Mar 30, 2009 | 6
Four Russians, a German and a Frenchman walk into a pod. That may sound like a setup to an off-color joke, but in actuality it's the start of a prolonged isolation study set to begin tomorrow in Moscow. The six volunteers will spend 105 days sealed off from the rest of the world in a special facility, sleeping in tiny bedrooms, to assess the psychological and physical effects that a lengthy flight to Mars might incur. (The 105-day trial is merely a warm-up for a planned 520-day version down the road that would more closely replicate the amount of time needed for a Martian round-trip.)
A BBC correspondent took a tour of the isolation module earlier in the month, reporting that the space offered "a few home comforts, including a large flatscreen TV, a plastic kettle and an empty fridge. But overall it was cramped, airless and without windows." Each individual bedroom is about 34 square feet (3.2 square meters)—roughly the size of a Ford F-150 pickup truck bed. The crew will be monitored remotely by command center personnel, but all communications will be subject to an artificial 20-minute delay to simulate a deep-space-to-Earth link.
Jan 20, 2009 | 2
High flying satellites, which have already proved their mettle in delivering television programs, cell phone calls and views of our neighborhoods (thank you, Google Earth), can also locate potable water in countries such as Niger where droughts have made it scarce, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced this week.
The agency said satellites had successfully pinpointed 90 locations in western Niger where, based on satellite images taken between 1993 and 2007, drinkable surface water was likely to be; the Regional Center of the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control (AGRHYMET) confirmed the satellites were right in all cases. AGRHYMET is a Niger-based agency formed in 1974 to gather information about food availability and the management of water and other natural resources in the Sahel, the region in Western Africa that forms the border between the Sahara desert to the north and the less arid forests to the south.
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Conventional washing machines cause excessive damage and wrinkling to clothes primarily during the water removal step. With the introduc
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The Dow Chemical Company is the leading producer of polyalkylene glycols (PAGs) used in synthetic fluids and lubricants where petroleum,
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