Science

Lithium Extraction. (Courtesy: The University of Texas at Austin) A new way to extract lithium from contaminated water could make this technologically important metal much easier to produce. The technique, which involves passing aqueous brines through lithium-selective polymeric membranes, works in a way that mimics the potassium channels that regulate the balance of ions in
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WASHINGTON — NASA officials are standing by their decision to retain the name of the James Webb Space Telescope despite criticism from some astronomers, including one who resigned from an advisory committee in protest. The agency said in a once-sentence statement in late September that a historical review turned up no evidence to back allegations
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In this episode of the Physics World Stories podcast astronomers discuss the search for signs of extraterrestrial technologies. Fingerprints might include traces of pollution in exoplanet atmospheres, lights on the night sides of planets, and even the waste heat from megastructures such as Dyson spheres. Podcast host Andrew Glester meets the following guests: Jacob Haqq Misra, senior
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WASHINGTON — Senate appropriators, frustrated with the lack of progress by the Commerce Department on space traffic management, are threatening to withhold other funding until it gets detailed plans from the agency. In the report accompanying its version of a commerce, justice and science spending bill for fiscal year 2022, released Oct. 18, Senate appropriators
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SAN FRANCISCO – LeoLabs announced plans Oct. 19 to construct two phased-array radars in Western Australia, the sixth site for the Silicon Valley startup’s global space-tracking network. The Western Australia LeoLabs site was selected in part because its longitude provides a view of launch trajectories from Asia. “Our whole mission is to drive transparency in space,”
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Exoplanet of firsts: artist’s impression of the exoplanet 51 Pegasi b (left) and its star. This was the first exoplanet to be discovered orbiting a main-sequence star (using radial velocity in 1995) and the first to be observed directly (in 2015). (Courtesy: ESO/M Kornmesser/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org)) Astronomers in Australia and the UK have shown how
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WASHINGTON — The Government Accountability Office and the Defense Department’s inspector general are still months away from completing their investigations of the decision to relocate U.S. Space Command from Colorado Springs to Huntsville, Alabama.  “We have been told by the department that results are expected sometime in spring of 2022,” Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) said
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — As NASA prepares to install the Orion spacecraft on the first Space Launch System rocket, agency officials played down any effect coronavirus vaccine mandates will have on final preparations for the launch. In sessions of the American Astronautical Society’s Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium last week, Artemis program leaders said the next
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WASHINGTON — Engineers are investigating why one of the two solar arrays on NASA’s Lucy spacecraft may have failed to lock into place when deployed after launch Oct. 16. In an Oct. 17 statement, NASA said that while the spacecraft is healthy, one of the two circular solar panels “may not be fully latched” after
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Rice University graduate student Lebing Chen used a high-temperature furnace to make chromium triiodide crystals that yielded the 2D materials for experiments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source. (Courtesy: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Three years ago, an international team of researchers observed something unexpected in a sample of chromium triiodide (CrI3): quasiparticles known as
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