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NASA Wants to Sell the International Space Station
The Obama administration had extended the deorbiting date of the ISS program from 2016 to 2020 – (now it is to deorbit sometime in 2024). But now, NASA says they plan to ‘sell’ the International Space Station sometime in the mid-2020s.
“NASA’s trying to develop economic development in low-earth orbit. Ultimately, our desire is to hand the space station over to either a commercial entity or some other commercial capability so that research can continue in low-earth orbit,” says Bill Hill, Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems, NASA.
Many private companies are already competing amongst each other for future interplanetary missions, most notably SpaceX – having carried out 9 resupply missions for ISS & NASA since 2012.
HoloLens to Train Ground Crews and Flight Pilots
Microsoft has teamed up with Japan Airlines to provide training through its revolutionary virtual reality headset – HoloLens to engine mechanics and flight crews to help convert a “trainees’ intellectual memory to muscle memory,” according to Koji Hayamizu, Senior Director of Planning, JAL Products & Service Administration Department.
“We believe that HoloLens can contribute to the safety of our business, which is the most important criteria for airlines,” he says, “We believe HoloLens has advantages and potential. The more I learn, the more I believe that we can utilize the characteristics of HoloLens for the unprecedented customer experience, not just focusing on the internal purposes such as training. That is why we believe it is essential to challenge (ourselves) to ‘transform’ our business in every situation.”
Transparent Windows Made of Wood are More Energy-Efficient
Researchers from the University of Maryland have made transparent windows made of wood, which are stronger & prevent glare much better than glass windows, and are better heat insulators.
“Among many other requirements, energy efficient building materials require effective daylight harvesting and thermal insulation to reduce electricity usage and weatherization cost. The most commonly used daylight harvesting material, glass, has limited light management capability and poor thermal insulation. For the first time, transparent wood is introduced as a building material,” Researchers said.
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