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Jim Edwards-Hewitt
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Jim Edwards-Hewitt

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The little green guys from the sky had it all laid out for the Pentagon. Then the U.S. Air Force and a Canadian defense firm got their hands on the schematics for flying saucers and they had to muck it all up. No, seriously. Well, maybe not the alien part. The National Archives declassified and [...]
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Jim Edwards-Hewitt

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Look to the skies, friends in the Mid-Atlantic area! We've seen one previous launch from Wallops from our house, and the weather is supposed to be chances are good.
 
Residents of the mid-Atlantic region, and along the east coast of the United States from parts of New Jersey to South Carolina, may see the launch of five NASA suborbital sounding rockets in just over five minutes from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia as early as tonight. The launch window for March 15 is between midnight and 1:30 a.m. EDT. The backup launch days are March 16 through April 3. The Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX) will gather information needed to better understand the process responsible for the high-altitude jet stream located 60 to 65 miles above the surface of the Earth. For the latest information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/missions/atrex.html
NASA.gov brings you images, videos and interactive features from the unique perspective of America’s space agency. Get the latest updates on NASA missions, subscribe to blogs, RSS feeds and podcasts,...
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Oh, now the secret's out! ;-)
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Jim Edwards-Hewitt

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New material harder than diamond

We've all heard that diamonds are the hardest substance, but that's not strictly true. Wurtzide boron nitride was discovered in 1995 and can handle 18% more stress than diamonds, and pure lonsdaleite 58% harder on the Mohs scale (the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material).

Lonsdaleite can be formed when meteorites containing graphite hit Earth (but won't be pure). While wurtzite boron nitride is formed in the very high temperatures and pressures inside volcanic eruptions.

And though diamond is very strong in terms of tensile (stretching) strength osmium has a higher compressive (squeezing) strength.

Graphene and the other wonder carbon based wonder material, buckminsterfullerenes, are also very very strong indeed. Which brings us to the new discovery.

A mix of carbon-60 (Buckyballs) and a solvent called m-xylene when compressed to 600,000 atmospheres creates a new material that sits between crystalline and amorphous, not before seen. The new material was able to dent diamond and compares to diamond in compressability. 


http://www.gizmag.com/diamond-dent/23805/
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Jim Edwards-Hewitt

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I saw a mockup display of this at the Goddard open house, along with their work on designing future satellites so that all large parts burn up on re-entry. Very cool stuff.
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Have him in circles
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