News : Energy
Will Electric Vehicles Surpass Combustion Engine Vehicles?
Is the future electric? A reader asks an expert from Mercedes-Benz.
News : Aerospace
How Model Rockets Launch Tomorrow’s Engineers
If you ask engineers about their early days, many can't avoid talking about a favorite toy: the model rocket.
News : Aerospace
A Q&A with Orbital ATK: Exploring the Roots of Rocketry

At Orbital ATK, Mark Ogren works on the preliminary design of the company’s propulsion technologies, including targets, interceptors, or space launch vehicles. Ogren spoke with Tech...

News : Propulsion
From the Earth to the Moon: How Robert Goddard Launched Present-Day Spaceflight

On a snowy day in 1926, a 44-year-old physicist named Robert Goddard went with his wife Esther and some colleagues to his Aunt Effie’s ranch in Auburn,...

News : Automotive
Sound-Off: Which Vehicle Power-Plant Choices Will Win in 2020?

Today's vehicles feature traditional internal combustion engines, hybrid, plugin, and electric drivetrains. A reader asks: "Which power-plant choice will take the lead in 2020?"

News : Propulsion
The Newest Way to Propel Nanosatellites? Water.

Although maneuvering nanosatellites in space is a complex procedure, a new micro-propulsion method features the simplest of ingredients: water.

News : Propulsion
Sound-Off: Can Hydrogen be Stored in Carbon Nanotubes?

The fuel cell, an increasingly popular device in the automotive sector, creates a power source when coupled with hydrogen. The hydrogen can be made from natural gas or electrolysis of water and then compressed for storage. The challenge: How do you store hydrogen at low pressure?

News : Physical Sciences
Is Pluto a Planet? Scientists Seek New Definition

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to "non-planet" status. Johns Hopkins University scientist Kirby Runyon led a group of six researchers to draft a new definition of "planet" — one that includes more than 100 other celestial bodies, including Pluto. The proposal was...

News : Motion Control
Rocket Motor Design Could Boost Small Satellite Missions

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a rocket motor concept that could be used to power CubeSat low-cost satellites. The Los Alamos team recently tested a six-motor CubeSat-compatible propulsion array with tremendous success.

News : Materials
Space Launch System’s Core Stage Built Piece-by-Piece

Large elements for NASA's Space Launch System are in production, and will be joined together to create the rocket's 212-foot-tall core stage, the backbone of the SLS rocket. The core stage is made up of the engine section, liquid hydrogen tank, intertank, liquid oxygen tank, and forward...

News : Materials
Lattice Structure Absorbs Propeller Vibrations

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a lattice structure capable of absorbing a wide range of vibrations while also being useful as a load-bearing component in propellers, rotors, and rockets. The three-dimensional lattice structure has a lattice spacing of around 3.5 mm, and was fabricated out...

News : Motion Control
Technique Controls Autonomous Vehicles in Extreme Conditions

Researchers have devised a novel way to help keep a driverless vehicle under control as it maneuvers at the edge of its handling limits. The new technology is being tested by racing, sliding, and jumping one-fifth-scale, fully autonomous auto-rally cars at the equivalent of 90 mph. The...

News : Propulsion
NASA Tests 3D-Printed Rocket Fuel Pump

NASA tested a 3D printed rocket engine turbopump with liquid methane – an ideal propellant for engines needed to power many types of spacecraft for NASA’s journey to Mars. During the full-power test, the turbines generated 600 horsepower and the fuel pump got its “heartbeat” racing at more than...

News : Test & Measurement
New Technique Could Improve Detection of Concealed Nuclear Materials

A low-energy nuclear reaction imaging technique designed to detect the presence of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium in cargo containers arriving at U.S. ports was demonstrated. The method relies on a combination of neutrons and high-energy photons to detect shielded...

News : Propulsion
NASA Tests Revolutionary E-Sail Propulsion Technology

Testing has started at NASA on a concept called the Heliopause Electrostatic Rapid Transit System (HERTS), a propellant-less propulsion system that would harness solar wind to travel into interstellar space. “The sun releases protons and electrons into the solar wind at very high speeds --...

Technology Leaders

Tech Briefs TV