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Enjoying the Backyard Environment During COVID-19 Pandemic
The deadly Covid-19 virus has most everyone staying home for social distancing to flatten the curve. Many national and state parks are closed, beaches are closed, and some states have stay-at-home orders.
The situation is stressful for the healthy--even more so for those who are sick, or have loved ones who are sick. And especially for those who have lost someone.
If you have a yard or a patio, try watching the backyard birds, lizards, squirrels, and other neighborhood critters. (Just be sure to stay at least 6 feet away from the neighbors). Enjoy the fresh air. Look up at the clouds.
Photo by Allen Kaluzniak I've always found space exploration fascinating. I still remember the excitement when hearing about our first attempts to orbit the earth, our challenge to reach the moon. I still feel my family's amazement as Neil Armstrong took his first steps there in 1969. The moon is garnering new interest lately. NASA's Artemis Mission will establish a long-term presence on the moon to continue scientific discovery and technology innovation. As such, they plan to implement sustainable infrastructure using in-situ resources . Understanding the critical importance of water, NASA's astronauts will collect and remove large amounts of water and icy regolith, a loose rocky soil layer, from an area near the moon's south pole. To find the best way to accomplish this, NASA opened the Break the Ice Lunar Challenge in November 2020. On August 18, 2021 NASA awarded $500,000 in prizes to the winners of Phase 1 . In this phase, teams designed a system to col
Dolphin at Marineland, FL Photo by Donna Kaluzniak My last blog post was about The Ocean Cleanup , a massive project for removing plastic debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). After successfully completing Pacific trials in September 2018, the long trip to the GPGP began. On October 16, 2018 System 001, nicknamed "Wilson," was deployed. After tweaking and testing Wilson through November and December, it appeared the system was attracting and concentrating plastic, but could not retain it. At the end of December, the crew found that an 18-meter end-section of the system became detached. The December 31, 2018 Project Update noted the crew planned to return to port earlier than planned, and as soon as weather permitted. This allows them to make necessary upgrades to the system. Even with the malfunction, Wilson and the crew are bringing back 2,000 kilograms of plastic recovered by the system and from ghost net fishing. Some setbacks are to be exp
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay I've talked about The Ocean Cleanup before on this blog. The Ocean Cleanup is the most ambitious project of its kind. The goal is to clean up 50 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world. Located between California and Hawaii, it's one of five gyres (circular systems of ocean currents) that accumulate plastic garbage. Once the plastic is retrieved, it's hoped that most of it can be recycled. The GPGP is twice the size of Texas and contains an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic with a total weight of about 80,000 tons. The Ocean Cleanup technology includes passive floating barriers to concentrate and capture the debris. Natural ocean forces are used to capture the debris. Electronics used for monitoring and controlling the system are all solar powered. The system is modular, allowing improvements to be made based on experience and funding. What's Been Comp