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Beginning January 31, 2007, International Space Station (ISS) crew members will perform a series of spacewalks in order to help the Space Shuttle astronauts assemble the ISS. Expedition 14 members performing these spacewalks are: Michael López-Alegría, Sunita Williams, and Mikhail Tyurin.

The nearly five-year-old Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) onboard the Hubble Space Telescope shut down at about 7:34 a.m. EST on Saturday, January 27, 2007, after a short circuit in the electrical system. This failure caused Hubble to go into ‘safe mode’. At about 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, one day later, the remaining Hubble instruments resumed their normal operations without ACS.

Researchers discover that covering iron-oxide nanoparticles with a special peptide allows nanoparticles to stick to blood protein clots found only on the blood-vessel walls of cancerous tumors. Once stuck to the clot, the researchers say that additional nanoparticles accumulate at the clot site, which eventually will stop blood flow and ultimately will kill the tumor.

On Thursday, February 1, 2007, English entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, chairman of The Virgin Group Ltd, opens a bio-tech business to cold-store stem cells for parents in the form of umbilical blood from newborn children.

Monday, 29 January 2007 05:13

PDAs in space

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A European Space Agency trial has shown that PDAs are suitable platforms for 'real' applications used by astronauts, not just personal or entertainment software.

The ESA-led unmanned Rosetta spacecraft launched to study two asteroids and one comet will do a Mars fly-by on February 25, 2007. Later, the spacecraft will do fly-bys of asteroid 2867 Šteins and asteroid 21 Luetia, and its lander Philae will land on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

On the morning of January 28, 1986, a cold weather front was stuck over Georgia and the decision to launch STS 51-L was on the minds of NASA officials. The uncharacteristically cold morning at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida found temperatures around 31 degrees Fahrenheit (-0.5 degrees Celsius). From the book “Challenger: A Major Malfunction” by Macolm McConnell: “Challenger stood naked in its cone of spotlights, three miles across the black dunes.”

Saturday, 27 January 2007 09:06

Microwaves kill 99% of common germs

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Health experts warn consumers that whenever kitchen cleaning materials are used and not properly sterilized, bacteria, germs, toxins, and viruses collect on them and could possibly make people sick or deathly ill. However, U.S. scientists have found that 99% of the germs on sponges and scrubbing pads can be killed by microwaving them.

Scientists at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center have been designing, developing, and testing microshutters that will be placed on the James Webb Space Telescope. The microshutters will allow astronomers to see further into space than previously able. They will also filter out unwanted light from shining objects that are closer than the distant objects being studied.

A draft UN report on the climate warns that the sea could keep rising for over 1000 years, whether the world is able to cut greenhouse gas emissions or not. Scary stuff – especially if you live in any coastal region, especially if you live close to the beach.

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