Archive for May, 2019

The world’s largest aircraft may never launch rockets, nor even fly again

May 31st, 2019

The aerospace company founded by Paul Allen, Stratolaunch, is closing operations according to a report by Reuters that cited anonymous sources. The company will cease its efforts to challenge traditional aerospace companies in a new “space race,” four people familiar with the matter told the wire service.

In response to a query from Ars about potentially ending operations, a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based company replied, "We don’t have any news or announcements to share at this time."

Questions about the future of Stratolaunch arose almost immediately after Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft, died in October, 2018, at the age of 65. According to Reuters, the decision to set an exit strategy was made late last year by Allen’s sister, Jody Allen. In January, Stratolaunch abandoned efforts to build a series of rockets to be launched from its large carrier plane—an ominous sign.

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How a Group of Students Built and Launched a Rocket to Space

May 31st, 2019
It's hard to make a rocket when the senior members of your team keep graduating, taking their expertise with them. But these undergrads found a way.

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NASA picks three companies to attempt Moon landings in 2020 and 2021

May 31st, 2019

NASA has begun to make good on its promise to use commercial companies to help with its lunar exploration efforts.

On Friday, the space agency announced that it has contracted with three companies—Orbit Beyond, Astrobotic, and Intuitive Machines—to deliver scientific payloads to the Moon in the years 2020 and 2021. The announcement is significant for several reasons, not least because no private company has ever landed successfully on the Moon and because the United States has not made a soft landing on the Moon in 46 years.

This program, formally named Commercial Lunar Payload Services, represents the vanguard of a decade-long plan for NASA to return to the Moon and potentially establish an outpost for crew on the surface. With this first tentative step, NASA will attempt to better characterize the lunar surface for human activity, and it will begin to study the potential for using resources there.

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Passive DNS – a tutorial to setup your own Passive DNS using D4 Project

May 31st, 2019
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Power systems company to build world’s first 1 GW energy storage project in Utah

May 31st, 2019
Coal-fired power plant beyond a fence.

Enlarge / The Intermountain Power Project plant stands in Delta, Utah, U.S., on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. The largest coal-fired power plant in Utah plans to shutters its facility by 2025 as the company's largest customer base, Southern California municipalities, move towards regulations limiting coal-fueled electricity. (credit: George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

This week, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) announced that it planned to build the world's first one-gigawatt (GW) energy storage network. The Mitsubishi and Hitachi joint-venture said the storage network would incorporate several different kinds of energy storage, including renewable hydrogen, Compressed Air Energy Storage, flow batteries, and solid oxide fuel cells.

MHPS has only said that it will be able to deliver 1 GW of power, but it did not specify how the project will be rated in terms of gigawatt-hours.

The project appears to center around an advanced natural gas turbine that will be able to burn renewable hydrogen as well. "MHPS has developed gas turbine technology that enables a mixture of renewable hydrogen and natural gas to produce power with even lower carbon emissions," a press release from the joint venture states. That gas turbine technology will eventually be upgraded, "to use 100 percent renewable hydrogen as a fuel source, which will allow gas turbines to produce electricity with zero carbon emissions."

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Posted in Biz & IT, Compressed air storage, Energy, flow batteries, hydrogen, science, Utah | Comments (0)

Foursquare Is Adding Even More Data About Where You Are

May 31st, 2019
Foursquare said it had acquired Placed, which tracks location through apps that offer rewards, from the owner of Snapchat.

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‘Call of Duty’ Is Here, Apple Updates Are Coming, and More News

May 31st, 2019
Catch up on the most important news from today in two minutes or less.

Posted in culture, Culture / Videogames | Comments (0)

At the French Open, Serena Williams Is a Study in Motion

May 31st, 2019
The tennis champion's return to the clay proves that she will not settle.

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New SOAP Attack Hits South African Home Routers

May 31st, 2019
A huge wave of attacks is targeting home routers in South Africa for recruitment into a Hakai-based botnet.

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Exploiting File Uploads Pt. 1 – MIME Sniffing to Stored XSS

May 31st, 2019
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