Kids Creating the Worlds Best Batteries

Who wants to help us to create the next great battery?

Most people would conclude that it will be very difficult for young kids in high school to create a better battery.   Some would say they just don’t have the background knowledge and/or  experience.   Well, the students at the Barboza Space Center are going to try.  You can follow our work at http://www.BarbozaSpaceCenter.com.  All of our students want to dive affordable Tesslers while here on Earth.   We need better batteries for the robots and satellites that we are creating for the Occupy Mars Learning Adventures.  We are studying AP Physics for Scientists and Engineers and AP Electro-Chemistry. 

Kids Talk Radio Science will be sending out a message to all of our members and other students around the world.  We want to collaborate in finding a “Better Battery.”  Many of our students have parents that are scientists and engineers and educators with lots of contacts around the world.  You can contact us at Bob@BarbozaSpaceCenter.com or Suprschool@aol.com. 

Visit: http://www.BarbozaSpaceCenter.com  and http://www.KidsTalkRadioLA.com.   

You do need parent permission to participate in any of our programs.  

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Blog #9: Battery Improvements

http://e2af.com/review/091111.shtml

As technology advances, the power output and lifespan of batteries will be expected to advance as well in order to accommodate. Almost every standard lithium ion battery that is currently in existence and use consists of a graphite electrode. While graphite is relatively cheap and durable, silicon, which is now being explored for use in batteries, would offer a much greater power capacity. While it takes six graphite (carbon) atoms to bind to a single lithium ion, a single silicon atom can bind to four lithium ions. Current batteries can be recharged over 500 times and still retain 80 percent of their original capacity; but with the next-generation of silicon batteries, they are expected to last from 700 to 1,000 cycles. From a power output perspective, prototypes of the silicon batteries can store up to 750 watt-hours per liter, a noticeable increase from the 400 to 620 watt-hours per liter for conventional batteries.

http://www.clipartpanda.com/categories/battery-20clipart

Despite the obvious improvements from the graphite battery to the silicon one, there are some significant drawbacks to using this new type of battery. The largest concern for silicon batteries is that the silicon anodes often suffer from structural failure. Because silicon absorbs so many ions, it physically expands to four times its original size. As the batteries are used and recharged, they tend to swell and shrink, causing the battery to fall apart. This obstacle was overcome by making silicon nanowires that do not fall apart. However, this new material brought a challenge of its own. The nanowires proved difficult to bring to market because the new material required custom manufacturing equipment, making it very difficult to produce.

A variety of designs of the silicon-based battery are being explored and experimented with in order to minimize their shortcomings and bring them to the market. One possible solution is to implement the use of nanoparticles, which have silicon at the core and are surrounded by a layer of carbon. Although these nanoparticles store less energy than silicon nanowires, they do not require custom manufacturing equipment and can be used in existing factories. In addition, they seem to help solve the problems associated with silicon’s volume expansion. Another possibility is the mesoporous silicon sponge, which is basically a piece of silicon that’s riddled with holes. This fabricated silicon electrode only expands by 30% rather than 400%, a huge reduction that greatly improves the physical strength of the silicon battery. As more and more designs are formed which improve the functionality of the silicon battery, the closer this more powerful battery gets to making its mark on the world.

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/185999-us-department-of-energy-doubles-lithium-ion-battery-capacity-with-spongy-silicon

Sources:

  1. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/523296/startup-gets-30-million-to-bring-high-energy-silicon-batteries-to-market/
  2. http://forumblog.org/2014/09/top-ten-emerging-technologies-2014/#nanowire
  3. http://www.extremetech.com/computing/185999-us-department-of-energy-doubles-lithium-ion-battery-capacity-with-spongy-silicon

The Hyperloop Contest Needs You

The Barboza Space Center is looking to work with students in grades 5 through 12 on prototyping our own Hyperloop.  SpaceX Needs Our help with batteries and Hyperloops.  Looking for kids that can think outside the box and have great imaginations.  You must have your parent, guardian or teacher permission to communicate with us.  Have your parents or teachers contact us at Suprschool@aol

SpaceX’s hyperloop student contest brings out many big benefactors

Elon Musk is bringing together more than 1,000 college and high school students this weekend to showcase passenger-compartment designs for a hyperloop high-speed transit system.

Two Los Angeles start-ups are already developing hyperloops, starting with test track construction in the Central Valley and North Las Vegas later this year. Driven by a possible mix of electricity, magnetism and air pressure, levitating hyperloop pods would zip fast enough through above-ground tubes to reach San Francisco from Los Angeles in 30 minutes.

But Musk, who popularized the concept three years ago, wants more people involved.

Last summer, the billionaire’s rocket company Space Exploration Technologies Corp. launched a student competition to design and build those pods. It includes design reviews Friday and Saturday at Texas A&M University and culminates with small-scale tests this summer near SpaceX in Hawthorne.

The SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition has more than 120 university teams and three high schools vying for runs inside the nearly mile-long, 6-foot-diameter steel-and-concrete tube that’s being planned.

Students said they recognized their projects might not be polished, but hope their ideas could still speed up the launch of a commercial hyperloop.

