Our Future Space Elevator May Be Built of Diamond
If the notion that humans will one day ascend into orbit on a rope of ultra strong carbon nanofibers sounds a bit out of this world, then you’re going to love the latest dazzling twist: our future space elevators might actually be built of diamond.
Graphene may be the hottest substance in materials science right now, but over the past year, the scientific community has worked itself into a tizzy over another carbon-based wonder material: diamond nanothreads, one-dimensional carbon crystals that are as strong as, well, a diamond.
URMC Receives Grant From NASA For Space Radiation Study
How could sending an astronaut to Mars affect his health? Turns out it could be more than losing bone and muscle mass. “There’s some innate curiosity about this possibility that space radiation might be damaging,” said Kerry O’Banion, professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
O’Banion and his team will spend the next four years researching cosmic radiation and deep space travel’s long-term effects on the brain. “And whether it promotes changes that might lead to long-term neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s,” O’Banion explained.
Astronauts To Plant First Flowers In Space Aboard ISS
The International Space Station (ISS) will soon host its first floral arrangement featuring the bright flowers of the zinnia plant just after the New Year.
The zinnia seeds were recently activated to form part of the Vegetable Production System(Veggie), a product of Orbital Technologies Corp. (ORBITEC), aboard the ISS, writes Nature World News. While the laboratory aboard the space station has been successful in producing lettuce, this marks the first time they will attempt to grow a flowering crop, which will provide valuable information about other flowering plants that could be grown in a space environment, according to a news release.
US and China set up ‘space hotline’
Washington and Beijing have established an emergency “space hotline” to reduce the risk of accidental conflict.
As fears grow of an orbital arms race, the new communications channel between the US and China — like the nuclear hotlines of the cold war — will serve as a diplomatic safety valve. By sharing technical information, officials hope that misunderstandings can be avoided and problems quickly resolved.
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