BLOG

Helios and Eta Space Combine Technologies to Extract and Store Liquid Oxygen on the Moon

Oxygen depot on the moon - illustration by HeliosTwo space tech companies, Helios and Eta Space, announced they are joining forces to solve the problem of oxygen in space. If humanity is to have a sustainable presence beyond Earth, reusable methane-fueled rocket systems need liquid oxygen at a ratio of 1:4, so the only cost-effective solution to refueling in orbit is to create and store oxygen on the Moon and on Mars.

Read More

In DNA--Scientists find solution to building superconductor that could transform technology

Superconducting DNAScientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and their collaborators have used DNA to overcome a nearly insurmountable obstacle to engineer materials that would revolutionize electronics. 

Read More

Chemical Breakthrough Could Unlock the True Potential of Powdered Hydrogen as a Fuel

Hydrogen logistics concept.Researchers at the Deakin University in Australia have found that boron nitride, a household chemical used commonly in paints, cosmetics as well as dental cement, could unlock the potential of hydrogen as a fuel, a press release said

Read More

Researchers Take First-Ever Cryo-EM Images of Nitrogenase in Action

A comparison of previous X-ray crystallography and new cryoEM images shows remarkable clarity and detail with cryoEM. (cr: Tezcan and Herzik groups / UC San Diego)Previously, it has been impossible to capture the high-resolution images of nitrogenase, the only enzyme capable of reducing nitrogen into ammonia, during catalytic action. Now, for the first time, researchers at the University of California San Diego report near-atomic-resolution snapshots of nitrogenase during catalysis using cryogenic electron microscopy (cryoEM). The results were published in the journal Science.

Read More

"Gas stations" in Zero Gravity

Issam Mudawar (far left) oversees an experiment to test how microgravity affects cryogenic liquids, which is vital to the future operation of space-based propellant depots. (Purdue University photo/Jared Pike)To journey and return from other planets, future spacecraft may have to do something they've never done before: refuel in space. Thanks to a Purdue University experiment, scientists are now beginning to understand how cryogenic liquids behave in zero-gravity, and how this affects the future operation of propellant depots in space. 

Read More

Eta Space Develops Cryogenic Propellant Depots for Earth and Space

Eta Space- Lunar Production PlantEta Space, a new space company dedicated to developing advanced cryogenic systems for the modern space and energy age, is celebrating its three-year anniversary in June with milestones scheduled for several key projects. Eta Space is developing LOXSAT, a 135 kg demonstration satellite designed to test critical cryogenic fluid management (CFM) technologies in Earth’s orbit.

Read More

The GigaSphere: Game Changer for Next Generation of Clean Energy

GigaSphere, Gen H2Large spheres have been used to store liquid hydrogen for decades. In fact, two 3,218 cubic meter (850,000 gallon) liquid hydrogen storage spheres have supported space flight pro- grams at the Kennedy Space Center since the mid-1960s. Currently, NASA plans to use the latest and largest liquid hydro- gen tank ever put into production for the Artemis exploration missions to the moon and Mars.

Read More

Journey of the Maglev

In early January 2022, a prototype mag- lev train was rolled out in southwest China’s city of Chengdu, one of the latest developments in magnetic levitation trains. The domestically developed locomotive uses high temperature superconducting and will travel with a designed speed of 620 km/h, according to Southwest Jiaotong University, one of the train’s designers. Maglev trains, levitated from the tracks and propelled by powerful magnets to avoid wheel-rail friction, are de- signed to break the speed bottlenecks facing high-speed trains. In early January 2022, a prototype mag- lev train was rolled out in southwest China’s city of Chengdu, one of the latest developments in magnetic levitation trains. The domestically developed locomotive uses high temperature superconducting and will travel with a designed speed of 620 km/h, according to Southwest Jiaotong University, one of the train’s designers. Maglev trains, levitated from the tracks and propelled by powerful magnets to avoid wheel-rail friction, are de- signed to break the speed bottlenecks facing high-speed trains. 

Read More

Penflex Controls Pressure at the Intersection of Vacuum and Cryogenic Sciences

Penflex 300 series hoseVacuum technologies have advanced the field of cryogenics, allowing researchers to push the frontiers of what we know and businesses to apply that knowledge and drive innovation across a wide range of industries. The intersection of vacuum and cryogenic sciences is a demanding one. Pressure and temperature requirements create a playing field where only certain materials of construction and precise techniques and processes can play. Whether a component within a closed cryogenic system or a transfer link to be reused and repurposed, metal hoses are well suited for these exacting environments.

Read More

Space Cryogenics: The ECOSTRESS Instrument After Four Years in Space

ECOSTRESS_NASAThe ECOSystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) instrument is a multispectral thermal infrared imaging radiometer, and its primary mission is to investigate and understand how climate change affects water and carbon usage on Earth.[1] The instrument measures the surface temperature of Earth with a resolution that is able to capture individual farm fields.[2] The data collected by ECOSTRESS is processed into a product called the Evaporative Stress Index, which indicates whether plants are stressed and if a drought is likely to occur.[2] 

Read More

The Cold Facts of the Spitzer Space Telescope

by Michael Werner, Project Scientist, Spitzer Space Telescope—Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology 

Spitzer being prepared for thermal testing in 2003.

