China will double down on investing in solar power while Germany winds down government support for solar

China has raised its 2015 target for solar-electricity capacity, giving a shot in the arm to its solar companies, many of which are struggling due to industry overcapacity, slow global demand and overseas trade disputes. China’s State Council, or cabinet, in a statement dated July 4 but posted Monday said installed capacity for solar electricity …

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Electric Sail components and technical details

The electric solar wind sail (E-sail) is a new type of propellantless propulsion system for Solar System transportation, which uses the natural solar wind for producing spacecraft propulsion. This paper discusses a mass breakdown and a performance model for an E-sail spacecraft that hosts a scientifi c payload of prescribed mass. In particular, the model …

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Unmanned A10 will be the UAV under complete control of spotter soldiers starting in about 2016

The goal of the DARPA Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) program is to demonstrate the capability for a joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) [soldier with radio and camera system designated to direct attack] on the ground “to visualize, select and employ weapons at the time of his choosing from an optionally manned/unmanned A-10 platform. An …

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NASA space technology roadmaps

NASA’s Space Technology Roadmaps (STRs) were finalized in 2012. I will detail out and summarize the technology roadmaps over the next few articles. Technical Area Space Technology Roadmaps TA01 Launch Propulsion Systems TA02 In-Space Propulsion Systems TA03 Space Power and Energy Storage TA04 Robotics, Tele-Robotics and Autonomous Systems TA05 Communication and Navigation Systems TA06 Human …

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Revolutionary Superconducting Technology Capabilities are here and will scale for high impact deployment over the next 10-30 years

Superconducting wire that will enable superconducting magnets with 20-50 tesla. China, Japan, United States and several European countries all should have 45 tesla hybrid superconducting magnets soon. An 88 page report from Europe explains the material challenges (physical stresses) that put an upper limit around 100-120 tesla for a superconducting magnet. Note the applications – …

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NASA Designs New Space Telescope Optics to Directly Image Exoplanets and detect biosignatures

Although hundreds of planets orbiting other stars have been discovered in the past 15 years, we cannot yet answer the age-old question of whether any of these planets are capable of sustaining life. However, new NASA technology may change that, by giving us our first look at distant planets that not only are the right …

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An economical way to convert carbon dioxide into calcium carbonate

A chance discovery that sea urchins use Nickel particles to harness carbon dioxide from the sea to grow their exoskeleton could be the key to capturing tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere. Experts at Newcastle University, UK, have discovered that in the presence of a Nickel catalyst, CO2 can be converted rapidly and cheaply into …

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China first domestic aircraft carrier will launch in 2013

China’s first domestically made aircraft carrier will be launched next year and will be commissioned between 2015 and 2016, according to a Hong Kong magazine. After the launch of the first carrier, China will bring a second one on stream two years later, the Mirror said in its December edition. China plans to build a …

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Graphene from any Lab

Eurekalert – Researchers have developed a low cost method for manufacturing multilayered graphene sheets. The new method does not require any specialized equipment and can be implemented in any laboratory. The existing methods for fabricating graphene – including deposition of epitaxial layer on a metallic substrate or silicon carbide, or chemical or physical vapour deposition …

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DARPA Living Foundries plans to make Synthetic Biology ten times faster and cheaper

Wired Danger Room – DARPAs Living Foundries project was first announced by the agency last year. Darpa has handed out seven research awards worth $15.5 million to six different companies and institutions including the University of Texas at Austin and the California Institute of Technology. Two contracts were also issued to the J. Craig Venter …

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