Science/Technology

Science Saturday: Space Sugar + Growing Organs + Antarctic Methane + Glove Tricorder + More

Welcome back to a brain-tingling edition of Science Saturday. This week: why sugar in space bodes well for finding ET life, how to grow your own replacement organs, where 4bn tonnes of methane may be hiding underneath ice, and what new tools can combine the art and science of the medical practice. All this and more, plus our gadget of the week — 3D Ms. Pac Man!


Will.i.am to Broadcast New Song on Mars via Curiosity Rover [UPDATED]

Tomorrow, for the first time in history, a song will be broadcast from Mars by none other than will.i.am. The Curiosity rover will be pumping out his new song, “Reach for the Stars,” a new composition about the artist’s passion for science, technology, and space exploration. At the same time will.i.am’s charity, i.am.angel, in partnership with Discovery Education, will announce a new program that brings NASA into K-12 classrooms. [UPDATED with a video from the event]


Science Saturday: Lava Flows in the Quad + Curiosity Updates + Neuron Video + New Space Planes + More

The post Vegas Con blues had got us down for a while, but now we’re back in action with a brand spanking new edition of Science Saturday! This week: see real live lava flows moving through New York, get the latest updates on our newest Martian friend Curiosity, watch proteins swimming through neurons, hop on the next Dream Chaser flight into orbit, and more! All this, plus our gadget of the week, in which a real hovercraft takes a test-drive!


Science Supplemental: Mars Curiosity Lands Tonight at 10:31PM PST

Tonight at 10:31pm Pacific time, NASA will attempt to land the largest, most powerful, and most complicated instrument ever to set wheels on the surface of Mars. Curiosity (aka Mars Science Laboratory), which weighs about as much as a Mini Cooper and has the wheel base of a Hummer H2, will be on Mars tonight. Whether it lands safely or leaves a Hummer-sized crater remains to be seen.


Watch: Wil Wheaton & William Shatner’s Dueling Narrations For NASA’s New Mars Rover

Once again NASA looks to Star Trek to help tell their story. Today the space agency released two versions of a video about the Curiosity Rover (aka Mars Science Laboratory) which is scheduled to touch down on the surface of Mars next week. And to satisfy fans of different generations one version of the video is narrated by original Star Trek star William Shatner and the other has Next Generation’s Wil Wheaton. Watch both below.        


Science Saturday: 5th Pluto Moon + Higgs Boson Party + Solar Storm + New Tricorder + More

Welcome back to Science Saturday! This week, discover Pluto’s 5th (yes, 5th) moon with a little help from Hubble; Celebrate the Higgs Boson discovery, and learn why you should care; prepare for intense, low-latitude aurorae thanks to a solar storm currently bombarding Earth; and detect brain injuries with a modern Tricorder. All this and more, plus our gadget of the week: animated augmented reality app for Android devices.


Science Saturday: V’Ger’s Journey + Near-Miss Asteroid + Colored Poo + Planetrise + More

This week on Science Saturday, get the latest update on Voyager and her journey into interstellar space; witness video captured of a near-miss asteroid; diagnose your ailments by checking the color of your poo; and see ‘planetrise’ from exoplanet Kepler-36c. All this, and more, plus our gadget of the week: The USS Enterprise turn table!



Science Sunday: Move to Mars + Extreme Microbes + Chinese Taikonaut Launch + Nanodiamonds + More

Welcome to this week’s late edition of Science Sunday! This week, join Mars One and fly to (and live out the rest of your days on) Mars; discover some extreme microbes in the Mars-like south american desert; witness China’s next manned (and perhaps womanned?) space launch; and create diamonds by burning a candle. All this and more, plus our gadget of the week: the self-making bed!




Picard, Kirk, and Friends Journey into Space on Gigantic Balloon

Captains Kirk and Picard have officially made it into space! Aboard a high altitude balloon, that is. A few weeks ago we reported one man’s quest to kickstart a campaign to send action figures of Captains Kirk and Picard (and their friends) 100,000 feet into the upper atmosphere. Well, he’s done it with the help of a large team of friends and cameramen. Hit the jump for photos!


Science Saturday: Treknology for a Modern Starship Enterprise

What might a modern day Enterpsie look like? This week we take a look at some up and coming technologies that draw some intriguing parallels to 23rd century Star Trek. The line up: Google’s Knowledge Graph as the Enterprise computer; New military translation tech as the ship’s UT; Antimatter engines to fuel the Enterprise; Pulsar navigational charts for use in Stellar Cartography; Asteroid mining and hazard mitigation; and quantum teleportation for use in the ship’s communications array.


