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The Register - Science

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Copyright: Copyright 2016, Situation Publishing

Japanese robot space maid will sweep away Earth's dead satellites

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 22:03:26 GMT

Caretaker craft launched today in ISS cargo supply run

Vid Good news: the latest resupply mission to the International Space Station has taken off without exploding or any of that kind of nonsense.…

RIP John Glenn: First American in orbit – and later, the oldest, too

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 01:20:08 GMT

Last of the Mercury 7 crew passes on

Obit John Glenn, America's first man into orbit and the oldest person ever to make it into space, has died at the age of 95 after a short illness.…

Latest loon for Trump's cabinet: Young-blood-loving, kidney-market advocate Jim O'Neill

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 22:47:17 GMT

President-elect considering friend of Thiel as FDA head

Having chosen a climate-change denier to head the US government's environment agency, an opponent of minimum wage for the Labor Department, a creationist for Education Secretary, a mine-owner for Commerce, and a wrestling exec to oversee small businesses – president-elect Donald Trump is now considering putting a man with very strange ideas about medicine as head of Uncle Sam's Food and Drug Administration.…

Earth days are getting longer – by 1.8 milliseconds per century

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:01:34 GMT

I thought it was getting dark later and later

We know the Earth’s rotation is slowing, hence leap seconds, but by how much? Now we have a new number: 1.8 milliseconds per day each century for the last 2,720 years.…

Patience is SpaceX's latest virtue

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 05:03:07 GMT

Falcon's return to space delayed until January

SpaceX has delayed its planned December launch until January 2017.…

NASA spunks $127m on SSL-powered robot to refuel satellites in space

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 22:55:37 GMT

That's not the SSL you're thinking of

SSL (previously Space Systems/Loral) has won a contract to build a robot capable of refueling satellites in orbit, whether or not they have been designed to get more fuel.…

Robotics is coming on leaps and bounds – literally: Bushbaby bot most vertically agile yet

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 21:36:54 GMT

US Army backs droid for search and rescue missions

Roboticists from the University of California, Berkeley, have built the “most vertically agile” robot, capable of jumping better than humans.…

Going underground: The Royal Mail's great London train squeeze

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:04:12 GMT

Uber cars, Amazon drones? Pah! Driverless deliveries from a different age

Geek's Guide to Britain For the last 13 years, a tiny train tunnel running through the centre of London has remained empty and unused, maintained by just four engineers. But these engineers don’t work for Transport for London or Network Rail – they work for the Royal Mail.…

Cassini tickles Saturn's rings ahead of final death plunge

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 01:42:02 GMT

September set for point of no return

The Cassini space probe has begun a series of orbits designed to swing it through the edges of Saturn's ring system.…

Beardy Branson's space bird spreads its wings

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 08:28:47 GMT

SpaceShipTwo passes first glide test since 2014 tragedy

For the first time in more than two years, a Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo has been unclipped from its carrier.…

Take that, creationists: Boffins witness birth of new species in the lab

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 07:31:11 GMT

Another nail in the coffins of the anti-evolution crowd

A common chant from the anti-evolution crowd is that you can't demonstrate speciation – the creation of new species – in action. Now a team of scientists can do just that for anyone with a few weeks to spare.…

NASA wants more satellite surveillance. For science. Promise

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 23:20:11 GMT

Earth imaging gap means Landsat 9's been fast-tracked to 2020

NASA and the US Geological Survey (USGS) are moving to plug the looming gap in its Earth-observation capability by accelerating the Landsat-9 mission by three years.…

Cargo capsule goes AWOL, explodes on its way to Space Station

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 19:13:39 GMT

Suspected third-stage failure in Soyuz rocket, again

A Progress capsule filled supplies for the International Space Station today blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome spaceport in Kazakhstan. Now its controllers have admitted the MS‑04/65P mission has been annihilated.…

Really weird quantum phenomenon spied lurking near neutron star

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 08:02:09 GMT

Vacuum of space gets distorted and acts like a prism

Pic A neutron star may have led astronomers to find signs of a strange quantum phenomenon in vacuum space that was predicted more than eighty years ago.…

Whiffy kitchen after last night's chips? Clear the air with SPACE PLASMA

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 06:31:43 GMT

Experiment on International Space Station rivals Teflon's 'unexpectedly useful stuff from space program' crown

Fifteen years of plasma experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) could let people enjoy the lusciously unhealthy taste of deep-fried potato chips, without having to smell them first.…

ExoMars probe snaps photos of your next dystopian home world when Earth goes to crap

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 22:07:57 GMT

Yup, it's still there and lifeless as ever before

Video The European Space Agency's ExoMars orbiter has beamed back its first photos and sensor readings of the Red Planet after circling the harsh dust world.…

50 years on, the Soviet-era Soyuz rocket is still our favorite space truck

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 09:24:10 GMT

SpaceX has a few things to learn from the old masters

On 28 November 1966, Soviet engineers cheered as the first Soyuz rocket lifted off from the Motherland and made it into space.…

ESA: Sorry about Schiaparelli, can we have another €400 mill?

