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Space

First attempt to deploy inflatable habitat on space station is a no-go

The first attempt to inflate the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) attached to the International Space Station (ISS) ended in failure today as astronauts and engineers assess the situation. At 6:10 am EDT, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams partially inflated the experimental habitat module docked to the station's' Tranquility module in what should have been 45-minute operation, but despite several hours of work, the balloon-like fabric only expanded a few inches instead of the planned several feet.Read More

Electronics

E Ink shows its true colors with new display

E Ink is proving itself to be a versatile technology, showing up not just in eReaders but in traffic signs, clocks, wall panels and even shoes. But one thing the reflective display technology has always had trouble with is color. The workaround for a long time has been the use of color filter arrays (CFA), but the range and richness of those is limited. Now the company has unveiled Advanced Color ePaper (ACeP), which it promises will bring the full color gamut to its screens.Read More

Space

Red dwarf exoplanets not as habitable as once believed

Fresh research is pouring cold water on the hopes of discovering life on distant exoplanets orbiting red dwarf stars. It had previously been thought that Earth-sized planets orbiting in the habitable zones (HZs) of the small stars could provide a possible haven for life, but sophisticated computer models suggest that these planets are likely rendered uninhabitable by their super-dense atmospheres.Read More

Electronics

Spintronics closer as scientists find new method for generating spin currents

The emerging technology of spintronics, which utilizes the spin of electrons to store and manipulate data, promises devices that are faster and more energy efficient than conventional electronics, but a major obstacle has been how to effectively generate the spin current in the first place. Now, scientists have formulated a new method for quickly creating currents using ultra short laser pulses.Read More

Materials

Getting a grip on ivy's adhesive properties

Anyone who has tried to clear ivy from the side of their house will know the climber is almost impossible to unstick. A team at Ohio State University has studied the tiny particles giving ivy its vise-like grip, with a view to creating better medical and industrial adhesives, and even stronger armor.Read More

Space

Colossal solar storms may have made ancient Earth habitable

According to a new NASA study, powerful solar storms could have been instrumental in warming ancient Earth, and preparing the planet for the development of complex life. Known as "superflares," the space weather events were thought to be roughly 10 times more powerful than any solar storm that has struck Earth since the advent of modern civilization.
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