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Boron

Scientists Say Martian Clay Holds Chemicals That Could Be Key to Early Life

High levels of boron in a Martian meteorite found in Antarctica could mean that life was once possible on Mars.

High concentrations of boron have been found in an antarctic meteorite of Martian origin by a team of researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa NASA Astrobiology Institute. That's actually a lot more exciting than it sounds since boron was a pretty key ingredient to early life. Though they didn't show evidence of life itself, the findings could further indicate that life may have once been possible on Mars.

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The Fuel Of The Future? Researchers Look To Aneutronic Fusion

When you're talking about traveling through space, the less fuel you need to move a satellite or vehicle the better. Propulsion methods for objects in space need to deliver a large impact with just a little substance, which is difficult to achieve with current technology. But, a new propulsion method called aneutronic fusion may give scientists the bang for their buck they've been searching for. Suggested at the IEEE Symposium on Fusion Engineering by John J. Chapman, a physicist and electronics engineer at NASA’s Langley Research Center in VA, aneutronic fusion could improve space propulsion significantly. The new propulsion method is based on boron fuel rather than deuterium and tritium, the typical fuel for nuclear fusion. With aneutronic fusion, neutrons represent less than 1 percent of the energy-charged particles that are created by the reaction, which makes it easier to manage. The new method would also only require just grams of fuel to far surpass current propulsion fuels in efficiency.

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