What a cake has in common with metal 3D printing

by Maylin Homfeldt, translated by Niko Steiner

Fig.1: On the left is a layered cake, in the middle is a metal component from 3D printing and on the right is Selective Laser Melting (3D printing process). © M. Homfeldt

Pastry chefs use a very similar method to 3D printers – they make their cakes in layers. In doing so, they encounter problems that also arise in metal 3D printing – the layers must be uniform to produce a beautifully shaped cake or a dimensionally accurate component. There are new findings from the science confectionery about how to achieve the uniformity of the layers in metal 3D printing.

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Houston, the fuel is sloshing…

by Julius Bihler, translated by Niko Steiner

Figure 1: During a rocket launch, vibrations occur in the fuel tank that can even influence the flight path. © Pixabay

Space rockets are rigid giants that overcome the Earth’s gravity with unimaginable force and reach outer space. But are they really as rigid as they look from afar? You have probably never sat IN a rocket to be able to judge that from close up. This article takes you to the inside of a rocket and what goes on there.

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Computed Tomography 2.0: A Time Machine

by Pia Götz

In one of the last articles we introduced you to the principle of computer tomography. The MAPEX at the University of Bremen X-rays objects, analyses and evaluates the results to gain information about material properties. In this new article, we go on a journey through time. We uncover what was hidden in the past, draw conclusions from the present and evaluate the benefits for the future. The shard shows itself in a new digital guise, which, in addition to new possibilities, also harbours risks.

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Solving food challenges on Earth by using technologies for human space exploration

by Alwyn Saju

Figure 1: Patiently waiting for food aid in Bamako, Mali, photo: Derek Markwell/DFID.

Long wait for food, shortage of fresh food and water scarcity. These are some of the common problems faced by the displaced people living in refugee camps. Same is the case in relief camps set in places hit by natural calamities like flood, earthquake, drought etc. The previous article was about “Controlled Environment Agriculture”. In this article, you will read about an interesting project called “MEPA” which intends to solve food challenges on earth, especially in refugee camps using CEA technologies.

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Controlled Environment Agriculture – or how to do “farming” in space

by Alwyn Saju

Figure 1: Colonization of Mars, credit: D Mitriy (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons.

Figure 1: Colonization of Mars, credit: D Mitriy (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons.

A scenario shown in the above figure is too challenging to be realised. In future human space exploration missions, our astronauts will face many food challenges when visiting exotic places like the Moon and Mars. Luckily, space engineers and scientists are working on technologies to solve the challenge of growing fresh food in space. In this article you will read about such technologies and understand how farming in space will be really done.

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Melodious Sounds From a 3D Printer

by Inga Meyenborg, translated by Greta Sondej

Fig.: Copyright © ZMorph3D 2019 / Pixabay

Anyone can print out a photo of a whistle at home with a classic inkjet printer. But no sounds can be elicited from this image. That is left to one’s own imagination. To create a three-dimensional, functional product, a different printing process is needed. 

Even those who do not follow on engineering and manufacturing techniques have probably heard or read something about “3D printing”. But what exactly does “3D printing” mean?

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3, 2, 1, … Ready for Take-Off!

Launch Campaign in Esrange as the Highlight of the REXUS/BEXUS Programme

by Greta Sondej and Christoph Kulmann

Fig. 1: The REXUS 25 sounding rocket on its way to the stars. Copyright © FORAREX 2019

“There is no comfortable path that leads from the earth to the stars”, this was already known by the Roman philosopher and naturalist Lucius Annaeus Seneca (ca. 4 BC – 65 AD), also known as Seneca the Younger.

For our journey to the stars, we have been working towards this event for almost two years with our FORAREX project: The Launch Campaign at the European Space and Sounding Rocket Range (Esrange) at the civilian balloon and rocket launch site near Kiruna in northern Sweden. It is the highlight of the German-Swedish student programme REXUS/BEXUS, which we have already presented here on the Science Blog. 


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Kiruna – All Fired up for an Icy Adventure

by Christoph Kulmann and Greta Sondej

Fig. 1: With a bit of luck, you can see northern lights (Aurora borealis) in the night sky during the training week. Copyright © WikiImages 2012 / Pixabay

Long anticipated and eagerly awaited, our student training week starts in snowy Lapland near Sweden’s northernmost city: Kiruna (from the North Sami “giron”, meaning “snow grouse”).

Bremen Airport is already getting us in the mood for the weather that awaits us in Lapland… 

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