New Horizons: Pluto/Charon
Artists concept of the New Horizons spacecraft during its planned encounter with Pluto and its moon, Charon. The crafts miniature cameras, radio science experiment, ultraviolet and infrared spectrometers and space plasma experiments would characterize the global geology and geomorphology of Pluto and Charon, map their surface compositions and temperatures, and examine Plutos atmosphere in detail. The spacecrafts most prominent design feature is a nearly 7-foot (2.1-meter) dish antenna, through which it would communicate with Earth from as far as 4.7 billion miles (7.5 billion kilometers) away. Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)
APL-Built Pluto Mission Spacecraft Shipped to NASA Goddard for Pre-launch Tests
The first spacecraft designed to study Pluto, the solar system’s farthest planet, took the first steps on a long journey today when it was shipped from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md. — where it was designed and built — to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., for its next round of pre-launch tests.
Proposed for launch in January 2006, the New Horizons spacecraft spent the past week in an APL vibration test lab, where engineers checked the structural integrity of the piano-sized probe aboard a large shake table. The table simulated the energetic ride New Horizons would encounter during liftoff aboard an Atlas V – one of the largest launch vehicles NASA uses.
Michael Buckley | EurekAlert!
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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