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bhmit1 writes "Nasa's solar panel woes continue with today's discovery, a rip on one of the recently moved panels. From the article: "The astronauts abruptly stopped the unfurling of the second panel, however, as soon as they saw the rip on the edge of the panel. The panel was almost completely unfurled when the rip was spotted. The astronauts beamed down photos of the torn and crumpled section so NASA can analyze them and determine the extent of the damage."" Link to Original Source top
bhmit1 writes "The latest space walk has turned up some bad news for the problematic solar panels: metal shavings. From the article: "The rotary joint, 10 feet in diameter, has experienced intermittent vibrations and power spikes for nearly two months. Space station managers were hoping a thermal cover or bolt might be hanging up the mechanism. That would have been relatively easy to fix, so they were disheartened when Daniel Tani radioed down that metal shavings were everywhere. 'It's quite clear that it's metal-to-metal grating or something, and it's widespread,' Tani said."" Link to Original Source top
bhmit1 writes "The Nobel Prize in Physics this year is given for technology that makes compact harddrives possible. From the announcement: "In 1988 the Frenchman Albert Fert and the German Peter Grünberg each independently discovered a totally new physical effect — Giant Magnetoresistance or GMR. Very weak magnetic changes give rise to major differences in electrical resistance in a GMR system. A system of this kind is the perfect tool for reading data from hard disks when information registered magnetically has to be converted to electric current."" Link to Original Source top
After meeting for five hours, mission managers opted Thursday night against any risky spacewalk repairs, after receiving the results of one final thermal test. The massive amount of data indicated Endeavour would suffer no serious structural damage during next week's re-entry.
Their worry was not that Endeavour might be destroyed and its seven astronauts killed in a replay of the Columbia disaster — the gouge is too small to be catastrophic. They were concerned that the heat of re-entry could weaken the shuttle's aluminum frame at the damaged spot and result in lengthy postflight repairs.
Yet tiny differences, sprinkled throughout the genome, have made all the difference. Agriculture, language, art, music, technology and philosophy — all the achievements that make us profoundly different from chimpanzees and make a chimp in a business suit seem so deeply ridiculous — are somehow encoded within minute fractions of our genetic code. Nobody yet knows precisely where they are or how they work, but somewhere in the nuclei of our cells are handfuls of amino acids, arranged in a specific order, that endow us with the brainpower to outthink and outdo our closest relatives on the tree of life.