August 27th, 2010

Mars rover technology could improve solar power efficiency on Earth Telegraph

Solar panels could be kept free from dust and grime which hampers energy output using a self-cleaning system developed for NASA’s Mars rover robots.
The devices scouring the red planet have sensors which detect dust build-ups and zap the surface of their solar panels with an electrical charge to keep them shiny. Dr Malay Mazumder, who helped create the technology for NASA, said it could help boost efficiency of large solar power plants, many of which are situated in arid and dusty desert locations.

July 9th, 2009

NASA experts scale back moon and Mars plans in face of Obama funding cut fears Telegraph

Forty years after astronauts first walked on the moon, NASA, the US space agency, is officially committed to a $35 billion (£22 billion) plan instituted by President George W. Bush to build the first of a new generation of manned rockets that can return to the planet by 2020. However, the new president has appointed an independent panel to review America’s costly manned space programme, called Constellation, and make recommendations by the end of August. With NASA engineers now floating cut-rate rocket alternatives, some politicians and former astronauts fear that the 2020 deadline will be foiled by financial constraints.

November 22nd, 1999

Radiation-proof bug offers clue to cancer cells Telegraph

SCIENTISTS have deciphered the genetic code of a bacterium which can withstand radiation at 3,000 times the level fatal to humans. Typically, it is found in locations where most other bacteria have died, ranging from the shielding pond of a radioactive caesium source to granite in the Antarctic, where conditions are thought to resemble those on Mars.

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