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Be The Change Herald


Volume 38 – October 24, 2011


Welcome to Anousheh's Be The Change Herald! Feel free to forward to others who might want to register for the newsletter and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Cloaking Device in Dallas

It was five years ago when Professors Ali Aliev, Yuri Gartstein and Ray Baughman of the University of Texas at Dallas started their quest to create invisibility. They originally tried to bend light at different angles with no success.  Eventually they find their way to using carbon nanotubes to achieve their goal. Carbon nanotubes heat up and cool down rather quickly, which makes them work similar to an on/off switch. Furthermore, they have the density of air but the strength of steel.

The effect is like a desert mirage on a hot summer day. The pool of water seen on the ground in a mirage is caused by the high temperature of the air near the ground. This lower air is much warmer than the air higher up, which causes the light rays to bend upward toward the eye rather than reflecting off the surface. Our brain, in an attempt to make sense of the distorted image changes it into something more recognizable and sensible: a pool of water.

Considering all this information, the researchers used the carbon nanotubes to conduct  and transfer heat to the surrounding areas quick enough to simulate the light distortion of the desert mirage.

To learn more and see the cloaking in action, please visit: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10/invisibility-cloak-mirage/

Next Generation Habitat

NASA is busy planning and building a habitat for future trips to distant destinations. The habitat would serve as both a living and a working quarter on places like the moon, Mars or an asteroid. Through their X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge, NASA had challenged university students to design, build and test an innovative habitat inflatable loft. On July 1, 2011, the University of Wisconsin-Madison was announced as the winner of the 2011 challenge.

The Habitat Demonstration unit (HDU) Project is a unique project from a multi-center team of NASA architects, scientist and engineers, working together to develop sustainable living quarters, workspaces, and laboratories for next generation space missions.

To learn more about the Project, see photos, and a 3-D CAD Model please visit:

YouTube Space Lab Competition

YouTube and Lenovo in cooperation with Space Adventures and space agencies including NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and JAXA (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and other partners around the world have announced the launch of YouTube Space Lab, a worldwide initiative that challenges 14-18 year-old students to design a science experiment that can be performed in space. The two winning experiments will be conducted aboard the International Space Station and live streamed on YouTube. 

To learn about the official rules and experiment guidelines, please visit:

What If Prize Students Competition Update 

While the registration period for What If Prize Students Competition has come to an end, the management team would like to remind participants that the next deadline is December 20, 2011 to submit the entries. 

To learn more, please visit: http://www.whatifprize.org .

What If Prize Educators Competition

As we are approaching the deadline for What If Prize Educators Competition, the management team would like to remind you that the registration will be closed at 11:59pm US Central Time, on Sunday October 30, 2011. The lesson plan submissions need to be received by January 1, 2010.

What If Prize, in partnership with Teachers Without Borders, and MIT BLOSSOMS, has opened this brand new competition to educators of grades 6-12 in the United States and Canada who have written or adapted lesson plans that cover space science or space technology topics, and who have previously implemented these lesson plans.

The purpose of the competition is to recognize excellence and creativity in space science education and to produce useful, peer-reviewed and freely available space science instructional materials for educators worldwide. 

For more details about the competition, please visit:

My Dream of Stars

My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer: a book by Anousheh Ansari and Homer Hickam.

In her memoir, Anousheh recalls her long path to success and to achieving her dream.  To learn more about the book, please visit:  http://www.anoushehansari.com/book/

To find a book signing, please check the upcoming appearances section of this newsletter.

To obtain a copy please visit:




Anousheh's Favorite Quote:

"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new."

-Albert Einstein