Building a self-reliant moon colony is no longer science fiction, or a gimmick to promote the new James Bond film. It is indeed near-term reality.
After the Apollo landings, the moon returned to its magnificent desolation, and has until recently received very little attention as a target of exploration, let alone settlement. Currently, the Swedish-made SMART-1 is the only spacecraft orbiting the moon. It is scheduled to impact in early 2007, but another Swedish effort is already being launched, designed to make a lasting impact on the way we perceive the moon.
Dr. Niklas Järvstråt, a well-reputed material scientist, devised a plan to put a colony on the lunar surface already a decade ago, long before President Bush revealed his grand plans for a moon base. Now Dr. Järvstråt and the Swedish SMART-Centre has assembled an international consortium to take these initial plans off the drawing board and turn them into reality. The consortium consists of over 50 partners, including industries such as the Japanese Shimizu Corporation and Orbitech, a US NASA-contractor, and academic institutions such as Ecole des Mines, France and Cranfield University, England.
Gustav Loefgren | alfa
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Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
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Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
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