Teen creates world’s lightest satellite and NASA is sending it to space

May 19, 2017 by  
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An 18-year-old from Tamil Nadu in India has built what experts are hailing as the “world’s lightest satellite.” Bonus: NASA’s going to send it into space. Rifath Shaarook’s 1.5-inch cube weighs a mite 2.2 ounces—lighter than many smartphones. “We built it completely from scratch,” Shaarook told India’s Business Standard . “It will have a new kind of on-board computer and eight indigenous built-in sensors to measure acceleration, rotation and the magnetosphere of the Earth.” The satellite beat more than 86,000 entries from 57 countries to win Cubes in Space , a design competition organized by education nonprofit iDoodle with the support of NASA and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium . Shaarook named his design KalamSat after A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, India’s former president and a famous aerospace scientist in his own right. Related: Egyptian teenager creates next-generation quantum space propulsion system Come June 22, NASA will send the cube on a four-hour suborbital spaceflight, where it’ll operate for 12 minutes under microgravity conditions. Shaarook currently works as lead scientist at Space Kidz India , an organization in Chennai that promotes science and education for the country’s youth. Via BBC News

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Teen creates world’s lightest satellite and NASA is sending it to space

Man-made meteor shower proposed for 2020 Olympics

May 20, 2016 by  
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Olympic opening ceremonies are known for spectacle. Yet few countries, if any, have entertained the masses from space . Japanese ALE Company hopes to make history for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo by creating SkyCanvas, a ” man-made meteor shower .” So is this idea wildly cool or wildly crazy? SkyCanvas works via satellites , which are filled with pellets made of different elements such as lithium, copper, or calcium to create different colors as they burn upon re-entry into the atmosphere. ALE says their artificial falling stars last longer than the shooting stars we experience in nature, and they burn brightly at ” an apparent magnitude of -1 ,” according to the company’s lab tests. For comparison, the apparent magnitude of the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is -1.46 . Related: Samsung wants to blanket the entire planet with Internet using 4,600 satellites The magnanimous display of artificial shooting stars won’t be restricted to those present in the Olympic stadium. They could be seen for 120 miles over Japan, which means some 30,000,000 people could potentially experience the meteor shower. Entertainment on such a vast scale is costly. According to Gizmodo, each pellet in the satellites, which can hold 500 to 1,000 pellets, would cost over $8,000. That doesn’t take into account launching or building the satellites. ALE reports that they aim to launch their first satellite in 2017 , and the following year would provide their service for anyone who wants – and can pay for – such a grand display. From then on, they’d launch a satellite each year . What will happen to all these satellites? ALE is clear they don’t want to litter space, so the satellites themselves would re-enter the atmosphere after around 25 years, becoming ” a very large shooting star .” In addition to manufacturing meteor showers, the company aspires to advance physics , collect data, and even explore the origins of life . Via Gizmodo Images via screenshot

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Man-made meteor shower proposed for 2020 Olympics

How ‘diversion architecture’ will make outdoor concert festivals more sustainable

