New Ion Drive Could Power Round Trip to Mars on Single Tank of Fuel

A student from University of Sydney claims to have created a technique that has the potential to take humans to Mars and back on a single tank of fuel.

Paddy Neumann, a Ph.D. student, explained that his ion thrusters work by hurling particles backwards so that a spacecraft can be propelled forwards, Daily Mail reported.

The ion drive works by bombarding the fuel source with electric arcs, which causes ions to be discarded. These ions then move through a magnetic nozzle, resulting in forward propulsion.

The innovative part of Neumann’s drive is the type of fuel that was used.

While High Power Electric Propulsion (HiPEP) system runs on xenon gas, Neumann’s ion drive can instead run on various metals, many of which can be found in space junk.

When it comes to acceleration, HiPEP may not be ideal to launch a spacecraft off a planet.

The current record holder for fuel efficiency of an ion drive is Nasa with its High Power Electric Propulsion (HiPEP) system, which allows 9,600 seconds of impulse.

This is a measure of thruster efficiency and is sometimes called ‘bounce per ounce’. The new drive developed by Neumann has achieved up to 14,690, according to student newspaper Honi Soit.

Neumann said it could power a spacecraft to “Mars and back on one tank of fuel”.

Neumann has applied for a patent and will be presenting his results on the 15th Australian Space Research Conference on September 30.

Easy Drone XL Pro Offers 45 Minute Flight Time

Easy Drone XL Pro Offers 45 Minute Flight Time

Ivan Stamatovski from Easy Aerial has launched a new quadcopter over on the Kickstarter crowdfunding website which is capable of flying for up to 45 minutes on a single charge.

The Easy Drone XL Pro drone takes the form of a modular design that has been specifically created to be portable yet capable of being deployed in just one minute.

Watch the video below to learn more about the Easy Aerial drone that is looking to raise $30,000 over the next 60 days via the Kickstarter website.

WE ARE BACK ON KICKSTARTER TO FUND THE EASY DRONE XL PRO – OUR NEWEST ADDITION TO THE EASY DRONE FAMILY. LAST YEAR WHEN WE LAUNCHED OUR EASY DRONE SERIES HERE ON KICKSTARTER WE GAINED A LOT OF HAPPY CUSTOMERS WORLDWIDE. THEY HELPED US TREMENDOUSLY TEST AND IMPROVE OUR MODULAR DESIGN AND PROVIDED INVALUABLE FEEDBACK.

WELL FIRST OFF, IT CAN STAY IN THE AIR FOR 45 MINUTES ON ONE BATTERY CHARGE. UNHEARD OF RIGHT? WE THOUGHT SO. IT SPANS AN AMAZING 28 INCHES (700MM) FROM MOTOR TO MOTOR DIAGONALLY, IN COMPARISON THE ORIGINAL DJI PHANTOM HAS 14 IN (350MM) SPAN. YOU DO THE MATH.

EVEN THOUGH IT’S TWICE THE SIZE IT FITS IN THE SAME BACKPACK AS A 350MM FRAME INCLUDING THE REMOTE, THE BATTERY, CHARGER, ETC., WITH ROOM TO SPARE. EASY DRONE XL PRO CAN EASILY LIFT A MIRRORLESS BACK CAMERA ON A GIMBAL WITH COMBINED WEIGHT OF UP TO 3 LBS (1.4 KG). CHECK BELOW FOR A LIST OF EXAMPLE CAMERAS YOU COULD USE.

Jump over to the Kickstarter website for full specifications and the ability to pledge with rewards starting from just $1,495 via the link below.

Ad-Free YouTube May Launch Next Month

youtube adfreeRumors have been circulating for a while now that an ad-free YouTube could be coming very soon. YouTube has always been free to use, with ads being played before videos which is how YouTube and content creators monetize these videos.

So the big question is, when will this ad-free YouTube launch? According to one report from Re/code, we may have an idea. An email sent from YouTube to content owners suggests that this ad-free version could be launched in late October. The email reportedly tells content owners that they need to agree to YouTube’s new terms by October 22 or their videos will no longer be publicly listed. So if this is true, it will be happening soon.

We have no info about pricing of the service, but rumors suggest that YouTube was thinking about a $10 a month subscription. Take it with a grain of salt because nothing is official yet. We will just have to wait and see.

