The first production model of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II made its inaugural flight today in preparation for delivery to the U.S. Air Force this spring. The jet will head to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to support developmental testing shortly after the Air Force takes delivery.
“The aircraft was rock-solid from takeoff to landing, and successfully completed all the tests we put it through during the flight,” said Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Bill Gigliotti. “The Air Force is getting a great jet that represents a huge leap in capability, and we’re looking forward to getting it into the hands of the service pilots in just a few more weeks.”
During the flight, the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A variant, known as AF-6, underwent basic flight maneuvering and engine tests. Test Pilot Gigliotti took off from Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base at 3:05 p.m. CST and landed at 4:05 p.m. The jet will continue flight tests in Fort Worth for about a month before it is accepted by the Air Force.
(Dr. June Medford, with some of her pollutant- and explosive-sniffing plants)
(Gizmag) There may come a day when certain plants in your workplace suddenly turn white, at which point everyone will run screaming from the building – those co-workers will have been right to do so, as the white plants indicated that a toxic gas was present. Before that scenario can take place, a little more work still needs to be done, and Colorado State University (CSU) biologist Dr. June Medford is doing it. Using a computer-designed detection trait, she is creating plants that stop producing chlorophyll when they detect pollutants or explosives in the air.
According to Medford, plants such as tobacco are as good as or better than a dog’s nose for detecting airborne substances. Unlike dogs, however, plants don’t need to be trained, housed or fed. They also don’t need to be powered or protected from the elements, unlike electronics.
With help from colleagues at Duke University and the University of Washington, Medford redesigned naturally-occurring receptor proteins using a computer program. She then modified the receptors to function in plants, and targeted them to the test plants’ cell walls.
Farmers from Australia are the latest donors to a polar bear-patrolled Arctic doomsday vault that stores seeds as insurance against an international food emergency.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a converted mine, is located about 800 miles from the North Pole in Arctic Norway.
An Australian delegation of farmers and scientists next week will deposit 301 samples of peas and 42 rare chickpeas in the vault, intending to protect the plant species from extinction by climatic or man-made events.
John McConnico, AP Australian farmers and scientists next week will deposit 301 samples of peas and 42 rare chickpeas in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, shown here in 2008. "It's a very robust structure, concrete, made into the side of a mountain at Svalbard in the Spitsbergen Highlands in the Arctic," said Dr. Tony Gregson, a farmer and scientist with Plant Health Australia, an agriculture industry body.
According to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault website, the facility's main purpose is "to store duplicates ('back ups') of all seed samples from the world's crop collections. Permafrost and thick rock ensure that, even in the case of a power outage, the seed samples will remain frozen."
WASHINGTON (AFP) – A powerful solar eruption that has already disturbed radio communications in China could disrupt electrical power grids and satellites used on Earth in the next days, NASA said.
The massive sunspot, which astronomers say is the size of Jupiter, is the strongest solar flare in four years, NASA said Wednesday.
The Class X flash -- the largest such category -- erupted at 0156 GMT Tuesday, according to the US space agency.
"X-class flares are the most powerful of all solar events that can trigger radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms," disturbing telecommunications and electric grids, NASA said.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory saw a large coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with the flash that is blasting toward Earth at about 560 miles per second (900 kilometers per second), it said.
The charged plasma particles were expected to reach the planet's orbit at 0300 GMT Thursday.
(PhysOrg.com) -- C60, the spherical carbon molecule also known as a buckminsterfullerene, has intrigued scientists for its unique properties and potential applications in nanotechnology and electronics. Now scientists have found that C60 may have another unusual property: it may take the form of a one-component gel under certain conditions. To date, all known gels consist of two components: an evenly distributed substance (a colloid) and a substance that dissolves the colloid (a solvent).
Scientists have previously discovered that C60 can take the form of different phases of matter, including solids and liquids. Here, chemists Patrick Royall from the University of Bristol and Stephen Williams from the Australian National University found that C60 can theoretically exist in a dense liquid phase containing clusters, which bind together to form a gel structure, specifically a "spinodal" gel. The gel is made entirely of carbon.
In their study, the scientists performed computer simulations showing that C60 can form a gel at moderately high temperatures and very high quench rates. The simulations showed that C60 gels form in about 10 nanoseconds and are stable at room temperature for at least 100 nanoseconds, which is the maximum time that the simulations were run.
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