20051129

Thanksgiving in Space Could Look Different - Yahoo! News

(permalink)
Thanksgiving in Space Could Look Different - Yahoo! News: "During the six- to eight-month trip to Mars, space travelers will grow lettuce, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, green onions, radishes, bell peppers, strawberries, herbs and cabbage aboard their spacecraft.
And when they arrive at the Red Planet for a stay of about a year and a half, they will cultivate potatoes, soybeans, wheat, rice, peanuts and beans in soil-less hydroponic chambers, according to NASA's food scientists."

Labels: ,

20051104

CNN.com - Astronomers may have detected first starlight - Nov 2, 2005

(permalink)
CNN.com - Astronomers may have detected first starlight - Nov 2, 2005: "Researchers from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland believe they have captured traces of radiation from long-extinguished stars that were 'born' during the universe's infancy.
The research represents the first tangible -- but not conclusive evidence of these earliest stars, which are thought to have produced the raw materials from which future stars, including our sun, were created.
The Big Bang, the explosion believed to have created the universe, is thought to have occurred 13.7 billion years ago. About 100 million years later, hydrogen atoms began to merge and ignite, creating brightly burning stars. Just what these stars were like wasn't clear."

Labels: ,

20051103

Rocket Equations

(permalink)
Rocket Equations: "Equations for model rocketeers - how to accurately predict speed and altitude for your rocket from weight, diameter, motor thrust and impulse."

Labels:

Basics of Space Flight

(permalink)
Basics of Space Flight: "The people of Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) create, manage and operate NASA projects of exploration throughout our solar system and beyond.
Basics of Space Flight is a training module designed primarily to help JPL operations people identify the range of concepts associated with deep space missions, and grasp the relationships these concepts exhibit. It also enjoys popularity among high school and college students, as well as faculty, and people everywhere who are interested in interplanetary space flight.
This website attempts to offer a broad scope, but limited depth, as a background for further investigation; many other resources are available, of course, for delving into each of the topics related here. Indeed, any one of these topics can involve a lifelong career of specialization. This module's purpose is met if the participant learns the scope of concepts that apply to interplanetary space exploration, and the relationships among them.
Basics of Space Flight is intended to be used online via the worldwide web (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/basics). Links to external sites provide further depth to many topics. There are interactive quizzes to let you check your own progress (no records are kept). No academic credit is offered for completion.
Interplanetary exploration begins . . . "

I keep intending to get around to reading this. Now it's right here for my convenience.

Labels:

New Scientist Breaking News - 'Gadget printer' promises industrial revolution

(permalink)
New Scientist Breaking News - 'Gadget printer' promises industrial revolution: "The idea of printing a light bulb may seem bizarre, but US engineers are now developing an ink-jet printing technology to do just that. The research at the University of California in Berkeley will allow fully assembled electric and electronic gadgets to be printed in one go.
The idea was revealed at a December workshop on robotic algorithms in Nice. Instead of creating a casing and then laboriously filling it with electronic circuit boards, components and switches, the plan is to print a complete and fully assembled device."

I once had a dream as a child of a paint by numbers set, where the paints had electrical properties. By sending electric currents through such a painting, you create a simple electric circuit capable of doing anything simple circuits are capable of. A few layers of the right "paints" would make a resistor, capacitor, or transitor. Light emitting diode paints could even light up as a display for a clock or a simple computer. I had even considered the possibility of putting these paints in a printer. Sometimes I think that childhood imagination is wasted when it isn't pursued.

I am glad to see that I may have been on to something really cool.

Labels: ,

Robot builder could 'print' houses

(permalink)
New Scientist Breaking News - Robot builder could 'print' houses: "A robot for 'printing' houses is to be trialled by the construction industry. It takes instructions directly from an architect's computerised drawings and then squirts successive layers of concrete on top of one other to build up vertical walls and domed roofs.

The precision automaton could revolutionise building sites. It can work round the clock, in darkness and without tea breaks. It needs only power and a constant feed of semi-liquid construction material."

This type of automated construction technique could be vital to a space colonizations effort. Many of the hazards of construction on Earth can be avoided. Those hazards are multiplied in an environment exposed to hard vacuum and radiation.

Labels: ,