Impact

  • CubeSats can get into space on the cheap, but piggybacking a ride into space is comes with its own set of challenges. The ESA is widening the scope with a competition for CubeSats to ride with deep space on its Asteroid Impact Mission.
  • If we did learn that an asteroid was actually going to strike the Earth in a month, what would the authorities do? To find out, the European Space Agency (ESA) held its first ever mock asteroid drill to work on solutions and identify problems in how to handle such a catastrophe.
  • Apple has been awarded a fascinating patent on technology that can detect when a smartphone has been dropped, work out how far it is to the ground, and forcibly adjust the phone's rotation in mid-air so that it lands in a way least likely to damage critical components.
  • Researchers at Georgia Tech are turning to cats to help soften robot landings. Rather than strapping some felines to a robot's underside, the team is studying the way cats twist in the air when falling to let future robots land safely from a jump or fall.
  • It's an ongoing problem within sports ... players receive a severe blow to the head, but they don't want to tell anyone so that they can keep playing. While there are already some helmet-mounted devices that detect such impacts, Force Impact Technologies' FITGuard is built into a mouthpiece.
  • While there are already iPhone cases that claim to protect against drops from up to 30 feet (9 m), most of those are actually more like housings that add bulk. The Rhino Shield Crash Guard, however, takes a minimalist form, while reportedly still letting the phone withstand a 24-foot (7-m) drop.
  • In space, no one can hear you hit the Moon at near-hypersonic speed. Today, NASA announced that the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) made a controlled impact on the far side of the Moon some time between 9:30 and 10:30 pm on Thursday.
  • On Thursday, NASA held a press conference to discuss the final weeks of the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission before the spacecraft makes a controlled impact on the far side of the Moon on or before April 21.
  • Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy have developed a blood test that reveals the severity of a concussion, which players will experience long-term symptoms, and when it is safe for a player to return to the game.
  • Science
    A meter-wide meteoroid impacted the Moon's surface September 11, 2013, producing a bright explosion and digging a new crater about 40 meters in diameter. Seen as a bright flash of light in a video of the event, the asteroid impact is the largest visually-confirmed impact on the Moon.
  • Earth saw in the New Year with some celestial fireworks with the first asteroid to be discovered this year, 2014AA, likely having impacted the Earth between 7 pm Wednesday and 2 pm Thursday GMT. Though not a rare event, it is only the second object to be detected just prior to striking the Earth.
  • To help avoid being surprised by new discoveries of near-Earth asteroids and comets, NASA, Planetary Resources, and Zooniverse have formed a collaboration to use citizen scientists to detect members of the vast swarm of near-Earth objects not yet recognized or mapped.