May 20, 2016 by  
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Everyone looks forward to outdoor music festivals, but most large scale gatherings contribute a staggering amount of waste. That’s why every year Happy Valley, Oregon hosts The Pickathon Music Festival, one of the world’s most sustainable concert events. Pickathon has taken the waste-free concept very seriously ; building stages from recycled or recyclable materials, eliminating bottled water and plastic utensils, and providing an EcoShuttle service to and from the grounds. Partnering with The Diversion Design/Build Studio at Portland State University’s School of Architecture , Pickathon’s student-led experiment explores a new wave of sustainable design: Diversion Architecture. The concept shows that collective gatherings need not require an enormous carbon footprint ; it just requires thoughtful design. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3Al_646xss&feature=youtu.be Grandparents perform Grandparents “Kids In The Alley” on the Pickathon Tree-Line Stage at Pendarvis Farm. For the past 4 years, Portland State University’s Diversion Design and Build Studio student-led design experiment has partnered with Pickathon, focusing on two core strategies: the diversion of non-typical, re-used materials, and the diversion of non-typical experiences like those embodied in festival gatherings. RELATED: Portland architecture students build incredible outdoor stage from 520 recycled pallets The Pickathon story involves a constant re-thinking about the way we use materials and how we might minimize consumption. A telling example of this design process was the move to eliminate bottled water from the weekend festival (likely the highest grossing line-item at a typical summer music festival). In order to eliminate bottled water, Pickathon decided to truck-in drinking water and offer it free of charge to anyone bringing their own cup. Further, in order to eliminate the use of plastic cups, Pickathon designed a special stainless steel pint mug that could be used for water but which would also be the sole vessel allowed for beer purchases; give them your cup, they’ll fill it with beer. This simple design change immediately eliminated both plastic water bottles and plastic cups from the festival, and created a remarkable fully-embraced culture around the thoughtful re-use of everyday items. The stainless steel cups are re-used year after year. Silverware, tableware, and indeed architecture soon followed suit. Image © Dylan Vanweelden It is important to note that the goals of Pickathon should not be primarily understood as the desire to design a sustainable music festival, but as the desire to design a relevant, responsible and thrilling community experience of contemporary music. The founders of Pickathon , now in its 16th year, continue to insist upon a creative agenda in all aspects of the event. As they state: Since day one, the idea behind Pickathon has always been pretty simple: what does it take to be the best weekend festival of the year for music lovers? …Innovation has always been at the center of this process and through the years many important elements have come together; collaborating widely on yearly, diverse lineups that are built on the idea of great music being the sole criteria; refining six unique performance venues designed to create juxtaposing alternate realities; ….maintaining a low crowd density; becoming the only large music festival to eliminate plastic and minimize single use items; recruiting the finest food and drink purveyors in the land; focusing constantly on eliminating “normal” festival hassles; enabling families to thrive. This attitude mirrors that of Portland State University with regards to sustainable architecture; sustainable design must be poetically engaged in the material human world or risk being irrelevant to the human dilemma on this planet. Image © Tim LaBarge With these innovations to the typical music festival already churning away, Pickathon approached the PSU School of Architecture with the challenge to design and implement a 1,000-person performance area as an addition to the existing festival infrastructure. This new performance space, named the Tree-Line Stage , had four primary design criteria: • To continue Pickathon’s philosophy of high-experiential impact coupled with low-environmental impact. • The site was to be returned to its found condition, an idyllic meadow leaning gently towards the horizon of the Cascades. • Costs to be kept to an absolute minimum. • The performance area needed to be a completely new design, every year, in order to keep the concepts of low-impact design at the front of the community’s mind. The Diversion Design/Build Studio is currently designing a new Tree-Line Stage for the 2016 Pickathon Festival and will soon be sharing the design process with you. Inhabitat readers will have a special opportunity to vote for the initiating re-used material, design intentions, and experiential effects – stay tuned for this exciting series. + The Diversion Design/Build Studio at Portland State University Travis Bell is Assistant Professor in Ecological Design at Portland State University’s School of Architecture teaching lecture courses, design studios, and design/build courses. Travis’ primary interest lies in making architecture that is in closer alignment with the natural patterns of our environment. This primary interest grounds a research, teaching and design agenda focused on appropriate material choice, the prioritization of authentic craftsmanship, passive systems design, adapted historical technologies, explorations in Critical Regionalism and temporary architectural solutions.

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How ‘diversion architecture’ will make outdoor concert festivals more sustainable

Egyptian Teenager Creates Next-Generation Quantum Space Propulsion System

August 16, 2015 by  
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An Egyptain teenager has patented a next-generation propulsion system that could send spacecraft to other solar systems—without using a single drop of fuel. While it is not quite warp-drive technology, young physicist Aisha Mustafa’s system is based on quantum physics and could see mankind boldly go where no man has gone before. Read the rest of Egyptian Teenager Creates Next-Generation Quantum Space Propulsion System

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Egyptian Teenager Creates Next-Generation Quantum Space Propulsion System

Why Wi-Fi is Faster on the Moon than at Your Local Coffee Shop

May 29, 2014 by  
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Scientists from MIT and NASA recently demonstrated the new Wi-Fi connectivity on the moon, and it’s faster than the service that most of us get here on Earth ! Given that there hasn’t been a human on the lunar surface since 1972, the question remains: why? Read the rest of Why Wi-Fi is Faster on the Moon than at Your Local Coffee Shop Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: hi-speed internet , internet , internet connectivity , lasers , MIT , nasa , satellites , the moon , wi-fi , Wi-Fi on the moon

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Why Wi-Fi is Faster on the Moon than at Your Local Coffee Shop

NASA Launches Air Pollution Study Over California Bay Area as Part of DISCOVER-AQ Study

February 4, 2013 by  
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NASA  is currently running a five-year study known as DISCOVER-AQ  — which stands for Deriving Information on Surface conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality — as part of the research of the project that aims to help scientists better understand how to measure and forecast air quality globally from space . So far, two NASA aircrafts equipped with scientific instruments have been dispatched to fly over the California Bay Area to measure air pollution. Read the rest of NASA Launches Air Pollution Study Over California Bay Area as Part of DISCOVER-AQ Study Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: a-train , afternoon constellation , air pollution , california bay area , discover-aq , goddard space flight center , nasa , nasa planes , satellites , space based instruments

