Tag Archives: Switzerland

Longest and deepest rail tunnel opens

After 17 years of construction, the world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel has opened today in Switzerland.

If you take into account the two main tubes that comprise the Gotthard Base Tunnel and its various shafts, cross passages and access tunnels, it actually has 152 km (94 mi) of tunnels in total. It is also said to have virtually no gradients.

The initial idea for the tunnel was conceived 68 years ago, but the plans were redrawn on a number of occasions. Once construction finally commenced, there were 2,400 workers on site at peak times. Nine workers also lost their lives during the build.

The first suspension bridge connecting mountain peaks

Switzerland is about to open the first suspension bridge ever built between two mountain peaks.

The bridge, suspended 9,700ft in the air, will also have a partial glass floor to allow visitors a once in a lifetime view of the 6,500ft drop between the Glacier 3000 and Scex Rouge.

It is scheduled to open in November, and is being built in an effort to attract more tourists to the Swiss Alps.

French engineers have designed a tiny ion motor that nano-satellites could use as a thruster to adjust their orbits.

Swiss engineers have designed a tiny ion motor that nano-satellites could use as a thruster to adjust their orbits.

The motor weighs only seven ounces, and could work on satellites as small as four inches cubed.

Up to now, it wasn’t possible to reduce the size of maneuverable satellites below a certain point because of the size of their large thruster engines. If it is now possible to provide nano satellites with thrusters, it will be possible to significantly reduce the cost, and more importantly, the payload weight, of satellites. And with a lower payload weight, it will be possible to create a market for smaller rockets, which are much easier to build and far cheaper.

This kind of news makes me more confident that the new commercial space industry truly has a future.