“No doubt there might be errors in everybody’s design, but it’s a start,” Cal Poly sophomore Wayne Page said. “Even if we don’t get any benefits, but the companies do, it’s still something gained by society as a whole. That’s probably the most exciting thing.”

More than that, the competition has led hundreds of companies, organizations and, of course, parents to contribute what could easily reach millions of dollars to hyperloop research. SpaceX hasn’t tracked teams’ expenses.

Building demo pods, as many teams hope to do, may cost as much as $100,000. Part of this weekend’s exercise is about soliciting cash from donors. Expected sponsors include engineering giant Aecom, law firm Cooley and TV network Nickelodeon. Musk is not expected to appear.

Hyperloop proposals call for the pod to be suspended in air to reduce friction and increase speed, but groups are split over whether to achieve that by using a stream of air underneath or pulsating the pod between magnets. The Cal Poly team went with the significantly more affordable though less tested option: air bearings.

Page has spent 100 hours over the last four weeks with 14 others to work out kinks. They’ve tapped Internet crowdfunding, family, school grants and their own bank accounts to fund the Texas trip. They’re bargain-hunting at every turn, flying ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines to get there.

It’s a similar story at UC Irvine, where 25 students working 40 to 50 hours a week on the hyperloop project have received $10,000 plus lab and office space from the university, free training from software companies such as Ansys and guidance from employees at corporations including Microsoft.

The key technologies Musk proposed for the hyperloop, including solar power and air compression, haven’t been mixed in such a complex machine before, forcing entrants to think creatively.

“In other senior design projects and annual competitions, you can look at last year and say, ‘What can we do better?’” UC Irvine senior Anthony Cirillo said. “We didn’t have that here. You can’t just go on the Internet and find the answers.”

A triple-redundant computer system and a redundant braking system are some of the reasons Irvine’s design should stand out, Cirillo said. He added that the team won’t disband until it produces a working model.

“If that means we have to kick up the sponsorship, then we can do that,” he said.

At El Segundo High School, five seniors are generating graduate-level work by designing custom intake valves and tubing to corral air slamming the pod’s nose, said teacher Steven Eno.

The school, parents and neighbors, including employees at a nearby Air Force base, have offered support to the tune of $14,000 and countless hours.

The high-schoolers said they’re nervous about presenting this weekend to judges from Musk’s companies and academia, but they’re eager to see how they fare compared with universities they’re hoping to attend. At the least, they’ve learned team coordination lessons that will long be valuable, said leader Gavin Glynn.

“We are trying to be inspiration for other people in engineering classes or engineers in general to do something big and try something they might not have tried: ‘There’s a high school team doing that, imagine what we could do as well,’” he said.

How should we rethink high schools?

Survey Questions for the Super School International High School Project

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Bob Barboza is a school administrator in the USA who is working with a team of scientists, engineers, educators, parents, students and community members to rethink high schools.  We are a part of the XQ Super School Project created by Mrs. Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs from Apple Computer.  Mr. Barboza has created five questions for high school students.  You can answer all five questions or just one.  This new high school is being designed for you and the students that are coming behind you.  We need your help.

Your answers will be posted on the Kids Talk Radio website: http://www.KidsTalkRadioLA.com

1. What would a day be like in a high school that you would like to attend?

2. When you leave high school what would you like to know and be able to do?

3. Describe a teacher that you would like to study with.

4. What kind of a high school would you like our team to build for you?

5. Draw a diagram or sketch of your ideal high school.

Congratulations SpaceX

Congratulations to Elon Musk and the Entire SpaceX Team from Kids Talk Radio

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They said it could not be done.  Elon Musk never gave up when things did not go his way.  When you fail twice in a row, people can loose the faith quickly.   What would have happened if Elon Musk had failed a third time?

The News is Coming in from around the world.  They did it. Mars Society Applauds SpaceX on Historic Rocket Landing    “Welcome back, baby!,” Musk said in a celebratory tweet.

SpaceX commentators described the launch and return – the first time an orbital rocket successfully achieved a controlled landing on Earth – as “incredibly exciting”.

“This was a first for us at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and I can’t even begin to describe the joy the team feels right now having been a part of this historic first-stage rocket landing,” the top officer at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Brig Gen Wayne Monteith, said in a statement.

SpaceX is aiming to revolutionise the rocket industry, which up until now has lost millions of dollars in discarded machinery and valuable rocket parts after each launch.

Several earlier attempts to land the Falcon 9’s first stage on an ocean platform have failed.

The Mars Society, its staff and membership commend SpaceX, its founder, Elon Musk, and its team of scientists and engineers on the successful landing of the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral. SpaceX brought the rocket back to Earth for a soft touchdown, marking the first-ever rocket landing during an orbital launch. This major accomplishment proves launch vehicle re-usability, a pivotal event that will move humanity one step closer to exploring the solar system, and with it, the planet Mars.

“The SpaceX team had previously shown that they could develop new hardware in one-third the time at one-tenth the cost as the mainline aerospace companies. Now they have done something that the majors have never been able to do. And not just anything, but the single most important step towards inexpensive space launch – controlled recovery of the launch vehicle first stage. The competition had better wake up because they’ve just been ‘Sputniked’. Chapeau!,” said Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin.

