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Category: Aerospace Engineering

Fabric the reinforcer

Aircraft brake disk, breakage after machanical tests Credit: Sergey Gnuskov/NUST MISIS Scientists from the National University of Science and Technology (MISIS) have tested experimental composite materials for aircraft brakes, developed by PJSC Aviation Corporation “Rubin.” New materials, reinforced by carbon “fabric,” have turned out to be far more durable than the current analogues. As a result of testing, the scientists developed recommendations to improve the fracture toughness of both existing and developed composite materials for braking systems, which in the…

Tiny satellites reveal water dynamics in thousands of northern lakes — ScienceDaily

Using an army of small satellites, researchers have shown that water levels in small lakes across northern Canada and Alaska are far more variable during the summer than previously thought. The findings, published in Geophysical Research Letters, could have implications for how scientists calculate the natural greenhouse gas emissions from these northern lakes. The study used images taken by a network of more than 150 CubeSats — small satellites about the size of shoeboxes — which made nearly daily observations…

NASA’s Opportunity rover mission on Mars comes to end — ScienceDaily

One of the most successful and enduring feats of interplanetary exploration, NASA’s Opportunity rover mission is at an end after almost 15 years exploring the surface of Mars and helping lay the groundwork for NASA’s return to the Red Planet. The Opportunity rover stopped communicating with Earth when a severe Mars-wide dust storm blanketed its location in June 2018. After more than a thousand commands to restore contact, engineers in the Space Flight Operations Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory…

Indonesia’s devastating 2018 earthquake was a rare supershear, UCLA study finds — ScienceDaily

The devastating 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi last September was a rare “supershear” earthquake, according to a study led by UCLA researchers. Only a dozen supershear quakes have been identified in the past two decades, according to Lingsen Meng, UCLA’s Leon and Joanne V.C. Knopoff Professor of Physics and Geophysics and one of the report’s senior authors. The new study was published Feb. 4 in the journal Nature Geoscience. Meng and a team of scientists…

Prolonged spaceflight could weaken astronauts’ immune systems — ScienceDaily

NASA hopes to send humans to Mars by 2030 on a round-trip mission that could take up to three years — far longer than any human has ever traveled in space. Such long-term spaceflights could adversely affect certain cells in the immune systems of astronauts, according to a new study led by University of Arizona researchers. “What NASA and other space agencies are concerned about is whether or not the immune system is going to be compromised during very prolonged…

Engineering Ethics Blog: “The Challenger Disaster” Movie

Perhaps the most widely studied case in the field of engineering ethics is the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger shortly after launch.  The cause was traced to solid-rocket-booster O-ring seals that became too stiff to work in the near-freezing temperatures of the January 28 launch.  Combustion gases leaking through the seal of a rocket booster during the stress of launch destroyed the craft and killed all seven crew members, including a schoolteacher named Christa McAuliffe.  Investigations after the…

Top 5 Interesting Screensavers for Windows 10

Screensavers have long been a part of Windows fraternity. The initial objective of screensavers was to help prevent screen burn on CRT monitors. Screen burns were a result of a prolonged display of one image on the monitor, due to continuous inactivity and screensavers used to come to the rescue by displaying something moving to disrupt persistent screen idleness. Today, the idea of screensavers might feel a bit relic but the fact is that there are more stunning screensavers these…

Feds to ease rules on drone flights over crowds and at night

In this April 29, 2018, file photo, a drone operator helps to retrieve a drone after photographing over Hart Island in New York. Federal officials plan to ease restrictions on flying drones over crowds and at night. Federal officials plan to ease restrictions on flying small drones over crowds and at night, which would give a boost to the commercial use of unmanned aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration outlined draft rules Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, that would let drone operators…

Amelia Earhart would have a hard time disappearing in 2019

Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Model 10-E Electra, with advanced navigation equipment mounted above the cockpit. Credit: USAF/Wikimedia Commons When Amelia Earhart took off in 1937 to fly around the world, people had been flying airplanes for only about 35 years. When she tried to fly across the Pacific, she – and the world – knew it was risky. She didn’t make it, and was declared dead in January 1939. In the 80 years since then, many other planes have been lost…

Images of the Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule unveil the very first stages of solar system’s history — ScienceDaily

Scientists from NASA’s New Horizons mission released the first detailed images of the most distant object ever explored — the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule. Its remarkable appearance, unlike anything we’ve seen before, illuminates the processes that built the planets four and a half billion years ago. “This flyby is a historic achievement,” said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. “Never before has any spacecraft team tracked down such a small…