Winchcombe meteorite driveway to go on display

Sep 24, 2021

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It’s the most famous driveway in Britain and a section of it is now heading to London’s Natural History Museum to go on public display.

Workmen have lifted the tarmac where a meteorite fell on the Gloucestershire town of Winchcombe in February.

It was the first space rock in 30 years to be seen to come down over the UK and then be recovered.

And that’s given the driveway to the home of the Wilcock family what you might call celebrity status.

The remains of the stony meteorite, known as a carbonaceous chondrite, have long since been removed. Scientists were eager to get studying it as soon as possible because it holds chemical clues to the formation of the Solar System some 4.6 billion years ago.

But the driveway, with its mini-crater, has a fascination, too.

The all-important segment where the rock went “Splat!” has been protected these past six months by a covering board; and when the weather was particularly bad, a car was strategically placed over the top of it as well.

The Natural History Museum already displays some of the meteorite, but it thinks the tarmac will also prove to be a popular attraction. It’s all part of the story, along with the Waitrose cream pot into which the space rock fragments were initially swept.

Wednesday saw local construction company Grimshaw turn up at the home of Rob and Cathryn Wilcock, and their daughter Hannah, to carefully remove the indented section of drive.

In a well thought-out plan, the Grimshaw team first cut around the crater and then encased the tarmac with board and steel. Jacks gently pushed the square-metre slice on to a pallet for the journey to the capital.

“It’s like one of my cakes, hoping it’s going to come out of the tin in one piece,” observed Cathryn half-way through the process.

Rob added: “I’m pleased in a way that it’s going but I’m also a bit nostalgic because we’ve got used to it being there. It’s something that’s changed our lives and brought us into contact with a lot of really interesting people. And, of course, it really has put Winchcombe on the map. It’s one of the most significant things that has ever happened in this town.”

The Wilcocks now have a large hole where the crater once was, but they plan to make the area good in the next few weeks and have already commissioned a plaque to go on the spot.

The family, along with scientists from the Natural History Museum, will shortly be running an education programme with local primary schools. The museum in the town also now has its own special exhibition, and Mr and Mrs Wilcock say they will conduct walking tours of Winchcombe to show visitors where other pieces of the space rock came down.

Those tours will end on their driveway where the visitors can take selfies next to the plaque.

Mars: Nasa rover’s rock cores were ‘highest priority samples’

Sep 23, 2021

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US space agency scientists were so excited by the Martian rock sampled by their Perseverance rover last week they got the robot to take a second sample.

Perseverance drilled its first finger-sized core on 6 September, repeating the procedure a couple of days later.

The scientists believe the targeted rock is volcanic in origin, meaning it can be accurately dated.

It also contains salts, which are indicative of water alteration, and that raises the possibility of life.

Or, at least, the potential for past life.

Biology is not a given wherever there has been H₂O, but it’s hard to see how organisms could have existed without it.

Nasa’s Perseverance rover was sent to Jezero Crater on Mars precisely because it looks to have had a habitable environment billions of years ago.

There are what appear to be extensive river and delta sediments in the west of the crater.

The period in which this water environment existed could now be greatly narrowed by the rock samples just acquired.

The donor slab, nicknamed “Rochette”, is sitting on the floor of Jezero and as such is expected to represent the oldest layers in the crater.

If the minerals in the samples can be dated, therefore, they will provide a “no older than” age for the lake

The salts – likely calcium sulphate or calcium phosphate – are fascinating because they’ll almost certainly host small inclusions, or bubbles, of water.

“Salts are great minerals for preserving signs of ancient life here on Earth, and we expect the same may be true for rocks on Mars,” explained Perseverance deputy project scientist Dr Katie Stack Morgan.

Of course, to do any of these investigations, the samples need to come back to Earth first.

Nasa’s plan (in partnership with the European Space Agency) is for Perseverance to collect more than two dozen rock cores over the next two years and package them in sealed titanium tubes.

These will be left on the surface of Jezero for later missions to pick up before 2030 for transport back home.

“Because… of such high scientific potential, we decided to acquire two samples at Rochette,” Dr Stack Morgan told reporters.

“The [Perseverance] science team has the plan to place down one or more sample caches. And so to ensure that each of these sample caches are as complete as they can be, we have a strategy to acquire two samples at each of our highest priority sampling locations.

