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Countdown to India's maiden Mars Orbiter Mission begins - The Times of India

Countdown to India's maiden Mars Orbiter Mission begins - The Times of India | Science | Scoop.it
With Mangalyaan, India will become the fourth nation in the world to take the first step to Mars, if it successfully positions a spacecraft in the red planet's orbit.
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Hubble Telescope Helps Solve Galaxy-Evolution Mystery

Hubble Telescope Helps Solve Galaxy-Evolution Mystery | Science | Scoop.it
New observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have helped astronomers solve a longstanding mystery about galaxy evolution. It turns out that ancient galaxies stopped forming stars at a smaller size than their younger cousins did.
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Mars Rover Curiosity's Long Drive Shifts Into High Gear

Mars Rover Curiosity's Long Drive Shifts Into High Gear | Science | Scoop.it
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is pressing forward with an epic Red Planet road trip, a long-distance drive aimed at the central mountain of its landing site. Curiosity began its long drive July 4 and completed three separate trips in so far.
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Mars Lost Most of Its Atmosphere Billions of Years Ago, Scientists Say

Mars Lost Most of Its Atmosphere Billions of Years Ago, Scientists Say | Science | Scoop.it
Mars is not a nice place to live. New data collected by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity and studies of ancient Martian meteorites show that Mars' atmosphere probably hasn't changed very much in about 4 billion years.
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Newborn Star's 'Snow Line' Reveals Clues About Planet Formation

Newborn Star's 'Snow Line' Reveals Clues About Planet Formation | Science | Scoop.it
Astronomers have identified the point where carbon monoxide (CO) freezes in the disk around a sunlike star — information that could help them understand how planets form.
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European planet hunter pronounced dead in space - space - 28 June 2013 - New Scientist

European planet hunter pronounced dead in space - space - 28 June 2013 - New Scientist | Science | Scoop.it
Efforts to revive the COROT space telescope have failed, which means we will not have any exoplanet missions working in space until 2017
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Giant Black Hole's Dust Oddity Surprises Scientists

Giant Black Hole's Dust Oddity Surprises Scientists | Science | Scoop.it
Dust around a supermassive black hole has been blown away from where astronomers expected to find it.
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NASA probe finds new zone at doorstep to interstellar space

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Reports last summer than NASA's long-lived Voyager 1 space probe had finally left the solar system turned out to be a bit premature, scientists said on Thursday.Rather,...
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Thales Alenia Space signs a partnership agreement with Swiss Space Systems for the development of the SOAR suborbital vehicle

Thales Alenia Space signs a partnership agreement with Swiss Space Systems for the development of the SOAR suborbital vehicle | Science | Scoop.it

Le Bourget, 17 June 2013 – Today, at the International Aeronautics and Space Show in Le Bourget (Paris), Thales Alenia Space announces the signing of the agreement with Swiss Space System (S3) for the development of the pressurized compartment intended to house scientific experiments and astronauts of the SOAR (Sub-Orbital Aircraft Reusable) suborbital vehicle.


Swiss Space Systems is a young Swiss aerospace company whose goal, from now until 2018, is the development, construction, certification and operation of suborbital spacecraft for launching small satellites up to a weight of 250 kg. 

This agreement will allow S3 to further develop the project, also proposing research applications in the areas of microgravity and suborbital passenger transportation. The S3 project also takes advantage of the prestigious collaboration of ESA’s Astronaut Center and of other important aerospace industries


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WOW: 3-D Map Of Universe Shows Galaxies In Unprecedented Detail

WOW: 3-D Map Of Universe Shows Galaxies In Unprecedented Detail | Science | Scoop.it
Still trying to find your place in the world? How about the universe?

Via Kenneth Weene
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Kenneth Weene's curator insight, June 19, 2013 1:24 PM

For the science geeks among us and for the astronomy lovers in particular.

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3D Printer Headed for the ISS Passes Critical Microgravity Flight Tests | SpaceRef

3D Printer Headed for the ISS Passes Critical Microgravity Flight Tests | SpaceRef | Science | Scoop.it

The first 3D printer bound for space passed a series of critical microgravity tests at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Made in Space, the space manufacturing company, conducted examinations of their proprietary 3D printer technology during four microgravity flights lasting two hours each, simulating conditions found on the ISS.

 

The printer, as part of the 3D Print Experiment in coordination with NASA, is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) in 2014.

 

"Humanity's future ultimately depends on our ability to explore and occupy space. The 3D printing technologies developed and tested during our Zero-G flights are a cornerstone to building that future. We reached a milestone in our goal to lay that cornerstone with the success of these prototype tests," said Mike Snyder, P.I. on the 3D Print Experiment and Lead Design Engineer.


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biology - Timeline Photos | Facebook

biology - Timeline Photos | Facebook | Science | Scoop.it
#Ants Don't #Sleep - #biology #Animals #insects #science biology (#Ants Don't #Sleep - #biology #Animals #insects #science biology http://t.co/InvnUGmDtZ)...
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Astronaut twins could reveal genetics of space health - space - 06 August 2013 - New Scientist

Astronaut twins could reveal genetics of space health - space - 06 August 2013 - New Scientist | Science | Scoop.it
Mark and Scott Kelly, identical twins who are also astronauts, have volunteered to be monitored while one is in space and the other stays on Earth
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Are Neutrinos Their Own Antiparticles? - ScienceNOW

Are Neutrinos Their Own Antiparticles? - ScienceNOW | Science | Scoop.it
Are Neutrinos Their Own Antiparticles? - ScienceNOW
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NASA attempts to rescue planet-hunting probe

