Future Energy eNews
IntegrityResearchInstitute.org Oct. 7, 2004
1) Electric Bandages Heal Wounds Twice as Fast- Silverlon bandages work amazingly with or without a battery.
2)Sound Signals from Living Cells Astonish Experts - For the first time, scientists can listen to individual cells talking, similar to Cleve Backster's technique of electroding cells to see the electrical signals (See Report #406 by IRI on Backster Effect).
3) Cold Fusion Rises Like a Phoenix from the Ashes- Everyone is getting excited that the DOE is reviewing cold fusion, in spite of the agency's past record of eroding scientific integrity by manipulating fusion facts.
4) Traveling Wave Tube for Space Power- Novel method for generating electrical power for deep-space travel using sound waves.
5) "Black Flying Triangles" Report from NIDS- First independent evidence of covert or unacknowledged US government program.
6) SpaceShip One Heralds Space Tourism -Rutan wins X-Prize as his ship returns to space within 2 weeks.
7) Miscellaneous Announcements- Advanced Nanotechnology Conference; DOE SBIR Solicitation; Cairo Confer on Energy & Environment
Thomas Valone, reference:http://www.silverlon.com/
Recently presented at an electrotherapy seminar which this author attended at Penn State University, Silverlon was invented to restore the -40 mV potential in a wound area that normally exists on the skin, besides providing antibacterial action. The inventor worked with Dr. Robert Becker (author of The Body Electric). Benefits are that Silverlon cloth bandages (1) re-establishes a -40 mV potential to the wound by electrical conduction, (2) are a local antibiotic, (3) exhibit tissue penetration effect in glove and shirt designs.
For severe wounds and burns, A blend of nylon fiber and silver coated nylon fiber demonstrates advantages that are safe, convenient and long lasting, including faster healing time and extended use. A unique infusion of silver throughout a comfortable, flexible fabric delivers pure ionic silver to the wound site longer than other silver-impregnated products on the market. "Studies of the kinetics of ion release suggest that silver nylon may be an effective, sustained release antibacterial agent." (MacKeen, P.C., Person, S., Warner, S.C., Snipes, W., and Stevens, S.E., "Silver-coated nylon fiber as an antibacterial agent," Antimicrob. Agents Chemother., 31, 93, 1987. )
Electrically generated silver ions have been shown previously to be a potent antibacterial agent with an exceptionally broad spectrum as indicated by in vitro testing. The present study reports on clinical experience using electrically generated silver ions from Silverlon® fabric as adjunctive treatment in the management of chronic osteomyelitis.
In tests conducted by a multi-site home health agency, Silverlon® was found to heal wounds rapidly, and decrease nursing visits and costs. "In one case, a diabetic patient in renal failure with a sacral wound, was showing no improvement after 20 skilled nursing visits. The physician was planning surgery. After a trial using Silverlon®, the wound healed completely in three nursing visits." ("Treatment of Orthopedic Infections with Electrically Generated Silver Ions." J. Bone Jt. Surgery., 60-A, 871, 1978, Becker, R.O. and Spadaro, J.A.)
"The combination of NPT and elemental silver contact dressings represents an exciting new method of securing STSG’s in colonized wounds. Patient education and compliance in this more sophisticated method are issues to be addressed." (Sigler T, Patterson GK, Loehne HB, Sawyer A, Johnson P, Farmer M, "The Use of Negative Pressure Therapy and Elemental Silver Contact Layer in Increasing the Survivability of split-Thickness Skin Grafts," Presented at the 16th Annual Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin and Wound Care September 20-23, 2001. )
Silverlon® Advanced Antimicrobial Wound Care, Burn Care and Surgical Products are available as Contact Dressings, Island Dressings, Pads, Packing Strips, Elastic Wraps and Gloves. http://www.silverlon.com/
2) Signal Discovery?
By MarkWheeler, March 2004, Smithsonian http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smithsonian/issues04/mar04/phenomena.html
A Los Angeles scientist says living cells may make distinct sounds, which might someday help doctors "hear" diseases.
Kids, lawn mowers, planes, trains, automobiles—just about everything makes noise. And if two California scientists are right, so, too, do living cells. In recent experiments using the frontier science of nanotechnology, the researchers have found evidence that yeast cells give off one kind of squeal while mammalian cells may give off another. The research, though still preliminary, is potentially "revolutionary," as one scientist puts it, and a possible, admittedly far-off medical application, is already being pursued: someday, the thinking goes, listening to the sounds your cells make might tell a doctor, before symptoms occur, whether you're healthy or about to be ill.
