This week has been outstandingly busy here in the lab. We have been busy putting new parts on one of our spectrometers, shooting gold tubing with lasers (to hopefully work out a method of measuring the Hayabusa samples we are due to be sent), as well as teaching a very attentive group of Year 8’s from St. Peter’s Academy. In fact, we have been so busy that we almost forgot to post this week’s News Round-Up! Nonetheless, here it is- a few of the most interesting articles we’ve seen over the last week:
Printing on the Moon?
3D printing is a rapidly growing technology and now the applications may be as far flung as space! This article details how ESA are teaming up with industrial contacts such as Foster + Partners to explore the possibility of printing structures on the moon. This is still in the experimental stages but, if successful, may mean massive advances in space exploration. We’ll be following the development of this closely! Read the full article here: Building a Lunar Base with 3D Printing
Mining Ship Red Dwa RASSOR
In previous articles we’ve seen the discussion of asteroid mining. That dream is inching forwards bit by bit and this latest development is certainly heading towards making that dream a reality. Engineers at NASA have been hard at work building a robust autonomous mining robot capable of seeking out valuable materials on other planets and then extracting and refining them before transporting them back to Earth. This article details the development of this new ‘Razor’ bot: Engineers Building Hard-working Mining Robot
Saluting Nearly a Decade of Opportunity
Recently our attention has been on Curiosity but there are still a wide range of rovers carrying out cutting edge science on Mars. Opportunity is approaching its 10th year of service and is still going strong! Read about the ongoing developments with Curiosity’s predecessor as well as the ways NASA are celebrating the decade of service: NASA’s Veteran Mars Rover Ready to Start 10th Year
Stars That Keep on Giving
No, we aren’t talking about the latest charity donations made by celebrity X. The Herschel Telescope, a joint mission by ESA and NASA, has observed a star which appears to be producing planets even though it is well past its expected planet forming period. Read about the findings in this NASA article: Herschel Finds Past-Prime Star May Be Making Planets
A final note to all our academic readers, the 44th LPSC abstract booklet is now available. Have a look at all the amazing research that will be discussed in March!