Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > NASA Awards $11M ‘Quantum Wire’ Contract to Rice

Abstract:
Smalley Lab to Produce Prototype Power Cable For Next-Gen Spacecraft

NASA Awards $11M ‘Quantum Wire’ Contract to Rice

Houston, TX | April 22, 2005

NASA has awarded Rice University’s Carbon Nanotechnology Laboratory a four-year, $11 million contract to produce a prototype power cable made entirely of carbon nanotubes.

The new project will be discussed with media in a briefing at the Johnson Space Center at 2 p.m. CDT April 26. Available to media in that session will be:

  -- Jefferson D. Howell, Jr., Director, NASA Johnson Space Center
  -- Richard Smalley, Director, Carbon Nanotechnology Laboratory (CNL)

The project aims to pioneer methods of producing pure nanotube power cables, known as quantum wires, which may conduct electricity up to 10 times better than copper and weigh about one-sixth as much. Such technologies may advance NASA's plans to return humans to the moon and eventually travel to Mars and beyond.

“Technology advances like these are exactly what will be needed to realize the future of space exploration,” Howell said. “We are extremely fortunate to be able to pool the unique expertise available at JSC, Rice and the other collaborators in this effort.”

The contract was awarded by NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. It calls for an additional $4 million in related research at JSC, where researchers will conduct crucial work in the area of nanotube growth, and at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, where nanotube composites will be developed for fuel cell components.

Rice’s portion of the funding includes support for collaborative projects at Houston-based Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc., which specializes in large-scale nanotube production; GHG Corp.; Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania.

“In the Space Shuttle, the primary power distribution system accounts for almost 7 percent of the craft’s weight,” said Smalley, University Professor, the Gene and Norman Hackerman Professor of Chemistry, professor of physics and the lead researcher on the project.. “To support additional instrumentation and broadband communications, NASA’s next generation of human and robotic spacecraft will need far more power. For ships assembled in orbit, a copper power distribution system could wind up accounting for one-quarter the weight of the vessel.”

The contract calls for CNL to provide NASA a one-meter prototype of a quantum wire by 2009. This will require major breakthroughs in the production and processing of nanotubes. Notably, a way has yet to be found to produce a specific type of nanotube. Of the hundreds of types available, only about 2 percent, known as “armchair” nanotubes, are types that conduct electricity well enough for quantum wires.

“We need to find a way to make just the nanotubes we want, and we need them in large quantities,” said CNL Executive Director Howard Schmidt. “Another major focus of the research will be finding new ways to combine armchair nanotubes, which are single molecules just a billionth of a meter wide, into large-scale fibers and wires.”

The April 26 briefing will be available to media in attendance only and will not be broadcast on NASA Television.

####

About Rice University
Rice University is consistently ranked one of America’s best teaching and research universities. It is distinguished by its: size—2,850 undergraduates and 1,950 graduate students; selectivity—10 applicants for each place in the freshman class; resources—an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 6-to-1, and the fifth largest endowment per student among American universities; residential college system, which builds communities that are both close-knit and diverse; and collaborative culture, which crosses disciplines, integrates teaching and research, and intermingles undergraduate and graduate work. Rice’s wooded campus is located in the nation’s fourth largest city and on America’s South Coast.


Media Contacts:
John Ira Petty
Johnson Space Center
Houston
281-483-5111

Jade Boyd
Rice University
o 713-348-6778
c 713-302-2447
jadeboyd@rice.edu

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Investments/IPO's/Splits

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Provides Shareholder Update August 22nd, 2016

Carbodeon Ltd Oy Closes EUR 1.5 million Funding Round From Straightforward Capital: Carbodeon will accelerate its nanodiamonds business and expand manufacturing capacity August 21st, 2016

Leading Advanced Materials Manufacturer Pixelligent Closes $10.4 Million in Funding: Capital Will Boost Capacity for North American Manufacturing, Drive Asian Expansion, and Continue Innovation in Solid State Lighting and OLED Display Applications August 16th, 2016

Harris & Harris Group to Host a Shareholder Update Call, Including a Presentation by One of Its Precision Health and Medicine Portfolio Companies, Muses Labs, Inc., on August 23, 2016 August 16th, 2016

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Tunneling nanotubes between neurons enable the spread of Parkinson's disease via lysosomes August 24th, 2016

McMaster researchers resolve a problem that has been holding back a technological revolution August 18th, 2016

'Second skin' protects soldiers from biological and chemical agents August 5th, 2016

Carbon nanotube 'stitches' make stronger, lighter composites: Method to reinforce these materials could help make airplane frames lighter, more damage-resistant August 4th, 2016

Announcements

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

Energy

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

New flexible material can make any window 'smart' August 23rd, 2016

Researchers reduce expensive noble metals for fuel cell reactions August 22nd, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic