Scientists with the European Space Agency have shown that it's possible to make durable bricks using simulated Moon dust and concentrated sunlight. A similar approach may eventually allow lunar colonists to 3D-print their own habitats and structures using materials found on the Moon.
Tagged With engineering
One of the many challenges of colonising Mars is that the planet is lacking many of the natural resources we rely on here on Earth. We'll need to bring as much of what we need to survive as possible, but you can only pack so much into a spaceship. So scientists are developing ways to utilise at least one of the red planet's most abundant resources: Dust.
Like death and taxes, drone crashes are basically inevitable. Even experienced pilots aren't immune to hardware failures or software problems. But instead of building drones stronger, or wrapping them in awkward safety cages, Swiss researchers have designed a flexible quadcopter that squishes when it crashes, minimising the damage it takes.
You might not think that the teeth in your mouth have much in common with the massive fangs you'll find in a T-rex skull. But at the microscopic level, the core structure of tooth enamel hasn't changed much over the ages. So, scientists are once again copying a tried-and-true Mother Nature design to potentially improve the strength and safety of aeroplanes.
Video: Tall buildings often have tuned mass dampers hidden inside their structures to stabilise them against the wind. Those tuned mass dampers are huge and heavy and help limit a building's movement by swaying in the opposite direction of the building. That is, if the wind is making a skyscraper sway to the right, the damper will sway to the left to dissipate the kinetic energy, and reduce the, um, swaying. What's interesting is that the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, doesn't have that.
When you rip clothing, you either have to go and get it repaired, repair it yourself or sigh heavily and toss it out. You're lucky if you have the tools necessary to repair torn fabrics, or just have all the money in the world to pay someone else to fix it for you, but what if you could skip all that?
Video: Behold the majestic Banja Dam in Albania. It's a huge hydroelectric project that hit a big milestone last weekend — its reservoir reached over 550m above sea level. To release some of the excess water, dam operators opened the spillway for the very first time and filmed the event from the air. The dang thing just keeps. On. Going.