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, launched in August 2003 and decommissioned in January 2020 after more than 16 glorious years of exploration of the universe at infrared wavelengths, was a technical and scientific marvel. Infrared astronomical studies at wavelengths longward of 1 micron, somewhat beyond the limit of human vision at around 0.7 microns, began in earnest around 1960. These early studies, carried out on ambient temperature telescopes within the atmosphere, advanced astronomical understanding of targets from planets within the solar system to distant and highly luminous galaxies. However, they could not disguise the fact that the earth is a hostile environment for infrared astronomy.

Read More

Another Primary Webb Space Telescope Instrument Gets the “Go for Science”

This illustration shows the cold side of the Webb telescope, where the mirrors and instruments are positioned. Credit: Northrop GrummanRecently, NIRISS, one of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s four primary scientific instruments concluded its postlaunch preparations and was declared ready for science. Now a second of Webb’s four primary scientific instruments, known as the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), has also concluded its postlaunch preparations and is now ready for science.

Read More

Physicists Find a Shortcut to Seeing an Elusive Quantum Glow

According to a predicted phenomenon known as the Unruh effect, an accelerating object, such as a starship traveling at close to the speed of light, should generate showers of faintly glowing particles. Credit: Christine Daniloff, MIT (CC BY-SA).Theoretical physics is full of weird and wonderful concepts: wormholes, quantum foam and multiverses, just to name a few. The problem is that while such things easily emerge from theorists’ equations, they are practically impossible to create and test in a laboratory setting. But for one such “untestable” theory, an experimental setup might be just on the horizon. 

Read More

NASA’s Webb Delivers Deepest Infrared Image of Universe Yet

Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScINASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has delivered the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe so far. Webb’s First Deep Field is galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, and it is teeming with thousands of galaxies – including the faintest objects ever observed in the infrared. 

Read More

Using Laser Technology to Measure the Rotational Cooling of Molecular Ions Colliding with Electrons

Simplified schematic of the experiment showing the relevant parts of the cryogenic storage ring (CSR). The red and blue trajectories highlight the ion and electron beams, respectively. The stored ions can interact with the merged electron beam or a pulsed laser beam (dashed purple line). The laser interaction products are neutral and continue ballistically (green arrow) until collected on a particle counting detector. Credit: Kalosi et al.Researchers at the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Germany and the Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory have recently carried out an experiment aimed at measuring the rate of quantum transitions caused by collisions between molecules and electrons. Their findings, published in Physical Review Letters, offer the first experimental evidence of this rate, which had previously only been theoretically estimated.

Read More

Researchers Investigate Intricacies in Superconductors with Hopes to Support Quantum Computer Development

Credit: Candadian Light SourceRyan Day studies superconductors. Materials that conduct electricity perfectly, losing no energy to heat and resistance. Specifically, the University of California, Berkeley scientist studies how superconductors can coexist with their opposites; insulating materials that stop the flow of electrons. The materials that combine these two opposed states, called topological superconductors, are understandably weird, hard to characterize and engineer, but if one could design them properly, they could play an important role in quantum computing.

Read More

With Cryo-EM, SKI Scientists Determine Structure of Key Factor in RNA Quality Control

Sloan Kettering Institute scientists Christopher Lima and Rhyan Puno. Credit: SKI.In biology, getting rid of stuff can be just as important as making it. A buildup of cells, proteins, or other molecules that are no longer needed can cause problems, so living things have evolved several ways to clean house. A prime example is the RNA exosome. RNA molecules perform many roles in cells. Some of them are translated into proteins; others form a cell’s protein-building machinery. The RNA exosome is a cellular machine that degrades RNA molecules that are faulty, harmful, or no longer needed. Without this microscopic Marie Kondo to prune what doesn’t spark joy, our cells would become dysfunctional hoarders, unable to function.

Read More

NASA Mars Orbiter Releasing One of Its Last Rainbow-Colored Maps

Seen are six views of the Nili Fossae region of Mars captured by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, or CRISM, one of the instruments aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHU-APL Scientists are about to get a new look at Mars, thanks to a multicolored 5.6-gigapixel map. Covering 86% of the Red Planet’s surface, the map reveals the distribution of dozens of key minerals. By looking at mineral distribution, scientists can better understand Mars’ watery past and can prioritize which regions need to be studied in more depth.

Read More

Daimler Truck Testing Fuel-cell Truck with Liquid Hydrogen; sLH2 Refueling

Daimler Truck is now putting another prototype into operation to test the use of liquid hydrogenSince last year, a Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck fuel-cell prototype has been undergoing intensive testing both on the in-house test track and on public roads. Daimler Truck is now putting another prototype into operation to test the use of liquid hydrogen. Political support for the development program comes from Daniela Schmitt, Minister of Economic Affairs of Rhineland-Palatinate, who opened the regional hydrogen week “Woche des Wasserstoffs SÜD” with a test drive in Wörth am Rhein, Germany.

Read More

FormFactor Launches Cryogenic Test Service to Dramatically Reduce the Time and Cost for Superconducting Qubit Characterization

formfactorFormFactor, Inc., a leading semiconductor test and measurement supplier, today announced an innovative and new cryogenic test service business model designed to accelerate quantum computing IC development and characterization. Quantum developers can now leverage FormFactor’s state-of-the-art Advanced Cryogenic Lab located at Boulder, Colorado, to characterize qubits and resonators using cryostats with groundbreaking probe sockets to accelerate development cycles by more than 2X, with no up-front capital investment.

Read More