Yesterday, ZDNet blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes also weighed in.Gottheil gave two reasons why Apple might drop the price of Mountain Lion to zero."One, just the general good will to customers as a way to … [Read more...] about Analyst: Free Mountain Lion Upgrade Would Be ‘Brilliant’ Apple Move
Five years ago, a robot slowly trundled around a Californian office doing things like opening doors and using electrical sockets. [ Our Robots, Ourselves: 9 Efforts to Build More Relatable Robots ]They're routine activities for people, but this was a Willow Garage PR2 alpha robot. By navigating through eight doors and using nine outlets, it notched an important milestone -- using the Robot Operating System (ROS) to accomplish its complex mission.PR2, a bulky, rolling droid with two arms, was relying heavily on ROS to open the doors and plug itself in. ROS is an open-source operating system that has continued to grow since that day in June 2009 and is now helping robots tackle real-world tasks in unexpected ways.First developed in 2007, ROS is a collection of tools and libraries that serve as a framework for writing robot software. It's basically a programming platform for robots, just as Android is a platform for smartphone apps. [ Rise of Humanoid Robots ] [ Robots that Could Save … [Read more...] about An Open-Source Robotics OS is Moving From the Lab to Farms and Even Into Space
NASA mission to find Earth-like planets must store, analyze 100,000 new photos every half hour.You need a lot of storage when you're snapping 100,000 photographs every half hour for nearly four years. That's the task ahead for NASA's Kepler Mission, which after launching in February 2009 will search for Earth-size planets by taking images of 100,000 solar systems over and over again through 2012.Because planets are too small to photograph directly, NASA scientists will look for dark blips on faraway stars that could indicate a planet passing in front.Storage is "absolutely critical to the mission," says Chris Middour, deputy manager of the Kepler Operations Science Center at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. (Compare storage products.) "We're looking for other planets like Earth. Right now, we're running 30 terabytes and we expect that to go up to 100 pretty soon."NASA considered several storage vendors and chose a 3Par storage array which contains Serial Advanced … [Read more...] about Kepler space telescope to be a storage hog
Now that we've collectively gasped and had a chance to pull the paper sacks from our faces, is last week's Modern Warfare 2 footage worth getting our camouflage in a bunch?Friendly warning, gameplay (less story) spoilers ahead. I don't think the reveal that you can <spoiler> ruins anything, personally, but some people don't want to know the sun might come up tomorrow.Okay, deep breaths. Ready then?Activision's modern military shooter arrives next week for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows. Unless you're a visiting extraterrestrial, you've probably read about this video clip from the game, which shows a player-controlled massacre of innocent civilians in an airport. As the video begins, a load sequence displays blurred words like "madman" and "body count" onscreen. When it completes, several men--one of them controlled by the player--step from an elevator into a baggage reclaim area, leveling high-caliber machine guns at clustered civilians, then unloading into the crowd. The … [Read more...] about Is Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Artful?
Google's Project Tango, the prototype smartphone packed with sensors so it can learn and sense the world around it, is heading to the International Space Station.Two of the Tango phones are due to be launched to the ISS on the upcoming Orbital 2 mission, which is scheduled to launch in May and take supplies to the station. The phones will be used as part of a NASA project that's developing robots that could one day fly around the inside or outside of the space station, or even be used in NASA's planned mission to land on an asteroid.Work on the robots is already going on at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, and this week the space agency let a small group of reporters visit its lab and see some of the research.(See video of the Tango phone and Spheres at NASA in a YouTube video.)The phones, which are being supplied to a limited number of developers at present, were unveiled by Google a month ago. They include several cameras and infrared range-finding so the phone can … [Read more...] about Google’s Project Tango Headed to International Space Station
Four years ago, you might have laughed at the plot of Watch Dogs: a video game set in a present-day Chicago where the authorities eavesdrop on citizens to prevent crimes before they happen. Three years ago, you weren't laughing. That's when whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed just how close we've come to creating a surveillance state in reality. Will life imitate art a second time? At the 2016 E3 show, we took a look at Watch Dogs 2, now set in a photo-realistic San Francisco Bay Area, to see how many liberties the game has taken with today's technology. Note, November 14: This piece was originally published June 22, 2016. Since the game's out tomorrow, November 15, we thought you might like to read it. Also, check out how close Watch Dogs 2 looks to the real-life SF Bay Area with our comparison photos.Your car In the original Watch Dogs, you could unlock and start any car with the press of a button, then escape pursuits by hacking traffic signals and raising bollards (huge … [Read more...] about Watch Dogs 2: How real are the hacks in Ubisoft’s techno-thriller?