by Ryan Whitwam

NASA’s Mars helicopter has started a new phase of its mission. Late last week, Ingenuity lifted off from Wright Brothers Field, but unlike all its previous flights, this fifth one didn’t end in the same place. This first one-way flight ended in another landing zone 423 feet (129 meters) to the south. This comes as NASA has extended Ingenuity’s mission into the summer, ensuring we’ll see more record-setting flights.

The fifth Ingenuity flight began at 3:26 PM EDT (12:33 PM local Mars time) and lasted a total of 108 seconds. Unlike a recent failed test, the drone…

by Joel Hruska

Photo by Pascal Deloche/Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The FTC has published its final report on manufacturer-imposed repair restrictions in the United States and whether citizens are being treated fairly. It concludes they very much are not in a far-ranging 56-page document that evaluates every explanation various companies have provided for why they limit the right of Americans to repair products they’ve legally purchased.

“Although manufacturers have offered numerous explanations for their repair restrictions, the majority are not supported by the record,” the FTC writes. …

by Joel Hruska

IBM has claimed a world-first for its own labs, with “2nm” silicon now in production. All nanometer references in foundry press releases are essentially made-up numbers when used in this fashion. There is no single, defining feature in the chip that matches 2nm and is used for tracking progress in this fashion. Node names are defined by each foundry individually. This is how Intel can define a 10nm node with approximately the same transistor density as TSMC’s 7nm. …

by Ryan Whitwam

Scientists with the Breakthrough Listen project took up the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) mantle several years ago, continuing the decades-long search for E.T. The project has just released its largest survey to date, consisting of more than 60 million stars… and no aliens.

There are numerous ways we might detect alien life, such as the presence of megastructures that obscure starlight or specific biosignatures in an exoplanet’s atmosphere. However, scanning for radio signals is the most efficient technique available with our current level of technology. …

by Ryan Whitwam

Astronomers have discovered more than 4,000 exoplanets using instruments like Kepler and the aging Hubble Space Telescope, but only a tiny handful have been imaged directly. One of those planets is PDS 70b, which is a very young gas giant planet orbiting a star some 370 light-years away. Hubble recently took a peek at this world using a new observational technique to reveal previously unseen details. This marks the first time scientists have been able to directly observe a still-forming exoplanet.

The star PDS 70 (also known as V1032 Centauri) is an orange dwarf star with about…

by Ryan Whitwam

The Parker spacecraft was launched several years ago to study the sun, and that remains its primary mission. However, the solar probe has also made some close passes of the inner planets. A new study reveals that Parker got so close to Venus that it picked up a natural radar ping, proving it passed through the planet’s upper atmosphere. This is the first direct measurement of Venus’s atmosphere in decades, and it looks much different than the last time.

Depending on your frame of reference, the Parker Solar Probe is already the fastest spacecraft ever launched, and…

by Ryan Whitwam

Robotics firm Boston Dynamics has had a long, winding road to its first consumer product. It began doing work for DARPA and other government entities years ago, and then it was passed around from Google to Softbank, and now to Hyundai. Along the way, Boston Dynamics released Spot, a quadruped robot that you can buy for a mere $75,000. The New York Police Department leased a Spot robot, but after public backlash, The New York Times reports police have decided to return the robo-dog.

Boston Dynamics released Spot back in September of 2019, but it only allowed…

by Ryan Whitwam

Credit: Luca Galuzzi/CC BY-SA 2.5

For scientists who study climate change, it’s no longer a question of whether or not human activity is affecting the planet. It’s a question of how much we’re wrecking the only place we call home. According to a new study from a French-led team, things aren’t going great. The researchers found that the rate of ice loss from glaciers has accelerated for the first two decades of the 21st century, and there’s every reason to expect that trend will continue.

The team is confident in its measurements because it was able to use the same methodology to…

by Ryan Whitwam

NASA’s long-delayed Space Launch System (SLS) is finally beginning to take shape. Following a number of impressive engine tests, the various components of the first full spacecraft have all arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, including the newly arrived core stage. That part of the mega-rocked floated up to the spaceport on a 310-foot barge earlier this week.

The Space Launch System was envisioned as a replacement for the aging Space Shuttle, and one that could help humanity move beyond low-Earth orbit once again. Since the end of the Apollo program, we’ve been limited to hovering over…

by Ryan Whitwam

You’ve probably seen plenty of photos of the Curiosity Mars rover and its successor Perseverance. However, those photos were all taken here on Earth or by the rovers themselves on the red planet. For the first time, we now have an aerial shot of NASA’s robotic explorer, courtesy of the Ingenuity helicopter.

Ingenuity rode to Mars attached to the Perseverance rover, but NASA deployed the drone a few weeks ago after finding an acceptable makeshift airfield. That location is now known as Wright Brothers Field in recognition of this monumental feat of engineering. …


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