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Weapon Wednesday – New B-21 Raider Stealth Bomber

Artist's rendering of the B-21 Raider
Artist’s rendering of the B-21 Raider(Credit: US Air Force)

The US Air Force’s next strategic heavy bomber has passed a critical design review. On November 28 to 30, the US Defense Department carried out a multi-disciplined technical evaluation of the proposed B-21 Raider to see if its design was stable and mature enough to warrant moving on to manufacturing and flight testing, and the evaluation has determined that significant progress has been made on the three-year old project. read more

New Hankook Concept Tires

Hankook's two concept tires, the Hexonic and the Aeroflow, at the Essen motor show
Hankook’s two concept tires, the Hexonic and the Aeroflow, at the Essen motor show(Credit:Hankook)

We’re suckers for good concept tires here at New Atlas, and it seems there’s no shortage of ideas each year for what the future might look like where the rubber hits the road. These two Hankook concepts come to us from the Essen Motor Show, and they concentrate on autonomous comfort and racing downforce. read more

Chinese Rover Lands on the Moon

from the Daily Mail:

A Chinese rover is making its tracks on the soft surface of the ‘dark’ side of the moon after touching down on our nearest celestial neighbour.Image result for chinese rover

The Yutu-2 – or Jade Rabbit 2 – rover drove off its lander’s ramp and onto the exterior of the moon’s far side at 10:22pm Beijing time (2:22 pm GMT) on Thursday, about 12 hours after the Chinese spacecraft carrying it came to rest.

China’s space agency later posted a photos online, revealing lunar rover several yards away from the spacecraft.

The tracks it makes on the surface of the moon will be forever immortalised and will never be lost as there is no wind on the moon due to its lack of an atmosphere. read more

On a Collision Course with a Cloud

An artist's imagining of the night sky from Earth as the Milky Way collides with neighboring...
An artist’s imagining of the night sky from Earth as the Milky Way collides with neighboring galaxy Andromeda – a new study shows that the Large Magellanic Cloud will also smash into the Milky Way much sooner(Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), T. Hallas, and A. Mellinger)

When we think of celestial threats to our planet, we usually think of big asteroids and comets, and maybe the odd gamma ray burst or supernova. What we probably wouldn’t think of is an entire galaxy bearing down on us, but according to a new study, that’s exactly what’s happening right now. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a nearby dwarf galaxy, is on a collision course with the Milky Way, but there’s no need to worry just yet – the starry smashup won’t begin for another two billion years or so. read more

Irish Dirt Kills New Superbugs

Soil found in rural Northern Ireland could hold the key to fighting antibiotic resistance, researchers believe.

Doctors and scientists are desperately searching for new ways to kill superbugs – and the new finding could pave the way.

A study found dirt from County Fermanagh can stop the growth of drug-resistant bacteria, such as the hospital superbug MRSA.

The discovery has been hailed as an ‘important step forward’ in the progress against antibiotic resistance, considered one of the biggest threats to humanity.

The new bacteria discovered in the soil from County Fermanagh, streptomyces sp. myrophorea (pictured under a microscope) can halt the spread of superbugs including MRSA

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Weapon Wednesday – SB>1 Defiant is No Normal Helicopter

The Sikorsky/Boeing SB>1 Defiant is our first look at the Future Vertical Lift project that will...
The Sikorsky/Boeing SB>1 Defiant is our first look at the Future Vertical Lift project that will enter US Army service in the 2030s(Credit: Sikorsky/Boeing)

Sikorsky and Boeing have been working on this high-speed, long-range, ultra-maneuverable military helicopter design for some time, and now they’ve released the first photos of what is expected to become a highly effective US Army utility helicopter sometime in the 2030s. read more

New Horizons Probe to Pass Mysterious Ultima Thule on New Years Day

An artist's impression of Ultima Thule, which is already turning out to be quite mysterious before...
An artist’s impression of Ultima Thule, which is already turning out to be quite mysterious before New Horizons even arrives(Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Steve Gribben)

NASA’s New Horizons probe is just days away from its historic flyby of Ultima Thule, a mysterious object on the fringe of the solar system. Since it awoke from hibernation back in June, the craft has been making observations of the object, and that has raised the first puzzle – Ultima seems to be an unexpectedly “dark” world, and while there are a number of possible explanations, none of them have any precedent in the solar system. read more

Gas Prices Just Keep Dropping

from IBD:

The Miracle of $2 Gas PricesImage result for gas prices dropping

What seemed like an impossibility just a few years ago is now a reality for many across the country: gasoline that costs less than $2 a gallon. It’s amazing for many reasons.

USA Today reports that almost one in five gas stations in the country are charging less than $2 a gallon. As many as eight states could soon have an average price of under $2, the paper said, citing data from GasBuddy.
[I thought it an interesting aside to note here that there are no less than 31 States where gas prices average at least $1.00 per gallon less than the least expensive per gallon price in California, which, according to GasBuddy is $3.371 per gallon.]

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