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NASA Launches Air Pollution Study Over California Bay Area as Part of DISCOVER-AQ Study

Stephen Kenn Repurposes WWII Fabrics Into Rugged Furniture

February 4, 2013 by  
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Soldiers who fought in WWII were supplied some of the toughest, heartiest, and longest-lasting textiles of the era. Now considered antiques, the fabrics have stood the test of time and have found their way back into use as clothing and upholstery. The Inheritance Collection by Stephen Kenn combines steel welded frames with custom webbing belts, leather straps, and repurposed WWII fabrics. The simple, clean lines of the rusted and clear-coated metal lay a sturdy foundation for the soft Swiss mule belts and army-green cloth. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, and they range from $450 – $5,000. + Stephen Kenn Via designsquish Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green furniture” , eco textiles , fabric , inheritance collection , leather , Metal , repurposed , stephen kenn , swiss mule belt , WWII

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Stephen Kenn Repurposes WWII Fabrics Into Rugged Furniture

Deep Space Industries Unveil Plans To Mine Asteroids, 3D-Print the Raw Materials into Products While in Space

January 24, 2013 by  
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Virginia-based Deep Space Industries has announced bold plans to not only mine asteroids (which has been proposed by multiple companies), but to also turn the raw materials into complex metal parts by using 3D printers right there in space. The firm intends for their fleet of asteroid-prospecting spacecraft—which are set to be deployed in 2016—to assist in utilizing these orbiting resources in larger space exploration programs. Read the rest of Deep Space Industries Unveil Plans To Mine Asteroids, 3D-Print the Raw Materials into Products While in Space Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3D printers , 3D printing , asteroid prospecting , asteroids , cubesats , Deep Space Industries , firefly spacecraft , manned mars mission , mars , mars mission , microgravity foundry , mining asteroids , private space firm , satellites , smartphone , space mining , space resources , spacecraft

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Deep Space Industries Unveil Plans To Mine Asteroids, 3D-Print the Raw Materials into Products While in Space

Abu Dhabi Unveils an Arab-Styled Eco Villa That Meets Estidama Requirements

January 24, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Abu Dhabi Unveils an Arab-Styled Eco Villa That Meets Estidama Requirements Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , abu dhabi , arab eco home , arabian gulf , eco design , eco villa , Estidama , Green Building , green design , green living arab style , Middle East , oil , pearl rating system , Sorough , sustainable design , Urban Planning Council , water conservation

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Abu Dhabi Unveils an Arab-Styled Eco Villa That Meets Estidama Requirements

Space Scientists Develop Harpoon System to Capture Rogue Satellites and Clean up Space Junk

October 4, 2012 by  
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Space junk has rapidly become a major problem for the world’s space agencies. Decades of satellite launches and missions have left the Earth’s orbit filled with pieces of junk such as fuel tanks, lost tools and parts of derelict satellites. It has gotten so bad that space junk has become such a concern for NASA and the ESA, and they are looking at several ways to deal with it. One proposed idea from Astrium UK is to develop a system to harpoon rogue or redundant satellites and pull them out of the sky. The system would see the harpoon fired at any potentially threatening satellite from close range. A propulsion pack tethered to the projectile would then pull the junk downwards, to burn up in the atmosphere. Speaking to BBC News , designer Dr Jaime Reed, from Astrium UK said, “Space has become a critical part of our infrastructure – from weather forecasting and Earth observation, to GPS and telecommunications.” Space junk poses a real threat to these vital services if we do nothing about it, and so it’s very important we develop capture technologies to remove some of this material. Studies have shown that taking out just a few large items each year can help us get on top of the problem. The harpoon system comprises of a barbed spear about 30cm in length, which is mounted on a “chaser satellite” that would edge to within 100m of a junk object. Once the harpoon is hooked through the skin of the rogue satellite, thrusters would fire dragging it back into the atmosphere. Prof Richard Crowther, of the UK Space Agency’s chief engineer said speaking to BBC News: “If you’ve watched James Bond films over the years, you know that anything with a harpoon, with a laser, with a net in space has the potential to grab another spacecraft and destroy it. So, we need to build reassurance within the space community and demonstrate that the systems being proposed are peaceful in their nature but also peaceful in the intent and the way in which they are going to be used.” To put into context the danger of space junk, a piece of metal a mere 1cm in size can hit with the impact of a .22 bullet in orbit, while a piece of junk the size of a tennis ball can hit a space shuttle with the devastation of 25 sticks of dynamite. Currently, there are over one million pieces of junk between 1cm and 10cm in size, not to mention 5,200 derelict satellites. + Astrium UK Via BBC News / Sen.com

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Space Scientists Develop Harpoon System to Capture Rogue Satellites and Clean up Space Junk

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