SnapShots from Space

... a near monthly review by Luisa Spairani ...

Return to the moon 

(14/8/2000) The creation of the Lunar Technology Institute in early 2001 near the Johnson Space Center in Houston was little noticed. It is composed of assets and personnel from NASA, the US military, academia, and private business. The idea was that the institute would address the various needs of those groups and that it would constitute a new organizational culture appropriate for the faster/better/cheaper needs of 21st Century space exploration.
The return to the Moon plan, was presented to the White House Space Council in June. The plan featured a variant of first scheme proposed by Von Braun in the early sixties. A Command Module based on a lunar lander would be assembled in low Earth orbit. A crew of two people would be landed on the Sea of Tranquility. The crew would set up a LUNOX experiment to test technologies for extracting oxygen from lunar soil, storing oxygen for use by subsequent expeditions. The crew would also set up a number of other experiments and collect rock and soil samples.


WEB Intelligence 

(28/8/2000) Are you aware of the hot topics presented at the 9th World Wide Web Conference? To the WWW9 the first result of the efforts completed from the search have been looked at in order to create an intelligent Web, that is a system in a position to catching up the million own persons adapting automatically contained and modalities of presentation of the pages to the requirements of the single customers. We have seen numerous European prototypes of Web services for changing the style of life of single and destined  to the automobiles, to the domotica and even to the accessories of apparel and the nautical tourism. Is there an opportunity for space tourism?


A more powerful telescope

(9/10/2000) In the future of astronomy a telescope more powerful than Hubble. Realized in laboratory a prototype of " interferometer " that improves until a million times resolution of the most powerful instruments than astronomical observation.
In next twenty years, the Universe could be explored through a " so powerful space eye " to darken the reputation of Hubble and Chandra. According to a search published on Natures, Webster Cash and collaborators of the University of the Colorado, have carried the technology a step more close to this incredible goal. The scientists have constructed in laboratory a " able interferometer " to increase up to now from thousands to a million times angular resolution of the planned telescopes.
The scientists of NASA are already in ferment, also because a similar technology would concur to observe the surrounding zone directly the center of the black holes, studied thanks to the effect of distortion of the gravitational field on the surrounding objects, but never directly observed.

Oscillating Neutrinoes: experimental results  

(9/10/2000) .Neutrinoes - neutral particles of the family of electrons - are produced in the universe in frightfully great amounts from the nuclear reactions that happen in stars. It is not still sure, for example, if they have mass, a not negligible fact if these particles have a good part of the elusive dark matter that is thought to exist in the universe. A sure test of the existence of a mass for the neutrinoes, say theoretical physicists, would be the discovery that they do not remain stable in the three existing types in nature, neutrinoes tau, electronic and muonic, but that during their existence they are oscillating from a type to the other. In Japan, where the largest detector of neutrinoes of the world exists, the SuperKamiokande, an experiment has been performed that seems to confirm this change of type in the neutrinoes.

LS - TDF 3/2000 - 14/10/2000