To get to Rochette, Perseverance rolled about 2.2km (1.4 miles) from its February landing site.

It’s heading west at the moment along a slightly raised ridge to a location called “South Séítah” where further rock cores will be taken. All the while, the rover is being tracked by its mini helicopter, Ingenuity, which surveys the ground ahead.

At some point, scientists want the rover to move north to where the river and delta sediments are most obvious and where the chances of finding any traces of past life are greatest.

Meenakshi Wadhwa is Nasa’s Mars sample return principal scientist. She said the cores taken out of Rochette have their own names, too: “Montdenier” (6 September) and “Montagnac” (8 September).

“I cannot overstate the significance of these rock samples collected by Perseverance. This is a truly historic achievement – the very first rock cores collected on another terrestrial planet. It’s amazing.

“These two rock cores represent now the beginning of Mars sample return.

“I’ve dreamed of having samples back from Mars to analyse in my lab since I was a graduate student. And now it’s actually starting to feel real.”

Fireworks in space: scientists observe brightest explosion caused by death of star

Sep 20, 2021

Fireworks in space: scientists observe brightest explosion caused by death  of star

Scientists have observed what they believe to be among the brightest explosions in the universe caused by the death of a star.

The collapsing star allowed them to observe the longest period of “gamma-ray afterglow” – an enormous radiation burst that is produced after a large star’s core collapses and creates a black hole.

An artist’s impression of the event portrays an epic burst of light shooting from the dying star.

We were really sitting in the front row when this gamma-ray burst happened

It is additionally believed to be one of the nearest gamma-ray bursts observed so far, with a distance of about one billion light years away.

That is considered by scientists to be in Earth’s “cosmic backyard” as previous ones have usually been 20 billion light years away.

The High Energy Stereoscopic System telescopes recorded the event in 2019, with findings now published in the science journal.

Scientists are now challenging the idea of how X-rays and gamma rays are produced in stellar explosions through these observations.

“We were really sitting in the front row when this gamma-ray burst happened,” said Dr Andrew Taylor, co-author of the study at Germany’s Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron research centre.

“We could observe the afterglow for several days and to unprecedented gamma-ray energies.”

Nasa’s Fermi and Swift satellites first detected a gamma-ray burst in the constellation of Eridanus.

X-rays from the burst were also detected by the Swift satellite in Earth’s orbit. The very-high-energy gamma rays entered the atmosphere and caused air showers that were observed by the high energy telescopes on the ground in Namibia.

The telescopes also caught the explosion’s afterglow when it became visible.

The gamma-ray burst’s energy was measured at 3.3 tera-electronvolts – about trillion times as energetic as the photons of visible light.

Edna Ruiz-Velasco, another co-author, said the observations were significant because the afterglow was present for three days.

“This is what’s so exceptional about this gamma-ray burst – it happened in our cosmic backyard where the very-high-energy photons were not absorbed in collisions with background light on their way to Earth, as it happens over larger distances in the cosmos,” she said.

 The observations have challenged previous theories that say X-ray and very-high energy gamma-ray emission are produced from separate mechanisms. Scientists have now discovered similarities between the two after studying this recent burst’s afterglow.

Dmitry Khangulyan, another co-author, said: “It is rather unexpected to observe such remarkably similar spectral and temporal characteristics in the X-ray and very-high energy gamma-ray energy bands, if the emission in these two energy ranges had different origins.”

Swiss scientists plan space clean-up for 2025

Sep 20, 2021

Swiss scientists plan space clean-up for 2025

Space junk capable of taking out future missions from Earth is to be cleaned up in an ambitious project by scientists from one of Europe’s most advanced technical universities in Switzerland.

The ClearSpace project by researchers and academics at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) aims to slow down unused satellites and discarded rocket components so they disintegrate on re-entry to Earth.

In 2019, ClearSpace was selected by the European Space Agency to lead the first mission to remove debris from orbit by 2025.

As life on Earth becomes ever more reliant on developments in space and its exploration, keeping Earth’s orbit free from potentially devastating man-made materials has reached crisis point.

While thousands of smaller pieces of material orbit the planet, a single object the size of a marble has the potential to cause damage akin to a hand grenade if it collides at high speed with a satellite or launch craft.

