Riley Thiessen

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Out of Fuel, Venus Express Is Falling Gently to Its Death in Planet's Skies

After more than eight years orbiting Venus, the European spacecraft's comes to an end.<p>Just above the surface of Venus, one of Earth's most intrepid robots is slipping into a sulfuric hereafter.<p>Over the next few months, Venus Express will fall slowly through the 150-mile-thick (250 kilometers) …

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ May Need A Complete Rewrite Or Delay After Harrison Ford’s Injury

We told you previously that Harrison Ford hurt his leg on the <i>Star Wars: Episode VII</i> set. It turns out that it was a lot worse than that: Ford completely broke his leg. And that might actually wreck the entire plan Disney has for <i>Star Wars</i>.<p>This requires the usual seasoning, but the report from Jedi …

Scientists condemn 'crazy, dangerous' creation of deadly airborne flu virus

Researchers say recreation of Spanish flu strain highlights risk of pandemic, but critics say work puts global population at risk<p>Scientists have created a life-threatening virus that closely resembles the 1918 Spanish flu strain that killed an estimated 50m people in an experiment labelled as …

Mountain top in Chile to be blasted off for Extremely Large Telescope

Most ambitious project yet for European Southern Observatory will be large enough to search for life on other planets<p>Shortly after lunch on Thursday afternoon the silence of the Atacama desert in Chile will be rudely broken by the dull crack of dynamite sending a rush of mountain rock skywards.<p>The …

US military wants to make a portable, bullet-resistant wall that fits in a can

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has envisioned some peculiar and diverse projects over the years, from molten metal-filled missiles, all the way to submarines that can fly. Then there's this new project that aims to create a portable cylinder that can blow up into a nearly …

Fish-eating spiders are taking over the world

Spiders that can catch and consume fish are found in every continent in the world — except Antarctica. That's the main conclusion of a study, published on Wednesday in <i>PLOS ONE</i>, in which researchers identify 18 species of spiders that have been observed catching fish.<p>Those specimens, reports <i>National</i> …

Ten years ago, SpaceShipOne completed the first private flight into space

Ten years ago today, SpaceShipOne and pilot Mike Melvill blasted just past the Earth's atmosphere into space, marking the beginning of commercial spaceflight. The Paul Allen-funded project successfully became the first privately-financed human spaceflight, and after its success it seemed that …

5 Applications For Graphene, The 'Wonder Material,' That Could Change The Way We Live

Graphene, the pure carbon material that's just one atom thick and nearly transparent when laid out in sheets, manages to be roughly 200 times stronger than steel, even though it's 60,000 times thinner than Saran Wrap.<p>Graphene is also an excellent conductor of energy, can be synthesized from unique …

Nanotech

Lockheed's Vision: Autonomous Drones With Lasers

"A weapon that operates at Mach a million—that’s game-changing," CTO Ray Johnson tells us.<p><i>Popular Science</i> sat down with Lockheed Martin's Chief Technology Officer Ray Johnson to talk about the future of war and the future of technology. The conversation started with lasers, worked its way through …

The Wu-Tang Can: Interactive Tipping, Y’all

A tip machine that plays "C.R.E.A.M."<p>Engineer Andrew Maxwell-Parish has identified the element every tip jar lacks: Wu-Tang Clan’s masterpiece “C.R.E.A.M.” (“Cash Rules Everything Around Me”). Using a 3-D printer, a laser cutter, an Arduino microcontroller, a speaker, a battery, and other parts, he …

Arduino

New Synthetic Diamonds Are Hardest Gems Ever Created

Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring minerals known to man. Even so, scientists are working to make them even tougher, in order to use the …

Is the hoverbike about to become reality?

Those childhood dreams of doing the commute on a Star Wars Speeder Bike might be possible if a revolutionary hoverbike design takes off. (Video above has no sound)<p>Getting from A to B is very rarely boring in the world of science fiction – sadly real life is often a let-down in comparison. We do not …

Military Spending

High-speed maglev toys are coming in 2015

Takara Tomy promised us that maglev technology would make its way to playsets next year, when we spoke at this year's Tokyo Toy Show. It had two very different toys on hand, one a train that the company claims can reach up to 600 KPH (relative to its scale, at least). To our untrained eyes, all we …

Elon Musk Has Been Thinking About Making A Flying Car AND A Submarine Car

"I've thought about it quite a lot...We could definitely make a flying car - but that's not the hard part," Musk told The Independent in an interview this weekend. "The hard part is, how do you make a flying car that's super safe and quiet? Because if it's a howler, you're going to make people very …

Elon Musk