Dragon capsule returns to Earth after Space station delivery

A SpaceX Dragon freight send left the International Space Station and came back to Earth Saturday (Jan. 13), wrapping up an about month-long conveyance mission for NASA that likewise denoted the rocket’s second trek to space.

The uncrewed Dragon supply transport isolates from the space station’s mechanical arm at 4:58 a.m. EST (0958 GMT) and started terminating thrusters for its arrival to Earth. The space container sprinkled down in the Pacific Ocean off the bank of Baja California to be recovered by SpaceX, the organization reported at 10:39 a.m. EST (1539 GMT).

“Great splashdown of Dragon affirmed, finishing the second resupply mission to and from the @Space_Station with a flight-demonstrated business rocket,” SpaceX delegates said in a Twitter refresh.

Mythical serpent is conveying about 4,100 lbs. (1,860 kilograms) of payload to Earth, a lot of it science outfit from human and creature inquire about, and different investigations. That rigging incorporates equipment from an analysis by space producing organization Made In Space to 3d-print ZBLAN glass fiber optic wire in space, and a gathering of live mice from NASA’s Rodent Research 6 concentrate to create prescriptions that address muscle misfortune in space., NASA authorities said.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket propelled the Dragon mission on Dec. 15, with the container landing at the International Space Station on Dec. 17. The mission, SpaceX’s thirteenth resupply flight for NASA, conveyed 4,800 lbs. (2,177 kilograms) of provisions and rigging for space travelers.

Notwithstanding conveying freight, the mission denoted a turning point for SpaceX’s rocket reusability program. Both the Dragon case and its Falcon 9 promoter made their second treks to space on this flight. The Falcon 9 sponsor’s first stage already propelled an alternate Dragon container to the space station in June 2017. The Dragon case on this flight, in the mean time, beforehand went by the space station in April 2015.

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STEAM labs and art gallery to share space in Bettendorf

A former science teacher and a local artist have teamed up to bring an innovation hub to the former Foster Family Music Center building on State Street in Bettendorf.

Pat Bereskin, owner of Bereskin Gallery & Art Academy, and Aaron Maurer, who spent 13 years teaching in various fields at Bettendorf Middle School, see their shared space, scheduled to be unveiled next week, as the ultimate mix of art and science.

Along with Bereskin’s art gallery on the first floor, the 8,000-square-foot property houses 212 STEAM Labs, a new nonprofit offering science, technology, engineering, arts and math, or STEAM, classes for preschool, elementary and middle school-aged students. The new nonprofit was founded by Maurer, who now serves as the STEAM lead for the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency, which serves 21 eastern Iowa school districts. 

Maurer considers 212 STEAM Labs “a vision that is coming to life.” Its name, he said, comes from this idea: “At 211 degrees, water is hot. But at 212, it begins to boil.”

“Our tagline is one degree of separation, so that means we want to be able to push and expose kids to things they haven’t thought of before,” he said. “So many kids don’t know what they want to do, and that’s OK, but are we providing them enough places to explore that?”

Students will soon be able to explore topics such as ancient engineering, 3D printing, coding and silkscreen printing via interactive classes, which kick off Sept. 7. 

Maurer said he hopes to fill the gap in what “schools just don’t have enough time to do in eight hours.” 

“We can say, ‘Here’s robotics, sewing, coding and a whole gauntlet of things,’ and if something sticks, we can help them develop that,” he said. “They can figure out what’s going to be a successful path for them as opposed to waiting until high school or college.”

Maurer is all for starting early. 

“One of my missions is by the eighth grade, they should be employable,” Maurer said. “If we can inspire them at a younger age, it gives them more possibilities to craft who they want to be.” 

As for the “A” in STEAM? That’s where Bereskin comes in.

She moved her art gallery, which showcases her own work and exhibits from area artists, from its home at the Bucktown Center for the Arts, Davenport, where Bereskin has been for four years, to the property on State Street.

Bereskin, 61, who studied elementary education at the University of Northern Iowa, has taught art classes for 27 years out of her house and later her gallery. She currently teaches about 160 students. 

Bereskin said she will miss her former studio space in downtown Davenport, but she’s ready to realize “larger goals and aspirations.” 

“My whole life has been dedicated to art and working with kids and sometimes marrying what I do with the community,” she said. “Legacy is a really good word for this. In the next 30 years, I want to make time to bring up the next generation of artists. That’s our goal.”

The building, owned by Vizient Properties LLC, had been empty since December 2014, when Foster Family Music Center closed.

“It’s a concept where you’re bringing the arts and education together; it’s nice to bring that downtown,” Jeff Reiter, Bettendorf economic development director, said. “There are some unique features you don’t see in many communities.”

As Maurer said, next week’s grand opening is only the beginning. 

“Everything we do we want to have a connection to the community,” he said. “There are tons of possibilities once we get rocking and rolling.”

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Lockheed Martin Uses MakerBot 3D Printing To Design New Space Telescopes

Engineers from the defense company Lockheed Martin are using MakerBot 3D printing to develop new designs for SPIDER imaging technology. 