“Many objects are non-operational and tumbling uncontrollably around Earth,” said Luc Piguet, chief executive of ClearSpace SA.

“This brings a risk of collision. They are usually failed rocket stages or failed satellites and there are around 5,000 currently in orbit.”

 

Only a short stroll from the banks of Lake Geneva, the university is home to some of the country’s sharpest minds and also has a research centre in Ras Al Khaimah.

Sustainability and environmental innovations are at the heart of much of the work of the scientists and students on campus, with a special division dedicated to cleaning up Earth’s orbit.

The university’s eSpace programme offers 26 academic courses in space technology, with sustainable attitudes towards exploration and research.

 The Lausanne institute is ranked 18th on a global list of universities, with performance graded according to academic or research performance.

Why space junk is such a problem

Space infrastructure has become more essential for our daily lives.

Everything from telecoms and internet access to GPS, weather reports, flight radar and observation of pollution levels and deforestation on Earth rely on space technology.

“Every year over the last two decades we have been adding 74 derelict satellites to space, so it has been a steady growth,” Mr Piguet said.

“This result is a lot of fragmentation events in either collisions or explosions of these objects, which generate an exponentially growing source of debris.”

This event is known as the Kessler Syndrome and causes an avalanche effect of space debris.

Former Nasa scientist Donald Kessler’s theory suggests continuing to launch into space without a plan of bringing things back down to Earth would cause debris to reach a critical mass, where collisions between objects would be inevitable.

These impacts can occur at speeds of 28,000kph and create more debris, which in turn create more collisions.

About 3,400 live satellites are circling Earth providing critical information and infrastructure on the ground.

The UAE has satellites in low-Earth orbit that produce data commercially for private companies all over the world, with KhalifaSat, the first Emirati-built satellite, used to boost the commercial space sector.

Of the 5,000 or so known items circling the planet at speed, 50 larger items are of most concern.

How will the space junk be cleared?

A ClearSpace pod will approach debris in a ‘safe orbit’ – the same rotating orbit as the item the pod aims to collect.

Once the capture of debris is complete, it is slowed down enough to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere at a specific area where there is low air traffic or risk of debris making contact with the ground.

The project is still in its design phase but involves several European nations, 50 engineers and 20 companies. ClearSpace is expected to launch its first module by 2025 at a cost of about €110 million ($130.2m).

The ClearSpace 1 mission will aim to remove one large piece of rocket cone, with other missions planned alongside British and Japanese space programmes.

 “Launching into space has become very affordable, so we expect this problem of space debris to continue and increase,” Mr Piguet said.

“We created this start-up to deal with active removal of debris or failed satellites.

“We want to build a reusable platform which will be a satellite or servicer that is able to bring up a satellite into orbit, deploy it and then capture a derelict object and re-orbit it.

“It will then dock with another satellite and then continue other operations like repairs to other satellites while in orbit.

“We have all the technology available to do navigation, capture, rendezvous and manipulation with all the robotics required to complete the process.

“It will help create a safer space environment with a very limited level of risk.”

Abu Dhabi’s Yahsat aims to diversify revenue base with new technology and satellite launch

Sep 18, 2021

Mubadala's Yahsat acquires majority stake in mobile satellite services  operator Thuraya - Arabianbusiness

Al Yah Satellite Communications (Yahsat), the satellite operator owned by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign fund Mubadala Investment Company, is looking to diversify its revenue base, with a focus on generating more income from data streams, its chief executive said.

The company, which is among the top-10 satellite operators in the world by revenue, expects income from its global data services to significantly rise once it adds new technology and launches another satellite into orbit in 2023, Ali Al Hashemi, group chief executive at Yahsat, told The National. It currently earns a large chunk of its income from voice services.

Yahsat on Thursday said it has selected Cobham Satcom, one of the world’s top satellite communications solutions providers, for a comprehensive mobile broadband system. The technology firm will provide ground infrastructure and products to operate across Yahsat’s entire coverage, using the Thuraya 4-NGS satellite that will be launched in 2023.

“If you think about it, the market share that we own today when it comes to IP services, is very low, so the upside is very high,” Mr Al Hashemi, who took charge of the company as chief executive in February this year, said.

