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Submission + - Japanese H-IIA launches with Ikaros and Akatsuki (

JoshuaInNippon writes: At 6:58 in the morning of May 21, 2010 (JST), a JAXA H-IIA rocket was successfully launched from southern Japan. After about 27 minutes of flight, the rocket reached space and sent off its cargo, including a Venus probe named Akatsuki, an experimental solar sail spacecraft named Ikaros, and several small satellites. The success of both Akatsuki and Ikaros could help bring important information on Earth's mysterious sister planet and on near future, cost effective space travel.

Comment H-series looks like existing concepts... (Score 1) 459

The MIT H-series looks rather like the Boeing X-48B: Regarding the D-series - is it using ducted Propfans? - I couldn't find any information. The biggest problem with the Propfan technology appeared to be the noise produced by blades spinning at near or above supersonic speed. But it didn't seem insurmountable and ducting would seem like an obvious place to start in order to mitigate it. Although obvious to someone who has no aerospace training whatsoever, probably means "obviously stupid" in engineering terms.

NASA's Space Balloon Smashes Car In Australia 174

Humunculus writes "Of more worldly issues, NASA's latest multimillion-dollar stratosphere-bound balloon launch has gone horribly wrong and crashed into a car, turning it over and narrowly missing two elderly people who were observing the launch. The payload fared worse, reportedly being smashed into a 'thousand pieces.'"

Comment Re:Nice (Score 1) 347

The digital back was just one suggestion - I accept that there would be inherent compromises and that it's quite possibly not even a viable option. The other suggestion was a new design manual DSLR, which is perhaps somewhat more likely. I'm 26, so I don't think my preference for manual cameras is one grounded in nostalgia - I just prefer the simple interface, I prefer not having to wade around two dozen buttons on the cameras exterior. I'm happy without the bells and whistles.

Comment Re:Nice (Score 1) 347

I'm just surprised nobody has done it yet. A manual-everything camera seems to be the best way to teach photography skills, but perhaps I'm just living in the past. My little Pentax MX SLR, dating from the 70's, still compares favourably in terms of size and weight with modern DSLRS and I just enjoy the straightforward interface more than any DSLRs I've tried.

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