Monday, July 15, 2019

NASA ARTEMIS Program Picks Moon Delivery Teams

NASA recently announced that they have awarded $253.50 million to three companies that will develop robotic lunar landers as part of the ARTEMIS program. The program’s goal is to return astronauts to the moon by 2024 and to build a permanent lunar installation—a base on the moon. Once that has proven successful, astronauts will further explore the lunar south pole region and its ice deposits to find out if they are viable sources of air, water, and fuel. There are also plans to use the base as a launch center for manned missions to Mars in the future.

For decades, NASA has used private contractors and commercial partnerships, most notably with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which delivered equipment to the International Space Station. NASA has been pleased with that success and sees it as a reason to expand those deals with the ARTEMIS program. Beginning in 2020, NASA will oversee three unmanned lunar landings that will deliver government and private sector payloads of technology and tools to build the lunar base. Construction will require specialized tools that will remain sharp and hard, because replacements won’t be easy to obtain. These tools may include drill bits tipped with cubic boron nitride, or c-BN, which is the hardest and most durable element on Earth—harder even than diamond. The payloads will also be dropped directly on the lunar surface, so the durability of the tools is of utmost importance.

Below are the three innovative corporations awarded contracts through the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program to put man on the moon once again.

Astrobotic Technology


Based in Pittsburgh, Astrobotic won $79.5 million to fly 14 payloads to Lacus Mortis, or the Lake of Death, on a lava plain on the moon’s near side. Astrobotic will use their Peregrine Lander on the missions.

Intuitive Machines

Headquartered in Houston, Intuitive Machines won $77 million to create a lander to touch down in Aceanus Procellarum, or the Ocean of Storms. Their development will be able to hitch a ride aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and carry a 220-pound payload.

Orbit Beyond


The smallest of the landers, Orbit Beyond’s Z-01 can deliver only 88 pounds of payload. Orbit Beyond will use their $97 million reward to send equipment to Mare Imbrium, the Sea of Rains, aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. They have until September 2020 to create a working machine in their Edison, New Jersey, facility

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

3 Industries That Benefit from EMI Shielding

When vast quantities of cell phone, radio, and other signals pollute the air, the variety of frequencies begin to combat with one another, which can cause important electronics to fail. The solution to this is EMI shielding. For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, an EMI (electromagnetic interference) shield is a physical coat of conductive or magnetic metal that blocks the negative effects of electromagnetism on various types of electronic devices and communication systems. Below, we list a few of the industries that benefit from EMI shielding.

1. The Military

Most pieces of military equipment, including aircraft, tanks, and radios, utilize EMI shielding to prevent enemy equipment from interfering with or disrupting communication signals. Garbled radio signals can prevent the ability to share essential information, and disabled GPS in military vehicles can put servicemen in harm’s way. EMI shielding enables such equipment to perform properly, without the potential for complications.

2. The Medical Field

In today’s environment, there are bound to be a multitude of cellphones, tablets, and other such devices inside any hospital at any given time. Errant electromagnetic signals, however, can confuse the information that medical devices are trying to transmit and put patients’ lives at risk. EMI shielding adds a lightweight protection that guards medical machines against other frequencies, preventing critical mistakes. This allows staff, patients, and visitors to use cellphones and tablets without affecting any important machines.

3. Agriculture

This may not be an industry you’d expect to utilize EMI shielding, but like any other profession, farmers don’t have the time to deal with compromised equipment. Data collection, GPS, and drones are all becoming regular fixtures in the farming and agricultural industries—and like everything else, these devices are susceptible to the dangers of interfering radio frequencies. The agricultural industry, therefore, is another industry that benefits from the protection of EMI shielding.