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H2FLY Pioneers Emissions-Free Flight with Successful Liquid-Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft

The HY4 can seat up to four fliers and has a range of 932 miles. Credit: H2FlyStuttgart-based innovator H2FLY has achieved an unprecedented breakthrough in aviation history by successfully conducting the world’s first piloted flight of an electric aircraft powered by liquid hydrogen. This remarkable milestone marks a pivotal moment in the journey towards sustainable aviation, showcasing the immense potential of hydrogen-based technology in revolutionizing the industry. 

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ExxonMobil to Build CCS Pilot Plant with FuelCell Energy Using Carbonate Fuel Cell Technology

 ExxonMobil and FuelCell Energy's innovative carbonate fuel cell (CFC) technology aims to capture CO2 emissions from industrial sources, potentially revolutionizing carbon capture by enhancing efficiency and providing valuable co-products while contributing to decarbonization efforts.ExxonMobil’s affiliate Esso Nederland BV plans to build a pilot plant at its Rotterdam manufacturing complex to test a breakthrough technology that could significantly reduce CO2 emissions from key industries. The pilot plant aims to obtain data on performance and operability of the carbonate fuel cell (CFC) technology, jointly developed with FuelCell Energy. Additionally, the pilot aims to address potential technical issues that may occur in a commercial environment and better understand the costs of installing and operating a CFC plant for carbon capture.

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Thermoelectric Heating Comes In From the Cold

Thermoelectric Heating Comes In From the Cold Credit: CSABefore architect César Martín-Gómez could send his latest thermoelectric experiment to Antarctica in 2018, he had to make sure that soldiers from the Spanish Army could get it right on the first try. In the laboratory, he could always run the experiment—a scale model of a solid-state thermoelectric heater—a second time if it needed troubleshooting.

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Bearing Fruit: Deep Apple Therapeutics Launches to Screen AI-Generated Virtual Libraries

Cryo-EM CSAA cryo-EM and GPCR expert, a virtual screening pioneer, and a virtual chemical library creator walk into a bar. The result is not the opening line of a joke but rather the founding of a start-up that will rapidly discover novel small-molecule therapeutics through the virtual screening of AI-generated virtual libraries. That company, Deep Apple, launched with a Series A commitment of $52 million from life sciences venture capital firm Apple Tree Partners.

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Wyoming Already Produces 20% Of The World’s Helium, And Likely Has A Lot More

The ExxonMobil plant in La Barge, Wyoming, not only is a world leader in carbon capture, it also produces about 20% of the world's helium. (ExxonMobil)There are three locations in the world where helium can be sourced. One is Qatar, another is in Texas and the third is right here in Wyoming at an ExxonMobil facility near La Barge. Called Schute Creek, it produces about 20% of the world’s helium.

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DARPA-Funded Research Leads to Quantum Computing Breakthrough

Harvard-led team develops novel logical qubits to enable scalable quantum computersA team of researchers working on DARPA's Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum devices (ONISQ) program has created the first-ever quantum circuit with logical quantum bits (qubits), a key discovery that could accelerate fault-tolerant quantum computing and revolutionize concepts for designing quantum computer processors.

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Artificial Intelligence and NASA's First Robotic Lunar Rover

Image: During VIPER mission operations, the team plans to use AI interactively to help map out various routes for the operations team members to choose from. This AI system is called SHERPA - the System Health Enabled Real-time Planning Advisor. Credit: NASAWhen NASA's VIPER (short for Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) lands on the surface of the Moon on a mission to better understand the environment where NASA plans to send astronauts as part of the increasingly complex Artemis missions, its journey will be guided by the ingenuity of its human team - and several key tools that use artificial intelligence. From helping the science team choose a landing site at the lunar mountain Mons Mouton, to planning out its path, the VIPER team has developed and used artificial intelligence algorithms to help assess risk and optimize decision making.

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NASA’s Webb Identifies Methane In an Exoplanet’s Atmosphere

Webb discovers methane,NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope observed the exoplanet WASP-80 b as it passed in front of and behind its host star, revealing spectra indicative of an atmosphere containing methane gas and water vapor. While water vapor has been detected in over a dozen planets to date, until recently methane – a molecule found in abundance in the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune within our solar system – has remained elusive in the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets when studied with space-based spectroscopy. Taylor Bell from the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute (BAERI), working at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, and Luis Welbanks from Arizona State University tell us more about the significance of discovering methane in exoplanet atmospheres and discuss how Webb observations facilitated the identification of this long-sought-after molecule. These findings were recently published in the scientific journal Nature.