Google does have an event planned for the 29th of September where we think the new Nexus handsets will be launched, so who knows, maybe we will get some updates about YouTube then as well. We will let you know when we hear more.

Microsoft Virtual Reality Kit Unveiled As Possible Competitor To Google Cardboard

Microsoft Virtual Reality Kit

As well as announcing a new development kit for the Raspberry Pi mini PC to help those interested in running Windows 10 on the Pi mini PC, and aid in the creation of Internet of Things projects.

Microsoft has also unveiled a possible future competitor to the innovative Google Cardboard virtual reality device, with the unveiling of the Microsoft VR kit.

Although at the current time the Microsoft VR kit is not currently available to consumers, it has been created for a hackathon that Microsoft is holding in Russia. To build applications for the new virtual reality kit during an event that will be taking place next month on October 17th.

If you are interested in taking part in the virtual reality hackathon event organised by Microsoft in Russia, jump over to the signup page located here. Microsoft explains more (translated from Russian) :

SPEND A WEEKEND IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF CREATIVITY AND CREATIVITY. SIGN UP AND COME TO THE HACKATHON FOR CREATING APPLICATIONS OF VIRTUAL REALITY (VR) ON WINDOWS. SHARE IDEAS, COMMENTS FROM EXPERTS, THE OPPORTUNITY TO FIND LIKE-MINDED TEAM. FOR SUCCESSFUL IDEAS WILL BE GIVEN A SET OF CARDBOARD, WHICH YOU CAN USE TO TEST YOUR APPLICATION.

TRADITIONALLY, WE WILL CHOOSE THE BEST THREE PROJECTS AND WILL GIVE THE WINNING TEAM PRIZES. IN ADDITION, YOU ARE WAITING FOR THE NOMINATION OF OUR PARTNERS! BEST VR GAME, BEST EDUCATIONAL VR PROJECT AND BEST CORPORATE VR PROJECT

The Max Desktop 3D Printer Launches From $900

The Max Desktop 3D Printer

MaherSoft has this week announced the launch of their new Max desktop 3D printer that will be showcased for the first time during next month’s 3D Printing World Expo 2015 taking place in Mumbai from October 9 to 10th.

Features of the new desktop 3D printer include a print bed size of 203.2 x 203.2 x 152.4 mm and the ability to print PLA filaments

The new Max 3D printer is currently available at a limited time price of just $900, with shipping expected to start before the end of the year on in early December. MaherSoft explains a little more :

MAX IS A RETAIL 3D PRINTER MEANT FOR THE CONSUMER MARKET. IT IS BUILT ON A RIGID METAL FRAME STRUCTURE TO GIVE IT STRENGTH AND REDUCE THE WEAR AND TEAR FROM THE CONSTANT MECHANICAL MOVEMENT.

THE EXPERIENCE WE GAINED FROM DEVELOPING INDIE, WE USED IN DEVELOPING MAX TO DELIVER SEAMLESS CONSUMER 3D PRINTING EXPERIENCE. MAX SUPPORTS PLA (POLY LACTIC ACID). ITS DETACHABLE BED MAKES IT EASY FOR CUSTOMER TO EASILY REMOVE PRINTED PARTS. ITS INTUITIVE LCD AND SD CARD INTERFACE ALLOWS SEAMLESS TRANSFER AND MONITORING OF PRINTS.

Twitch Announce New VOD Playlist Feature

Twitch

During the very first annual TwitchCon event, Twitch has announced a new service for broadcasters that has been designed to enable them to schedule save streams and play uploaded videos at any time of the day.

The new feature will now allow Twitch broadcasters to play content over 24 hours if desired, allowing visitors to their channel to view content even if a live stream is not currently active.

Users can also watch playlists on the go via the Twitch iOS and Android applications. Twitch explains a little more about the new Twitch VOD Playlist feature that is currently in beta:

TURN YOUR CHANNEL INTO A 24/7 VIEWING EXPERIENCE AND CREATE A PLAYLIST THAT WILL RUN WHEN YOU’RE OFFLINE. SELECT YOUR FAVORITE PAST BROADCASTS AND HIGHLIGHTS TO SHOWCASE ON YOUR CHANNEL WHILE YOUR COMMUNITY KEEPS THE CONVERSATION GOING IN CHAT.

