Wouldn’t you have the upper hand if you had a small hovering robot that was capable of shooting down enemy ballistic missiles? While it sounds like science fiction – it’s a reality. Meet the Multiple Kill Vehicle, a fast hovering robot that looks like something out of the Terminator movies. The Multiple Kill Vehicle or MKV for short, lifts off the ground moves left and right, and rapidly firing all while shooting thrusters on its bottom and sides for navigation.
The idea is to mount one or more MKV onto carrier missiles which could then be launched into space to engage enemy nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles at their peak or their trajectory arcs. This would be the highest point of the missile and could be safely destroyed at such heights.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has discovered carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting another star. This breakthrough is an important step toward finding chemical biotracers of extraterrestrial life.
The Jupiter-sized planet, called HD 189733b, is too hot for life. But the Hubble observations are a proof-of-concept demonstration that the basic chemistry for life can be measured on planets orbiting other stars. Organic compounds also can be a by-product of life processes, and their detection on an Earthlike planet someday may provide the first evidence of life beyond our planet.
Previous observations of HD 189733b by Hubble and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope found water vapor. Earlier this year, Hubble found methane in the planet’s atmosphere.
NASA has delayed the October 2009 launch date for the Mars Science Laboratory stating that they need further testing to ensure mission success. The new launch date has been scheduled in 2011.
“We will not lessen our standards for testing the mission’s complex flight systems, so we are choosing the more responsible option of changing the launch date,” said Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
One of the reasons why the launch date was pushed back so far is because Earth and Mars only come close to each other once every 26 months and the next window of opportunity comes in fall of 2011. Of course the other reason is due to technical issues.
Astronomers have all eyes set on a light show on Thanksgiving night when Jupiter and Venus will being to light up the sky. They will be the brightest objects in the sky and a bit hard to miss. The two planets will appear only 2 degrees apart on Sunday and Monday.
While looking up at the sky, the two planets will be the width of a finger held out at arm’s length. Both Jupiter and Venus will be joined by a crescent moon on Monday night.
“It’ll be a head-turner,” Alan MacRobert, senior editor at Sky and Telescope magazine, said in a statement. “This certainly is an unusual coincidence for the crescent moon to be right there in the days when they are going to be closest together,” he added.
Eric Scott or otherwise known as, Jetpack Man uses his hydrogen-peroxide powered jet pack to travel over 1,500 feet across the Royal Gorge near Canon City Colorado on Monday. Eric said it was incomparable to anything he’d done in the past, saying he’d never gone that far or had such a huge gap below.
The Royal Gorge, cut by the Arkansas River in southern Colorado, is more than 1,100 feet deep and Eric crossed it in around 23 seconds. Scott works for Denver-based Jet P.I., which developed the futuristic-looking jet pack for stunts, promotions and other events around the world for Go Fast Sports & Beverage. Both companies were founded by former professional skydiver Troy Widgery.
What’s better than YouTube? You Tube in wide-screen of course! YouTube’s Google Video-ization continues by using more space for the player and less space for the sidebar. YouTube changed the aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9, generally used for high-definition TV. Since the videos aren’t yet converted to a widescreen format, you’ll see an annoying pillar box effect.
“The pillar box effect occurs in wide screen video displays when black bars (mattes or masking) are placed on the sides of the image. It becomes necessary when film or video that was not originally designed for wide screen is shown on a wide screen display, or a narrower wide screen image is displayed within a wider aspect ratio.”