Archive for February 15th, 2012
Swiss scientists believe they have a solution to help tidy up the junkyard of satellites over our heads.
It’s called CleanSpace One and it’s designed to tackle the 17,000-mph mess we’ve made around our planet.
The $11 million “janitor satellite” is under development at the Swiss Space Center in the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (EPFL). Its target: derelict satellites 430 miles up that threaten our communications and information networks.
There are some 16,000 bits of debris in the near heavens that are larger than 4 inches across. They’re mostly satellite and rocket components hurtling around like hornets in a bag, and they can also endanger the lives of astronauts. The International Space Station has to adjust its orbit to get out of the traffic.
When space junk collides, it only compounds the problem. Three years ago, U.S. and Russian satellites collided over Siberia, generating an estimated 1,000 pieces of new debris at least 4 inches across.
Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET)
Here in Canada, you make the best of the long cold winters by getting out there and skiing, skating, testing solar bulbs, and launching Lego men into the stratosphere. Or you build hockey-playing robots.
Named after Canadian hockey Olympic medalist Jennifer Botterill, the bot has mini skates, a stick, a Team Canada jersey, and a ball and puck to play with. In the vid below, she shuffles around to the old theme from “Hockey Night in Canada” and you can’t beat that.
The piece was put together as a submission to the DARwin-OP Humanoid Application Challenge at IEEE ICRA in May. The robots are open-platform humanoids developed by U.S. universities and sold by Korean firm … [Read more]
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