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Why Are Quantum Technologies So Cool?

When a photon interacts with something in its environment, like an atom, it can lose its phase coherence. Credit: Ioana Craiciu, Jet Propulsion LabEfforts to build a useful quantum computer are underway, with startup companies competing alongside the big leaders in information technology. Other quantum technologies are already part of our everyday lives, from MRI scanners in hospitals to atomic clocks, which are used to keep precise track of time on GPS satellites and inform Coordinated Universal Time. The word “quantum” itself has become almost synonymous with cutting-edge technological advancement. 

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Cryogenics Impacts Life Sciences

AVCO 2500"It’s too hot, it’s too cold.” We have all heard those famous words from family, friends, coworkers or feedback from instrumentation. Whether it is to control temperature in a confined environment, rotating equipment, or bioprocessing, cryogens are utilized throughout industries. 

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Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation Offers Hope in Canada

Image: Dr. Atefeh Najafi, Ph.D., gives a tour of the Benson Cryobiology Lab to a group of high school students. Credit: Royal University Hospital FoundationA monumental program centered on ovarian tissue cryopreservation is offering hope to women and girls across Canada. Dr. James Benson, a world-renowned cryobiology expert, leads this transformative initiative. This medical procedure safeguards healthy ovarian tissue before cancer treatments can harm it, ultimately enabling female patients to have biological children in the future. Dr. Benson's innovative approach involves extracting and preserving unaffected ovarian tissue, preventing its damage from the harsh effects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Remarkably, Dr. Benson is one of the few pioneering research in reproductive cryobiology in Canada. He holds the position of associate professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) College of Arts and Science, playing a pivotal role in the concerted effort to establish an outstanding cryobiology research program at USask. 

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Unleashing Hydrogen—a Paradigm Shift in Energy Storage and a Sustainable Future

solid oxide nuclear applicationsAs the wheels of innovation propel society forward, some elements of our technological landscape remain entrenched in the past, seemingly impervious to the tides of change. The heating oil tank, a relic from a different era, stands as a testament to this phenomenon. In a time when the urgency of sustainable energy solutions has never been greater, the persistence of this inefficient and high carbon intensity component raises concerns and challenges us to rethink the status quo. 

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Pioneering High-Performance Valve Solutions

 Cryogenic top entry ball valve. Credit: AMPOAmpo Poyam Valves (AMPO), with a history spanning nearly six decades, has established itself as a significant player in the realm of highly engineered valves and fluid handling solutions tailored for demanding applications and services. Drawing from its extensive experience, the company has earned a reputation for handling international projects with precise technical specifications, providing dependable solutions with minimal maintenance costs. Core principles at AMPO encompass effective supply chain management, including an integrated foundry and robust field support through its service division. 

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SpaceWrap™ is Now AstraWrap™

Aerospace Fabrication & Materials, LLC (AFM) is pleased to announce a rebrand for its SpaceWrap™ product line, which will now be known as AstraWrap™. The Astra™ brand name promotes a series of space products dedicated to the protection of spacecraft in orbit around the Earth and beyond. This line of subassembly products strengthens AFM’s material brand recognition as the company embarks on projects that create specialized passive thermal control solutions using cutting-edge thin films and engineered fabrics.Aerospace Fabrication & Materials, LLC (AFM) is pleased to announce a rebrand for its SpaceWrap™ product line, which will now be known as AstraWrap™. The Astra™ brand name promotes a series of space products dedicated to the protection of spacecraft in orbit around the Earth and beyond. This line of subassembly products strengthens AFM’s material brand recognition as the company embarks on projects that create specialized passive thermal control solutions using cutting-edge thin films and engineered fabrics.

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Commonwealth: On the Path to Commercial Fusion

Scientists have been studying fusion for decades with the understanding that if we could replicate the process here on Earth, we could create a virtually limitless clean power resource for the world. Fusion is the same process that happens in the stars, when two light atomic nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus. At extremely high temperatures and pressures, hydrogen nuclei fuse together to form helium, creating enormous amounts of energy in the process. The challenge on Earth is achieving an energy output that exceeds the energy input, often referred to as Q>1. Achieving self-sustaining fusion energy requires that three conditions are achieved, referred to as the “fusion triple product,” which is the product of (1) plasma density (the number of fuel ions in a given volume), (2) confinement time (how long the hot fuel ions are kept together), and (3) plasma temperature (which provides the energy required for the fuel ions to overcome their mutual electrostatic repulsion and come close enough to fuse). Scientists have been studying fusion for decades with the understanding that if we could replicate the process here on Earth, we could create a virtually limitless clean power resource for the world. Fusion is the same process that happens in the stars, when two light atomic nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus. At extremely high temperatures and pressures, hydrogen nuclei fuse together to form helium, creating enormous amounts of energy in the process. The challenge on Earth is achieving an energy output that exceeds the energy input, often referred to as Q>1. Achieving self-sustaining fusion energy requires that three conditions are achieved, referred to as the “fusion triple product,” which is the product of (1) plasma density (the number of fuel ions in a given volume), (2) confinement time (how long the hot fuel ions are kept together), and (3) plasma temperature (which provides the energy required for the fuel ions to overcome their mutual electrostatic repulsion and come close enough to fuse). 

