A lot of the things we take for granted here on Earth are real luxuries in orbit, for a number of reasons. For one thing, when it comes to sending stuff into space, every kilogram counts. Then there’s the fact that a lot of things don’t work really well in the microgravity conditions of space. It is, for example, very difficult to make a decent cup of coffee.
The inside of the ISS is pressurized to sea level air pressure, so at least water boils at the same temperature. But since gravity in space is a lot weaker than near the surface of our planet, this is the only thing water does you could describe as normal. Most importantly, it doesn’t flow or pour, so the espresso machine has to be specially built to get around that, and the astronauts have to use a straw to drink it (or, as we will see, get creative with some pretty cool science).
Unsurprisingly, it was the Italian astronauts who were missing their reinvigorating brew the most, so coffee legend Lavazza teamed up with aerospace company Argotec to create the ISSpreso machine, named after the International Space Station (ISS) where it was first installed.
This 20 kilogram appliance might look kind of bland and unimpressive, but is actually a very advanced piece of equipment. Because very hot fluids have to be treated like potentially hazardous materials on board the space station, the ISSpresso machine was created in accordance with some really high safety standards. A good example of this is the steam tube, which on Earth is made out of plastic and designed to withstand 9 bars of pressure; on the ISS, it is made from steel and made to withstand a whopping 400 bars of pressure. All the critical components are backed up to make sure the device is safe to use in the highly controlled environment which is the inside of the ISS.
To get the brew, the astronaut inserts a water pack into the machine, which sucks out the water, heats it, runs it through a capsule containing ground coffee (or tea, broth, or any other hot beverages), and then pumps it into a sealed pack. OK, so it’s not exactly the warm cup of joe you might be used to, but as I’ve mentioned earlier, the last thing you want aboard the space station is a hot blob of coffee floating around – so the astronauts have to drink the brew out of a straw.
Well, not necessarily. NASA has been studying the way fluids behave in space for a long time now, and a few years ago conducted the Capillary Flow Experiment on board the ISS. One of the astronauts who took part, Don Petit, actually invented a zero-G coffee cup. It’s basically a plastic cup with a sharp interior corner. In a microgravity environment, capillary forces send the fluid along the channel, allowing the astronaut to sip the drink almost as he or she would do on Earth.
The first person who got to use the ISSpresso machine was Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who posted a photo of herself on Twitter sipping the coffee from a zero-G cup, with a message which included “to boldly brew…” (shockingly, Air Force Captain Cristoforetti seems to be a Star Trek fan).
Redwire Space produces human knee cartilage in space for the first time
Redwire Space has “bioprinted” a human knee meniscus on the International Space Station, which could treat Earthlings with meniscus issues.
The meniscus cartilage was manufactured on Redwire’s ISS BioFabrication Facility (BFF). The BFF printed the meniscus using living human cells and transmitted it to Redwire’s Advanced Space Experiment Processor for a 14-day enculturation process for BFF-Meniscus-2.
SpaceX’s Crew-6 mission returned the tissue to Earth after culturing. UAE astronaut Sultan Al-Neyadi and NASA astronauts Frank Rubio, Warren Hoburg, and Stephen Bowen investigated.
Redwire collaborated with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Center for Biotechnology, which studies warfighter remedies, for the trial. Meniscus injuries are the most prevalent orthopedic injuries in U.S. service members.
In recent months, Redwire Space has advanced biotechnology. The subsidiary of Redwire Corporation launched a 30,000-square-foot biotech and microgravity research park in Indiana this summer.
Redwire EVP John Vellinger called the printing “groundbreaking milestone.”
He stated, “Demonstrating the ability to print complex tissue such as this meniscus is a major leap forward toward the development of a repeatable microgravity manufacturing process for reliable bioprinting at scale.”
The company has long-term bioprinting and space microgravity research goals. Redwire will fly microgravity pharmaceutical drug development and cardiac tissue bioprinting payloads on a November SpaceX Commercial Resupply trip to the ISS.
Sierra Space agreed to integrate Redwire’s biotech and in-space manufacturing technology into its Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) space station module. Orbital Reef, a private space station designed by Blue Origin, Boeing, and others, will include LIFE.
Best Practices for Using Composite IBC Totes
According to the International Organization for Standardization (IOS), totes are classified into two categories. Let us take a closer look:
First, there are intermediate bulk container (IBC) totes that are described as rigid. These are often made from metal, wood, or fiberboard. They are designed as a single unit and do not call for additional support when they are filled up.
