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Be The Change Herald


Volume 88 –June & July 2016


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.

CERN; Exploration, AMS & Education

On July 15, Anousheh and her accompanying guests not only had the great opportunity to visit CERN but also to meet an incredible group of people who shared their passion and vision with them. Among them, Dr. Rolf Landua, a research physicist and head of the education group at CERN who gave the group a presentation; and Dr. Mick Storr, an experimental particle physicist and head of teacher programmes and visits who guided them in a comprehensive tour. 

On AMS project, Doctors Bruna Bertucci and Michael Capell spent time with the group and answered questions. The group was very fortunate to not only meet Nobel laureate Prof. Samuel Ting, but also to listen to his presentation of AMS project and to visit the control room of the experiment. We would like to take the opportunity to share some of the information on CERN's Education programmes and the AMS project here with you. 


  • "The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) is a state-of-the-art particle physics detector designed to operate as an external module on the International Space Station. It will use the unique environment of space to study the universe and its origin by searching for antimatter, dark matter while performing precision measurements of cosmic rays composition and flux. The AMS-02 observations will help answer fundamental question, such as 'What makes up the universe's invisible mass?' or 'What happened to the primordial antimatter?' ." To learn more, see videos and photos and stay uptodate with the latest AMS results, please visit: http://www.ams02.org/  or  http://ams.nasa.gov/ . 
  • People at CERN are as passionate about educating the next gerneration of researchers as they are about finding the secrets of the universe. They have devised many education programs and also collaborate with education groups, for teachers as well as students of all ages; with opportunities specific to member countries as well as International community. It would be hard to do justice to them in this small space, but we can list them and provide you with a link. 

CERNLand (age 7-12), High School Teachers Programme, S'Cool LAB (high school students), National Teacher Programmes (for member states), Higher Education (University students and young post-graduates) which itself includes more specific programs, Hands on Particle Physics (high school students), and many teaching resources (presentations, lectures, movies, animations, game, ....) are also available.  Here are some of the links for these programmes:





On behalf on Anousheh and her group, we would like to thank Matteo Castoldi and Benedetta Nirta for a wonderful and very informative visit.



Mine Drones


In 2011, Fromer Afghan refugee Massoud Hassani created the Mine Kafon, a wind powered spherical device that rolls across minefields, detonating landmines on contact, as his graduation project from the Design Academy Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Ever since, Massoud and his brother, Mahmud, have been working to rid the world of these horrors of their childhood.

Following the huge interest sparked by Mine Kafon, in 2013, the company Hassani Design BV was created, establishing the Mine Kafon R&D Lab. Their Mine Kafon, which looks like a giant dandelion, won worldwide acclaim. Today, Hassani Design BV has a new mine detecting device which combines drone technology, 3-D printing, GPS and robotics with a metal detector to find and ultimately destroy landmines.

Their goal is to use the new Mine Kafon Drone, an airborne demining system, to clear all land mines around the world in less than 10 years.

To learn more about the Hassani Brothers, their mission, and their mine detecting devices and the technology behind them, please visit:



To see videos (incuding a TEDx talk) on Mine Kafon, please visit:


To learn more about landmines  and its history, please visit:





Shooting LASER on Mars

For the first time, autonomous target selection is available for an instrument on a robotic planetary mission. Using software developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, Curiosity is now frequently choosing multiple targets per week for a laser and a telescopic camera that are parts of the rover's Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument. Most ChemCam targets are still selected by scientists discussing rocks or soil seen in images the rover has sent to Earth, but the autonomous targetings adds a new capability.

To select a target autonomously, the software's analysis of images uses adjustable criteria specified by scientists, such as identifying rocks based on their size or brightness. The criteria can be changed depending on the rover's surroundings and the scientific goals of the measurements.

AEGIS software, for Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science, had previously been used on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, though less frequently and for a different type of instrument. Development work on AEGIS won a NASA Software of the Year Award in 2011.

"Due to their small size and other pointing challenges, hitting these targets accurately with the laser has often required the rover to stay in place while ground operators fine tune pointing parameters," said robotics engineer Tara Estlin, the leader of AEGIS development at JPG. "AEGIS enables these targets to be hit on the first try by automatically identifying them and calculating a pointing that will center a ChemCam measurement on the target."

To learn more, please visit: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6575​




SpaceX Update

On Thursday, July 28, 2016, SpaceX released a full duration video showing Falcon 9 first stage May JCSAT mission being test fired at their Texas rocket development facility; hence taking another step toward reusable rockets.

To see the video and read more about it, please visit:








Anousheh's Favorite Quote:


"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears."
-Nelson Mandela.





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