Volume 14 –October 28, 2009
It's Alive! Again!
After its breakdown or "quench" in September of Last year, the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) is back in business. After a long period of hard and very detailed work by engineers and scientists at Cern, on Friday the LHC was injected with beams of ions and protons, consecutively, which traveled through different rings and pipes on small sections to test the repairs.
The success of these test and perfect function of the machine opens the way for a full particle circulation test in November, getting us closer to find out about the conditions right before the "Big Bang".
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Real Estate: Lunar Lava Tubes
For years, human race has dreamt of living in space and more close to home, on the Moon. But among the problems are the cosmic radiation and solar flares. In recent years, it has been suggested that the ideal place for a lunar base is in a lunar lava tube.
Lava tubes are conduits through which lava travels during a volcanic eruption. These naturally occurring structures have roofs that are tens of meters thick which makes a perfect shield against the radiation. Lunar lava tubes are much wider and longer than their Earth counterparts, making them perfect place for a lunar base.
Until now, the problem was finding the location and quantity of the lunar tubes. However after two years of searching and analyzing data a Japanese team from the JAXA Kaguya mission has found one approximately 60 meters wide.
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Invisibility Cloaks and Mini-Black Holes
It sounds like Science fiction, but it's becoming more and more of a reality. You probably have heard of metamaterials already. The majority of focus and popular attention regarding metamaterial has been on the invisibility cloaks and transparency of normally opaque materials.
However now, two Chinese scientists have used the properties and science behind metamaterials to create an artificial black hole. Granted this black hole is much smaller than naturally occurring black holes in Space, and unlike the space black holes, this one is not the result of a gravitational field, but an electromagnetic filed, however it still demonstrates the well-known characteristic of a black hole; trapping the light entering it.
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Conrad Foundation and NSBRI
Conrad Foundation has formed a sponsorship with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, (NSBRI) to provide a special award for the 2010 Spirit of Innovation Awards competition. The National space Biomedical Research Institute Prize for Innovation in Space Exploration Health Care, will award the team with the best aerospace-related human health product with $5,000 grant for the continued research and development of the winning team’s product.
NSBRI is a leading research organization addressing space exploration-related health issues. Its science and technology projects develop countermeasures to health-related problems and the physical and physiological challenges men and women face on long-duration space missions. In addition to their special award for the best aerospace-related human health product, NSBRI will help 5 finalist teams in the Aerospace Exploration category as they travel to, and participate in the 2010 Spirit of Innovation Awards in Sunnyvale, California.
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We are excited to announce this year's What If student competition will start on November 8th, 2009. Please check the website for more information and deadlines as they become available. Please note the dates as some of the information on the website might be from last year. Our team is working on getting everything uptodate for this year's competition as soon as possible.