Tag Archives: China

Eradicating polio: not this year

The effort to eradicated polio entirely by the end of 2012 will not be met.

Afghanistan and Nigeria, two of the three remaining endemic countries, have had more cases in the first nine months of this year than in 2010 altogether. Several other countries targeted by the plan have also seen more cases to date this year compared to this time in 2010. Additionally, polio had popped up in countries where it had previously been eradicated — notably China, which went polio-free for 11 years until this summer.

Sadly, politics and culture are almost certainly the main reasons polio still survives in these countries.

Share

Five myths about China’s space effort

Five myths about China’s space effort. Key recommendation:

Recognize the significance of space as a field of competition. Beijing is not engaged in a space race with Washington. But China is engaged in a great power competition with the U.S. in which space is one arena. American decision makers should come to terms with this duality. In this regard, the Chinese are unlikely to be manipulated by American proposals on “codes of conduct” or meetings with the head of NASA. As long as Beijing and Washington are in competition, space will be one of the major venues.

And competition is not a bad thing. It is going to be the fuel that gets the human race into space.

Share

Capturing an asteroid into Earth orbit

orbital path after asteroid capture

Want to mine an asteroid? Rather than travel to it with all their mining equipment, three Chinese scientists have proposed a better way. In a paper published today on the Los Alamos astro-ph preprint website, they have calculated the energy required to shift the orbits of the six thousand near-Earth asteroids and place them in Earth orbit for later mining. Of these, they found 46 asteroids that had the potential for such an operation, and two likely candidates for a space mission. One 30-foot-wide asteroid, 2008EA9, will actually be in the right place for this technique in 2049. As they write,

It can be seen that the velocity increment of the 2008EA9 is relatively small (-1.00km/s) and it will very close approach [approximately 645,000 miles] to the Earth in [February] 2049. Moreover the size of the NEO 2008EA9 is very small so that the capturing of it is relatively easy.

The real problem, of course, is adding that small “velocity increment” to the asteroid.
» Read more

Share

Nebraska rare earth mineral discovery to challenge China’s monopoly

A discovery in Nebraska of rare earth minerals appears set to challenge China’s monopoly.

To me these were the key quotes from this article:

The U.S. used to produce rare earths through the Mountain Pass Mine in California, but it was shut down in 2002, primarily because of environmental concerns, including the spillage of hundreds of thousands of gallons of water carrying radioactive waste into a nearby lake.

and

Although studies have shown the U.S. has 13 million metric tons of rare-earth minerals, National Mining Association spokeswoman Carol Raulston said it does not mine any of it – partly as a result of the difficulty of obtaining permits. “One of the key problems that investors tell us about is that the permitting regime in this country is so complicated and time-consuming that it has hurt investments here in the United States,” Ms. Raulston said.

Share

China launched second data relay satellite, expanding space communications network before first docking attempt

On Monday China successfully launched its second data relay satellite, expanding its space communications network in preparation for before its first unmanned rendezvous and docking attempt later this year.

Share

Questions raised about the safety of China’s new bridge

Questions have been raised about the safety of China’s new bridge.

[China Central Television] said that workers were tightening bolts that could easily have been loosened by hand on the bridge, which has seen nearly 18,000 cars cross it every day since it was officially opened on June 30, on the eve of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

Why does this remind me of the two shuttle accidents, where managers ignored engineering issues in order to satisfy political concerns?

Share

Global warming scientists blame coal use increase in China for recent cooling

Global warming scientists have come up with an explanation for the cooling seen in the past decade: The increase of coal burning in China.

In other words, fossil fuels can cause global warming and global cooling!

Or to put it another way, climate scientists really have no clear understanding yet of the climate, and are merely guessing when they try to predict what’s happening.

Share
1 13 14 15 16 17