Reed

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NASA-backed SpiderFab robot aims to build 3D-printed spaceship parts in orbit

NASA has always built its spacecraft on Earth, but aerospace startup Tethers Unlimited is hoping to change that process by developing a system that combines 3D printing and robotic assembly to build spaceship parts in orbit. NASA is kicking in $500,000 in funding to the project, called SpiderFab, …

How Gestural Control Could Change Everything

The 4 Weirdest Jobs You Could Get At SpaceX Right Now

A look at SpaceX's "open positions" page shows the company needs people in all types of positions, with a focus on its Dragon craft.<p>SpaceX, billionaire Elon Musk's private spaceflight company, appears to be on a hiring spree. On its careers page, the company--which currently employs more than 3,000 …

The materials breakthrough that might lead to computers thousands of times faster

As the technology for making silicon circuitry smaller, faster and less power-thirsty approaches the limits of physics, scientists have tried out many materials in the search for an alternative to silicon. New research by a team at the US Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory …

The N.E.X.T. Thing for Space Travel

The World's Spookiest Weapons

Cyborg animals, psychotropics and flying lasers are just some of the terrifying weapons government labs have cooked up over the years<p>Atom bombs are just the beginning. In the last half-century, the greatest military minds on Earth have developed an arsenal of weapons to make mutually assured …

Honeycomb Drone Swarm Can Fly In Any Shape

Happily, these drones are for educational (not killer) purposes.<p>These honeycomb-like drones use advanced networking technology to fly smoothly in large formations. Created as a teaching aid by researchers at ETH Zurich, the Distributed Flight Array consists of at least two modules, linked …

Geese Police Fighting Crime In China's Xinjiang Province

Birds of a feather fight crime together.<p>Officials in rural parts of the China's Xinjiang province are using domesticated geese to aid in law enforcement.<p>Apparently, the geese are more effective than dogs for a variety of reasons: They're aggressive, have exceptional eyesight, and, as anyone who has …

Vintage Big Pic: NASA Mission Control Celebrates The Return Of Apollo 11

NASA partying like it's 1969!<p>Apollo 11 landed on the moon 44 years ago on July 20, 1969. Then, four days later, the command module of the spacecraft landed back on Earth. This photo shows flight controllers celebrating their success July 24, 1969.<p>You can check out other bits of Apollo 11 history …

Will These Guys Kill The Computer Interface As We Know It?

How two grade-school friends created Leap Motion, a company that wants to turn mouse-clicks into waves of the hand.<p>David Holz took the main stage at this year's South by Southwest Interactive, the annual innovation conference in Austin, Texas, looking like a hobbit on casual Friday. He wore an …

A Space Laser Designed To Vaporize Dangerous Asteroids

DE-STAR could vaporize asteroids that threaten Earth in less than an hour.<p>DE-STAR is designed to vaporize or divert asteroids that threaten Earth. This isn't science fiction—I build things that have to work in practice. DE-STAR stands for Directed Energy Solar Targeting of Asteroids and …