Volume 69 – June 30, 2014
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Astronauts are calling it their version of a "Star Trek" replicator and it has just completed a series of tests at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. According to the results, the 3-D printer is ready to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) later this year.
In-space additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, has the potential to revolutionize every aspect of space exploration from printing small critical parts and tools to eventually building larger structures in space.
Once the 3-D printer is installed in the space station's Microgravity Science Glovebox, it will print an initial set of more than 20 demonstration parts, including a planned series of test coupons, parts and tools. The first set of prints will verify the printer and extrusion process in microgravity. By comparing Earth-based and space-based printed objects, NASA will continue to refine 3-D printing technologies for the unique microgravity environment.
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On June 23, 2014, CERN announced that LHC (the Large Hadron Collider) will start its second three-year run in 2015. The last LHC magnet interconnection was closed on June 18, 2014. On June 23, 2014, CERN also issued another press release with report of new Higgs boson measurements. Part of this news release follows:
"The Higgs boson is associated with a mechanism first put forward in 1964 to account for the different ranges of two fundamental forces of nature. Now referred to as BEH, this mechanism is postulated to give rise to the masses of all the fundamental particles. In order to test that ideal fully, it is necessary to measure the direct decay of the Higgs boson into all kinds of particles.
When the Higgs boson discovery was announced in 2012, it was based on measurements of the decay of the Higgs to other bosons. This month's results reported by ATLAS and CMS discuss the decay of Higgs bosons directly to fermions, the particles that make up matter.
The measurements from both have given substantial evidence that the Higgs boson decays directly to fermion at a rate consistent with that predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics,the theory that accounts for the fundamental particles of visible matter and the interactions that work between them, giving structure to matter."
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Beaming Video via Laser
"Hello, World!" came the message from the International Space Station as NASA successfully beamed high-definition video via laser from space to ground on Thursday, June 5, 2014. The 175-megabit video transmission was the first of its kind for the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) with the goal of improving the way we receive data from orbit and beyond. In fact, this emerging technology of optical communications -or lasercomm- is likened to an upgrade from dial-up to DSL.
This technology demonstration furthers NASA's exploration of higher-bandwidth methods of communicating with future spacecraft. Optical communications tools like OPALS use focused laser energy to achieve data rates 10 to 1,000 times higher than current space communications, which rely on radio portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
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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.
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