Astronaut controlled LEGO toy on Earth from the ISS
NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have tested the feasibility of an interplanetary network connection by using LEGO. Using NASA's Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) protocol, the agencies hope to demonstrate the effectiveness of methods for Internet-like communications that may in the future connect space vehicles in orbit or habitats on another planet.
Panasonic make 'world's thinnest' laser projector
A prototype projector by Panasonic is claimed to be the world's thinnest. Demonstrated at CEATEC 2012 to Engadget, the laser projector measures 7.5 millimeters (0.29 inches) thick and can project an 800x480 resolution image at 100 lumens. The use of a laser, instead of an LCD filter other projectors use, allows the image to be displayed without needing to refocus a lens. A future release date and the potential price are currently unknown.
Claims largest Street View collection at 6,000 images
Google has added a tour of the Kennedy Space Center to its Google Maps Street View Gallery collection. NASA worked with Google to show off the US launch site as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, for which the search giant has created its largest special collection of Street View imagery to date, creating approximately 6,000 panoramic views of the complex.
Dragon capsule is carrying old ISS equipment back to Earth
Nine days after its launch, SpaceX' Dragon capsule detached from the International Space Station and began its trip back to Earth. The capsule was docked with the ISS for five days, after delivering supplies to the ISS. It was loaded with about 1,400lbs of old space station equipment and science samples.
ATK to offer seats on Liberty system space flights in 2016
Aerospace, defense, and sporting gear and systems giant Alliant Techsystem (ATK) this week announced that it will begin testing flights of its Liberty crew transportation system in 2014, with commercial flights starting as soon as 2016. Manned missions are scheduled to take place in 2015, with low-orbit flights to destinations like the International Space Station.
Hopes to bring FIOS speeds to space
NASA is planning to demonstrate a new optically based communications system that could dramatically increase the speed at which images from space are retrieved. The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LRCD), in theory, could improve data transmission rates by anywhere from 10 to 100 times. If successful, the project could reduce the time it takes to transmit high-resolution images from Mars, for example, from 90 minutes to just a few minutes, and ultimately lead to live streaming of HD video from the Moon and beyond.
Atlantis to carry Android and iOS on last shuttle
The last Space Shuttle flight will have Android alongside the two iPhones when Atlantis launches on Friday, NASA said the day before. Two Google Nexus S phones will be taken to the International Space Station to expand the features of SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites), drones used to test spacecraft techniques and satellite maintenance. The phones will give the floating pods freedom to be controlled from the ground, cameras for a first-person view, and extra performance than they would have on their own.
First iPhone in space will test guidance software
The final shuttle mission will be a first for the iPhone. When Atlantis flies to the International Space Station this summer it will carry two iPhones to test an app, SpaceLab for iOS from Odyssey Space Research. The Houston company makes spacecraft guidance software. When the iPhone 4 came out, the company's programmers realized it could be used for a space-based experiment to test a vehicle's positioning and orientation with the smartphone's new internal gyroscope, camera, and other sensors.
Sony to show NASA shuttle launch live in PS Home
Sony on Wednesday broke some ground for PlayStation Home by planning its first live streaming event. The LOOT Sunset Yacht environment will show NASA TV's live feed of the Space Shuttle Discovery's final launch, which is slated for February 24 at 4:50PM Eastern. The PS3's virtual world has supported video in the past, but never from a real-time event.
Google announces Earth 5.0
Google on Monday announced the immediate release of Google Earth 5.0, bumping it up from the previous 4.3 build. Among the biggest changes are the inclusion of a detailed 3D ocean floor, the ability to go up to 50 years back in time when looking at a particular location, record a virtual tour of locations, and a 3D rendition of Mars. The ocean feature was developed together with many partners, including National Geographic, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the US Navy, among others. The approximate two-thirds of the planet can now be viewed under water and includes videos and images of ocean life, along with details on surf spots, expedition logs and more.