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The future of smartphone tech is ... knuckle-dragging?

November 20, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Touchscreens were a pivotal innovation for computing: Much like the graphical user interface, much like the trackpad, much like the mouse, they gave us a brand-new way to put human bodies to the service of human technology. But the touchscreens we have today are also -- just like graphical interfaces...

A single, severed cable cut contact between Russia and its satellites

November 16, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Yesterday, at approximately 7:22 p.m., local time, the Moscow's Mission Control experienced something you never want to happen when the mission you're controlling is playing out outside the planet: silence. Complete, utter silence. Roscosmos, Russia's space agency, had lost contact with its satellites -- all of them. Which meant, as...

Today is the release day for a video game featuring David Petraeus

November 13, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Today, you may or may not have heard, is the release day for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. This would be news to nobody except gamers, were it not for a rather awkward coincidence: The game features a cameo from ... David Petraeus. The real-life former general appears in...

Gmail's location data led to the discovery of the Petraeus affair

November 12, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This weekend, more details about the Petraeus affair emerged. FBI investigators, it seems -- in a twist of irony fit for either a crime drama or a soap opera -- discovered the CIA director's infidelity by accident: An acquaintance of the Petraeuses, a social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base...

What it's like to vote for President ... from space

November 7, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Leroy Chiao holds a special distinction: Not only did the American astronaut fly on three shuttle flights and serve as the commander of the tenth expedition to the International Space Station; he is also the first person ever to vote for president from space. Chiao cast his ballot from the...

When the International Space Station passes over your house, NASA will send you a text message

November 5, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The International Space Station is, after the sun and the moon, the third brightest object in the sky. If you know where to look for it, you can easily see it -- no telescope required. But: if you know where to look for it. Since the Earth spins as the...

The birth of Hurricane Sandy

October 29, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Hurricane Sandy may be shaping up to be the worst storm in recent history. But it began life like all storms do: as a series of winds, breezing their way across Earth's surface. The video below -- a full disk animation from NASA's GOES-EAST satellite -- shows the birth of...

Curiosity's cousins: Meet the rover fleet of the Canadian Space Agency

October 24, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In 2009, the Canadian Space Agency committed $110 million the development of advanced robotics and space exploration technologies. The funding was designed to be spread over three years -- and now, right on schedule, the CSA has unveiled the results of its efforts: a fleet of rovers that will one...

Do you suffer from motion sickness? NASA has your back

October 16, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Water filters. Cordless tools. Shoe insoles. The list of life-improving products developed at NASA is long and nerdy and wonderful. And it is, wonderfully and nerdily, about to add a new item: a nasal spray that fights motion sickness. Yes. Rejoice, ye sufferers of sickness, whether of space or car...

What the SpaceX Dragon capture looked like from the Space Station

October 10, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Today, at 9:03 am EDT, SpaceX's Dragon capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station. The delivery is the first contracted resupply mission by the company under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract. Space station crew members Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Sunita Williams of NASA used...