Then there is the composite kind. These are made up of a cage that supports and protects the inner lining when weight is added. As a result, the lining and the cage work in tandem as one unit.
In this read, we are going to dive into the gist of things and explore practices that you should implement when it comes to using your 330 reconditioned IBC totes. Keep in mind that these are general requirements and you should seek specific advice from your supplier as your needs may be different.
-If you intend to store products meant for human use, ensure the totes are food grade. This helps ascertain harmful interactions or reactions do not happen during transportation or storage.
-When handling items with extremely low flashpoints, store them in totes that are explosion-proof. Some materials, however, will need permeation barriers to prevent them from diffusing through the lining.
-In regards to hazmat transit, the container’s material as well as filling material compatibility should undergo thorough testing. These tests, however, can differ between European and American regions. They are put into place to determine the best material to use for your situation and so, is imperative to allocate enough time for comprehensive testing.
The Best Practices for Filling & Handling/Shipping IBC Totes
In order to fill a tote, the following three things should be done:
-Close the outlet valve
-During filling, the process should be performed at atmospheric pressure, and shouldn’t go beyond 70ºC/158ºF. Therefore, the tote should not be pressurized.
-During the cooling stage, the receptacle should be vented. This is to prevent vacuum deformation from occurring. Once this is done, ensure the cap is screwed in tightly.
- Handling or Shipping
-The totes should be well-secured to make sure no damage occurs during transit
-Never use tie ropes on the totes with the intention of moving them this way.
-If you are using a pallet jack or a forklift to handle the IBC totes, the forks should reach the pallets’ entire length.
- Storage or Stacking
-Prior to stacking, it is imperative to identify the plate for stack testing. This helps determine whether the IBC totes are stackable.
-Always put nesting into consideration. It means arranging the totes in a way that they fit closely together. An effective way to do this is by using a two on two configuration.
-During transportation, the stack should not go beyond two layers
-When emptying a tote, only do it through the lower outlet valve.
-Open the top before emptying to avoid a vacuum collapse
-If you are emptying through a pipe or a pump, make sure that it is supported and does not rely on the cage. If you use the cage to support the pump or pipe, the vibrations are likely to cause damage to the cage.
These are some of the general practices when handling composite IBC totes. It is also important to note that these practices are just the tip of the iceberg. As such, we recommend forming a relationship with a supplier that has been in the field for years to ensure that you always make informed decisions.
The Matter standard is now supported by Google’s smart home appliances
Only if goods truly support it can the Matter standard facilitate the use of smart home appliances from different brands. You don’t even need to download or install any updates because Google has just announced that it has enabled Matter compatibility for its Nest and Android devices. This means that Matter can now be controlled by the Google Home speaker, Google Home Mini, Nest Mini, Nest Audio, Nest Hub (1st and 2nd gen), Nest Hub Max, and the new Nest WiFi Pro.
Additionally, Google has made Matter compatibility available for Fast Pair on Android, which will let you to connect Matter-enabled devices to your home network “as rapidly as you can pair a set of headphones.” This functionality will make it simple to integrate your devices with apps and smart home ecosystems once they are linked. The tech behemoth has also upgraded the Nest Wi Pro, Nest Hub Max, and Nest Hub (2nd gen) to include Thread border router functionality. In this manner, you can utilize them to link items that support Thread, the networking standard for low-power gadgets like smart locks.
Since 2019, the Connectivity Standards Alliance, of which Google is a member, has been working on the Matter standard to address the fragmentation issue in the smart home market and make it simpler to use products from various manufacturers. It had to postpone Matter’s release a few times before it was eventually able to roll out the standard’s version 1.0 definition and product certification program this October. It had originally planned to introduce the standard in 2021. Soon after Matter was released, Samsung said that it is collaborating with Google to make it simple to add devices that are already configured with SmartThings to Google Home and vice versa. One of the other founders of the Alliance, Amazon, also provided a list of the 17 Echo devices that will support the standard as of this month.
The number of products that are Matter-enabled is now somewhat small, but according to Google, this holiday season and early 2023 will witness an increase. With the exception of the aforementioned Google items, all devices that implement the standard will be identified by the Matter badge and will function with all other Matter devices right out of the box.
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