NASA attempts to rescue planet-hunting probe | Science | Scoop.it
NASA is attempting to revive the planet-hunting Kepler probe, idled since a piece of critical equipment gave out in orbit two months ago.
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Scientists find neighbor star with three planets in life-friendly orbits

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - A neighbor star has at least six planets in orbit, including three circling at the right distance for water to exist, a condition believed to be necessary for life,...
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Microscopic 'Tuning Forks' Could Make the Difference Between Life and Death in the Hospital - ScienceNOW

Microscopic 'Tuning Forks' Could Make the Difference Between Life and Death in the Hospital - ScienceNOW | Science | Scoop.it
Microscopic 'Tuning Forks' Could Make the Difference Between Life and Death in the Hospital - ScienceNOW
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NASA launches new telescope to solve sun heat mystery - space - 25 June 2013 - New Scientist

NASA launches new telescope to solve sun heat mystery - space - 25 June 2013 - New Scientist | Science | Scoop.it
The $181 million IRIS space telescope will probe the region of the sun between the star's surface and the plasma layer that envelopes it
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New 'Charmed' Particle Represents Rare State of Matter

New 'Charmed' Particle Represents Rare State of Matter | Science | Scoop.it
The new particle seems to be made of four quarks.
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Virgin Galactic Announces 600th Ticketholder for SpaceShipTwo | Parabolic Arc

Virgin Galactic Announces 600th Ticketholder for SpaceShipTwo | Parabolic Arc | Science | Scoop.it

LONDON (VIRGIN GALACTIC PR) – Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group and Virgin Galactic, announced Monday, June 17, that the company’s 600th Future Astronaut is Marsha Waters, the owner of an accounting services company based in Blackpool, United Kingdom. Waters, 42, embodies the next generation of women in space: private individuals who are passionate about experiencing space travel for themselves.

 

Waters first took an interest in Virgin Galactic in 2010 and has been following its progress ever since.

 

 


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NASA Science - Strange Flames on the ISS: Flames in Microgravity

NASA Science - Strange Flames on the ISS: Flames in Microgravity | Science | Scoop.it

For thousands of years, people have been mixing the oxygen-rich air of Earth with an almost endless variety of fuels to produce hot luminous flame. There's an arc of learning about combustion that stretches from the earliest campfires of primitive humans to the most advanced automobiles racing down the superhighways of the 21st century. Engineers study burning to produce better internal combustion engines; chemists peer into flames looking for exotic reactions; chefs experiment with fire to cook better food.

 

You would think there's not much more to learn. Dr. Forman A. Williams, a professor of physics at UC San Diego, would disagree. "When it comes to fire," he says, "we're just getting started."

 

Flames are hard to understand because they are complicated. In an ordinary candle flame, thousands of chemical reactions take place. Hydrocarbon molecules from the wick are vaporized and cracked apart by heat. They combine with oxygen to produce light, heat, CO2 and water. Some of the hydrocarbon fragments form ring-shaped molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and, eventually, soot. Soot particles can themselves burn or simply drift away as smoke. The familiar teardrop shape of the flame is an effect caused by gravity. Hot air rises and draws fresh cool air behind it. This is called buoyancy and is what makes the flame shoot up and flicker.

 

But what happens when you light a candle, say, on the International Space Station (ISS)? "In microgravity, flames burn differently—they form little spheres," says Williams. Flaming spheres on the ISS turn out to be wonderful mini-labs for combustion research. Unlike flames on Earth, which expand greedily when they need more fuel, flame balls let the oxygen come to them. Oxygen and fuel combine in a narrow zone at the surface of the sphere, not hither and yon throughout the flame. It’s a much simpler system.

 

Recently, Williams and colleagues were doing an ISS experiment called "FLEX" to learn how to put out fires in microgravity when they came across something odd. Small droplets of heptane were burning inside the FLEX combustion chamber.  As planned, the flames went out, but unexpectedly the droplets of fuel continued burning. "That's right—they seemed to be burning without flames," says Williams. "At first we didn't believe it ourselves." In fact, Williams believes the flames are there, just too faint to see.  "These are cool flames," he explains.

 

Ordinary, visible fire burns at a high temperature between 1500K and 2000K.  Heptane flame balls on the ISS started out in this "hot fire" regime.  But as the flame balls cooled and began to go out, a different kind of burning took over.

 

"Cool flames burn at the relatively low temperature of 500K to 800K," says Williams.  "And their chemistry is completely different. Normal flames produce soot, CO2 and water.  Cool flames produce carbon monoxide and formaldehyde." Similar cool flames have been produced on Earth, but they flicker out almost immediately.  On the ISS, however, cool flames can burn for long minutes. "There are practical implications of these results," notes Williams. "For instance, they could lead to cleaner auto ignitions."

 

One of the ideas that auto companies have worked on for years is HCCI--short for "homogeneous charge compression ignition."  In the automobile cylinder instead of a spark there would be a gentler, less polluting combustion process throughout the chamber.

 

"The chemistry of HCCI involves cool flame chemistry," says Williams. "The extra control we get from steady-state burning on the ISS will give us more accurate chemistry values for this type of research."


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3-D Printer Passes Key Step On Road to Space Station

3-D Printer Passes Key Step On Road to Space Station | Science | Scoop.it

The joke about home renovation projects is it takes at least three trips to the hardware store to finish the work. In space, of course, spare parts are a lot harder to come by, meaning astronauts might have to wait for a spacecraft shipment, if, say, the toilet breaks.

 

Some spare parts could be manufactured in space as early as next year, though, providing a 3-D printer passes all the preliminary steps. It recently got a big boost in that direction after passing its microgravity tests successfully, but there are still environmental tests to come, said the company that was behind the work.

 

 


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