“With the launch of Thuraya 4-NGS, I can say around, 20 per cent to 30 per cent of my revenue will be immediately from IP products but as we move forward, I can say I will be comparative to global players in terms of IP versus voice services.”

The deal with Cobham will boost Yahsat’s data services, providing Thuraya 4-NGS with advanced 4G and 5G capabilities. Yahsat is looking to increase its share in the global satellite data services market, which is currently valued at more than $5 billion and is projected to reach more than $19bn by 2027, according to a report by Applied Market Research on data services market.

“Our strategy going forward is to move from being voice services-centric to data centric. When it comes to voice services, we are the leader and this platform will give us the competitive advantage to compete with the market when it comes to IP services,” he said.

“Market today is dominated by IP services, so when you partner with a market leader … our strategy will be really unbeatable.”

Yahsat’s revenue for the first six months of 2021 reached $190.2 million, a 3.9 per cent year-on-year drop due to “heightened Covid-19 challenges in global markets during the first quarter of 2021”, the company said in a regulatory filing in August to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

However, revenue on quarterly basis rose 10.9 per cent to $100m in the second quarter of 2021, reflecting Yahsat’s “growth potential” despite the pandemic-driven headwinds.

Yahsat recorded improvements across its business lines in 2021 that boosted its first-half profit in line with the previous year to $30.1m. After adjusting for one-off non-recurring items, the company’s net income climbed 28 per cent to $37.1m for the period, it said at the time.

Founded in 2007, the satellite operator offers multi-mission satellite services in more than 150 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Asia and Australasia. It has a current fleet of five satellites that extends its reach to more than 80 per cent of the world’s population.

“If you think about it, the market share that we own today when it comes to IP services, is very low so the upside is very high
Ali Al Hashemi, group chief executive, Yahsat

In August last year, Yahsat signed a deal with aerospace company Airbus to build Thuraya 4-NGS, its next generation mobile telecommunications system.

Yahsat has selected billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX to launch its mobile telecoms satellite. A Falcon 9 rocket would carry the satellite into space in the second half of 2023, the company said on Wednesday.

The company has committed to initially investing more than $500m to develop the satellite, which will be funded by Yahsat and its mobile satellite services subsidiary, Thuraya. It also plans to invest more in the coming years and its deal with Airbus includes an option to build an additional satellite identical to Thuraya 4-NGS to strengthen the coverage across the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr Al Hashemi said a decision to add more satellites is yet to be made.

“Today the whole project … is on budget. We are on time,” he said, adding that “what is currently in the pipeline is Thuraya-4”, and there is nothing concrete on the table in terms of more satellites.

In June, Yahsat struck a 15-year satellite services agreement with a government customer in the UAE, adding more than $700m to its committed contract backlog, which stands at Dh7.7bn.

About 70 per cent of Yahsat’s turnover is driven by UAE government clients under long-term commitments, which set up foundation for “robust and growing dividend capacity”, according to the company.

The satellite company’s shares started trading on the ADX in July after it raised Dh2.68bn through its initial public offering, selling 975.9 million shares, or 40 per cent of its equity to investors.

Yahsat’s listing was the first major IPO on the Abu Dhabi bourse since Adnoc Distribution listed its shares in 2017.

SpaceX preps for a historic all-civilian crew

Sep 16, 2021

SpaceX preps for a historic all-civilian crew

 

SpaceX is expected to launch another billionaire into space on Wednesday in what will become the first time ever that humans are blasted into Earth’s orbit with only civilians aboard.

The group of four is being led by Jared Isaacman, the chief executive of an e-commerce company called Shift4 Payments.

Professor Sridhar Tayur teaches about new business models at Carnegie Mellon University.

“I think it’s exciting. I think they need to get the safety numbers in, I would think, better than one in 100 for this to go beyond a few brave people. And then I believe they could get a thousand people to try it a year or something like that at good safety levels, at about $250,000 an orbital flight, because that is the kind of money people are spending on expensive cars and things of that type.”

“There is a certain amount of frivolousness and ego in it. But I also believe that we have moved in our understanding of science and our capability and technologies because people have taken these kind of extraordinary risks. I mean, that is the human endeavor to push the limits.”

Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin have also recently blasted civilian tourists into space, but both of those were suborbital – meaning they didn’t circle the Earth and only lasted a few minutes. This new trip will take three days, circling the Earth every 90 minutes.

