NASA's Juno is Halfway to Jupiter

NASA’s Juno is Halfway to Jupiter

NASA’s Juno spacecraft is halfway to Jupiter. The Jovian-system-bound spacecraft reached the milestone today (8/12/13) at 5:25 a.m. PDT (8:25 a.m. EDT/12:25 UTC). “Juno’s odometer … Read more

Measuring radiation exposure for a journey to Mars

Measuring radiation exposure for a journey to Mars

The Radiation Assessment Detector, the first instrument on NASA’s next rover mission to Mars to begin science operations, was powered up and began collecting data Dec. 6, almost two weeks ahead of schedule. RAD is the only instrument scheduled to colle…

‘Dust belt’ causing some cosmic rays

Researchers have found that a portion of anomalous cosmic rays — charged particles accelerated to enormous energies by the solar wind — results from interactions with dust grains from a belt of comet-sized objects near Pluto’s orbit. These objects make up what is known as the Kuiper Belt, a remnant of the formation of the solar system.

‘People’s chemist’ dead at 72

Oh, to be as well-regarded and useful as recently departed polymer chemist William Mallow. Mallow, the man credited with inventing clumping cat litter and perfecting Liquid Paper, was remembered this week by family and friends as a scientist with a knack for practicality. In addition to litter and white-out, Mallow worked on the space shuttle’s heat-resistant tiles, developed a way to artificially age Scotch whiskey and improved the rubber skin used on robot dinosaurs at Walt Disney World, Reuters reports.

“He was a people’s chemist,” said Dr. Robert Bass, a colleague at the Southwest Research Institute. While at the institute, Mallow also helped Liquid Paper inventor Bette Nesmith Graham perfect the white goo. (Nesmith Graham, it should be noted, is the mother of former Monkees member Michael Nesmith).

Mallow’s latest project was a military-grade slip-n-slide gel called the Mobility Denial System. Meant to foil attacks on government buildings and control crowds, “it can be sprayed on any surface and causes people to slip and fall and prevents vehicles from getting traction.”

Mallow, a native of Akron, Ohio, died of leukemia at age 72 in a San Antonio hospital on Tuesday, Reuters says.

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