Elon Musk of Space – Why the US Can Beat China: The Facts About SpaceX Costs

Elon Musk has an open letter which describes how Spacex keeps its costs low and why they can beat China Bigelow Aerospace (inflatable space stations), Spacex,of Ad Astra Rocket Company (makers of the VASIMR plasma rocket) and few companies like them are leading the way to a new space age. Whenever someone proposes to do …

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UMD Scientists Make Magnetic New Graphene Discovery

Schematic of a graphene transistor showing graphene (red), gold electrodes (yellow), silicon dioxide (clear) and silicon substrate (black). Inset shows the graphene lattice with vacancy defects. Vacancies (missing atoms) are shown surrounded by blue carbon atoms. University of Maryland researchers have discovered a way to control magnetic properties of graphene that could lead to powerful …

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Carnival of Space 189

Carnival of Space 189 is up at Steves Astrocorner Universe today has satellite before and after photos of areas in Japan hit by the earthquake and tsunami An update of the Sheparding asteroids article is provided by this site. In space it is relatively easy to move quite large space rocks using solar sails, ion …

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Gaddafi forces about to attack last Rebel city of Bengazi

On Wednesday, Seif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the oldest son of the Libyan dictator, declared that Benghazi will fall within 48 hours. The battle for control of Benghazi looked just hours away on Thursday after the Libyan army ordered people to leave opposition-held locations and arms storage areas. Rebels said they had inflicted heavy losses on government …

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Heinlein Style Spaceflight with Supertall Towers—and ‘2001’ Style Space Development

By Joseph Friedlander By strength of materials arguments alone, staged (note that qualifier—a tower whose ‘payload’ is another smaller tower on top—in that sense skyscrapers with setbacks or even the tapered Eiffel tower is staged–) towers 30-to 100 kilometers high are quite doable. New businesses and payback models would be enabled with each successive height …

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Carnival of Space 182

After a one month hiatus, the Carnival of Space is back. Nextbigfuture will be working with Universe today on the organization of the Carnival of Space. There are hosts signed up into April. 1. the Planetary Society has Amateur image processor Daniel Macháček took five images of Phobos from Mars Express’ recent flyby and produced …

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Most populous countries

Projections for the most populous countries in 2020 through 2050 The 2010 census for Indonesia is showing a substantially higher population, so projections for Indonesia are low. Also, Indonesia may not slow its population growth until much later. Nigeria, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Congo and other high growth countries could also surprise on the high side. Country …

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Super High Mileage Cars and Electric Vehicles

The Chevy Volt officially goes on sale in December, though pre-orders began this summer. Initially they’re only available in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Michigan. The Volt range extending generator runs on gas and GM is hitting hard on that feature to help lure customers from Nissan’s new Leaf vehicles …

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Sander Olson interviews Randy Lewis who is making spider silk with silkworms

Here is the Randy Lewis interview by Sander Olson. Dr. Lewis is a molecular biologist who teaches at the University of Wyoming. His group has sequenced the genome of the orb spider, which has silk which is 10x as strong as steel. Dr. Lewis group aims to inject orb spider genes into silkworms in order …

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