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New Thermometer Measures Cryogenic Temperatures at Submicron Scales

A tunable excitation laser (red beam) interrogates molecular thermometers (red disks) on a patterned silicon membrane while another laser (yellow beam) heats the membrane. The thermometers are aromatic hydrocarbon nanocrystals that emit single photons (red dots) at the transition frequency ωL (the zero-phonon line, ZPL) between the hydrocarbons’ ground and excited states, ∣S0〉 and ∣S1〉. As the temperature increases, the energy levels of the ground and excited states—and therefore the fluorescence intensity IS as a function of the excitation frequency ωL—broaden in a reproducible way. Credit: Adapted from V. Esteso et al., PRX Quantum 4, 040314 (2023)Taking the temperature of a sample can be tricky—especially in the regimes of the very small and the very cold. The smaller the sample, the greater the influence the thermometer itself may exert on the measurement. And in the ultracold regime, even tiny amounts of heat can significantly alter the temperature reading.

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Researchers Simplify Switching for Quantum Electronics

Exploiting a quantum effect electrically brings it closer to practical use. Credit: istockA quantum cousin of the Hall effect could open the door to energy-efficient electronics, better sensors, and more-powerful quantum computers. Researchers have now broken a key barrier to its practical application by controlling the phenomenon electrically, rather than magnetically, for the first time.

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Nanoparticles Show Quick and Easy Way to Target Cancer

Researchers have been exploring the use of injectable nanoparticles that can quickly home in on a microscopic tumor. It’s a novel technique that could pave the way for the early detection of small tumors that may not show up on traditional imaging technologies. In a study published in the October issue of the IEEE Internet of Things Journal, one team has found a way to guide cancer-detecting nanoparticles to a tumor faster, while using fewer resources.Researchers have been exploring the use of injectable nanoparticles that can quickly home in on a microscopic tumor. It’s a novel technique that could pave the way for the early detection of small tumors that may not show up on traditional imaging technologies. In a study published in the October issue of the IEEE Internet of Things Journal, one team has found a way to guide cancer-detecting nanoparticles to a tumor faster, while using fewer resources.

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WEST TOKAMAK Inside and Out

Top Image: With a plasma volume of 15 cubic meters, WEST is a medium-size tokamak comparable to Korea's KSTAR (~17 m³), Germany's Asdex Upgrade (~13 m³) or China's EAST (~17 m³). Only the European JET (80 m³) and the Europe-Japan JT60-SA (140 m³, in commissioning) offer more plasma volume.Someone waking up inside of WEST, the French tokamak located barely one kilometer away from ITER, would think they had been transported into an alien spaceship—and more specifically, into the stranded star-faring vessel in the movie Alien (1979), with its strange ribcage-like walls and dull metal vertebrae. Last week, a (perfectly awake) Newsline reporter was privileged to spend a few hours inside the machine's plasma chamber, where some of the longest plasma shots in fusion history were produced.

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Firefly Aerospace Awarded Multi-Launch Agreement with L3Harris

Image: Firefly’s Alpha vehicle will provide three dedicated launches in support of L3Harris’ Space Business. Credit: FireflyFirefly Aerospace, Inc., an end-to-end space transportation company, today announced it signed a multi-launch agreement with L3Harris Technologies for three dedicated launches on Firefly’s Alpha vehicle in 2026. With the capability to launch more than 1,000 kg to low Earth orbit, Firefly’s Alpha vehicle provides affordable, responsive, and reliable launch services for small satellites and spacecraft. Firefly is ramping up Alpha production at its rocket manufacturing and test site in Briggs, Texas, to support multiple government and commercial launches, while also doubling the size of its facilities to support the ongoing development of its medium launch vehicle that will first launch in 2025. The agreement further positions Firefly as the leader in small-lift launch services as the company ramps up production of its Alpha vehicle to support the growing needs of both government and commercial customers.

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