IF YOUR CHANNEL IS GRANTED ACCESS TO THE BETA, YOU’LL SEE PLAYLISTS ADDED TO YOUR VIDEO MANAGER. DRAG-AND-DROP YOUR SELECTED VODS INTO THE PLAYLIST MANAGER ON THE RIGHT, TURN YOUR PLAYLIST ON, AND IT WILL AUTOMATICALLY RUN WHENEVER YOU’RE OFFLINE.

To find out more about the Twitch Playlist beta development stage and see if you can get access for your channel jump over to the official Twitch blog for more details to register your interest via the link below.

BBC iPlay Service For Children Under Development

BBC iPlay for Kids

This month the BBC has unveiled details of a new BBC iPlayer application they are creating which has been specifically designed for children.

The BBC is planning to launch a new service for kids called BBC iPlay that will provide a ‘single, online front-door for children to the wealth of the whole BBC and trusted partners beyond’ says the UK broadcaster.

The new service will provide children with a way to watch their favourite content from the BBC as well as in the future provide content from other Trusted partner content all completely free from commercial influence. The BBC explains a little more about their BBC iPlay and its content and features for children :

IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF THIS YEAR, THERE HAVE BEEN 500 MILLION DOWNLOADS OF CHILDREN’S CONTENT ON IPLAYER, ALREADY ALMOST DOUBLE THE NUMBER IN THE SAME PERIOD LAST YEAR. 75% OF CHILDREN HAVE ACCESS TO A TABLET AT HOME… AND OVER 50% OF PRIMARY SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN USE SOCIAL MEDIA.

THAT’S WHY WE’VE BEEN DOING A PIECE OF WORK TO CREATE WHAT WE ARE CALLING OUR BIG DIGITAL PLAN FOR CHILDREN.  IN THIS PROCESS, WE’VE TALKED TO INDUSTRY EXPERTS, KNOWLEDGEABLE ACADEMICS, PEOPLE FROM ACROSS THE BBC (MANY WHO ARE IN THE ROOM TODAY) AND MOST VITALLY OUR FUNNY, BRIGHT AND IMAGINATIVE AUDIENCE.

BY BRINGING TOGETHER ALL THE BBC’S CHILDREN’S CONTENT IN ONE PLACE, IT WILL LET CHILDREN INTERACT WITH OTHERS IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT AND TO EXPLORE AND EXPRESS THEIR CREATIVITY IN WAYS THAT THE THE AUDIENCE OF 10 YEARS AGO COULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED.

IT WILL ALLOW EACH AND EVERY CHILD TO MAKE THEIR MARK ON THE BBC – A MARK THAT’S AS PERSONALIZED AS THEIR FINGER PRINT.  LEARNING AND MAKING WILL BE AT THE CORE OF IPLAY – ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO BE ACTIVE CREATORS, NOT JUST PASSIVE CONSUMERS.  AND IT WILL ALSO INCLUDE BLOGS, PODCASTS AND EDUCATIONAL TOOLS TO HELP DEVELOP DIGITAL AND CREATIVE SKILLS TO BOOT.

CHILDREN GROW UP AT DIFFERENT RATES, AND IPLAY WILL ALLOW THEM TO MOVE AT THEIR OWN PACE.
INSTEAD OF ASKING CHILDREN TO CHOOSE BETWEEN CBEEBIES AND CBBC, THEY WILL NOW HAVE THEIR INDIVIDUAL COLLECTION OF PROGRAMMES AND CONTENT, BASED ON THEIR AGE AND CONSUMPTION – AS WELL AS OUR TWO DEDICATED TV CHANNELS.

For more information about the new BBC iPlay Service for children Jump over to the official BBC Media Centre blog for full details and plans of the new iPlay service.

Da Vinci Pro 3D Printer Unveiled By XYZprinting

Da Vinci Pro 3D Printer

XYZprinting has this week unveiled a new desktop 3D printer they have created in the form of the da Vinci Pro that comes equipped with support for third-party filament.

The da Vinci Pro has been designed to provide users with a high performance machine and is equipped with wireless connectivity together with a sheeted bed and a 100 µm layer thickness.

