The ESA spacecraft Rosetta has been orbiting a Comet, making science fiction a science reality. The Rosetta spacecraft has been analyzing the comet, including the recent discovery that comets probably smell awful. Check out the ESA website for Rosetta, which will be sending a lander, Philae, to the comet in November. The ESA also has a nice interactive media site that includes a graphic to show you exactly where Rosetta is![tweet https://twitter.com/ESA_Rosetta/status/526722158886940673] [tweet https://twitter.com/ESA_Rosetta/status/526722393331757056]
Called a “diamond nanothread,” the ultra-thin material has a never-before-seen structure resembling the hexagonal rings of bonded carbon atoms that make up diamonds, the hardest known natural mineral on Earth. That makes these nanothreads potentially stronger and more resilient than the most advanced carbon nanotubes, which are similar super-durable and super-light structures composed of rolled up, one atom-thick sheets of carbon called graphene.
The new super-strong material, once it is better characterized, could have many uses. The authors of the study hope to make science-fiction a reality with their new threads.
“One of our wildest dreams for the nanomaterials we are developing is that they could be used to make the super-strong, lightweight cables that would make possible the construction of a ‘space elevator‘ which so far has existed only as a science-fiction idea,” Badding said.
Not the first place I would think to use a super strong cable, but to each their own.[tweet https://twitter.com/coreyspowell/status/516641071179124736]