The founder of the study of cell sounds, or "sonocytology," as he calls it, is Jim Gimzewski, a 52-year-old UCLA chemist who has contributed to an art museum's exhibit on molecular structure. The cell sounds idea came to him in 2001 after a medical researcher told him that when living heart cells are placed in a petri dish with appropriate nutrients, the cells will continue to pulsate. Gimzewski began wondering if all cells might beat, and if so, would such tiny vibrations produce a detectable sound. After all, he reasoned, sound is merely the result of a force pushing on molecules, creating a pressure wave that spreads and registers when it strikes the eardrum. He also reasoned that although a noise generated by a cell would not be audible, it might be detected by an especially sensitive instrument.
Gimzewski is well suited to tackle the question, being both an expert at instrumentation—he has built his own microscopes—and comfortably at home in the world of the infinitesimal. A leader in nanotechnology, or the science of manipulating individual atoms and molecules to build microscopic machines, Gimzewski previously worked at IBM's research laboratory in Zurich, Switzerland, where he and his colleagues built a spinning molecular propeller 1.5 nanometers, or 0.0000015 millimeters in diameter. They also built the world's smallest abacus, which had, as beads, individual molecules with diameters less than a single nanometer. If nothing else, the feats, which garnered considerable acclaim, showed that nanotechnology's much-hyped promise had a basis in reality.
For his first foray into sonocytology, Gimzewski obtained yeast cells from biochemistry colleagues at UCLA. (He "got looks," he recalls, when he explained why he wanted the cells.) Working with graduate student Andrew Pelling, Gimzewski devised a way to test for cellular noise with a nanotechnology tool called an atomic force microscope (AFM). Usually, an AFM creates a visual image of a cell by passing its very tiny probe, itself so small its tip is microscopic, over the cell's surface, measuring every bump and hollow of its outer membrane. A computer converts the data into a picture. But the UCLA researchers held the AFM's tiny probe in a fixed position, resting it lightly on the surface of a cell membrane "like a record needle," says Pelling, to detect any sound-generating vibrations.
The pair found that the cell wall rises and falls three nanometers (about 15 carbon atoms stacked on top of each other) and vibrates an average of 1,000 times per second. The distance the cell wall moves determines the amplitude, or volume, of the sound wave, and the speed of the up-and-down movement is its frequency, or pitch. Though the volume of the yeast cell sound was far too low to be heard, Gimzewski says its frequency was theoretically within the range of human hearing. "So all we're doing is turning up the volume," he adds.
The frequency of the yeast cells the researchers tested has always been in the same high range, "about a C-sharp to D above middle C in terms of music," says Pelling. Sprinkling alcohol on a yeast cell to kill it raises the pitch, while dead cells give off a low, rumbling sound that Gimzewski says is probably the result of random atomic motions. The pair also found that yeast cells with genetic mutations make a slightly different sound than normal yeast cells; that insight has encouraged the hope that the technique might eventually be applied to diagnosing diseases such as cancer, which is believed to originate with changes in the genetic makeup of cells. The researchers have begun to test different kinds of mammalian cells, including bone cells, which have a lower pitch than yeast cells. The researchers don't know why.
Few scientists are aware of Gimzewski's and Pelling's sonocytology work, which has not been published in the scientific literature and scrutinized. (The researchers have submitted their findings to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.) Word of mouth has prompted skepticism as well as admiration. A scientist familiar with the research, Hermann Gaub, chair of applied physics at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, says the sounds that Gimzewski believes are cellular vibrations may have other origins. "If the source of this vibration would be found inside the cell, this would be revolutionary, spectacular, and unbelievably important," Gaub says. "There are, however, many potential [sound] sources outside the cell that need to be excluded." Pelling agrees, and says that he and Gimzewski are doing tests to rule out the possibility that other molecules in the fluid bathing the cells, or even the tip of the microscope itself, are generating vibrations that their probe picks up.