Simon Shen, CEO of XYZprinting explains more :

WITH THE ABILITY TO USE ALL OF THE WORLD’S NEW, DIVERSE 3D PRINTING MATERIALS, THE DA VINCI PROFESSIONAL WILL UNLOCK COUNTLESS POSSIBILITIES TO REPLICATE A WIDE VARIETY OF OBJECTS.

WE ARE IN A NEW ERA OF TECHNOLOGY. HOPEFULLY, THE DA VINCI SERIES SURVIVES IN THIS INTERESTING MARKET FOR 10, 20, OR EVEN 30 YEARS. BUT, EVEN IF IT DOES NOT, IT IS OKAY. WE ARE NOW CONTRIBUTING TO THIS INDUSTRY. PEOPLE ARE INTO COMPETITION AMONG COMPANIES, AMONG BRANDS, BUT IN THIS NEW ERA OF TECHNOLOGY – IN MY DAUGHTER’S GENERATION – PEOPLE SHOULD BE MORE OPEN-MINDED TO COOPERATE WITH EACH OTHER, WHICH MEANS THAT A BRAND NAME WILL NOT BE AS IMPORTANT AS IT IS NOW. MAYBE THEY CAN MAKE EVERYTHING THEMSELVES. IF THAT HAPPENS, WHY WOULD A BRAND NAME BE IMPORTANT?

The new da Vinci Pro desktop 3D printer was showcased at the Maker Faire in the XYZprinting booth and 3D Printing Zone. For more details jump over to the official XYZprinting website for full specifications and order details

Isro Launches Astrosat Alongside 6 Foreign Satellites

India successfully launched Monday its first high-tech telescopes into space to study the stars, as New Delhi seeks to take another major step in its ambitious and low-cost space programme.

A rocket carrying the 150-tonne mini space observatory called Astrosat, along with six foreign satellites, blasted off on schedule from India’s main southern spaceport of Sriharikota.

“About 20 minutes after a perfect lift off at 10:00am from our spaceport, the rocket has placed Astrosat in the intended orbit,” mission director B. Jayakumar said at Sriharikota, about 90 kilometres (55 miles) from Chennai.

The launch comes one year after India became the first Asian country to launch a successful mission to Mars to study the Red Planet, beating giant rival China and sparking an outpouring of national pride.

The unmanned probe, still orbiting Mars, cost a fraction of the missions launched earlier by the United States, Russia and Europe.

India’s Astrosat, which includes a telescope that uses X-ray, is expected to orbit 650 kilometres above the Earth and will send back data and study parts of the universe including black holes and the magnetic fields of stars.

Astrosat, which reportedly cost Rs. 180 crores ($27 million) to build, has been compared by local media to the famous Hubble telescope launched by Nasa in 1990. But Astrosat is much smaller and has a limited life span of five years.

The rocket also carries six foreign satellites, including the first from the United States.

The launch comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi winds up a visit to Silicon Valley in the US where he urged top technology companies to bring investment and jobs to India.

India’s successful and frugal Mars mission dominated newspaper front pages at the time and sparked huge pride in its home-grown space programme, while Modi hailed it as a sign of the country’s technological potential.

Critics of the programme say a country that struggles to feed its people adequately and where roughly half have no toilets should not be splurging on space travel.

Mars Mystery Solved, Says Nasa

“Mars mystery solved”, Nasa has teased as it gets ready to detail a “major science finding from the agency’s ongoing exploration of Mars”. Nasa will share more details related to the big announcement at a news briefing that’s scheduled at 11:30am EDT on Monday, which will be 9pm in India.

Nasa’s Mars mystery solved conference will be held at the James Webb Auditorium at Nasa Headquarters in Washington. The event will be broadcast live on Nasa Television as well as the website of the US space agency.

Nasa’s press conference will be attended by Jim Green, director of planetary science at Nasa Headquarters; Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at Nasa Headquarters; Lujendra Ojha of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta; Mary Beth Wilhelm of Nasa’s Ames Research Centre in Moffatt Field, California and the Georgia Institute of Technology; and Alfred McEwen, principal investigator for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Nasa says a brief question-and-answer session will take place during the Mars mystery solved event with reporters, with members of the public also having the ability to ask questions during the briefing using #AskNASA hashtag on Twitter.

What do you think will be Nasa’s big Mars mystery solved reveal? Tell us via the comments.