Isaacman says they’ll conduct experiments and is using the event to raise support for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. One of his fellow crew members, Hayley Arceneaux, is a physician’s assistant at the institution.

The other two members are Sian Proctor, a geoscientist and Chris Sembroski, a U.S. Air Force vet and engineer. They were the winners of an online contest and sweepstakes respectively.

SpaceX to launch private, all-civilian crew into Earth orbit

Sep 16, 2021

Each of the four crew members was picked to represent a pillar of the mission: leadership, hope, prosperity, generosity (AFP/John Kraus)

SpaceX is set to launch four people into space Wednesday on a three-day mission that is the first to orbit the Earth with exclusively private citizens on board, as Elon Musk’s company enters the space tourism fray.

The “Inspiration4” mission caps a summer that saw billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos cross the final frontier, on Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin spaceships respectively, a few days apart in July.

The SpaceX flight has been chartered by American billionaire Jared Isaacman, the 38-year-old founder and CEO of payment processing company Shift4 Payment. He is also a seasoned pilot.

 The exact price he paid SpaceX hasn’t been disclosed, but it runs into the tens of millions of dollars.

The mission itself is far more ambitious in scope than the few weightless minutes Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin customers can buy.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon will be flying further than the orbit of the International Space Station.

“The risk is not zero,” said Isaacman in an episode of a Netflix documentary about the mission.

“You’re riding a rocket at 17,500 miles (28,000 kilometers) per hour around the Earth. In that kind of environment there’s risks.”

SpaceX has already given no fewer than ten astronauts rides to the ISS on behalf of NASA — but this will be the first time taking non-professional astronauts.

Lift-off is scheduled for Wednesday from 8:00 pm Eastern Time (0000 GMT) from launch pad 39A, at NASA’s Kennedy Center in Florida, from where the Apollo missions to the Moon took off.

– ‘Are we going to the Moon?’ –

In addition to Isaacman, who is the mission commander, three non-public figures were selected for the voyage via a process that was first advertised at the Super Bowl in February.

Each crew member was picked to represent a pillar of the mission.

The youngest, Hayley Arceneaux, is a childhood bone cancer survivor, who represents “hope.”

She will become the first person with a prosthetic to go to space.

“Are we going to the Moon?” she asked, when she was offered her spot.

“Apparently people haven’t gone there in decades. I learned that,” she laughed, in the documentary.

The 29-year-old was picked because she works as a Physician Assistant in Memphis for St. Jude’s Hospital, the charitable beneficiary of Inspiration4.

One of the donors secured the seat of “generosity”: Chris Sembroski, 42, is a former US Air Force veteran who now works in the aviation industry.

The last seat represents “prosperity” and was offered to Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old earth science professor who, in 2009, narrowly missed out on becoming a NASA astronaut.

She will be only the fourth African American woman to go to space.

– Months of training –

The crew’s training has lasted months and has included experiencing high G force on a centrifuge — a giant arm that rotates rapidly.

They have also gone on parabolic flights to experience weightlessness for a few seconds and completed a high altitude, snowy trek on Mount Rainier in the northwestern United States.

They spent time at the SpaceX base, though the flight itself will be fully autonomous.

Over the three days of orbit, their sleep, heart rate, blood and cognitive abilities will be analyzed.

Tests will be carried out before and after the flight to study the effect of the trip on their body.

The idea is to accumulate data for future missions with private passengers.

The stated goal of the mission is to make space accessible for more people, although space travel remains for the moment only partially open to a privileged few.

“In all of human history, fewer than 600 humans have reached space,” said Isaacman.

“We are proud that our flight will help influence all those who will travel after us.”

 

Astroscale successfully demos in-space capture-and-release system to clear orbital debris

Sep 12, 2021

Astroscale space debris removal demo set for launch - BBC News

Astroscale hit a major milestone Wednesday, when its space junk removal demo satellite that’s currently in orbit successfully captured and released a client spacecraft using a magnetic system.

The End-of-Life Services by Astroscale-demonstration (ELSA-d) mission was launched in March, with the goal of validating the company’s orbital debris removal tech. The demonstrator package, which was sent up on a Soyuz rocket that launched from Kazakhstan, included two separate spacecraft: a “servicer” designed to remove space junk, and a “client” that poses as said space junk.