Ratnesh Lal, a neuroscientist and biophysicist at the University of California at Santa Barbara who has studied the pulsations of heart cells kept alive in a dish, says that Gimzewski's nanotechnology expertise may be the key to establishing whether cells produce sound. "The ultimate hope is to use this in diagnostics and prevention," says Lal, adding: "If there's anybody in the world who can do it, he can."
Gimzewski acknowledges more work needs to be done. Meanwhile, the findings have caught the attention of his UCLA colleague Michael Teitell, a pathologist specializing in cancers of the lymphocyte, a type of white blood cell. He's subjecting human and mouse muscle cells and bone cells to drugs and chemicals to induce genetic and physical changes; Gimzewski will then try to "listen" to the altered cells and distinguish them by their sounds.
Teitell says the thought of detecting cancer at its earliest cellular stages is exciting, but whether the technology will work as a diagnostic tool remains to be seen (or heard). He doesn't want to oversell the idea: "It could turn out that all these signals will be such a mishmash that we won't be able to clearly identify one from the other."
Gimzewski hopes the work will have a practical application, but he's thrilled as much by the hunt as the catch. "Whatever the outcome," he says, "I'm primarily driven by curiosity and excitement at the phenomenon of cellular motion—what inspired nature to create such a mechanism and to really understand in depth what these beautiful sounds mean." The mere possibility that he's discovered a new characteristic of cells, with all the intriguing questions that raises, is, he says, "already more than enough of a gift."
3) Cold Fusion Back From the Dead
U.S. Energy Department gives true believers a new hearing
JUSTIN MULLINS, IEEE Spectrum, September, 2004http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/resource/sep04/0904nfus.html
Later this month, the U.S. Department of Energy will receive a report from a panel of experts on the prospects for cold fusion—the supposed generation of thermonuclear energy using tabletop apparatus. It's an extraordinary reversal of fortune: more than a few heads turned earlier this year when James Decker, the deputy director of the DOE's Office of Science, announced that he was initiating the review of cold fusion science. Back in November 1989, it had been the department's own investigation that determined the evidence behind cold fusion was unconvincing. Clearly, something important has changed to grab the department's attention now.
The cold fusion story began at a now infamous press conference in March 1989. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, both electrochemists working at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, announced that they had created fusion using a battery connected to palladium electrodes immersed in a bath of water in which the hydrogen was replaced with its isotope deuterium—so-called heavy water. With this claim came the idea that tabletop fusion could produce more or less unlimited, low-cost, clean energy.
In physicists' traditional view of fusion, forcing two deuterium nuclei close enough together to allow them to fuse usually requires temperatures of tens of millions of degrees Celsius. The claim that it could be done at room temperature with a couple of electrodes connected to a battery stretched credulity.
But while some scientists reported being able to reproduce the result sporadically, many others reported negative results, and cold fusion soon took on the stigma of junk science.
Today the mainstream view is that champions of cold fusion are little better than purveyors of snake oil and good luck charms. Critics say that the extravagant claims behind cold fusion need to be backed with exceptionally strong evidence, and that such evidence simply has not materialized. "To my knowledge, nothing has changed that makes cold fusion worth a second look," says Steven Koonin, a member of the panel that evaluated cold fusion for the DOE back in 1989, who is now chief scientist at BP, the London-based energy company.
Because of such attitudes, science has all but ignored the phenomenon for 15 years. But a small group of dedicated researchers have continued to investigate it. For them, the DOE's change of heart is a crucial step toward being accepted back into the scientific fold. Behind the scenes, scientists in many countries, but particularly in the United States, Japan, and Italy, have been working quietly for more than a decade to understand the science behind cold fusion. (Today they call it low-energy nuclear reactions, or sometimes chemically assisted nuclear reactions.) For them, the department's change of heart is simply a recognition of what they have said all along—whatever cold fusion may be, it needs explaining by the proper process of science.
THE FIRST HINTthat the tide may be changing came in February 2002, when the U.S. Navy revealed that its researchers had been studying cold fusion on the quiet more or less continuously since the debacle began. Much of this work was carried out at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego, where the idea of generating energy from sea water—a good source of heavy water—may have seemed more captivating than at other laboratories.
Many researchers at the center had worked with Fleischmann, a well-respected electrochemist, and found it hard to believe that he was completely mistaken. What's more, the Navy encouraged a culture of risk-taking in research and made available small amounts of funding for researchers to pursue their own interests.
