Two Planets Suffer Violent Collision

ScienceDaily (Sep. 24, 2008) — Two
terrestrial planets orbiting a mature sun-like star some 300
light-years from Earth recently suffered a violent collision,
astronomers at UCLA, Tennessee State University and the California
Institute of Technology will report in a December issue of the
Astrophysical Journal.
"It's as if Earth and Venus collided with each other," said Benjamin
Zuckerman, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy and a co-author on
the paper. "Astronomers have never seen anything like this before.
Apparently, major catastrophic collisions can take place in a fully
mature planetary system."

"If any life was present on either planet, the massive collision
would have wiped out everything in a matter of minutes — the
ultimate extinction event," said co-author Gregory Henry, an astronomer
at Tennessee State University (TSU). "A massive disk of
infrared-emitting dust circling the star provides silent testimony to
this sad fate."


China takes the leap: Emdrive aka Infinite Improbability Drive now in development

While the rest of the world was in some kind of mass coma over the past
year, China decided to have a hand at building the highly controversial
Emdrive (electromagnetic drive) -- an engine that uses microwaves to
transform electrical energy into thrust, all in a comparably
light-weight, efficient package. The end result could mean 41 day
journeys to Mars, not to mention terrestrial vehicle propulsion and
satellite applications. Perpetual motion
malarkey you say? British scientist and originator of the concept,
Roger Shawyer of Satellite Propulsion Research Ltd. (SPR), assures you
it's nothing of the kind, and Chinese Professor Yang Juan concurs.
Research headed by Juan at Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU)
in Xi'an commenced in June 2007, and a thruster now being built based
on Shawyer's theories is scheduled for completion by the end of this
year. Meanwhile in the US: cue the sound of crickets.