Science and Technology 

Hubble Telescope Opens Its Eye Again

For three weeks in October, Hubble’s eyes on the Universe closed. On the evening of Friday 5 October, the orbiting observatory put itself into safe mode after one of its gyroscopes failed. The telescope stopped making science observations, oriented its solar panels toward the Sun, and waited for further instructions from the ground. Within hours the ground control team had activated a backup gyroscope. However, when that gyroscope did not work correctly, the long, hard work to get the telescope exploring the Universe once again began in earnest. The Hubble…

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Science and Technology 

Paleontologists Discover A New Giant Dinosaur, The Volgatitan

Paleontologists from Russia have described a new dinosaur, the Volgatitan. Seven of its vertebrae, which had remained in the ground for about 130 million years, were found on the banks of the Volga, not far from the village of Slantsevy Rudnik, five kilometers from Ulyanovsk. The study has been published in the latest issue of Biological Communications. The Volgatitan belongs to the group of sauropods – giant herbivorous dinosaurs with a long neck and tail, who lived on Earth about 200 to 65 million years ago. Weighing around 17 tons,…

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Science and Technology 

Researchers Use Gelatin to Make Powerful New Hydrogen Fuel Catalyst

A cheap and effective new catalyst developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, can generate hydrogen fuel from water just as efficiently as platinum, currently the best — but also most expensive — water-splitting catalyst out there. The catalyst, which is composed of nanometer-thin sheets of metal carbide, is manufactured using a self-assembly process that relies on a surprising ingredient: gelatin, the material that gives Jell-O its jiggle. “Platinum is expensive, so it would be desirable to find other alternative materials to replace it,” said senior author Liwei…

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Science and Technology 

Rocket Lab’s Electron Rocket Sends Series of New CubeSats to Space

A series of new CubeSats now are in space, conducting a variety of scientific investigations and technology demonstrations, following launch Sunday of Rocket Lab’s first mission for NASA under a Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) contract. An Electron rocket lifted off at 1:33 a.m. EST (7:33 p.m. NZDT) from the company’s launch complex on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand, marking the first time CubeSats have launched for NASA on a rocket designed specifically for small payloads. “With the VCLS effort, NASA has successfully advanced the commercial launch service choices for smaller…

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