At San Diego and other research centers, scientists built up an impressive body of evidence that something strange happened when a current passed through palladium electrodes placed in heavy water.
And by 2002, a number of Navy scientists believed it was time to throw down the gauntlet. A two-volume report, entitled "Thermal and nuclear aspects of the Pd/D2O system," contained a remarkable plea for proper funding from Frank Gordon, the head of navigation and applied science at the Navy center. "It is time that this phenomenon be investigated so that we can reap whatever benefits accrue from scientific understanding. It is time for government funding agencies to invest in this research," he wrote. The report was noted by the DOE but appeared to have little impact.
Then, last August, in a small hotel near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, some 150 engineers and scientists met for the Tenth International Conference on Cold Fusion. Conference observers were struck by the careful way in which various early criticisms of the research were being addressed. Over the years, a number of groups around the world have reproduced the original Pons-Fleischmann excess heat effect, yielding sometimes as much as 250 percent of the energy put in.
To be sure, excess energy by itself is not enough to establish that fusion is taking place. In addition to energy, critics are quick to emphasize, the fusion of deuterium nuclei should produce other byproducts, such as helium and the hydrogen isotope tritium. Evidence of these byproducts has been scant, though Antonella de Ninno and colleagues from the Italian National Agency for New Technologies Energy and the Environment, in Rome, have found strong evidence of helium generation when the palladium cells are producing excess heat but not otherwise.
Other researchers are finally beginning to explain why the Pons-Fleischmann effect has been difficult to reproduce. Mike McKubre from SRI International, in Menlo Park, Calif., a respected researcher who is influential among those pursuing cold fusion, says that the effect can be reliably seen only once the palladium electrodes are packed with deuterium at ratios of 100 percent—one deuterium atom for every palladium atom. His work shows that if the ratio drops by as little as 10 points, to 90 percent, only 2 experimental runs in 12 produce excess heat, while all runs at a ratio of 100 percent produce excess heat.
And scientists are beginning to get a better handle on exactly how the effect occurs. Stanislaw Szpak and colleagues from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command have taken infrared video images of palladium electrodes as they produce excess energy. It turns out that the heat is not produced continuously over the entire electrode but only in hot spots that erupt and then die on the electrode surface. This team also has evidence of curious mini-explosions on the surface.
Fleischmann, who is still involved in cold fusion as an advisor to a number of groups, feels vindicated. He told the conference: "I believe that the work carried out thus far amply illustrates that there is a new and richly varied field of research waiting to be explored." (Pons is no longer involved in the field, having dropped from view after a laboratory he joined in southern France ceased operations.)
For Peter Hagelstein, an electrical engineer at MIT who works on the theory behind cold fusion and who chaired the August 2003 conference, the quality of the papers was hugely significant. "It's obvious that there are effects going on," he says. He and two colleagues believed the results were so strong that they were worth drawing to the attention of the DOE, and late last year they secured a meeting with the department's Decker.
It was a meeting that paid off dramatically. The review will give cold fusion researchers a chance—perhaps their last—to show their mettle. The department has yet to decide just what will be done and by whom. There is no guarantee of funding or of future support. But for a discipline whose name has become a byword for junk science, the DOE's review is a big opportunity.
Source: Los Alamos National Labwww.lanl.gov , Sept. 17, 2004
LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Sept. 16, 2004 – A University of California scientist working at Los Alamos National Laboratory and researchers from Northrop Grumman Space Technology have developed a novel method for generating electrical power for deep-space travel using sound waves. The traveling-wave thermoacoustic electric generator has the potential to power space probes to the furthest reaches of the Universe.
In research reported in a recent issue of the journal Applied Physics Letters, Laboratory scientist Scott Backhaus and his Northrop Grumman colleagues, Emanuel Tward and Mike Petach, describe the design of a thermoacoustic system for the generation of electricity aboard spacecraft. The traveling-wave engine/linear alternator system is similar to the current thermoelectric generators in that it uses heat from the decay of a radioactive fuel to generate electricity, but is more than twice as efficient.
The new design is an improvement over current thermoelectric devices used for the generation of electricity aboard spacecraft. Such devices convert only 7 percent of the heat source energy into electricity. The traveling-wave engine converts 18 percent of the heat source energy into electricity. Since the only moving component in the device besides the helium gas itself is an ambient temperature piston, the device possesses the kind of high-reliability required of deep space probes.
