The STS-120 crew spent their first full day in orbit inspecting the Shuttle’s heat shield to discover if any damage occurred during the climb into orbit. Initial reports indicate no visible damage, although engineers and flight controllers on the ground will continue to analyse the data over the next few days.
The hatches between the two spacecraft are due to open at 16:33 CEST (14:33 UT). The new arrivals will be welcomed on board by the resident ISS Expedition 16 crew of Commander Peggy Whitson, and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Clayton Anderson.
Amongst the seven STS-120 crew members is ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, who becomes the third Italian to visit the ISS after Umberto Guidoni (2001) and Roberto Vittori (2002 and 2005).
Joint operations between the two crews will begin shortly afterwards at the start of a challenging mission which includes five spacewalks within eight days.
Scheduled to kick off at 12:28 CEST (10:28 UT) Friday, the first spacewalk will see the temporary installation of the Italian-built Node 2 module, also known as Harmony.
Markus Bauer | alfa
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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:...
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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,...
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