Science of the Day: First 3D Printed Object in Space

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Science of the Day: First 3D Printed Object in Space
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We aren't quite at Star Trek replicator levels of awesomeness yet, but we're getting there.

This week astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) printed the first 3D object in space.

A private company called Made In Space designed and built the printer for NASA through their Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

The printed piece is actually a part for the printer itself - a faceplate for the extruder.

So what is the significance of all this?

"This 'First Print' serves to demonstrate the potential of the technology to produce replacement parts on demand if a critical component fails in space," said Jason Dunn, Chief Technical Officer for Made In Space.

And maybe to make a fork and knife to eat all that meat the British keep sending up there.

Science of the Day: Mythbusters Explain Gorilla Glass in Promo for Corning

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Corning, the company that makes the glass used on many smartphones, has hired the Mythbusters as pitchmen to explain the technology behind their product and of course, try to smash it.

In the videos, they dub this era "The Glass Age," and go into a bit about the history of the material.

They also discuss a new thinner and more flexible glass product called Willow Glass, which is expected to be incorporated into products for consumers in 2016.

You can watch Part 2 below:

Apology of the Day: Rosetta Scientist Sorry for 'Sexist' Shirt

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We can land a spacecraft on a comet, but a man's shirt has become the big news story here on Earth.

Physicist Matt Taylor was criticized this week for wearing a shirt with semi-naked women and guns on it during a livestreamed post-landing interview about the Rosetta Mission, deemed sexist and innaporpriate by many people, particularly women in science. And critics on Twitter voiced their complaints with #ShirtStorm and #ShirtGate.

But in a Google Hangout Friday with updates on the mission, a teary-eyed Taylor in a very neutral blue hoodie, apologized for the shirt.

"I made a big mistake, and I offended many people," he said. "And I'm very sorry about this."

Meanwhile on said comet, the Philae lander sent back its first image from the comet Thursday, and it has begun drilling in order to reposition itself into the sunlight. But this maneuver could also make Philae do a cartwheel and possibly put an abrupt end to the mission.

Tweet of the Day: Rosetta’s Space Probe Successfully Lands on Comet

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History was made Wednesday when the European Space Agency successfully landed a spacecraft on a comet for the first time ever.

"We are the first to do this - and that [achievement] will stay forever." said Jean Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA.



The comet, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, orbits, the sun every 6.45 years. It is 2.1 miles wide by 2.4 miles long.

Rosetta first launched in 2004 to research the comet, and it didn't arrived at its destination until this past August. On Wednesday morning, Philae first separated from the probe to attempt a landing.

Researchers are hoping to learn more about the origins of the solar system and whether or not comets could have brought water and life to Earth. Watch an ESA animated explanation of Rosetta's journey to the comet and it's surface mission below.


The comet has also been emitting a strange "song" into space, which has surprised scientists.
"The scientists think it must be produced in some way by the activity of the comet, as it releases neutral particles into space where they become electrically charged due to a process called ionisation. But the precise physical mechanism behind the oscillations remains a mystery."
But it's obviously aliens trying to communicate with us, right? Hopefully the message isn't "Warning: Do not land on this comet."

See more at WIN!

Fact Check of the Day: Neil deGrasse Tyson Tweets About 'Interstellar'

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Note to future filmmakers: If you're going to make a complex movie about space, make sure you run it by Neil deGrasse Tyson first.

The american astrophysicist, cosmologist, host of "Cosmos" took to Twitter on Sunday to share some thoughts on this year's big space movie from Christopher Nolan: "Interstellar." It wasn't intended as a review of the film, but rather - as he emphasises in a Tweet - to highlight the science you can find in the film.

Tyson wrote a similar critique in 2013 following the release of "Gravity," and a scene from Titanic was changed in an updated release of the film after he pointed out the inaccuracies of the stars to James Cameron.

And as you can see, there aren't a whole lot of complaints this time around.

Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen "Interstellar" yet, but if you have seen it, whether it involved worm holes or plot holes, you probably left the theater with a lot of questions.

Here are a few of his thoughts, check his Twitter feed for more.

Photo of the Day: Check Out This Close-up Shot of a Solar Flare

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Photo of the Day: Check Out This Close-up Shot of a Solar Flare
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OMG. Is it the end of the world? Is everyone we love and care about soon to be incinerated by a massive radioactive blast from the sun? Will my iPhone still work?

This image, take by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, is actually a mid-level M-class flare, and one of several that have occurred in the same spot over the past few days. They are harmless and can't pass through the atmosphere, according to NASA, but stronger flares have been known to affect GPS and communications on Earth.

There was a streak of more intense X-class flares during the last week of October, which the Space Weather Prediction Center is calling "one for the history books."

Science of the Day: 3D Display Projects Images in Mid-Air

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Japanese researchers at Aerial Burton have developed new technology that can project text and images in the sky without using a screen.

According to DigInfo:

"The images are constructed by firing a 1kHz infrared pulse laser into a 3D scanner, which reflects and focuses the pulses of the laser to specific points in the air. The molecules at that point are ionized, and the energy is released as photons."

The company thinks that the device could be used in emergency situations to relay information. Or maybe we can just use it to summon Batman?

See more at WIN!