The traveling-wave engine is a modern-day adaptation of the 19th century thermodynamic invention of Robert Stirling –– the Stirling engine –– which is similar to a steam engine, but uses heated air instead of steam to drive a piston. The traveling-wave engine works by sending helium gas through a stack of 322 stainless-steel wire-mesh discs called a regenerator. The regenerator is connected to a heat source and a heat sink that causes the helium to expand and contract. This expansion and contraction creates powerful sound waves –– in much the same way that lightning in the atmosphere causes the thermal expansion that produces thunder. These oscillating sound waves in the traveling-wave engine drive the piston of a linear alternator that generates electricity.
NASAfunded the traveling-wave thermoacoustic electric generator research.
Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by the University of California for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the U.S. Department of Energy and works in partnership with NNSA's Sandia and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories to support NNSA in its mission.
5) Silent Running: 'Black Triangle' Sightings on the Rise
By Leonard David Senior Space Writer, Space.com, 02 September 2004 http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/flying_triangle_040902.html
They have become legendary in UFO circles. Huge, silent-running "Flying Triangles" have been seen by ground observers creeping through the sky low and slow near cities and quietly cruising over highways.
The National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS), has catalogued the Triangle sightings, sifting through and combining databases to take a hard look at the mystery craft. Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, NIDS is a privately funded science institute with a strong research focusing on aerial phenomena.The results of their study have just been released and lead to some unnerving, still puzzling conclusions.
The study points out: "The United States is currently experiencing a wave of Flying Triangle sightings that may have intensified in the 1990s, especially towards the latter part of the 1990s. The wave continues. The Flying Triangles are being openly deployed over and near population centers, including in the vicinity of major Interstate Highways."
A key NIDS conclusion is that the actions of these triangular craft do not conform to previous patterns of covert deployment of unacknowledged aircraft. Furthermore, "neither the agenda nor the origin of the Flying Triangles are currently known."
The years 1990-2004 have seen an intense wave of Flying Triangle aircraft, the study observes. Sifting through reports by hundreds of eyewitnesses, the NIDS assessment states that the behavior of the vehicles "does not appear consistent with the covert deployment of an advanced DoD [U.S. Department of the Defense] aircraft."
Rather, it is consistent with (a) the routine and open deployment of an unacknowledged advanced DoD aircraft or (b) the routine and open deployment of an aircraft owned and operated by non-DoD personnel, suggests the NIDS study.
"The implications of the latter possibility are disturbing, especially during the post 9/11 era when the United States airspace is extremely heavily guarded and monitored," the NIDS study explains. "In support of option (a), there is much greater need for surveillance in the United States in the post 9/11 era and it is certainly conceivable that deployment of low altitude surveillance platforms is routine and open."
Open, even brazen
According to Colm Kelleher, NIDS Administrator, the newly completed quasi "meta-analysis" of Flying Triangles melds three major U.S. databases: NIDS, the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and data collected by independent researcher, Larry Hatch, the creator and owner of one of the largest and most comprehensive UFO databases in the world.
Kelleher said, the analysis indicates that deployment of Flying Triangles is open, not covert, and involves low-flying, brightly lit aircraft routinely deployed over populated areas including cities and Interstate highways.
"However, I cannot say whether these are U.S. Air Force aircraft. We simply don't know," Kelleher told SPACE.com . "But it does not appear to be consistent with the covert patterns of deployment we saw with the F-117 and B-2 prior to their acknowledgement. This is open, even brazen," he stated.
For example, a perfunctory look at the how past DoD stealth aircraft programs were kept from public eye -- although eventually came to light -- is different from the patterns for the Flying Triangles.
Prior to acknowledgement of the F-117 and B-2 aircraft, only rare night time sightings occurred in the sparsely populated sections of Nevada, California and a few other states. Flying at low altitude over populated areas was rarely reported for the F-117 or B-2.
"In contrast, the Flying Triangle deployment, especially during the 1990s, appears more consistent with the open and public operation of these aircraft," the study explains. The trend of open deployment of the Flying Triangles is not consistent with secret operation of an advanced DoD aircraft.
No attempt to hide
The database-driven study of the Flying Triangle shows the following patterns:
-- Sightings take place near cities and on Interstate highways
-- They are seen at low altitude in plain sight of eyewitnesses
-- They fly at extremely low speed or hover in plain sight of eyewitnesses
-- The vehicles sometime fly with easily noticeable bright lights -- either blinding white lights, or have "bright disco lights" that usually flash combinations of red, green or blue.
