Science

Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

Tue, 2018-11-20 14:37
♪We built this rocket on debt and bull*♪

Elon Musk took to Twitter last night to announce the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) will henceforth have the considerably more ambitious moniker Starship.…

Busy week for ISS as Russia resumes flights and vies for parking spaces with NASA

Tue, 2018-11-20 10:20
Don't worry, it was just cargo, not 'nauts

Roundup  Russia, China and India all flung rockets into space this week and SpaceX managed to get a secondhand Falcon 9 off the historic pad 39A at Cape Canaveral.…

Holy moley! The amp, kelvin and kilogram will never be the same again

Sat, 2018-11-17 08:06
Measurement nerds enter the 21st century

As incredible as it may seem, until this week the definitive measurement of a kilogram was a cylinder made of an alloy comprising 90 per cent platinum and 10 per cent iridium sat under a glass dome in a room in Paris.…

Sorry, but NASA says Mars signal wasn't Opportunity knocking

Fri, 2018-11-16 05:26
Mislabelled signal raised rover fans' hopes, just for a while

Space-fans pricked up their Twitter-ears today, when just for a few minutes it looked like the little lost rover Opportunity had woken up.…

Douglas Adams was right, ish... Super-Earth world clocked orbiting 'nearby' Barnard's Star

Thu, 2018-11-15 07:03
Icy planet within cosmic spitting distance of humanity

A planet three times the size of Earth has been spotted orbiting Barnard's Star, one of the closest suns to our Solar System.…

Rocket Labs mean business, Brits stick pin in Mars map, and Japan celebrates HTV-7’s dive into the atmosphere

Tue, 2018-11-13 10:28
Another way ISS 'nauts can send stuff home

Roundup  This week Rocket Labs launched six satellites into the nether, the British team on ESA's ExoMars mission had a think about where to land their rover on the red planet in 2021, and Japan helped successfully scrap a load of space crap.…

Brit boffins build quantum compass, say goodbye to GPS

Sun, 2018-11-11 08:10
But don't expect one in your mobile phone any time soon

British boffins have developed a self-contained and tamper-proof compass that doesn't rely on GPS signals to provide a highly accurate measure of where it is in the world.…

Thank $deity that week's over. Look, here's some trippy music generated from pixels of a Martian sunrise to play us out

Sat, 2018-11-10 00:56
So there is fife on Mars?

Video  Scientists in England have documented the five thousandth sunrise spied by NASA’s Opportunity rover in the form of interpretive dance music.…

Third Soyuz does not explode while auditors resume poking around NASA's big rocket SLS

Thu, 2018-11-08 21:00
Meanwhile, SpaceX forges ahead with BFR, pretty chill

A third Soyuz was successfully launched yesterday, effectively clearing the way for crewed operations to resume, while the results of the US midterms may have unfortunate consequences for NASA.…

Here's a search engine for all you boffins and eggheads that makes it easier to learn science

Thu, 2018-11-08 14:00
Microsoft co-founder's gift from beyond the grave

The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence has added new features to its academic search engine, Semantic Scholar, to make it easier for professionals and plebs to understand and advance research.…

FYI NASA just lobbed its Parker probe around the Sun in closest flyby yet: A nerve-racking 15M miles from the surface

Thu, 2018-11-08 06:51
FAB, Lady Penelope

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has kept its cool, successfully surviving sweltering temperatures to reach its first close encounter with the Sun, coming within 15 million miles of the solar surface.…

Astroboffins spot one of the oldest, coolest stars in the universe lurking in the Milky Way

Wed, 2018-11-07 06:05
Ancient light source may last trillions of years before dying

Astronomers claim to have found the oldest star yet discovered – a 13.5-billion-year-old sun hovering on the edges of our Milky Way, according to a new study.…

Russia inches closer to launching a crew again while NASA waits for a delivery from Germany

Tue, 2018-11-06 13:53
De-crewed? More like de-orbit if the ISS had to wait for Orion

It was another busy week in space as Russia notched up a second Soyuz success, China conducted its 32nd launch of the year and NASA awaited the arrival of its first service module for Orion.…

Has science gone too far? Now boffins dream of shining gigantic laser pointer into space to get aliens' attention

Tue, 2018-11-06 04:53
Beam would light up planets, lead furious ETs back to Earth

Space agencies and private citizens spend millions of dollars and countless hours hunting for signs of extraterrestrial life. Yet, there may be an easier way to find intelligent civilizations, according to a pair of researchers from MIT in the US.…

Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? <i>El Reg</i> weighs in – and you should vote, too

Sat, 2018-11-03 08:09
Here's our Top Ten pick of the best of Brits

Poll  This week the Bank of England said was going to put a famous boffin on a new polymer £50 note, and has decided to ask the public who is should be.…

Dawn of the dead: NASA space probe runs out of gas in asteroid belt after 6.4 billion-mile trip

Fri, 2018-11-02 23:20
First it was the Kepler telescope, and now Dawnie has kicked the bucket too

NASA’s Dawn space probe, our visitor to the Solar System’s protoplanets Vesta and Ceres, is cold and dead.…

Roscosmos: An assembly error doomed our Soyuz, but we promise it won't happen again

Fri, 2018-11-02 15:02
So we're ok to launch a crew in December, right? Er, guys?

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, has completed its investigation into October’s Soyuz mishap in record time, pointing the finger of blame at problems during assembly.…

Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

Fri, 2018-11-02 09:01
A scientist on a banknote? Stick that up your Darcy

Something for the Weekend, Sir?  There is a house in old Belgrade that has male and female private parts. If you were tempted to sing that last sentence, I suppose you could call it the House of the Rising Bum.…

Transformers: Robots... at least it tries: Watch boffins' Optimus Dime rearrange on the fly

Fri, 2018-11-02 08:04
Its creators see this shape-shifter droid as more like Big Hero 6 than cheesy Autobots

Mechanical engineering brainiacs at Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania in the US have demonstrated how autonomous, modular robots can reconfigure themselves to accomplish specific tasks in an unknown place.…

Need electric propulsion for your satellite? Want a 'made in Britain' sticker? Step right this way...

Thu, 2018-11-01 12:31
Thales boldly goes where, er, NASA went in the 1960s

Thales Alenia Space has bucked the Brexit blues by announcing the first all-electric satellite propulsion module to be designed and built in the UK.…