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SpaceX Dragon Makes History
3 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 23 seconds after its launch, the SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully docked with ISS on May 25, 2012. SpaceX Dragon, the first commercially developed and built spacecraft to launch to the International Space Station, was carrying some 500kg of cargo, including food and water for the astronauts, as well as new equipment and science experiments.
The successful return of the SpaceX Dragon capsule on May 31, 2012 would open the way for more Dragon missions in the future.
To watch a video of the dock, please visit:
To see pictures and videos of SpaceX Dragon departure and return to Earth, please visit:
Combining electronic components, medical diagnostics, communications and human-machine interfaces, engineers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign have developed an ultra thin temporary-tattoo-like device that mounts directly onto the skin.
The circuit -comprised of sensors, LEDs, transistors, capacitors, antennas, coils, and solar cells- bends, wrinkles and stretches with the same property as skin. This new technology have many biomedical applications, such as EEG and EMG, without some of the inconveniences of previous methods including conductive gel, tape, skin-penetrating pins or bulky wires. Other benefits include the ability to communicate or interface with computers in muscular or neurological disorder patients.
To read more about this electronic skin patch and to see videos of how it attaches and detaches from the skin, please visit:
Smart Sand - Smart Pebble
Imagine you have a bag of sand in which you can toss any object and then reach in after a few seconds and grab a duplicate of that object made by the sand. It may sound like magic but it is much closer than reality that you might think.
For now, researches at the Distributed Robotics Laboratory at MIT have succeeded to do so not with sand, but with small cubes about 10 millimeters to an edge. All they used are rudimentary microprocessors inside the cubes and unusual magnets on four of their sides. These cubes, dubbed smart pebbles, have been successfully used to show the effectiveness of the replication algorithm.
Now the last obstacle to obtain smart sand is to engineer grains much smaller than 10-millimeter to do the same job. The task might be challenging but it seems more within reach than ever before.
To see a video of smart pebbles in action and to learn more, please visit:
Change in Curiosity's Target
NASA has narrowed the target for its most advanced Mars rover, Curiosity, which will land on the Red Planet in August. It was possible to adjust landing plans because of increased confidence in precision landing technology aboard the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, which is carrying the Curiosity rover.
Curiosity is scheduled to land at approximately 10:31 p.m. PDT August 5, 2012. Following checkout operations, Curiosity will begin a two-year study of whether the landing vicinity ever offered an environment favorable for microbial life.
To learn more, please visit:
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: