Science

Luján Invites Secretary Buttigieg To SpaceShipTwo Launch

From the Office of U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, invited U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to New Mexico for an upcoming launch of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo this summer.

In a letter to Buttigieg, Sen. Luján highlights how the burgeoning commercial space travel industry will benefit New Mexico and the nation.

“The expansion of commercial space exploration holds huge promise and benefits for our country. It will help support government-backed research


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Los Alamos National Laboratory And NVIDIA Announce Next Step In Partnership … Next-generation System Powered By Grace CPU Will Shape Future Of LANL’s Computing Strategy

Los Alamos, NVIDIA and HPE are working together to prove that the next decade’s version of codesign with hardware tailoring will provide unprecedented human understanding far beyond what is possible with the current trajectory. Courtesy/LANL

Particle trajectories in the Southern Ocean near the tip of Africa, colored by the concentration of Dissolved Inorganic Carbon. Los Alamos scientists performed multi-decadal simulations of ocean circulation with the Energy Exascale Earth System Model with imbedded biogeochemistry (BGC), using a high-resolution mesh to focus on mesoscale (10km


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Mason Updates Community Leaders On LANL Initiatives

LANL Director Thom Mason updates over 140 attendees from seven counties Wednesday on the Lab’s budget, infrastructure, recent scientific discoveries, and initiatives in education, economic development and more. Courtesy /LANL

At LANL’s Community Conversation Wednesday, Nina Lanza, team lead for Space and Planetary Exploration, spoke about her work on SuperCam, a key component of the Mars rover Perseverance developed at LANL. Courtesy/LANL

By BONNIE J. GORDON
Los Alamos Daily Post
bjgordon@ladailypost.com

At the quarterly Community Conversation breakfast held remotely Wednesday,


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New Mexico Technology Company Verus Research Expands With New R&D Facility Site In Northeast Albuquerque

Verus Research expanding with new research site in Northeast Albuquerque. Courtesy/Resolut RE

VERUS RESEARCH News:

ALBUQUERQUE — Verus® Research, a New Mexico-based team of scientists and engineers specializing in advanced research and development, announces the expansion and buildout of a new research facility in Northeast Albuquerque.

The fast-growing technology company will move into the empty big-box retail space, formerly Babies R Us, at 45 Hotel Circle NE in August.

In addition to the new 41,240 square feet of research and office space, Verus Research will maintain its multi-floor


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Los Alamos High School Senior Karin Ebey Selected To Attend 2021 National Youth Science Camp

NYSF News:

The New Mexico Academy of Science (NYSF), in conjunction with the National Youth Science Foundation has selected Los Alamos High School senior Karin Ebey a delegate to represent New Mexico at the 2021 National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp).

Ebey has distinguished herself locally and nationally with her research on population dynamics in crocodilians.

High school seniors with demonstrated accomplishments in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as well as leadership skills are invited to apply. Each state selects two delegates from qualified applicants.


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LANL Team Develops Software Package Known As CICE To Model Changes In Sea Ice

A CICE Consortium graphic of sea-ice physics illustrates complexity and breadth of variables at play. LANL image

LANL News:

The Polar Regions on Earth—the areas around the North and South Poles—have about 9 million square miles of sea ice floating in their oceans. Once inhabited by very few people, the Polar Regions are now home to more people than ever before; there are more than 4 million people living in the Arctic.

These regions are important to industries such as commercial shipping and fishing, mining, energy, recreation and tourism, scientific research, and even military bases and defense


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2021 Northeastern New Mexico Regional Science & Engineering Fair: Los Alamos County Results

2021 REGIONAL SCIENCE & ENGINEERING FAIR News:

This year the science fairs are online rather than in-person posters and presentations. The 2021 Northeastern New Mexico Regional Science and Engineering Fair Results were held Saturday, March 27.

This is a regional event including Los Alamos and Taos schools among others. Top projects from all regions of New Mexico will meet later this year at the State science fair. Turnout this year was down from previous years, but the competition was healthy.

Three students, Robert Strauss (Computer Science) and the Team of Daniel Kim and Andres Interregui


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LANL: Fighting The Next Outbreak Before It Starts

By J. PATRICK FITCH and
KIRSTEN TAYLOR-MCCABE
Los Alamos National Laboratory

COVID-19 is not the first global pandemic and it certainly won’t be the last. As the light at the end of the tunnel of this pandemic is in sight, now is the time to take stock in what we’ve learned over the last 12 months—and prepare for the future.

Specifically, the last year has taught us that an effective response against a disease outbreak depends on timely integration of expertise and data across academia, industry, and government. As we move forward, we must continue to foster this integration and our capabilities


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LANL: Next-Generation Technologies For Biofuels Refining

Wire diagram of Smart Chutes demonstrating the innovative functionality to actively discard problematic biomass material having high-moisture content. Courtesy/Jenike & Johanson

LANL News:

Helping to strengthen the economic viability of biorefineries in the production of alternative fuels derived from biomass is critical to decreasing the use of fossil fuels and mitigating carbon dioxide emissions.

To that end, a collaboration between Los Alamos National Laboratory and Jenike & Johanson, a bulk solids storage company, and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy


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Los Alamos High School Graduate Elizabeth Hjelvik Receives Prestigious National Science Foundation Award

2014 LAHS graduate Elizabeth Hjelvik is a recipient of the 2021 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award. Courtesy photo

COMMUNITY News:

Elizabeth Hjelvik, a 2014 graduate of Los Alamos High School, is a recipient of the 2021 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award, which will cover all living and academic costs for a three year period.

Hjelvik is a graduate student within the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

In addition to her award, the University


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LANL: New Mexico Middle And High School Students Encouraged To Apply For Free Summer Physics Camp

Learn from the women scientists and engineers of LANL at the 2021 Summer Physics Camp for Young Women, a free, virtual experience including hands-on experiments that can be done from home.
LANL News:
  • Application deadline: April 9, 2021

New Mexico students are encouraged to apply for the free, two-week, virtual Summer Physics Camp for Young Women, taught primarily by women scientists and engineers at Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

Campers will receive materials for conducting hands-on experiments at home, as well as a stipend upon completion. With strong engineering and coding components,


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C6 Begins Rocket Testing At Spaceport America

From left, Spaceport America Ex. Dir. Scott McLaughlin, Sen. Prog. Mgr. Katrina Hornstein of Ursa Major Technologies, C6 VP of Eng. Daniel McCammon and Highland Enterprises Proj. Mgr. Mike Heard. Courtesy/C6 Launch

SPACEPORT AMERICA News:

SIERRA COUNTY—Canadian Corporation C6 Launch Systems has unveiled a new rocket engine test stand at Spaceport America’s vertical launch area. 

At a ribbon cutting ceremony held on site, C6 showed off the static rocket test stand constructed by Highland Enterprises of Las Cruces.

Highland designed, fabricated and installed the stand at Spaceport America.


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NIST: Masks Under The Microscope…

Close up look at a mask. Courtesy/N. Hanacek/NIST (based on images by E.P. Vicenzi)

NIST News:

To understand how something works, it helps to see it up close. A team of researchers took this approach when studying the fabric masks that people wear to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Those masks work by blocking some of the virus-filled droplets and smaller particles, called aerosols, that an infected person exhales, and they also offer some protection to the wearer by filtering incoming air.

The researchers wanted to know how well different fabrics filter out those particles and what makes some fabrics


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New Mexico Economic Development Grant Aids ‘Build With Robots’ Expansion Into R&D, Exhibit Space In Albuquerque

The robotics team builds a robot, to make schools, factories and other work places safer. Courtesy/EDD

A Breezy One robot disinfects the Albuquerque International Sunport. These robots can disinfect 100,000 sq. ft. in less than an hour, often using a fog disinfectant developed at Sandia National Laboratories. Courtesy/EDD

STATE News:

ALBUQUERQUE — “Build with Robots”, an Albuquerque company designing and manufacturing smart robots to disinfect and sanitize large areas, such as schools and airports, has been awarded a State of New Mexico economic development grant to expand its workforce


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LANL: SuperCam Sends First Data Back To Earth From The Perseverance Mars Rover

Photos of ‘Yeehgo’, the second rock target analyzed with SuperCam’s various imaging capabilities. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Following the successful landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover in Jezero Crater on Mars, the SuperCam operational teams at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) received the first results showing that SuperCam is in good health and giving its first impressions of the crater.

“It’s amazing to see SuperCam working so well on Mars,” Roger Wiens said, the lead scientist on SuperCam at Los Alamos. “When we first dreamed


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LANL: Experiment Boosts Evidence For Sterile Neutrinos

The neutrino detector at Fermilab, MiniBooNE, has confirmed a 1990s Los Alamos National Laboratory experiment that showed the existence of sterile neutrinos. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Analysis of results from an experiment called MiniBooNE at Fermilab has provided yet more evidence that particles called “sterile neutrinos” could indeed exist, supporting results from a 1990s Los Alamos National Laboratory experiment that indicated an update to the Standard Model of physics might be in order.

“We believe that this paper vindicates the Liquid Scintillator Neutrino Detector (LSND) results


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History On Tap Online: Women Of The Manhattan Project

Dorothea Hermann, left, and Lyda Speck sit in their barracks in the summer of 1945. Courtesy/Vieira Collection, Los Alamos Historical Society Photo Archives

Los Alamos Historical Society News:

Join the Los Alamos Historical Society and the Los Alamos Creative District for History on Tap online 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 22.

Celebrating Women’s History Month, historian Heather McClenahan will introduce us to stories of women who lived and worked here in Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project. 

History on Tap is free, and you can register to attend via Zoom here.

You may often hear the complaint:


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Scott A. McLaughlin Tapped To Head Spaceport America

Spaceport America is the world’s first purpose-built Spaceport. The Gateway to Space is outside of Truth or Consequences. Courtesy/Spaceport America

Scott A. McLaughlin

SPACEPORT AMERICA News:

Scott A. McLaughlin, a New Mexico native and long-time business and engineering professional, has been selected by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority Board of Directors as the new executive director of Spaceport America, Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today.

McLaughlin graduated from New Mexico State University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and has worked at several


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Researchers Learning From The Brainy Bats Of Borneo

Virginia Tech researchers study the biosonar and motion behaviors of bats. Courtesy/Virginia Tech 

VIRGINIA TECH News:

Virginia Tech researchers have teamed up with international partners to create a state-of-the-art image capture tunnel that will provide a new level of insight in the field of biomotion. Combining the efforts of faculty and student teams, their project has yielded more than $800,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation to continue the work.

The effort is led by mechanical engineering Professor Rolf Mueller, who has been studying the biosonar and motion behaviors


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Cornell Lab: Shade-Grown Coffee Could Help Save Birds

Female Blackburnian Warbler in a coffee bush in Colombia. Photo by Guillermo Santos

Cornell Lab of Ornithology News:

ITHACA, NYThe message about the bird-conservation benefits of shade-grown coffee may not be getting through to the people most likely to respond—birdwatchers.

A team of researchers from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Virginia Tech surveyed birdwatchers to learn if they drank shade-grown coffee and, if not, why not. Their findings were published today in the journaPeople and Nature.

“One of the most significant constraints to purchasing bird-friendly coffee among


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