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NASA to Test Hand-Held DNA Sequencer in Space Station

MinIon handheld sequencing device (Oxford Nanopore Technologies)

30 September 2015. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station will take part in experiments testing the feasibility of a portable DNA sequencing device in space. The proof-of-concept test of the hand-held MinIon DNA sequencing device is a project of National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The MinIon, made . . . → Read More: NASA to Test Hand-Held DNA Sequencer in Space Station

Allied Minds Forming Space Signaling Company

Small satellites in low-earth orbit (NASA.gov)

17 September 2015. Allied Minds, a research commercialization company in Boston, is forming a new enterprise harnessing space satellites to detect wireless signals from earth for maritime, emergency, and commercial applications. The company, HawkEye 360 Inc., is licensing research on radio-frequency communications from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State . . . → Read More: Allied Minds Forming Space Signaling Company

Astronauts to Eat Space-Grown Vegetables

Red romaine lettuce grown on the International Space Station (NASA)

10 August 2015. Astronauts in Expedition 44 on the International Space Station plan to eat fresh leafy vegetables today grown in their own lab. The red romaine lettuce on their menus is grown in a plant system, nicknamed Veggie — officially known as Veg-01 . . . → Read More: Astronauts to Eat Space-Grown Vegetables

Commercial Space Launch Site Slated for New Zealand

Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck with Electron rocket (Rocket Lab Ltd)

2 July 2015. Rocket Lab Ltd, a company aiming to make orbital space launches frequent and less costly, says it plans to build a launch site in New Zealand, with completion scheduled by the end of 2015. The company says test flights will . . . → Read More: Commercial Space Launch Site Slated for New Zealand

Space Object Taxonomy Sought in $50K Challenge

Computer-generated image of space debris in orbit around the earth (NASA.gov)

22 May 2015. A new challenge on InnoCentive seeks a scientifically-based method for describing orbiting space objects with the fewest characteristics possible, but still predicts the objects’ behavior. The competition has a total purse of $50,000 and a deadline for submissions of 20 . . . → Read More: Space Object Taxonomy Sought in $50K Challenge

NASA Challenge Seeks Elements for Human Presence on Mars

Mars surface and atmosphere, from NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, mission. (NASA.gov)

8 May 2015. NASA is asking the public for ideas on ways to establish a long-term presence of Mars in a new challenge offered by InnoCentive. The competition has a total purse of $15,000 and a deadline for submissions . . . → Read More: NASA Challenge Seeks Elements for Human Presence on Mars

New Company Founded to Develop Centimeter-Accurate GPS

Video: Centimeter-level GPS used in a virtual reality headset (University of Texas, Austin)

6 May 2015. An engineering lab at University of Texas in Austin designed a low-cost portable global positioning system with precision to a few centimeters, and started a company to take the technology to market. A team from UT-Austin’s . . . → Read More: New Company Founded to Develop Centimeter-Accurate GPS

Robotics Designed for Laundry and Other Uncertain Tasks

PR2 robot (Willow Garage/Wikimedia Commons)

6 February 2015. Computer scientists designed and tested decision-making models using artificial intelligence for robots to plan and perform unstructured and ill-defined tasks, from doing household laundry to conducting search-and-rescue operations. The team led by Siddharth Srivastava, now with United Technologies in Berkeley, California and Shlomo Zilberstein from University . . . → Read More: Robotics Designed for Laundry and Other Uncertain Tasks

XPrize Awards $5.25M for Lunar Technologies

(NASA.gov)

26 January 2015. A competition to develop new technologies for landing and robotic exploration of the moon awarded $5.25 million in 9 prizes to 5 private companies, as part of the Google Lunar XPrize challenge. The companies — from the U.S., Germany, Japan, and India — received the prizes for their design and . . . → Read More: XPrize Awards $5.25M for Lunar Technologies

SpaceX Mission to Carry University Pathogen Research

Salmonella bacteria (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

12 December 2014. The next launch of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station will carry a set of specially-configured petri dishes testing the effect of microgravity on the virulence of salmonella bacteria. The research is the work of microbiologists at Arizona State University . . . → Read More: SpaceX Mission to Carry University Pathogen Research