Known as one of the pioneering aerospace and defense enterprises, Lockheed Martin is constantly on the forefront of scientific innovation. Over the last couple of years, the military-driven company has utilized hundreds of 3D printers to create prototypes, tooling, and use-end parts.

While you might expect a manufacturer of that size and stature to stick to industrial-grade 3D printing, Lockheed Martin also utilizes desktop printers. A recent case study shows how the company’s scientists and engineers are using MakerBot 3D printing to develop revolutionary space technology.

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SPIDER Imaging Technology: Smaller, Lighter, More Powerful

Looking to develop new telescopes, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) turned to scientists and engineers from Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center (ATC). Their goal is to redesign traditionally used telescopes, which are heavy, bulky, and extraordinarily expensive.

Working with experts at University of California-Davis, Lockheed Martin recently developed SPIDER imaging technology. This is a special silicon chip that channels light fed through tiny lenses. Compared to modern telescopes, ATC’s technology could reduce the required size, weight, and power from 10 to 100 times. On top of that, SPIDER is cheaper and faster to produce, making it an ideal alternative for space exploration.

In order to create fittings for this SPIDER technology, ATC designed various arrays in Solidworks and prototyped them using MakerBot 3D printers.

ATC research engineers Guy Chriqui (L) and Sutyen Zalawadia (R) using MakerBot 3D printing

How MakerBot Technology Helps Develop SPIDER Technology

Using MakerBot 3D printing technology, the engineers have been able to produce new SPIDER designs in a matter of hours. This has enabled them to perform more tests and create successful iterations at a faster rate.

The ATC team essentially owns the entire family of MakerBot printers, including a Replicator (5th Gen), Mini, Z18, Replicator+, and a Replicator Mini+. According to Guy Chriqui, Senior Research Engineer at the ATC, this range of printers are “basically running non-stop, all day long.”

When testing small rockets, the nose cone explodes off and is usually unrecoverable. But by bringing a Mini directly to the launch site, the engineers can quickly print different cones on the spot. The ATC team is also using MakerBot Tough PLA to produce functional snapping joints, known as flextures.

Lockheed Martin discovered that True Black PLA at 100 percent infill is ideal for absorbing light, preventing light leakage that can negatively affect optical tests. Lastly, neon MakerBot PLA is used to highlight specific parts, making the telescope build process much easier.

Artist’s Concept of SPIDER telescope

By integrating desktop printing into the development of new telescopes, Lockheed Martin is saving both time as well as money. With MakerBot technology by their side, the ATC engineers can continue developing and testing their ideas at a rapid pace. The development of this powerful SPIDER technology may someday stretch our knowledge of outer space further than it’s ever before.

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3D-printed "Laugh Star" becomes first artwork made in space

A plastic sculpture shaped like a jagged donut now holds the title of first piece of art to be made in space. As abstract as it looks, the piece is a 3D waveform of a human laugh, captured through a project by Israeli contemporary artist, Eyal Gever. The specific laugh was selected from over 100,000 entries submitted through the #Laugh app, with the winning model beamed to a 3D printer aboard the International Space Station.

For the month of December, aspiring astronomical artists could download the #Laugh app, record their giggles and guffaws, and send in the resulting visual models, which Gever calls “Laugh Stars,” to be judged by the community. Anyone could look at and listen to the submitted stars and vote for their favorites, with one lucky chortler winning the chance for their piece to be 3D printed on the ISS, and released into space.

“We live in epic times, where continuous disruption and rapid change exists against a backdrop of extremely volatile cultural shifts constantly challenging our human conscience,” explains Gever. “A Laugh Star floating in space, above all our heads, is my attempt to create a contemporary metaphor for the hanging ‘Sword Of Damocles,’ a reminder that the beauty of human life is so fragile.”

Recorded by Naughtia Jane Stanko, the winning Laugh Star is called “Pool Play,” and it’s a strange, gargling sound that we’re not sure really represents the best of humanity’s jollies. Nevertheless, Gever loved it, telling Stanko in a Skype call that it has a narrative quality to it that people can relate to.

“To me, it’s the ultimate love letter to the universe,” Stanko says, describing what drew her to the project. “It’s the closest thing to God, in a sense. It’s the ultimate message, a top secret algorithmic message to the universe.”

If your eyes haven’t rolled right out of their sockets yet, #Laugh is essentially a frivolous publicity stunt for a pretty important piece of technology. Made In Space, the partner company on the project, launched the specially-designed 3D printer to the ISS last year, with the aim of allowing astronauts to 3D print replacement parts as they need them. Considering the costs of blasting supplies into space, as well as the wait times involved, the process could potentially save millions of dollars and free up rockets for more important cargo.

Gever, Stanko and Made In Space CTO Jason Dunn will showcase the Laugh Star at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas next month.

The laugh can be heard in the first video below, while the second video is a Skype call between the artist and the winner.

Source: #Laugh

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