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Stories by John Matson

NASA's Kepler Mission Endangered by Hardware Failure

The prolific planet-hunting spacecraft that has already discovered some of the most intriguing exoplanets known has abruptly lost the capacity to carry out its mission, NASA officials announced May 15.NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, which launched in 2009, relies on an array of flywheels, or reaction-wheel assemblies, to stabilize the pointing of its telescope toward a field of stars in the Milky Way...

May 15, 2013 — John Matson

NYPD Testing Airflow in Subways as a Precaution against Possible Terror Attacks

This summer, New York City will witness what might be called an airborne non -toxic event, to corrupt a term coined in Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel White Noise .Over three days in July, the New York Police Department and scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., will release small amounts of a harmless, colorless gas in the subways and on the streets to trace its flow through the city, both above and below the surface...

April 24, 2013 — John Matson

Why It's Better to Text Than Call in a Mass Emergency

Today at BoingBoing, Maggie Koerth-Baker has a fascinating Q&A with communications engineer and entrepreneur Brough Turner about how mobile-phone networks respond to sudden spikes in call volume, as occurred April 15 in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings...

April 17, 2013 — John Matson
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