Some of Earth’s greatest unknowns lie miles underwater within the trenches of the seafloor. More people have visited the moon than the deep oceans. Just three — oceanographers Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh, and filmmaker James Cameron — have reached the depths, where darkness seems to swallow everything and pressure exceeds 800 times that felt at sea level. But two more explorers may soon join their ranks. If their submarine holds true, they may even exceed the accomplishments of their predecessors. In a new mission called Five Deeps, Wall Street Investor Victor Vescovo and scientist Alan Jamieson aim to explore these inhospitable places. They’ll use 3D sonar to map the seafloor and on-board instruments to collect samples along the way. The explorers aim to traverse 40,000 nautical miles over the course of a year, descending through more than 236,000 feet of water, and, for the first time, reaching the bottom of the world’s five oceans. The journey will be … [Read more...] about Only three people have explored the deep oceans. Meet the next two
Astronomers have discovered a large planet circling a sun nearby to Earth called Barnard’s Star. Apart from the Alpha Centauri system which consists of three stars and is around 4.3 light years away from us, Barnard’s Star is the next nearest star at 6 light years away. The potential new planet is thought to be cold and icy and has a size around 3.2 times that of the Earth. It is called Barnard’s Star b and it is currently a “candidate” planet, meaning that more research will be required to confirm its location and status. The planet is believed to lie around 0.4 astronomical units or 37 million miles from Bernard’s Star, which is less than half of the distance between the Earth and the Sun. The planet orbits around the star and completes a rotation every 233 days. The evidence for the existence of the planet comes from gravitational forces which cause shifts in the light coming from the nearby star and heading towards our Earth. This was tricky to … [Read more...] about ‘Super-Earth’ planet candidate discovered orbiting Barnard’s Star
Kickstarter has been a platform for some amazing products, but, obviously, some have fallen flat. What exactly you need to create a successful Kickstarter depends on what you’re selling, but a compelling campaign, great incentives, and solid video are must-haves. Surprisingly, however, some Kickstarter projects have raised millions of dollars to produce products that have garnered less-than-stellar reviews. Below, we’ve rounded up several of most successful Kickstarters that just didn’t deliver in the end. Yooka-Laylee — $2,680,738 in funding Yooka-Laylee was a title created by Playtonic Games, the same talent behind the Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country games. The campaign brought in more than 73,000 backers and raised nearly $3 million, but once the title was released, it didn’t exactly live up to the hype. Although the visuals were charming and there were a variety of in-game activities, the actual concept was somewhat lackluster. The … [Read more...] about 5 crazy successful Kickstarters that didn’t live up to the hype
Tiny new drones that can pull objects of up to 40 times their own weight have been developed by scientists working in the U.S. and Switzerland. These drones use gripping technology to take hold of an object and to anchor themselves to surfaces in the environment, which means that they can perform complex tasks like lassoing a door handle to open it or delivering bottles of water in a rescue scenario. The new aerial vehicles measure a few inches across and they represent a huge upgrade in lifting capabilities as most drones today can only carry twice their weight. The new drones are equipped with winches that can raise and lower objects to allow ease of movement around a busy environment. They can even collaborate with other drones in order to maximize the amount of weight being moved. Researchers at Stanford University and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have worked together to develop the weight-bearing drones, known as FlyCroTugs. The … [Read more...] about Tiny FlyCroTug drones can open doors and pull objects 40 times their weight
On a Tuesday afternoon in Paris in 2000, an aeronautical marvel returned to earth in flames. A tire burst on the Concorde, the world’s first and only commercially viable supersonic transport (SST) jet, and started a fire that spread through the plane’s fuel tanks immediately after takeoff from Charles De Gaulle Airport. The crash killed all 100 passengers, nine crew members, and four people on the ground. Nearly two decades later, the Concorde remains an icon, revered by the British and French in much the same way Americans admire the Space Shuttle. It represented speed, power, and progress. In just fifteen years, engineers sculpted an almost unfathomable idea into the shape of a sleek, mechanical swan. The Concorde never really caught on in America. For one thing, tickets were prohibitively expensive. At the time of the crash, a one-way trip from Paris to New York cost just under $10,000. And in 1973, the United States banned civil supersonic flights over the continental … [Read more...] about What Killed the Concorde? And Will Passenger Planes Ever Again Reach Supersonic Speeds?