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The idea of powering humanity by gathering an endless supply of solar energy from space has taken a huge step towards becoming a reality. Scientists working for JAXA, Japan's space administration, have announced a major breakthrough in wireless power transmission ... in that they've actually been...

March 12th 2015 at 6:49pm 0 Comments
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On November 30th, Japan's Hayabusa 2 will be leaving leaving Earth aboard a Mitsubishi-made rocket to make its way to an asteroid -- but not to blow it up. The Japanese spacecraft will follow in its predecessor's footsteps and observing a space rock for science (of course). But unlike the first Ha...

November 27th 2014 at 7:07pm 0 Comments
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​ Affordable is a relative term, but in the world of rocket science Japan's recently launched Epsilon qualifies as such. Costing just $37-million (albeit not directly comparable, NASA claims a typical launch costs around $450-million) to send off, Jaxa -- Japan's space agency -- rightly considers i...

September 14th 2013 at 8:39am 0 Comments
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Don't get excited about buying the new robots created by Japanese company Dentsu in conjunction with Toyota and the University of Tokyo -- they won't be hitting stores anytime soon. However, do get excited that one of them, namely the white-helmeted droid Kirobo (shown above, left), will actually...

June 26th 2013 at 5:42pm 0 Comments
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If you thought cloud writing was cool, then how about a message from space burnt into the night sky? A group of unassuming cubesats recently left the comfort of the ISS and joined Earth's orbit -- among them was FITSAT-1 (aka Niwaka), a four-inch-cubed Japanese satellite covered in high-powered LE...

October 5th 2012 at 12:53pm 0 Comments
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Tether propulsion seems to be the OLED of the spacefaring world, carrying as it does a lot of promise but seemingly never ready for the big time. The fundamental premise is as simple as it is appealing -- a long strip of metal stretched out in space can theoretically exploit the Earth's magnetic fi...

September 6th 2010 at 6:14am 0 Comments
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Photons, man, it's all about the photons. Japan's solar sail-equipped IKAROS probe has recorded its first propulsion derived from the force of sunlight rays hitting its tender surface. The force generated is a truly minuscule 1.12 millinewtons, but that can go a long way (literally) in a frictionle...

July 14th 2010 at 5:31am 0 Comments