After undocking from the Space Station on Saturday, Discovery was cleared for landing after a last inspection revealed no signs of damage to the spacecraft. A three minute de-orbit burn at 14:07 CEST (12:07 UT) started the Shuttle's descent to Florida.
The touchdown at KSC marks the end of a successful 13-day mission to the ISS – and confirms the return-to-flight of the Space Shuttle, after more than three years of uncertainty following the loss of Columbia in February 2003.
During the mission, the STS-121 crew delivered supplies, scientific experiments and spare parts, as well as a third crewmember to the International Space Station. Shortly after arrival at the Station, ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter officially joined the Expedition 13 crew as Flight Engineer 2 when his Soyuz seatliner was installed in the Soyuz TMA-8 at 21:13 CEST (19:13 UT) on 6 July, marking the start of ESA's first long-duration mission to the ISS.
Thomas Reiter becomes the first non-US, non-Russian astronaut to join an Expedition crew on orbit. As Flight Engineer, he will be in charge of vital tasks regarding ISS guidance and control, environmental control and life support systems, power control and communications, crew health & safety and extra-vehicular activities.
On 3 August, Reiter is due to become the first ESA astronaut to perform a spacewalk from the International Space Station. In addition, he will operate research facilities on board to support the ongoing international science programme.
Among his science activities, he will conduct a series of experiments devised by European scientists for ESA’s Astrolab Mission. These will include investigations in the field of human physiology and psychology, microbiology, plasma physics and radiation dosimetry. He will also perform technology demonstrations and conduct industrial and educational experiments for universities and primary/secondary schools.
Jean Coisne | alfa
Significantly more productivity in USP lasers
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
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.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
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,...
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