John Batchelor Show: Hotel Mars + Bob Zimmerman [Update]

During this week’s Hotel Mars segment on John Batchelor radio program, Gerald Nordley talked with Batchelor and David Livingston “about Kepler Space Telescope extrasolar planet discoveries, the habitable zone, Earthlike planets, the Kepler naming and identification system and more”: John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 1-16-13 – Thespaceshow’s Blog.

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Bob Zimmerman gave his latest science/space news report on the Batchelor show on Wednesday (instead of his usual Tuesday time) : Wednesday 01/16/13 – Batchelor Fourth Hour | John Batchelor Show.

In this show Bob talked about an ice drilling project at Lake Whillans in Antarctica, wildfire damage to an astronomy observatory in Australia, and the announcement of the plan to install a Bigelow expandable module on the ISS.

See the iTunes free Podcast for links to the latest John Batchelor shows.

Update: Here are the topics that Bob discussed during this segment on the Thursday, Jan. 17th show:

Segment 1:
1. Robot demo on ISS delayed due to software issue.
2. An expensive Frankenstein in space.
3. Global warming scientitst James Hansen teams up with Occupy Wall Street!

Segment 2: private aviation and space
1. A river on Mars.
2. 11 pound gold nugget found in Australia.
3. More details about Bigelow’s deal with NASA (and others!) to launch privately-built space station modules.
4. Private space stations vs the Outer Space Treaty.

Sci-Tech: Carbon nanotube fiber in textile thread form

A multi-national team led by a group at Rice University have made “strands of carbon nanotube fibers that look and feel like textile thread”: New nanotech fiber: Robust handling, shocking performance – Rice University (via Transterrestrial Musings).

Rice University’s latest nanotechnology breakthrough was more than 10 years in the making, but it still came with a shock. Scientists from Rice, the Dutch firm Teijin Aramid, the U.S. Air Force and Israel’s Technion Institute this week unveiled a new carbon nanotube (CNT) fiber that looks and acts like textile thread and conducts electricity and heat like a metal wire. In this week’s issue of Science, the researchers describe an industrially scalable process for making the threadlike fibers, which outperform commercially available high-performance materials in a number of ways.

“We finally have a nanotube fiber with properties that don’t exist in any other material,” said lead researcher Matteo Pasquali, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and chemistry at Rice. “It looks like black cotton thread but behaves like both metal wires and strong carbon fibers.”

The research team includes academic, government and industrial scientists from Rice; Teijin Aramid’s headquarters in Arnhem, the Netherlands; the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel; and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Dayton, Ohio.

“The new CNT fibers have a thermal conductivity approaching that of the best graphite fibers but with 10 times greater electrical conductivity,” said study co-author Marcin Otto, business development manager at Teijin Aramid. “Graphite fibers are also brittle, while the new CNT fibers are as flexible and tough as a textile thread. We expect this combination of properties will lead to new products with unique capabilities for the aerospace, automotive, medical and smart-clothing markets.”

Everyone can participate in space