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Preview: The Register - Science: Rise of the Machines

The Register - Science

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Copyright: Copyright 2016, Situation Publishing

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 'unepxectedly 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.…

Hm, is that a minefield? Let me just throw my magic bomb-sniffing spinach over there

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 19:46:48 GMT

I'm strong to the finish, I'm Popeye the vapour man

The humble spinach plant has been elevated into a bomb-sniffing sensor by embedding carbon nanotubes into its leaves.…

Boffins coax non-superconductive stuff into dropping the 'non'

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 08:02:13 GMT

The ultimate goal: A room temperature superconductor

Physicists claim to have developed a method that forces a non-superconducting material into a superconductive state, according to research published today.…

NASA's asteroid orbit calculator spots a hot rock zipping past

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 06:02:11 GMT

'Scout' scope gives us an asteroid-misses-Earth-by-not-much horror story for Halloween

NASA's pleased with its still-under-development asteroid-hunting program after it spotted a 25-metre rock that buzzed Earth at about 1.3 times the distance to the moon on the weekend.…

SpaceX to explosion conspiracy theorists: There's no grassy knoll at Cape Canaveral

Sun, 30 Oct 2016 22:07:35 GMT

Investigation replicates cryogenic helium #FAIL

Video Conspiracy theorists can stop looking for a grassy knoll near SpaceX's Cape Canaveral launch complex: the company reckons it's close to explaining why its September launch failed so spectacularly.…

Boffins one step closer to solving nanoscale computer challenge

Sat, 29 Oct 2016 14:01:10 GMT

Design could nail Feynman Grand Challenge

Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara have developed a design of a working nanoscale computing device that could complete the Feynman Grand Challenge.…

Samsung are amateurs – NASA shows how you really do a battery fire

Sat, 29 Oct 2016 08:08:04 GMT

RoboSimian up in smoke after engineering error

Samsung might think it's the king of exploding kit, what with smartphones and washing machines going up in flames, but in June NASA engineers schooled the firm on how to really make a bang.…

Crashed Schiaparelli lander's 'chute and shields spotted

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 07:35:04 GMT

Which is nice, but they offer ambiguous clues about the mission's failure

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has sent home fresh snaps of debris from the European Space Agency's (ESA's) failed Schiaparelli lander, offering a few more hints about what went wrong.…

It's ALIVE: Juno back online after reboot

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 04:56:08 GMT

It's ALIVE: Juno back online after reboot

NASA's Juno space probe has successfully rebooted after a recent Jupiter fly-by was disrupted by an unexpected “safe-mode” event.…

UK minister promises science budget won't be messed with after Brexit

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 17:21:45 GMT

Ambitious pledges ahead of Article 50 negotiations

Universities and science minister Jo Johnson has promised that the UK government will not "dip into the ringfence" of the allocated science budget to underwrite EU funding following Blighty's departure from the European Union.…

Rise of the photon clones: New method could lead to 'impenetrable' comms

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 14:21:09 GMT

New tech aims to boost security and range of quantum cryptography

Physicists have produced "near-perfect" clones of quantum information that can be used to send and retrieve information securely over long distances through quantum cryptography.…

I've arrived on Mars. Argggh, my back!

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 11:00:11 GMT

NASA's spine-tingling experiments spell bad news for astronauts

New research brings more bad news to astronauts thinking about long-haul space flights as spinal muscles shrink after months in space, scientists have found.…

LASER RAT FENCE wins €1.7m European Commission funds

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 06:56:10 GMT

Liverpool John Moores University thinks crop-munching pests deserve light relief, not poison. Or Brexit, presumably

The European Commission (EC) has found €1,777,985 for research on rat-repelling laser fences.…