Tag Archives: resources

Soyuz crew returns safely to Earth, despite radio problems

One of the two three-man crews on ISS have returned safely to Earth, despite an unexpected communciations blackout during their descent.

In related news, the Russians have slightly delayed the launch dates for the next manned flights to ISS, which also means that the next test flight of Falcon 9/Dragon will have to be delayed until 2012. Moreover, the Russians are once again balking at allowing Dragon to dock with ISS on this first flight.

Chinese embargo of rare earth minerals expands

China is expanding its embargo on exporting rare earth minerals, blocking shipments to Japan, Europe and the United States. Key quote:

China mines 95 percent of the world’s rare earth elements, which have broad commercial and military applications, and are vital to the manufacture of products as diverse as cellphones, large wind turbines and guided missiles. Any curtailment of Chinese supplies of rare earths is likely to be greeted with alarm in Western capitals, particularly because Western companies are believed to keep much smaller stockpiles of rare earths than Japanese companies.