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MIT’s Superconducting Magnets are Ready for Fusion

MIT SuperconductingHarnessing nuclear fusion, the process by which lighter atoms combine into heavier ones, has been a dream of researchers for generations: in theory, it could produce electricity without emitting greenhouse gases and, unlike nuclear fission, generate very little radioactive waste.

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Bluefors Launches Helium Recovery Solution for Single Unit NMR Systems

HeRL02-RM Helium Reliquefier is designed for helium recovery from a single NMR unit.Bluefors has introduced its latest advancement: the Cryomech HeRL02-RM. This cutting-edge helium reliquefier, specifically engineered for helium recovery from individual nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) units, marks a significant stride in helium conservation and management. The Cryomech HeRL02-RM establishes a closed-loop, zero-boiloff system for NMR magnets, ensuring optimal helium utilization. Boiled-off helium is efficiently redirected through a vapor return line to the reliquefier, powered by a Pulse Tube Cryocooler, where it undergoes instant liquefaction before being reintroduced to the magnet’s helium bath.

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Shuttle, Family Inspire NASA’s Cryogenic Technology Manager

Jeremy Kenny NASAJeremy Kenny squinted his eyes as he looked toward the brilliant light. Then came the deafening sound waves that vibrated his body. This was the moment he’d dreamed about since childhood. It was Nov. 16, 2009, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and Kenny and his wife were watching space shuttle Atlantis embark on a mission to the International Space Station. Kenny, who was less than two years into his NASA career, had the opportunity to see the liftoff from Launch Pad 39A as part of receiving the Space Flight Awareness Award for supporting the Space Shuttle Program’s solid rocket booster flight program.

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The LSST Camera Set to Unveil the Cosmos

Yousuke Utsumi and Aaron Roodman remove the pinhole projector from the cryostat assembly after projecting the first 3,200-megapixel images onto the focal plane of the LSST Camera. (Jacqueline Orrell/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)The completion of the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Camera, after two decades of collaborative work involving scientists and engineers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and international partners, signifies a significant milestone in the construction of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile. The LSST Camera, designed to conduct a 10-year survey of the Southern Hemisphere sky, represents the largest digital camera ever built for astronomy.

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Review of John Weisend II’s Superfluid – How a Quantum Fluid Revolutionized Modern Science

Super Fluid book by John WeisendOver the recent holidays, we hosted some new friends in our home. The young couple are both technically savvy but have never previously encountered the world of cryogenics, low temperatures, or superfluid helium. I had a copy of John Weisend II’s new book Superfluid – How a Quantum Fluid Revolutionized Modern Science sitting around, and one of the two picked it up out of curiosity. The cover design is cool, and it grabs your attention. Our young friend was captivated by the contents and commented on how great it was that he could understand it all. I will now be ordering a copy for him. (I had yet to read my own copy and would not let him take it with him when he left.) This is a great book. It relates a technically fascinating story in a manner accessible to the general public. You should order a copy for yourself! 

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Scientists Uncover a Hidden Electronic State

Evolution with temperature of polarons in tantalum layers of 1T-TaS2 through different CDW phases: commensurate (C), nearly commensurate (NC), and incommensurate (IC). When CDW is removed at high temperature, polarons are in a gas-like state. Credit: Nature Communications (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-42631-6Research often unfolds as a multistage process. The solution to one question can spark several more, inspiring scientists to reach further and look at the larger problem from several different perspectives. Such projects can often be the catalyst for collaborations that leverage the expertise and capabilities of different teams and institutions as they grow.

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GKN Aerospace Joins HyFIVE Consortium Development of Hydrogen Fuel

Liquid hydrogenHyFIVE represents a significant leap forward in advancing a world-leading liquid hydrogen fuel system and future supply chain within the aviation sector. This collaborative effort underscores GKN Aerospace’s unwavering commitment to fostering innovation and sustainability. Led by Marshall, the HyFIVE consortium is on the cusp of achieving major milestones, including the development and rigorous testing of scalable liquid hydrogen fuel system technologies. These efforts will culminate in a fully integrated ground demonstration showcasing the hydrogen fuel system's capabilities.

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Hubble Spots the Spider Galaxy

Hubble Spider Galaxy imageThis image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the gauzy-looking celestial body UGC 5829, an irregular galaxy that lies about 30 million light-years away. Despite the lack of observations of this relatively faint galaxy, UGC 5829 has a distinct and descriptive name: the Spider Galaxy. Perhaps its distorted galactic arms with their glowing, star-forming tips hint at the clawed legs of an arachnid.

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Setting a Laser Like Sight on a Path to Practical Fusion

Setting a laser like sight on a path to practical fusionIn the pursuit of a sustainable and efficient energy future, nuclear fusion, particularly the fusion of hydrogen nuclei, has long been regarded as a promising avenue by scientists. However, a significant hurdle has been the formidable requirement of achieving exceedingly high pressures and temperatures to initiate the fusion process.

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China Completes Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation

China Completes Ovarian Tissue CryopreservationChina has successfully completed ovarian tissue cryopreservation and transplantation to help women who lost ovarian function because of tumor treatments and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, also known as bone marrow transplant, preserve their fertility.

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CSA Celebrates the 2024 Women in Cryogenics and Superconductivity

CSA Celebrates Women in Cryogenics and Superconductivity

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How Lake Shore Cryotronics is Helping Reduce Helium Costs in The Lab

How Lake Shore Cryotronics is Helping Reduce Helium Costs in The LabLake Shore Cryotronics' Director of Product Management for Cryogenic Systems Rachael Floyd shares how Lake Shore Cryotronics is helping reduce helium costs in the lab.

