Space is a dangerous place for humans: Microgravity sets our fluids wandering and weakens muscles, radiation tears through DNA and the harsh vacuum outside is an ever-present threat. But for materials that show incredible strength, transmit information with barely any loss, form enormous crystals or even grow into organs, the harshness of space can be the perfect construction zone. As the cost of spaceflight goes down, more of these materials may become cost-effective to make or study in space. And soon, more and more people might be carrying around objects built off the planet. [Top 10 Strangest Things in Space] "We generally make things by subjecting them to a different environment," said Andrew Rush, president and CEO of Made In Space, an in-space manufacturing company. "We make food by cooking it in fire, heating it up and causing chemical reactions. We make steel by heating things up at high temperature and maybe, depending on the steel, [in a] high-pressure environment. … [Read more...] about Making Stuff in Space: Off-Earth Manufacturing Is Just Getting Started
Low carbon steel density
Molybdenum is a silvery-white metal that is ductile and highly resistant to corrosion. It has one of the highest melting points of all pure elements — only the elements tantalum and tungsten have higher melting points. Molybdenum is also a micronutrient essential for life. As a transistion metal, molybdenum easily forms compounds with other elements. Molybdenum comprises 1.2 parts per million (ppm) of the Earth's crust by weight, but it is not found free in nature. The main molybdenum ore is molybdenite (molybdenum disulfide), but can also be found in wulfenite (lead molybdate) and powellite (calcium molybdate). It is recovered as a by-product of copper or tungsten mining. Molybdenum is mined primarily in the United States, China, Chile and Peru. World production is around 200,000 tons per year, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). Just the facts Atomic number (number of protons in the nucleus): 42 Atomic symbol (on the periodic table of the … [Read more...] about Facts About Molybdenum
Stockholm is a city known for its waterways. Founded on an archipelago of some thirty thousand islands, bodies of water are rarely more than a stone's throw away in the Swedish capital. An appreciation for lakes, rivers, and nature in the fullest sense runs high in Swedish sentiment. It's not by chance, after all, that Stockholm is world-leading in air quality, access to green spaces, and sustainable urban planning. That green mentality recently challenged engineers tasked with the design and construction of a new six lane bypass running 21km (more than 13 miles) north to south along the rapidly expanding city's western edge. How can you tackle a task that big whilst keeping the environmental impact to an absolute minimum? "Typically, in an area with as low a building density as we have here, you'd take an overground route and construct bridges where necessary," Johan Brantmark, E4 project manager for the Swedish Transport Administration tells Ars. "That would be cheaper, and far … [Read more...] about An inside look at how Sweden is building the world’s second-longest tunnel
There’s a planet just next door that could explain the origins of life in the universe. It was probably once covered in oceans (SN Online: 8/1/17). It may have been habitable for billions of years (SN Online: 8/26/16). Astronomers are desperate to land spacecraft there.No, not Mars. That tantalizing planet is Venus. But despite all its appeal, Venus is one of the hardest places in the solar system to get to know. That’s partly because modern Venus is famously hellish, with temperatures hot enough to melt lead and choking clouds of sulfuric acid.“If you wanted sinners to fry in their own juice, Venus would be the place to send them,” V. S. Avduevsky, deputy director of the Soviet Union’s spaceflight control center, said in 1976 after his country’s Venera 9 and 10 landers returned their dismal view of the planet’s landscape (SN: 6/19/76, p. 388).Today, would-be Venus explorers say they have the technology to master those damning conditions. … [Read more...] about What will it take to go to Venus?
Advertising Feature By Gunjan SinhaOct. 14, 2016 , 9:00 AM This Advertising Feature has been commissioned, edited, and produced by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office Wales may be small but it has big plans for science. New initiatives to fund over 100 new fellowships and hire up to 30 top scientists, combined with infrastructure investments in the physical sciences, are turning Wales into a land of opportunity. Advanced materials aren’t usually associated with Wales, but it’s high time they were, says James Durrant, professor of photochemistry at Imperial College London. In 2013, Durrant accepted a joint appointment as the Sêr Cymru (Stars Wales) Solar Energy Research Chair at Swansea University in Wales. Now he also coordinates research to build the country’s reputation as a pioneer in new materials that expand the reach of solar energy. At Swansea’s Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial … [Read more...] about Wales wants more scientists