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Through its Tournament Lab, NASA is making crowdsourcing a part of the future of space travel. Following competitions on an array of space problems, including robot arm architecture, a 3D printed Mars habitat, and delivering astronaut email, NASA is now looking for proposals on how to fold a radiation shield like origami.
As Nicola Davis reported for the Guardian, the idea challenge is launching today through Freelancer, an online outsourcing marketplace. On Freelancer, NASA states that the challenge is to “develop a 3D folding concept for radiation shielding used to cover human habitation sections of spacecraft.” These shields would protect spacecraft, and the astronauts within, from galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), and are essential for deep space travel. With storage space at a premium onboard these proposed vessels, such shields would need to be as compact as possible.
And that’s where the origami comes in. Perhaps most familiar to people as a foldable, and sometimes frustrating, art, its skill in reducing a sheet of paper to a dense maze of mountains and valleys has wider applications. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory previously explored how to use the craft of paper-folding to store solar panels for space travel, and physicist, origami expert, and former NASA scientist Robert J. Lang has experimented with its use in things like automotive airbags.
Outsourcing ideas to the gig economy isn’t as great as NASA hiring those minds, yet it is a creative way for the organization to innovate, even as funding cuts put into question whether deep space travel is a possibility. Meanwhile, NASA has more upcoming initiatives you can join, such as making observations as a citizen scientist during the August 21 solar eclipse, and suggesting patch designs for a mission to test the limits of 3D recyclability.
The pandemic raged on, plus we were forced to learn about crypto-art.
From North to South America, artists used the bold colors, figuration, and appropriated imagery of Pop Art, but with a biting political message.
Yemen Blues brings their sonic blend of Yemenite, West African, and Jazz back to Joe’s Pub in New York City this December, featuring opener Ahmed Alshaiba.
Coralina Rodriguez Meyer invites women to reconnect with the indigenous and syncretic spiritualities of their ancestors to find new power.
A young, Black, gay man from the American South, Kelly was a determined, self-taught innovator who worked his way into the highest levels of international fashion.
Join designers, artists, educators, and publishers, including Sonel Breslav, Printed Matter’s Director of Fairs and Editions, for talks and conversations exploring artist book publishing.
Stephen Raw, the 69-year-old artist behind the project, has been photographing and collecting rusty objects since he was 17.
Researchers and artists are working to restore biodiversity in Kofele, Ethiopia, through a 50-meter tree nursery in the shape of a lion that will be visible from outer space.
Students can expect to pay significantly less than half the cost of attendance of equivalent private graduate programs, thanks to the college’s position in the State University of New York (SUNY) system.
Acclaimed director Jane Campion returns to film with an all-star cast featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, and more.
Detroit police received a tip that led them to Andrzej Sikora’s art studio, where police took James and Jennifer Crumbley into custody.
In 1962, Andy Warhol desperately wanted to be like his accomplished new pal, Marisol.