With this mission, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket  delivered 11 satellites to low-Earth orbit for ORBCOMM, a leading global provider of Machine-to-Machine communication and Internet of Things solutions. The ORBCOMM mission had a five-minute launch window that opened at 8:29 pm ET on December 21, 2015 and will be launched from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. All went as planned, the 11 satellites  deployed approximately 20 minutes after liftoff, completing a 17-satellite, low Earth orbit constellation for ORBCOMM. This mission also marked SpaceX’s return-to-flight as well as its first attempt to land a first stage on land. The landing of the first stage is a secondary test objective.

Mars Society Applauds SpaceX on Historic Rocket Landing

The Mars Society, its staff and membership commend SpaceX, its founder, Elon Musk, and its team of scientists and engineers on the successful landing of the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral. SpaceX brought the rocket back to Earth for a soft touchdown, marking the first-ever rocket landing during an orbital launch. This major accomplishment proves launch vehicle re-usability, a pivotal event that will move humanity one step closer to exploring the solar system, and with it, the planet Mars.

“The SpaceX team had previously shown that they could develop new hardware in one-third the time at one-tenth the cost as the mainline aerospace companies. Now they have done something that the majors have never been able to do. And not just anything, but the single most important step towards inexpensive space launch – controlled recovery of the launch vehicle first stage. The competition had better wake up because they’ve just been ‘Sputniked’. Chapeau!,” said Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin.

Be an Astronaut: NASA Accepting Applications for Future Explorers

Be an Astronaut: NASA Accepting Applications for Future Explorers

Kids Talk Radio Science is sponsoring a Jr. astronaut, engineer and scientist program for future astronauts. ( You can never start too early.)  Our program gets you started early.  This blog will provide more details each week.   We invite you to learn about NASA’s official astronaut application process.  This will make a good read for our students in grades five through twelve.  Send your student and parent questions and comments to Bob Barboza at: Suprschool@aol.com      http://www.KidsTalkRadioLA.com

Bob Barboza_3498

 

The Official NASA Communication:

Recently named the best place to work in the federal government for the fourth year in a row, NASA is looking for the best candidates to work in the best job on or off the planet. The Astronaut Candidate Application website now is live and accepting submissions through February 18, 2016

Qualifying U.S. citizens may apply at:

http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/423817000

NASA astronaut Shannon Walker and astronaut selection manager Anne Roemer will answer questions about the job, and the application and selection processes, on Reddit.com beginning at 4 pm EST today. At that time, anyone may submit questions at:

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/

The agency expects to announce final candidate selections in mid-2017. Those chosen may fly on any of four different U.S. spacecraft during their careers: the International Space Station, two commercial crew spacecraft currently in development by U.S. companies, and NASA’s Orion deep-space exploration vehicle.

“NASA is on an ambitious journey to Mars and we’re looking for talented men and women from diverse backgrounds and every walk of life to help get us there,” said NASA Administrator and former astronaut Charles Bolden. “Today, we opened the application process for our next class of astronauts, extraordinary Americans who will take the next giant leap in exploration. This group will launch to space from U.S. soil on American-made spacecraft and blaze the trail on our journey to the Red Planet.”

NASA astronauts will again launch to the International Space Station from Florida’s Space Coast on American-made commercial spacecraft — Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and the SpaceX Crew Dragon. These spacecraft will allow NASA to add a seventh crew member to each station mission, effectively doubling the amount of time astronauts will be able to devote to research in space, expanding scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies.

Astronauts also will lift off again from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard the Orion spacecraft, launched on the agency’s Space Launch System rocket, to unprecedented missions in lunar orbit. There, the space agency will learn more about conducting complex operations in a deep space environment before moving on to longer duration missions as it progresses on its journey to Mars.

To help accomplish this work, NASA will select qualified astronaut candidates from a diverse pool of U.S. citizens with a wide variety of backgrounds, including engineers, scientists and physicians. According to the professional networking site LinkedIn, some 3 million of the site’s members working in the United States appear to meet the minimum academic eligibility requirements for the job.

“NASA’s mission, and what we need from the astronauts helping to carry it out, has evolved over the years,” said Brian Kelly, director of Flight Operations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “Some people would be surprised to learn they might have what it takes. We want and need a diverse mix of individuals to ensure we have the best astronaut corps possible.”

Astronaut candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science or mathematics. An advanced degree is desirable. Candidates also must have at least three years of related, progressively responsible professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Astronaut candidates must pass the NASA long-duration astronaut physical.

“The Office of Personnel Management is proud to support NASA’s efforts to recruit our country’s next generation of astronauts,” said Beth Cobert, acting director of OPM. “One of this agency’s primary goals is to help attract, recruit, hire and retain the best and most talented workforce to serve the American people. We stand ready to help NASA find and support the talent it needs to fulfill its exciting mission to Mars. I’m proud to help agencies across government shape the federal workforce of the future by providing such tools as USAJOBS, our one-stop source for federal job and employment information.”

For more information about a career as an astronaut, and application requirements, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/astronauts