The new “Backyard Worlds: Planet 9” initiative by NASA and various American institutions along with the Zooniverse platform was announced to allow anyone connected to the Internet to participate in the search for the ninth planet of the solar system. You can connect to the project’s website, examine images captured by the WISE space telescope and report any moving objects.
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The Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE project announced the 21 teams that will participate in its semi-finals among the 32 that signed up to competition by the end of September 2016. The initiative was announced in December 2015 by Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of XPRIZE in order to support the development of ocean exploration technologies. The first round of tests for the semifinalists is scheduled for August-September 2017.
An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” describes a way to activate the superconducting properties of graphene. A team of researchers from St John’s College at Cambridge University found a way to activate those properties that exist as potential but had remained hidden. The most interesting thing is that graphene can become a superconductor at room temperature.
Tesla Motors announced that its Gigafactory started its operations. It’s the huge factory of lithium-ion battery cells to be used for the batteries of electric cars produced by the company and its power storage products. This is just the beginning for the company founded by Elon Musk because the Gigafactory is active only in part but can already take advantage of the agreement signed with Panasonic.
ESA has announced the completion of the first four test flights using Iris Precursor, the test version of the Iris satellite communication system that in a few years should allow airplane cockpit crews to exchange digital messages with air traffic controllers in any position they are.