May 252008

Phoenix Lands

Watch the NASA broadcasts of the event and upcoming mission briefings at NASA-TV.

Follow the status live on the Phoenix blogs hosted by NASA.

Phoenix has landed on the Red Planet, and mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are waiting for confirmation that the solar arrays have deployed. The first images could come later tonight. And word just came in as I was typing this that the platform is resting at a quarter degree angle which means it’s almost perfectly flat.

Well done, and it’s good to know that we can rely on the rockets to land objects on other planets which means we can start sending heavier payloads like the science lab and larger ‘bots.

 Posted by at 6:38 pm
May 252008


In the ‘I think I was better off not knowing Dept.’, researchers inform us that the patch of skin for the human elbow contains 6 tribes of bacteria and that you should be thankful for the value they bring.

The research is coming from a paper published a few days ago out of the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the human microbiome project. The project is a government-financed endeavor to catalog the typical bacterial colonies that inhabit each niche in the human ecosystem.

Read the elbow article at Seattle Times.

If you don’t know anything about the Human Genome Project, here’s an overview. Most educated geeks should know at least a little something about it, it’s pretty important to the future of our species and our understanding of how to solve some of the more difficult medical diseases and genetic unknowns of homo sapiens.

 Posted by at 12:01 am
May 232008

Hummingbird UAV

SEATTLE – Boeing’s A160T Hummingbird unmanned rotorcraft flew for 18.7 hours on an overnight flight May 14-15, setting what the company believes is a world endurance record for a UAV in its weight class.

The flight, which was accomplished at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, was one of two key performance tests set by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

[via DefenseTech]

 Posted by at 5:37 pm
May 232008

carbon nantubes

Carbon Nanotechnology is a billion dollar business, the nanotubes are in everything from facial creams to tiny nanoradios to iPods to tennis rackets and the particles come in a wide variety of ‘flavors’ with different electrical properties. Researchers, experimenting with mice exposed to these different type of nanotubes, are finding that the technology has a lot of characteristics in common with Asbestos…including causing cancer.

Like Asbestos, some carbon nanotubes are thin and multi walled, and, as is the case for people exposed to asbestos, the cancer takes a while to manifest itself (30-40 years).


Here’s additional sources on this story if you’re interested in more: Washington PostInformationWeekCRNComputerworld

 Posted by at 8:53 am