Sven Obermaier

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Could We Build a Dyson Sphere?

In our cosmic megastructures series, Popular Mechanics explores some of the key engineering and design challenges in constructing gigantic structures for use by humankind in space. Today: the Dyson Sphere (or Dyson Swarm), a way to capture all available solar energy.<p><b>Name:</b> Dyson Sphere or Dyson Swarm<p>…

Dolby's Atmos system won't be just for movie theaters anymore

Dolby's Atmos system won't be just for movie theaters anymore<p>The wall-rumbling, sword-clanging 3-D audio heard in theatrical box office smashes like "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is headed quickly to home theater systems.<p>Consumer electronics makers like Pioneer, Marantz, Denon, Onkyo, Steinway …

Audiophile

Pluto-bound New Horizons update

New Horizons – en route to Pluto – is currently out of hibernation for a series of engineering and navigation checks, which will continue until the …

Could We Ever Build an Artificial World?

In our cosmic megastructures series, PM explores some of the key engineering and design challenges in constructing gigantic structures for use by humankind in space. Today: the Death Star and replica planets.<p><b>Name:</b> Artificial world<p><b>Selected Science Fiction Portrayals:</b> The two Death Stars from the <i>Star</i> …

NASA is testing a laser-powered drill to explore Jupiter's ice moon

While Mars gets all the press, a group of NASA scientists are laying the groundwork for a more exotic destination: the ice-covered moon of Europa, locked in orbit above Jupiter. The oceans beneath the ice are thought to be fertile grounds for alien life, so scientists are eager to explore it if …

Space tourism company flies a balloon 20 miles above Earth

Arizona company World View announces successful test mission in its plans to float people high enough to see the planet's curve<p>An Arizona company says it has successfully completed the first small-scale test flight of a high-altitude balloon and capsule being developed to let tourists float 20 …

Earth will bombard Mars with videos, photos, and messages in 2017

Students at MIT and other universities are building a time capsule that they hope will soon contain messages, photos, audio clips, and videos gathered by tens of millions of people across the world. But this won't be just any other time capsule, because this one is destined for Mars.<p>The digital …

Further Analysis of Higgs Boson Data Reconfirms Standard Model of Physics

For a subatomic particle that remained hidden for nearly 50 years, the Higgs boson is turning out to be remarkably well behaved.<p>Yet more evidence …

Planetary Resources wants your help spotting asteroids

Eager to help Planetary Resources look for asteroids and bring humanity that much closer to space mining? Well, it's time to get cracking. The company has launched Asteroid Zoo, a site that relies on crowdsourcing (i.e. you) to both find rocks in the void and train computers to do the same. It's …

A New Call To Build A Massive Alien-Seeking Space Telescope

With the Hubble Space Telescope aging and Kepler crippled, leading astronomers are mounting a new push for the construction of a telescope so huge that it may need to be constructed by astronauts in space rather than being launched aboard a single rocket.<p>The Advanced Technologies Large Aperture …

NASA wants to launch its asteroid capture mission in 2019

NASA's plans to snag an asteroid just got a little more concrete. The space agency has narrowed down the launch of its Asteroid Redirect Mission to 2019, with the choice of rock coming a year before that. At the moment, the administration is torn between two potential destinations. One proposed …

Nasa's chief scientist Dr Ellen Stofan on plans to kidnap asteroids and pioneer Mars

Dr Ellen Stofan says that missions to the red planet are a priority of the US space agency – and that the best way to search for extraterrestrial life is by setting up a permanent presence<p><b>Is Nasa looking for intelligent life?</b><p>Nasa, right now, is really taking a step-wise approach: let's look at our …

Honeywell's Lyric thermostat has the looks and smarts to take on Nest

Honeywell has been in the connected thermostat game for a long time now. So when Nest came along and stole its thunder, you had to know the company would go back to the drawing board and return with its A-game. So here it is, the Lyric -- a decidedly Nest-like thermostat with a simple round body …

There Might Be 100 Million Planets In The Galaxy With Complex Life

What a multitude of worlds! A new study suggests that the Milky Way could host 100 million planets with complex life, leaving no lack of choice for …

NASA successfully uses laser to transfer video from the space station to Earth

Advertisement<p>3 Comments<p>Credit: NASA JPL<p>An experiment on the International Space Station has successfully beamed high definition video back to Earth …

Scientists Invent a Laser That Fires Electrical Charge, Not Light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have just stumbled upon the most important development in laser research since the invention of the …

A Robotic Suit Good Enough To Deceive A Decepticon

Gear up with this big boy for the upcoming _Transformers _movie<p>Marc De Repentigny was only trying to be responsible when he built an 80-pound, seven-foot-tall motorized Transformers suit. Married with kids, he decided to audition for a French-Canadian game show that offered a chance at prize money …

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Light from this 12-billion-year-old explosion just reached Earth

The rare gamma-ray burst occurred shortly after the Big Bang<p>It took 12 billion years, but light from a massive explosion that occurred shortly after the Big Bang has just reached Earth.<p>The rare gamma-ray burst could help scientists understand more about the early universe.<p>Recorded as GRB 140423A, …

Top 10 Amazing Moon Facts

Photo Credit: NOAO/AURA/NSF<p>Slide 1 of 21<p>Lunar Facts<p>Did you know there's no such thing as a full moon? No dark side, either. And if you think the moon …

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The End Is A.I.: The Singularity Is Sci-Fi's Faith-Based Initiative

<i>The second in a series of posts about the major myths of robotics, and the role of science fiction role in creating and spreading them. Previous and former topics, respectively: Robots are strong, the myth of robotic hyper-competence, and robots are evil, the myth of killer machines.</i><p>In 1993, Vernor …

Suspended-animation trials to begin on humans

Knife- and gunshot-wound victims will be placed in suspended animation as the first human trials begin on this emergency life-saving technique.<p>This month, the world's first attempts at placing humans in suspended animation using a new technique will take place at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in …

Pigs

House prices: countries with the cheapest and most expensive property markets

Authoritative research by the OECD highlights property markets in Australia and France as overpriced - but Portugal's a bargain<p>House prices in Britain are around 30pc too high, according to a study published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development.<p>The figures, included in a …

Tesla to Deliver Model S to UK Drivers, Expand European Supercharger Network

Tesla is set to deliver the "right side drive" version of its Model S electric vehicle in the U.K. starting next month, opening a new chapter in …