“A major challenge of debris removal, and on-orbit servicing in general, is docking with or capturing a client object; this test demonstration served as a successful validation of ELSA-d’s ability to dock with a client, such as a defunct satellite,” the company explained.

The demonstration today showed that the servicer — a model of Astroscale’s future product — can successfully magnetically capture and release other spacecraft.

But that’s not the end for the ELSA-d demonstration mission; the servicer and client still must hit three more capture-and-release milestones before Astroscale can call it a complete success. Next up, the servicer must safely release the client and re-capture it from a greater distance away. After that, Astroscale will attempt the same release-and-capture process, but this time with the client satellite simulating an uncontrolled, tumbling space object. The final capture demonstration the company is calling “diagnosis and client search,” in which the servicer will inspect the client from a close distance, move away, then approach and re-capture.

Astroscale is one of a suite of companies working on the problem of orbital debris, but it’s the first to send up a debris removal demonstration mission. According to NASA, over 27,000 pieces of orbital debris are tracked by the Department of Defense’s global Space Surveillance Network sensors. The amount of junk in space is only anticipated to grow as the cost of launching a spacecraft, and other expenses, continue to decline.

Where’s the edge of the observable Universe? And what’s beyond?

Sep 12, 2021

What is beyond the edge of the observable universe? - The Globe's talk

Does the Universe have an edge? If by ‘Universe’ we mean ‘everything there is’, then the Universe clearly does not have an edge. If we thought it did, we would be guilty of not including everything!

But people often ask the question in a slightly different way, which assumes there is an edge: “If the Universe is expanding,” they say, “what is it expanding into?”

This, though, misunderstands what is meant by ‘expanding Universe’.

In Berlin in 1915, at the height of World War One, Albert Einstein came up with a revolutionary theory of gravity, which supplanted Newton’s and, in 1916, he applied it to be the biggest source of gravitating mass he knew of: the Universe.

What Einstein’s theory showed (it was others who spotted this, not Einstein) was that the Universe could not be still but had to be in motion: either expanding or contracting.

In fact, in 1929, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that galaxies are flying away from each other like pieces of cosmic shrapnel in the aftermath of a titanic explosion – the Big Bang.

This, in essence, is what we mean by the expansion of the Universe: that the distance between galaxies is growing. Einstein’s theory could easily describe a Universe that goes on forever and therefore has no edge, or one that curves back on itself like a higher-dimensional version of the surface of a ball, and so also has no edge.

In the latter case, confirmation would be to observe the same galaxies on opposite sides of the Universe when we look far enough away with our telescopes.

Of course, others will say the Universe does have an effective edge, because it was born 13.82 billion years ago in the Big Bang. We can therefore see only those galaxies whose light has taken less than 13.82 billion years to reach us (about two trillion).

Those galaxies exist in a sphere of space centred on the Earth that we call the ‘observable Universe’. It’s actually about 92 billion light-years across as the Universe ‘inflated’ far faster than the speed of light in its first split-second of existence.

The observable Universe is bounded by a ‘cosmic horizon’, much like the horizon at sea. Just as we know there’s more ocean over the horizon, we know there are more galaxies (possibly an infinite number) beyond the cosmic horizon. Their light simply hasn’t had time to reach us yet.

Redesigning the spoon for space dining

Sep 12, 2021

Reuters India on Twitter: "WATCH: This spoon is designed for space dining… "

Nikolas Grafakos created the Zero-G Cutlery collection which can grip food in a zero-gravity environment.

The idea behind this design is that it actually allows astronauts to control where the food goes a lot better. The current design is literally the same spoon that we have, it’s just a little bit longer and it relies a lot on the water surface tension which means that the food needs to be very mushy and wet in order to stick to the spoon, whereas this design, imagine it’s something between chopsticks and a spoon and it allows people to pinch the food here at the end and guide it to their mouth much easier, which could potentially allow for the introduction of dryer food and more variety in the textures.”

Grafakos’s designs have received interest from MIT Media Labs, SpaceX and NASA

“In the next ten to fifteen years we’re going to start having longer duration flights. That could be longer duration flights to the Moon or to Mars and these small emotional and psychological needs actually become much more critical to the success of the mission.”

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