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 07:30:05 GMT

Pitch prepped, European Space Agency to press flesh at ministerial confab

Later this week in Lucerne, Switzerland, the European Space Agency (ESA) will ask its 23 member states' ministers for a €400 million top-up to its ExoMars program.…

Geo-boffins say 'quake lifted bits of New Zealand by 8 metres, moved at 3km/second

Sun, 27 Nov 2016 20:03:05 GMT

Reefs lift from sea and drain, roads cut, house torn off foundations

VIDEOS New Zealand's geoscience agency GNS Science has released videos showing the fault lines that ruptured during the recent earthquakes that moved the nation two metres north.…

San Francisco's sinking luxury Millennium Tower: Tilt spotted FROM SPACE

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 21:31:23 GMT

Alternative headline: Euro sats monitor surface changes 'down to the millimetre'

San Francisco's $350m leaning Millennium Tower is continuing to sink into the ground, European satellites orbiting Earth have confirmed.…

Three certainties in life: Death, taxes and the speed of light – wait no, maybe not that last one

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 20:36:47 GMT

Einstein was wrong, reignited theory suggests

Einstein was incorrect about the speed of light being a fixed constant in our universe, a new theory suggests. A team of physicists are backing an idea that the speed of light is not constant and have made a prediction that can be tested.…

'Data saturation' helped to crash the Schiaparelli Mars probe

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 21:40:35 GMT

Altitude reading of 'below ground level' turned probe into Magrathean Whale

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released results of its early investigations into the crash of the Schiaparelli Mars probe and it sounds like software may have been a part of the problem.…

Space crap: Flap, zap or strap? $30k from NASA for your pooper scooper

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 13:36:16 GMT

Dung it! You need the loose change, etc

Time is ticking away if you want to enter NASA's competition for the public to suggest an astronaut ablution solution.…

NASA sets fire to stuff in SPAAACE. On purpose. Because science

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 04:02:06 GMT

Saffire II experiment data revealed in all its inflammatory glory

VIDEOS NASA's released the videos of its Saffire II experiment, in which the space agency borrowed the Mythbuster's incendiary habits and burned stuff in space.…


Tue, 22 Nov 2016 23:11:31 GMT

Boffins spot wealth of H2-oh-yeah just waiting to be tapped

Settling on Mars may not be as difficult as first feared. NASA scientists have discovered a huge deposit of water ice just under the surface of the Red Planet.…

New state of matter discovered by superconductivity gurus

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 07:03:10 GMT

The 'pseudogap' state could be key to high-temperature superconductors

Physicists may be one step closer to cracking the mystery behind high-temperature superconductivity, as they confirm that a new distinct state of matter forms just before a material enters its superconductive state.…

International Space Station celebrates 18th birthday in true style – by setting trash on fire

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 23:58:03 GMT

Meanwhile, crew welcomes oldest woman astronaut aboard

On Sunday, the International Space Station turned 18, a birthday many non-US teenagers around the world celebrate with a drunken binge and a colossal hangover. Instead, the station celebrated with a new arrival and by firing up an unusual birthday candle.…

NASA trying to rein in next-generation super-heavy lifter costs

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 03:58:04 GMT

President Trump wants such great rockets. Yuuge rockets. The best for Moon shots

Poor NASA: it's got a president who doesn't like its climate research and wants it to pay more attention to putting humans on the Moon and Mars – but its launch vehicle for that kind of mission is costing too much.…

Launch set for GOES-R satellite capable of 30-second weather updates

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 22:40:54 GMT

NASA 90% certain of lift-off on Saturday

NASA meteorologists have given a 90 per cent chance of good weather for the launch of the revolutionary Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – R Series (GOES‑R) on Saturday.…

Pluto has massive underground oceans, say astro-boffins

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 08:02:09 GMT

Icy heart thought to cover subterranean super-slushie

Pluto may contain a colossal underground ocean, say New Horizons mission scientists.…

Physicists have built the world's fastest quantum simulator

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 01:19:47 GMT

Atomic level inquiry

The world’s fastest quantum simulator models an interaction between a many-body system of more than 40 atoms within one billionth of a second, according to research published on Wednesday.…

NASA discovers mysterious super-fast electrons whizzing above Earth

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 01:24:25 GMT

Understanding the source could aid space missions

Electrons are being whipped to speeds close to the speed of light just outside the Earth’s magnetic field, and scientists aren’t sure why.…

Martian 'ice cauldrons' are prime spot to hunt LGMs, say boffins

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 07:04:15 GMT

But only if there's water there, which other boffins doubt

One of the reasons it's so hard to find life on Mars is that hardly anwyhere we've spotted on the red planet combines liquid water and survivable temperatures.…