Science Saturday: New Old Mayan Calendar + Vesta Views + Build The Enterprise + Transparent Aluminum + More

Welcome to another exciting Saturday filled with Science! This week: how the earliest known Mayan calendar does NOT predict our doom this December, the fascinating miniplanet of Vesta, a guy on the internet says we can build the Enterprise in 20 years, and a quick look into the world of transparent aluminum (hello, computer!). All this and more, plus our gadget of the week: the 3D Cylindrical Display.


Send Captains Kirk and Picard to Space

Meet Logan Kugler, a space enthusiast/trekkie with one simple goal: to send Captains Picard and Kirk into near-space — well, their action figures at least! Kugler has started a now fully funded (but still taking pledges for the next 24-hours) Kickstarter project to finance a high-altitude balloon that will send action figures of Captains Kirk and Picard along with their respective starship models (and a few of their friends) to a height of 120,000 feet along with cameras to capture the entire event. They are even selling the Kirk action figure and the model of the USS Enterprise that he flies to space on for the next 24-hours on their Kickstarter page!



Science Saturday: Meteor Shower Tonight + Solar Flare + Asteroid Mining + Popocatépetl Erupting

This week in Science Saturday, watch the peak of tonight’s Lyrid meteor shower, watch an explosion on the sun, look forward to asteroid mining becoming a reality in the near future, and feel the volcanic tremors of Popocatépetl volcano. All this and more, plus our gadget of the week: the high-speed evacuated tube transport system.



Science Saturday: Really Real Tricorder + Apollo 11 Salvage + Feeling Robot Skin + Inside Out Star + More

Welcome back to another knowledge-packed edition of Science Saturday! This week: see the realest “real” tricorder ever, hoist huge Apollo 11 engines from the sea floor, give an android skin that can feel, and witness a star explode and then turn itself inside out! All this and more, plus our gadget of the week: the Marshall mini fridge.


Science Saturday: Real Universal Translator + Io Moon Map + Solar Storms on the Rise + How to Blow Up Stars + More

Hello and welcome back to another exciting (and long overdue) edition of Science Saturday! This week: hear Microsoft’s real-life universal translator, map out the volcanic moon Io, feel the heat from increased solar activity, and make stars blow up with the help of NASA. All this and more, plus our gadget of the week: the indoor cloud machine.


Trek Meets Science: $10 Mil Tricorder Prize + Star Trek TNG Guest Star To Lead Starship Project

This week brings a couple of interesting intersections of real science and Star Trek. First up the X Prize Foundation has launched a new $10 million competition for the development of a real "Tricorder," like those seen on Star Trek. Plus DARPA is continuing with its 100 Starship project and this week has awarded a contract to lead the project to a foundation headed by a former astronaut (and former Star Trek guest star).


Watch: Leonard Nimoy Talks To Steve Wozniak About Universal Translators

Earlier this week Star Trek’s original Mr. Spock attended the IDG DEMO Enterprise event in San Franciso, where he sat down on stage with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. At one point during the discussion, Nimoy asked where are the universal translators, like the ones he used on Star Trek. See video of that exchange and more below.



Google Developing Star Trek-inspired Voice Assistant Code-named “Majel”

The real world seems to continue to get closer to the technological future envisioned by Star Trek, and apparently some of the people working to make that happen are inspired by Star Trek. A new report says that Google is working on a secret project to develop a voice controlled personal assistant, and they named the project "Majel" after Majel Roddenberry Barrett.


Watch: Stephen Colbert and Neil DeGrasse Tyson Debate Science Of Star Trek 2009’s Red Matter

On his Comedy Central show Stephen Colbert often makes Star Trek references so it isn’t a surprise that when he sat down for a chat about science with astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson the subject turned to Trek. See below for a video where Tyson and Colbert opine on the scientific accuracy of the "red matter" from the 2009 Star Trek movie.


Science Saturday: Mars Mission Launch Today + Underwater Brinicle + Botched Russian Spacecraft + More

Welcome back to Science Saturday! This week: watch the launch of Mars Science Laboratory today, live on NASA TV, witness the underwater “icicle of death” caught on film for the first time, and duck and cover from falling botched Russian Mars mission. All this and more, plus our gadget of the week: NeverWet superhydrophobic spray.



Science Saturday: Roddenberry Research Center + Skeptic-Funded Climate Study + A Star is Born + Tractor Beam Tech + More

Bored during your late-night duty shift in Cargo Bay 2? Take a break and read about this week’s science news! This week: Roddenbery’s new stem cell research center, the results of a skeptic-funded climate change study, witness a star being born (literally), and try out the new astronaut tractor beam! All this and more, plus our gadget of the week: the Holodesk!