NASA’s Star Trek-inspired magnetic tractor beam will move satellites in space

arx pax magnetic tractor beam cubesat nasa l
NASA
Arx Pax thinks big when it comes to magnetic field technology. Not content with only creating the floating Hendo hoverboard, the California startup now is partnering with NASA on magnetic tractor beam technology. The project will use Arx Pax’s hover engine technology and bring it to space where it will capture and move miniature satellites without touching them.

Arx Pax specifically will be working with NASA on its CubeSat project, which are small, lightweight satellites (4 inches square) currently used for research and development purposes in the Earth’s orbit. The micro-satellites will go on their first deep space mission next year when NASA sends the InSight stationary lander to Mars. The satellites will be deployed during a flyby and will be used to provide supplementary communications during InSight’s entry and landing.

As these micro-satellites become more important to future NASA missions, the space agency will need a way to deploy and move them around in space. This is where Arx Pax’s technology will enter the picture. According to a statement released by the startup, the company will be designing “a device with the ability to attract one object to another from a distance.” In other words, a space-based tractor beam powered by magnets. Just like a scene from Star Trek, Arx Pax’s technology eventually will capture a satellite and drag it into a precise location.

Besides its future NASA project, Arx Pax now is preparing to deliver the first round of its Hendo hoverboard in October 2015. Eleven people spent $10,000 to get the first models to come off the production line. Arx Pax also is working on hover technology that’ll protect buildings from earthquake or flood damage by floating them above the ground. This project envisions a large-scale version of the company’s Magnetic Field Architecture capable of levitating a house. The startup is working with ShakeAlert to develop and early alert system that would allow user to deploy the hover technology before an earthquake hits.

Emerging Tech

New simulation shows how Elon Musk’s internet satellite network might work

Elon Musk has the dream of building a network for conveying internet traffic via thousands of satellites. A new simulation created by a computer scientist looks at how feasible the idea is.
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.
Gaming

Everything we know about 'Anthem', including new details on Javelin classes

BioWare announced an upcoming action role-playing game called 'Anthem' at EA Play 2017. Here's everything we know about the game so far, including gameplay, DLC, and when you'll be able to play it.
Emerging Tech

Rocket Lab steps into spotlight with its first commercial rocket launch

Rocket Lab has deployed multiple small satellites into orbit in its first notable commercial launch. Its New Zealand-born boss said the success means "rapid and reliable access to space is now a reality for small satellites."
Emerging Tech

Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech

Since its discovery, graphene has set the research world on fire. What exactly is it, though, and what could it mean for the future of tech? Here's everything you need to know about what could be the next supermaterial to take center stage.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX makes rocketry look easy, sticks yet another Falcon 9 landing

SpaceX is due to perform its latest Falcon 9 rocket launch and landing on November 15 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Here's how you can watch the proceedings live.
Emerging Tech

In a weighty decision, scientists prepare to redefine the kilogram

Metrologists are meeting at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in Versailles to vote on whether to redefine the kilogram as a constant that can be observed in the natural world.
Photography

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Emerging Tech

Google’s balloon internet is coming to Kenya in 2019

In order to bring the internet to those who lack it, a company called Loon is launching balloons into the stratosphere. From more than 12 miles up, these balloons beam connectivity over a large area on the ground.
Emerging Tech

Hikers missing on Mount Fuji could soon find a drone buzzing above their heads

Hikers who go missing while climbing Japan's highest mountain could soon find a drone buzzing above their head. A new system using the flying machines has been set up on Mount Fuji for future search-and-rescue missions.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk receives FCC approval to launch over 7,500 satellites into space

Not surprisingly, SpaceX is thinking big with Starlink, its space-based global broadband network. This week, the company received FCC approval to launch 7,518 satellites into a low-Earth orbit for its satellite internet service.
Cars

The world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheels are so intricate they look fake

HRE Performance Wheels and GE Additive have teamed up to create the world's first 3D-printed titanium wheels. They are not only impressively durable, but extremely lightweight as well.
Emerging Tech

DJI Mavic 2 Pro vs Mavic 2 Zoom: What’s the real difference?

DJI's Mavic 2 series drones are ready to fly -- but which one is right for you? The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are nearly identical save for their cameras. Here's what you need to know about these powerful new UAVs.