Drive, Fly and Survive Nature

Self-Driving Car Completes Landmark Cross-Country Trip

A self-driving vehicle that made its debut at CES 2015 just completed a 9-day road trip across the United States — and it wasn’t made by Google.
The car equipped by Delphi, an automotive technology company headquartered in England, completed a 9-day trip from San Francisco to New York City, logging nearly 3,400 miles and operating under full automation through 99 percent of the trip. It’s the first coast-to-coast automated trip ever completed in the United States.


Tiny Bird Makes Epic 1700-Mile Trip Over Open Ocean

A tiny songbird that summers in New England can pull off something even the biggest airline companies can’t: A nonstop flight from Vermont to Puerto Rico.
Every fall the blackpoll warbler embarks on an incredibly dangerous, nonstop flight from New England and eastern Canada to warmer temperatures in the Caribbean. Not only is the flight nonstop, the tiny birds’ course runs entirely over the turbulent waters of the Atlantic Ocean.


Rare, Adorable Pika Photographed For First Time in Decades

If you went out searching for the Ili pika in the moutains of China, odds are your search would be fruitless. And that’s a darn shame.
Seriously, look at that cuddly distant relative of the rabbit.

Sadly, Ili pikas are “vulnerable to extinction” according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and as such, no one has seen the little critters for two decades. But last July, Li Weidong, the man who discovered the creatures in 1983, was reacquainted with an old fuzzy friend.


How to Propel Tiny Satellites? Just Add Ice

NASA releases three CubeSats into orbit in January 2014. (Credit: Expedition 38 Crew, NASA)
Ice is a pretty all-around useful chemical, but generally for mundane things: chilling drinks, skating on, mending swollen joints. But some scientists have a far sexier purpose in mind for ice — as rocket fuel.CubeSats, introduced in the early 2000s, are music-box-sized satellites that are democratizing space research because they are tiny, inexpensive and can perform myriad tasks.

For all their versatility, CubeSats have a glaring flaw: Engineers are hard-pressed to fit a propulsion system into CubeSats’ already compact designs. But a team from the Netherlands believes it has solved the problem by building an ice-propelled rocket.


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