We have been discussing the transitions that the People on Earth are experiencing, and below you will find how technology is a key role in this global transition. A re-evaluation of currencies (Esp. the U.S. Dollar as the reserve currency) with the development of non-western nations are important changes to be aware of.
Also note alternatives to the petrochemical industries (energy, rubber, and plastics) such as biodegradables & polymers replacing rubber and plastic… ~Ron
Why India’s Mars Mission Is So Much Cheaper Than NASA’s
By Scott Neuman November 05, 2013
“India’s Mars mission, with a budget of $73 million, is far cheaper than comparable missions including NASA’s $671 million Maven satellite that is expected to set off for Mars later in November,” reports , which is among several publications noting the disparity between the cost of U.S. space missions and India’s burgeoning program.
Even the project director of India’s mission has been quick to tout his country’s frugality in space:
The PSLV-C25, with India’s Mars orbiter aboard, prior to Tuesday’s launch at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in southern India.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
“This is less than one-tenth of what the U.S. has spent on their ,” S. Arunan told reporters at a pre-launch news conference last week, according to , which added that “the cost-effectiveness of the mission is indeed turning out to be the highlight of the project, almost eclipsing the other aspects.”
(Arunan’s comments may have been directed partly at the critics of India’s space program, who says “wonder why the country is spending $74 million on interplanetary travel while millions of its people remain poor and malnourished.”)
Read Full Report: npr.org
4-D Printing Means Building Things That Build Themselves
by Emily Siner November 06, 2013
H. Jerry Qi, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Colorado University, holds simple models printed using polymers that have “shape memory.” The flat piece on the left can reshape itself into a box with the application of heat.
It’s called 4-D printing, and the fourth dimension in this case is time. Here’s how it works: A 3-D printer with extremely high resolution uses materials that can respond to outside stimuli, like heat or light, as ink. The resulting structure can change, move or even assemble itself after it’s been printed.
One team of researchers led by H. Jerry Qi, an associate professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, is using heat and mechanical pressure to transform flat objects into three-dimensional structures. They printed an unfolded box with glassy polymer fibers — a composite material that has “shape memory behavior” — along the folds. They heated it, pulled on the sides and cooled it, and the flat structure responded by folding into a box.Another team — a collaboration between University of Pittsburgh, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Harvard University — recently garnered an $855,00 grant from the U.S. Army Research Office to explore how adaptive materials can respond to stimuli like light or temperature.
It’s not unlike how the body works, says Professor Anna Balazs at Pittsburgh. It responds continuously, in complex ways, to the world around it.
“The idea is the use the full arsenal of 3-D printing,” she says. “It allows complicated objects to morph their structure. You’re not just going to print one object, one use.”
One potential application? You could make a fabric that changes color in response to light or changes permeability in response to temperature. It could provide a protective layer in the presence of toxic chemicals — that would be particularly useful for soldiers in combat.
Another application, Qi says, is useful in places where traditional manufacturing is impractical — like in space. You could make an instrument that’s small and flat and expand it aboard a spacecraft.
Dandelions Into Rubber: Making Rubber From Dandelion Juice
The first-ever modern pilot system for the extraction of large quantities of tire rubber from dandelions is currently in the process of being built by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME, in cooperation with Continental. The pilot project is possible thanks to a number of important improvements to cultivation and production engineering over the past few years.
It’s been known for quite a long time that dandelions, in addition to being an excellent source of nutrition, and to possessing notable medicinal qualities, are an excellent source of latex rubber. The researchers think that the new pilot project is an important step towards the goal of a rubber-independent Europe — potentially, in the future, no longer having to rely on imports from tropical countries for the important resource.