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NASA Satellite Captures First Glimpse of Curiosity’s Tracks From Martian Orbit

NASA’s Curiosity rover has been sending back awesome images of the Martian surface since it landed on the red planet in early August. But to see the rover itself, you need the work of another NASA craft, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling the planet since 2006. Earlier this week, it was able to capture the above picture of the rover, in which you can clearly see the tracks it has left in the Martian dust. (NASA notes the color in the image has been enhanced to show detail, hence the bluish tinge.)

Read more. [Image: NASA]

howstuffworks:

From How Electric Guitars Work:

To produce sound, an electric guitar senses the vibrations of the strings electronically and routes an electronic signal to an amplifier and speaker. The sensing occurs in a magnetic pickup mounted under the strings on the guitar’s body.

This pickup consists of a bar magnet wrapped with as many as 7,000 turns of fine wire. If you have read How Electromagnets Work, then you know that coils and magnets can turn electrical energy into motion. In the same way, they can turn motion into electrical energy. In the case of an electric guitar, the vibrating steel strings produce a corresponding vibration in the magnet’s magnetic field and therefore a vibrating current in the coil.

There are many different types of pickups. For example, some pickups extend a single magnet bar under all six strings. Others have a separate polepiece for each string.

Keep reading…

howstuffworks:

How Space Elevators Will Work

When the Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off on April 12, 1981, from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., to begin the first space shuttle mission, the dream of a reusable spacecraft was realized. Since then, NASA has launched more than 100 missions, but the price tag of space missions has changed little. Whether it is the space shuttle or the non-reusable Russian spacecraft, the cost of a launch is approximately $10,000 per pound ($22,000 per kg).

A new space transportation system being developed could make travel to Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) a daily event and transform the global economy.

A space elevator made of a carbon nanotubes composite ribbon anchored to an offshore sea platform would stretch to a small counterweight approximately 62,000 miles (100,000 km) into space. Mechanical lifters attached to the ribbon would then climb the ribbon, carrying cargo and humans into space, at a price of only about $100 to $400 per pound ($220 to $880 per kg).

Keep reading to find out how the idea of a space elevator is moving out of science fiction and into reality…

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