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ITER’s Magnets Conquer the 4 K Cryostat Challenge

ITER cold test facilityEmbarking on the frontiers of innovation, ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, heralds a new era with its superconducting magnets—a groundbreaking technological marvel designed to operate at an astonishingly low temperature of 4 K (-269 °C), just above absolute zero. ITER’s primary purpose is to explore and demonstrate the potential of nuclear fusion as a clean and sustainable energy source for the future. With the capacity to carry an immensely powerful electrical current, reaching up to 68 kA, these magnets are poised for rigorous testing within a specialized cryostat infrastructure. The question of how these first-of-a-kind components navigate such extreme conditions becomes a pivotal inquiry at the forefront of scientific exploration. 

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Cryo Legacy: Angela Krenn’s Reflections on Cryogenics and Space, a Trailblazer Revisited

Angela Krenn,, NASAIn our annual “Women in Cryogenics and Superconductivity” feature, Cold Facts explores the profound contributions of outstanding women in the field. Drawing on its popularity, we wanted to have a candid conversation, reconnecting with a trailblazing woman in cryogenics, previously spotlighted as one of our “Women in Cryogenics.” In this interview, Angela Krenn, with over 21 years of experience at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, offers an insightful glimpse into the industry's evolution over two decades and her impact on space exploration. Currently serving as the principal technologist for Thermal Management Systems and Surface Systems in the Space Technology Mission Directorate, Angela is at the forefront of developing investment strategies and coordinating technology advancements across NASA. In her role, she seamlessly transitioned from a focus on cryogenics to overseeing all thermal-related technology developments for the agency. Angela's expertise extends from extreme cooling for rocket fuel efficiency to ensuring instruments’ function in lunar exploration conditions. A Florida native, Angela's childhood dream of working for NASA became a reality and her commitment to identifying gaps in thermal technologies reflects her dedication. With a remarkable career that started with a dream job working with liquid hydrogen, Angela continues to inspire as a leader in advancing NASA’s capabilities for future space exploration and as a powerful role model to industry women. 

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Oxford Cryosystems’ Evolution From Lab to Global Innovation Hub

AC3 Helium CompressorIn the 1980s, John Cosier and Professor Mike Glazier from Oxford University pioneered the creation of an open-flow cooler, initially designed for exclusive use in Oxford University’s Clarendon Laboratory. Its remarkable efficiency quickly gained recognition within the crystallographic community, leading researchers worldwide to seek similar systems. Responding to this demand, Oxford Cryosystems was founded in 1985 to provide cryogenic solutions globally. Over the years, their cryogenic devices have become integral components in laboratories, beamlines, radio telescopes, and various other applications. 

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RIX Liquid Oxygen Generation Plant Supports US Navy’s Newest Aircraft Carriers

Rix PWG TstingAircraft carriers use highly concentrated gaseous and liquid oxygen for aviation and medical applications. These legacy systems consume large amounts of valuable ship space and require constant attention and adjustment to meet purity and production rates. With the development of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) – the “first-in-class” nuclear-powered aircraft carrier designed to replace the aging Nimitz-class carriers in service for over 50 years – the Navy and its contracted partners determined an opportunity for improvement. By implementing a modern liquid oxygen plant in the new Ford-class fleet design, the Navy could achieve its key goals of reducing cost of ownership, decreasing operational manpower, and significantly reducing overall maintenance demands. 

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Danaher Delivers Sub-Kelvin Pony Cryostat to Argonne

Danaher Cryo Pony Crysostat-17Scientists should spend their efforts on research, not on infrastructure! Scientists often need a reliable source of sub-kelvin cooling. Historically, because no reliable provider of such systems existed, many scientists were resigned to build their own. No longer. Identifying this unmet need in the science community, Danaher Cryo stepped up to offer several elegant solutions. Teaming with Chase Research Cryogenics (CSA CSM), Danaher has established a line of sub-kelvin cryostats that provide long-awaited, convenient solutions. One such system is the Model DC2 Pony cryostat that Danaher recently delivered to Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) (CSA CSM). The Pony incorporates Chase’s CC4 cooler, which provides continuous sub-kelvin temperatures. 

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New Glenn Completes Initial Cryogenic Testing at Launch Complex 36

The New Glenn pathfinder at LC-36 following its first cryo test. Credit: Julia Bergeron for NSFBlue Origin continues to take big steps forward with its New Glenn orbital rocket as hardware rolls out to the launch pad, cryogenic testing begins, and the BE-4 engine gains a new test stand. The company still aims to launch New Glenn at least once in 2024.  Over the past month, Launch Complex 36 (LC-36) has seen a large increase in New Glenn-related activity, including two vehicles being rolled out of the integration facility and raised vertically on the launch mount, the first-ever publicly visible cryogenic tanking tests of New Glenn hardware, and pad upgrades to support future hardware testing.

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Maybell Quantum Announces $25 Million Series A Funding Led By Cerberus

Maybell Quantum Announces $25 Million Series A Funding Led By CerberusMaybell Quantum (“Maybell”), the quantum infrastructure company, has closed a $25 million funding round led by an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. (“Cerberus”), a global leader in alternative investing. This investment marks the start of a pivotal chapter in Maybell’s development.

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ISRO Achieves Big Milestone For Human Mission Gaganyaan's Cryogenic Engine

Image: ISRO has accomplished a major milestone in the human rating of its CE20 cryogenic engine. Credit: ISROThe Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the space agency of the government of India responsible for the country's space research and exploration programs, has achieved a major milestone in the human rating of its CE20 cryogenic engine, which powers the cryogenic stage of the human-rated LVM3 launch vehicle for Gaganyaan human spaceflight missions, with the completion of the final round of ground qualification tests. "ISRO's CE20 cryogenic engine is now human-rated for Gaganyaan missions," the space agency announced on 'X' on Wednesday.

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