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Ultra-strong bio-material to create lightweight structures

A team led by Daniel Söderberg from the KTH Royal Institute of Techonology based in Stockholm, has shared news of work taking place on artificial cellulose fibres said to be stronger than steel and spider silk. Considered to be the strongest bio-based material, it is bio-degradable due to being made up of CNF (cellulose nanofibres): CNF create the structure for wood and other plant life organisms. After research, the team have found a production method which can convert these nanofibres into macroscopic, lightweight materials that can be used in a variety of ways. Not only can the nanofibres be used as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic, it can also be used in the production of aeroplanes, furniture and could potentially be used in the medical field.  “Our new material ev

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Nasa’s 2020 mission will launch the Mars Helicopter

Since 2013, a Mars Helicopter, said to be attached to the belly of the Mars 2020 Rover, has been in development at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The helicopter will be deployed as soon as the rover reaches the ground, with twin counter-rotating blades, spinning near 3,000 rpm. This is a huge difference to the rate Earth helicopters, where blades only spin at 300rpm. “The altitude record for a helicopter flying here on Earth is about 40,000 feet,” said Mimi Aung, Mars Helicopter project manager at JPL. “The atmosphere of Mars is only one percent that of Earth, so when our helicopter is on the Martian surface, it’s already at the Earth equivalent of 100,000 feet up. “To make it fly at that low atmospheric density, we had to scrutinise everything, make it as light as pos

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