Astronauts veg out with tech help from Wisconsin

🚀 SPACE: Astronauts aboard the International Space Station recently harvested their first crop of radishes grown with technology developed by Sierra Nevada Corp., reports the Wisconsin State Journal. Employees in Madison, Wisconsin, helped develop the technology and remotely monitored the veggie growing experiment. They aim to develop an environmental system that can feed the astronauts and maintain the onboard ecosystem longer. More plants on the space station could improve air quality and boost oxygen levels. SNC also develops spacecraft propulsion systems.
💧 HYDROGEN: Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis were part of a multi-institutional study that resulted in a new catalyst that makes hydrogen fuel cells cheaper and longer lasting. It eliminates the platinum typically used as a catalyst.

⛵ MARINE: A new technology developed by Detroit-based MarkSetBot is a finalist for the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award, reports WDIV. The business makes battery-operated, robotic buoys for sailing race courses that are connected to a smartphone app and serve as markers for races. The race markers traditionally are boats, which burn fuel and damage the ground in waterways with their anchors.

Photo via MarkSetBot.

🌱 BIOFUEL: Argonne National Laboratory is among the collaborators on a fuel and engine optimization project in which researchers determined that a biofuel’s properties, not necessarily its chemistry, is a leading indicator for how it will perform in engines. The knowledge can help automakers design engines that achieve higher fuel efficiency.

💻 EVENT: Kansas City Clean Cities, Central Kansas Clean Cities, and Metropolitan Energy Center are hosting a webinar tomorrow (Dec. 8) to discuss how best to electrify heavy- and medium-duty fleets. Speakers will discuss the technology and actions to take before adopting it.


  • Exxon Mobil was supposed to begin construction over the summer on one of the world’s largest carbon capture and sequestration projects, in Wyoming, but it delayed the project indefinitely because of the pandemic, reports Bloomberg Green. The move is expected to slow worldwide deployment of carbon capture technologies.
  • Arizona State University researchers had a breakthrough with a new real-time solar performance monitoring system, Suns-Voc, that will “give photovoltaic manufacturers and big utility installations the kind of data necessary to adjust designs to increase efficiency and lifespans,” said lead author Alexander Killam, an ASU electrical engineering doctoral student and graduate research associate. The new approach measures the system’s voltage outdoors without interrupting power delivery.


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