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12 Aug 08. Nasa Moonship flight target slips. Nasa has pushed back by a year its internal target date for flying the successor to the shuttle. Agency officials say they are now aiming for September 2014 for the first crewed mission of the Orion ship. This is a year later than Nasa had hoped for, but still inside its March 2015 absolute deadline. The officials say the funds currently available to develop Orion and its Ares launch rocket mean the faster timeline is no longer tenable. Engineers also need time to grapple with a range of technical issues as they develop the new systems. These include trying to reduce the levels of vibration astronauts are likely to experience when they lift off atop the new Ares vehicle. “The commitment date we have made to the administration and Congress has been March 2015 and that hasn’t changed. “What we have changed is our internal planning date,” explained Doug Cooke, the Nasa deputy associate “Without as much information as we have today, we were attempting to close the gap between shuttle retirement and the first flight of Orion and Ares 1 to the absolute minimum; and so we were trying to push the project towards a September 2013 date internally. (Source: BBC)
Aug 08. Aitech Defense Systems Inc., the world’s first and largest independent manufacturer of open architecture board and subsystem level products for harsh environment defense, aerospace and astronautics applications, now offers the most flexible, high performance 3D graphics and imaging functionality available in a single, low-power PMC. Based on the ATI M9 graphics processor, the new M590 Multi-standard Graphics and Video PMC uses dual independent graphics heads to simultaneously output information from two separate data streams to two different monitors, whether analog or digital. An on-board FPGA separates video from imaging input streams for maximum design and application flexibility. Designed for harsh environments, the PCI-X Rev. 1.0b and PCI Rev. 2.3 compliant M590 supports advanced 2D/3D video displays and image capture/frame grabbing with overlay and underlay for high-resolution man-machine interfaces with resolutions of up to 1536 x 2048 at 30 to 200 Hz refresh rates and up to 32 bits per pixel (Truecolor+). The M590’s combined graphics and video performance makes the PMC ideal for advanced sensor fusion, image/frame capture and recording; for tactical, Red Force/Blue Force tracking; and for avionics and tactical area moving map applications. Powered by an ATI M9 graphics processor with an on-chip 64 MB DDR frame buffer array as well as an integrated VGA core and dual RAMDAC units, the M590 performs high speed and high quality 2D line, 3D polygon and texture acceleration. It also unifies 2D, 3D and video operations in multiple parallel pipelines, while enabling high-flexibility data handling and preventing overloads of internal and external data paths.
09 Aug 08. Sub to make deep Caribbean dive. Scientists are set to explore the world’s deepest undersea volcanoes, which lie 6km down in the Caribbean. Delving into uncharted waters to hunt for volcanic vents will be Autosub6000, Britain’s new autonomously controlled, robot submarine. Autosub6000, an unmanned undersea vehicle that can go down to 6,000m and carry out a dive without being controlled from the surface. It will be tasked with finding the volcanic vents on the ocean floor. The second submarine to take the plunge will be the Isis. Isis will sample fluids and sediments from around the lip of the vents to test their geochemistry, and also collect animal specimens. (Source: BBC)
14 Aug 08. Intel Corp. has developed technology to remotely power up personal computers, letting users retrieve files over an Internet connection. The technology also can be used with PC-based phone services that require computers to be on to receive calls, and can allow computers to be remotely act