Archive by date | March 2010

Taking out the (space) trash

Taking out the (space) trash

Space is vast, but the bit around the earth is crowded with fifty years worth of satellites, rocket stages, and other debris. Ever since the collision of a defunct Russian communication satellite with a member of the Iridium constellation last year, the space community has redoubled its efforts to find ways of getting rid of old satellites and unwanted junk that’s taking up valuable real-estate in low-earth orbit.

‘Climate intervention’ conference winds down with solemn assessment

After wading through a morass of legal, moral and ethical issues over the course of a week, a group of international climate scientists and experts came to this conclusion: new research must be conducted into technologies that could be used to systematically alter the earth’s climate system – and take the edge off global warming.  Read more

Quotes of the day

“While some companies clearly need science and engineering graduates, the chief growth in graduate employment over the past quarter-century has been in finance, business, medicine, law, leisure and public administration. The only other country that took science-first seriously after the 1950s was the Soviet Union … It forgot about economics, politics and, some might say, humanity – and paid a heavy price.”

Simon Jenkins decrys the bias in UK funding towards science at the expense of arts and humanities (Guardian).

“The monsoon is one of the most powerful atmospheric circulation systems on the planet, and it happens to form right over a heavily polluted region. As a result, the monsoon provides a pathway for transporting pollutants up to the stratosphere.”

William Randel, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, comments on his research showing that pollution in Asia is carried up into the stratosphere by the monsoon (AFP).

“This is a significant step forward in saving Bletchley Park. It should be flagged up as it is the first time the Government has provided any funding”

Simon Greenish, chief executive of the Bletchley Park Trust, praises £250,000 in government funding for repairs to the historic site (ComputerActive).

“As you might imagine, waiting 20 years is a pretty nasty chore.”

Roy Weinstein, emeritus professor at the University of Houston, has finally received a patent for his superconducting magnets, 20 years after submitting the application (Houston Chronicle).

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