Recent tests of a metal-coated graphite power source promise low-cost thrust
and electricity for satellites and other space vehicles. Here's the scenario:
Conventional booster rockets launch the vehicle into low-earth orbit. Deployment of inflatable mirrors then focuses sunlight into a solar engine, heating liquid hydrogen fuel. Escaping through a nozzle, the expanded gas "thrusts" the payload from low-earth to geosynchronous orbit in 30 days or less with twice the efficiency of chemical propulsion systems.
On-orbit, the solar engine stays with the satellite, turning trapped solar heat into electricity. Because it replaces batteries and solar arrays, the "integrated solar upper stage" cuts payload weight and launch costs.
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The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
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