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NASA buys blow-up habitat for space station astronauts

The US space agency has signed a $17.8-million contract with Bigelow Aerospace of Nevada to build an inflatable crew habitat for the ISS.

According to details released today at a press briefing , the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, will launch in 2015. Astronauts on the ISS will test the module for safety and comfort.

BEAM will fly uninflated inside the trunk of a SpaceX Dragon capsule. Once docked and fully expanded, the module will be 4 metres long and 3 metres wide. For two years astronauts will monitor conditions inside, such as temperature and radiation levels.

The company has made progress, developing shielding that resists punctures from space debris and micrometeorites. BEAM's skin, for instance, is made from layers of material like Kevlar to protect occupants from high-speed impacts. The craft's skin has been tested in the lab alongside shielding used right now on the rest of the ISS, says Bigelow director Mike Gold.

"Our envelope will not only equal but be superior to what is flying on the ISS today. We have a strong and absolute focus on safety," he says.

Article Link: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23083-nasa-buys-blowup-habitat-for-space-station-astronauts.html

Picture courtesy: Bigelow airspace

#science   #scienceeveryday   #bigelow   #nasa   #space   #ISS  
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the new generation of speakers on any box or cup

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Interesting work on ebola.  Researchers find a new method of immune evasion that impacts how we need to think about vaccine design for this virus.

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Non-linear interactions of Alfven waves

This is a results from the LArge Plasma Device (LAPD) about plasma turbulence. Alfven waves in non-linear interactions give birth to a daughter wave with a higher wave number. The rsult is the transfer of energy from high to low scale structures, which is a main mechanism in the generation of turbulence.

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This is much more of the flashier stuff in a chemistry lab, and a musician took these sounds and made a little song out of it.

The guy who posted this also has videos on the chemical elements and many interesting molecules. Check him out!

http://periodicvideos.com
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