CNET News.com: DARPA has released some information on how one might build a propulsion system that combines a Constant Volume Combustion (CVC) engine and a full-scale turbine engine to accelerate a jet to hypersonic speeds.
Washington Post: As energy costs continue to soar, home owners are becoming concerned that energy expenses could compromise their long-term housing plans. The Washington Post investigates five steps towards reducing your energy costs.
NatureNews: Universities in the United Kingdom may be doing far more research for the military than official estimates acknowledge, according to a report released last week.
Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR), a Folkestone-based group that campaigns against military spending, says that of 13 universities surveyed, 12 received an average of around £2.4 million (US$4.7 million) each to conduct military and security-related research between 2005 and 2006. Some received as much as £5 million. The figures contrast sharply with SGR’s estimate of an average of £400,000 per UK university based on the official 2004 figure of a total of £44 million defence-related research grants across all UK universities. “Our analysis leads us to ask whether government statistics in this area are as reliable as they should be,” the study says.
New York Times: Faced with a surge in the number of proposed solar power plants, the federal government has placed a moratorium on new solar projects on public land until it studies their environmental impact, which is expected to take about two years.
Aviation Week : NASA planners have tentatively added an engine to its planned Ares V moon rocket, and increased the length of its shuttle-derived solid-rocket boosters to accommodate a larger hydrogen tank, as early work on lunar surface operations gets under way.
As now conceived, the Ares V will use six Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 engines to power its core stage, and twin five-and-a-half segment versions of the four-segment ATK shuttle solid boosters. Previous Ares V concepts had five RS-68s and twin five-segment boosters that basically matched the first stage of its Ares I crew launch vehicle.
Science: Science agencies are barely a footnote in the $186 billion supplemental spending bill to continue funding the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan approved by the House of Representatives last week. But the footnote includes a welcome bump-up of $400 million for four agencies whose research budgets were flattened late last year by legislators.
Nature News: The UK government has invested heavily in science. Now it’s looking for a return, and some worry that the research councils are being pressured to deliver, possibly at the expense of ‘blue skies’ research. Geoff Brumfiel looks at the changing landscape of science funding in Britain.
Globe and Mail: The space telescope will be no bigger than a hefty suitcase and weigh just 65 kilograms, but the Canadian scientists behind the project say when the device is launched two years from now, it may well go on to save the world.
The $12-million Near Earth Object Surveillance Satellite, dubbed NEOSSat, is considered a world’s first – designed specifically as an early warning system to pinpoint asteroids on a collision course with Earth. It will also detect space junk in the path of other orbiting satellites to prevent crashes that could shut down telecommunications – television, telephone, GPS and banking systems – around the globe.
Science Progress: Mounting evidence suggests that looming institutional shortcomings are eroding the ability of the so-called “science pipeline” to produce a healthy future national science infrastructure—and unless we shift the traditional paradigm rapidly, the consequences could be dramatic.
Two recent studies underscore this point: One, from the National Institutes of Health, reports that the current generation of young scientists may be turning away from careers in research due to funding issues and the need for institutional change. Concurrently, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ new report, “ARISE: Advancing Research In Science and Engineering,” concludes that early-career researchers face greater challenges today than ever. The continual and grueling search for funding, the Academy suggests, fosters overly conservative decisions about laboratory research directions, which in turn impede the impact of government-funded science and thwart the careers of younger talents.
ENN: The European Union reached a landmark agreement Thursday to cap emissions from aircraft, raising the stakes in an increasingly ferocious battle with the United States over how to regulate global greenhouse gases.
In the first requirement of its kind, all airlines arriving or leaving from airports located in the EU would be obliged to buy some pollution credits beginning in 2012, joining other industrial polluters that trade in the European emissions market. That includes non-European carriers like American Airlines and Singapore Airlines