Quantum traffic jam of atoms could unlock origin of dark energy, physicists claim

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 00:10:57 GMT

Traffic can be both good and bad

It may be possible to crack the mystery of why the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, if gravity can be measured through a “quantum traffic jam” of ultracold atoms.…

Hurrah! Urinals will soon be splash-free

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 06:03:10 GMT

Physicists develop "splash-avoidance" technique

Engineers have developed a new technique that could pave the way for splash-free urinals in the future.…

Boffins find Galaxy making killer radiation, rule out Samsung phone as source

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 05:02:12 GMT

Fast gamma rays and fast radio bursts tracked to same source

It's not just radio any more: Penn State University boffins have turned up a “fast gamma ray burst” that correlates with a source of a fast radio burst (FRB).…

CERN boffins see strange ... oh, wait, that's just New Zealand moving 2m north

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 01:22:04 GMT

Two earthquakes hammer South Island

New Zealand's been hit by two nearly-simultaneous earthquakes that left two people dead, isolated some towns, cut telecommunications links – and rattled the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva.…

2016 in a nutshell: Boffins break monkeys' backs to turn them into tragic shuffling cyborgs

Sat, 12 Nov 2016 11:32:08 GMT

Spine chilling

Scientists trying to find a cure for spinal injuries have claimed a notable success.…

Physicists create the world's tiniest magnifying glass to see atomic bonds

Sat, 12 Nov 2016 08:30:13 GMT

And Trump's tiny hands

The world’s tiniest magnifying glass made with gold nanoparticles is powerful enough to see the individual chemical bonds between atoms, according to research published on Friday.…

Red squirrels! Adorable, right? Wrong – they're riddled with leprosy

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:50:36 GMT

Fluffy tree-dwellers carry ancient disease, say boffins

Blighty's dwindling population of red squirrels is riddled with leprosy, according to new research.…

Leaked paper suggests EM Drive tested by NASA actually works

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 06:05:10 GMT

Newton-busting space drive might get us to Mars, very slowly

An unpublished scientific paper by NASA engineers has been leaked. It appears to show that the EM Drive – a form of space drive that appears to produce thrust by electricity alone, in violation of Newton's Third Law of physics – may actually work.…

'Extra-supermoon' to appear next week

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 06:32:04 GMT

Stay up Monday night because Luna's not going to be readier for a close-up for 18 years

The Moon will looks a little bigger than usual next week, because it will be rather closer to Earth than usual – so close NASA says Monday, November 14th will be an “extra-supermoon” event.…

SETI scan saves 'scope used for first Moon landing comms

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 01:58:09 GMT

'The Dish' in Australia's Parkes gets much-needed cash injection from alien-hunters

Australia's Parkes radio-telescope has found one of the white knights it needed, in the form of the search-for-intelligent-life Breakthrough Listen project.…

CERN also has a particle decelerator – and it’s trying to break physics

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 07:03:06 GMT

But physics is resisting: Antiproton weight probe reveals no anomalies

Sorry, new physics fans, CERN has once again failed to break the old physics, this time using a particle decelerator that chilled helium atoms close to absolute zero.…

What a bee-lief! UK's asian hornet outbreak is over ... for now

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 06:06:07 GMT

No live sightings have been reported since October

British honeybees can sleep safely in their hives tonight. The UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has announced that the outbreak of Asian hornets in Blighty has been safely contained.…

Look out, SpaceX et al – China's Long March-5 rocket blasts off

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 20:17:18 GMT

Successful launch takes payload into orbit

Pic China has successfully launched its first Long March-5 rocket, a heavy lifter that is going to be pivotal to the Middle Kingdom's ambitions for a space industry of its own.…

James Dyson's new startup: A university for engineers that doesn't suck

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 12:40:13 GMT

Undergrads will receive a salary and work alongside Dyson professionals

After years of supporting traditional academia, Sir James Dyson is putting serious cash behind a new startup – his own engineering university.…

DRAMA ON MARS: Curiosity bot fires laser at alien metal object

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 18:56:13 GMT

As NASA warns rover's instruments are failing

Pic The Curiosity rover has discovered what appears to be a partially melted meteorite and has been testing it out with its on-board laser.…

Dark matter? More like diet matter: Super-light axions may solve universe's mass riddle

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 07:03:06 GMT

'Particles up to ten billion times lighter than electrons'

Boffins have calculated the mass of axions, which are a promising candidate for the mysterious dark matter loitering in our universe.…

Supercomputers crack Saturn's ice-cold ring

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 06:02:04 GMT

And explain Uranus's dark band

Supercomputing boffins may have solved the mystery of how it came to be that Saturn's rings are so bright in the night sky.…