The NIDS study emphasizes that the flying of these vehicles may be more in harmony with an attempt to display or to be noticed. There appears to be little or no attempt to hide. That finding has led to a modification of an earlier NIDS hypothesis that the Triangles are covertly deployed DoD aircraft.
While it is too early to dismiss the previously published NIDS correlation between Triangle sightings and a subset of U.S. Air Force Bases, the apparent association with centers of population may point away from a covert program. "Rather, it is consistent with routine and open deployment of an advanced aircraft," the NIDS study concludes.
Clustered on both coasts
During the ensuing years (2000-2004), NIDS received hundreds of reports from people in the United States and Canada reporting large triangular aircraft, often silent and often flying at very low altitude and at low air speed. In many cases, the objects were brightly lit. NIDS files also include reports of Flying Triangles from remote areas.
In mid 2004, NIDS reviewed its database that contains the locations of the Triangle sightings in the United States. The sightings of Triangles appear primarily adjacent to population centers and along Interstate Highways, with sightings clustered on both coasts.
NIDS has amassed almost 400 separate sightings of triangular/boomerang/wedge-shaped objects. Many of these craft are brightly lit, low flying, and traveling at unexpectedly low air speeds.
In earlier reports, NIDS outlined a tentative correlation between reported sightings of Triangles and the locations of Air Mobility Command and Air Force Materiel Command bases in the United States.
Like a Star Trek "uncloaking"
According to ground observers, the features of a Black Triangle are indeed impressive.
For example, the NIDS study includes the observation of a Port Washington Wisconsin person who encountered a large object that flew over her home at 500 feet altitude in October 1998. Her eyeing of the clear starry night was interrupted as the craft came into her field of view.
"Suddenly this monstrosity came out of the ‘blue’, just like a Star Trek 'uncloaking', no kidding…so quiet I couldn’t believe it and so huge…no more than 500 feet or so up, and big enough to take up my field of sky vision," she reported.
Crude mathematics, the witness recounted, would make the vessel about 200 feet wide and 250 feet long.
In wrapping up its look at the burgeoning number of Flying Triangle sightings in the United States, NIDS also took into account the work of writers and researchers delving into the topic both in the United States and abroad.
Those analyses fall into two camps: The Triangles are human-made, while the other says they are not.
"In 2004 it is extremely difficult to distinguish between these two possibilities since the former option overlaps heavily with legitimate national security concerns, while in the absence of much more physical evidence, the latter option is not testable," the NIDS assessment concludes.
A good example of some structural details of these aircraft comes from an eyewitness in Port Washington Wisconsin who encountered a large object that flew over her home at 500 feet altitude in October 1998. The witness’s husband is a graphics artist, so a graphic reconstruction from the pair shows a football field-sized, wedge-shaped object with flashing red, blue and white "disco lights". http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/flying_triangle_040902.html
See also:last year's Future Energy eNews story on propulsion methods of Flying Triangles, January 6, 2003 : http://users.erols.com/iri/news.html
[SAN DIEGO] The privately built SpaceShipOne scooped the US$10-million Ansari X prize for manned, commercial space flight on Monday when it punched into suborbital space for the second time in five days.
The craft, designed by Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites and backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, reached an altitude of more than 100 kilometres over the Mojave Desert, after being released from a booster plane at about 14 kilometres.
Supporters of the prize hope the flight will pave the way for an era of affordable space travel. But many experts question whether space tourism can really take off before companies have overcome the much tougher hurdle of achieving orbit.
See also:http://www.nature.com/physics/physics.taf?file=/physics/highlights/7009-3.html (pictures and longer article - TV)
Nature Online special:http://www.nature.com/news/specials/xprize
Sound Photosynthesisalso offers a Richard Feynman page, where the videotape of Feynman's lecture "tiny machines" about nanotechnology appears.
B)The FY 2005 SBIR/STTR Program Solicitation was posted this morning, September 28, 2004. For the first time in Phase I, grant applications will be accepted in electronic format ONLY through the DOE Industry Interactive Procurement System (IIPS). The deadline for receipt of grant applications is December 13, 2004. Please help us spread the word.