ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom

26/06/20
Over the last few months, many of us have faced shortages of our favourite food products at the supermarkets. Even after the hoarding crisis died down, when consumers emptied shelves in panic, major retailers have failed to supply everything their customers want to buy due to countries locking their borders.

Without being able to rely on trade as much as before, it has led experts to question whether one of the legacies of the coronavirus pandemic is the UK becoming more self-sufficient in its food production.

An article in World Crunch revealed that 86 per cent of Germans wanted the nation to “be able to meet its own needs for basic foodstuffs through domestic agriculture”.

The study, carried out by the University of Gottingen, revealed the majority of Germans wanted the country to improve its agricultural food production so consumers would not have to restrict the amount of pasta, sugar, yeast, or flour they could buy in the future.

However, this might not be as simple as it seems, with many ingredients being flown in from all over the world.

Rudolf Trettenbrein, managing director of the consultancy firm Inverto Austria, said: “Many ingredients that could be produced in Germany actually come from China. That’s often the case, for example, with dried fruits such as apricots, peaches and plums.”

This has helped countries make substantial savings. Furthermore, food production industries are able to benefit from international trade, with Germany exporting 71.6 billion euros (£64.1 billion) worth of food products around the world in 2019.

To cope with the challenges of food production, which would need to increase by up to 70 per cent over the next 30 years to keep up with growing populations, researchers at the University of Copenhagen have come up with a solution.

They have determined 75 new technologies could “transform the entire food chain”, including artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, robotics, vertical farming and micro-algae production.

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19/06/20
On 14 July, the UAE will become the first Arab country to launch a mission to Mars, as part of a wider regional effort to build knowledge and create opportunities, especially for young people.

The Hope Mars Mission is expected to reach the planet by February, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the UAE. The project has been planned, managed and implemented by an Emirati team overseen and funded by the UAE Space Agency, according to the BBC

“This mission is not just about the UAE it’s about the region, it’s about the Arab issue,” Omran Sharaf, the mission’s project manager at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), said.

“The region is going through tough times and we do need good news and we need the youth in the region to really start looking inwards, building their own nations and putting differences aside to co-exist with people with different faiths and backgrounds and work together.”

Developing talent, creating opportunities for engineers, scientists, and researchers working in natural sciences are the next important endeavours for the country, Sarah Al-Amiri, the UAE’s Minister of State for Advanced Sciences added.

“Mars provided us with the necessary challenge to rigorously develop talent in engineering, it gave us an appetite for risk and being able to circumvent the risk and push forward with the mission for development. It allows us to start integrating and creating new opportunities for scientists within the UAE and those that are studying the natural sciences,” said Al-Amiri.

Since the project was launched in 2014, the team has designed, developed and assembled the spacecraft, and repeatedly tested it through the harsh conditions it is expected to encounter.

Over the last 60 years, only six countries have sent missions to the Red Planet.

Sir Ian Blatchford, director of the UK’s Science Museum Group, described the UAE’s project as fascinating.

“What they are trying to achieve is remarkable for a country that is developing this infrastructure, but particularly I think they’re being very modest in describing the fact that they’re doing it in half the time,” he said.

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08/06/20
Almost exactly three days after SpaceX’s historic first crew launch from the Kennedy Space Centre on 30 May, the 15-storey tall Falcon rocket booster has been returned to shore, after landing itself aboard a football field-sized drone ship off the coast of Florida shortly after the weekend launch.

Local residents, tourists, and space enthusiasts flocked to Jetty Park and Port Canaveral to witness the return of the reusable rocket booster, as the SpaceX drone ship ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ brought the rocket home, reports Space.com.

A tug boat pulled the drone ship through the inlet leading to Port Canaveral at around 2 pm local time (around 7 pm BST) on Tuesday 2 June, and the Falcon 9 rocket booster was carefully hoisted off the drone ship by a crane, and into an onshore stand.

SpaceX planned to remove or retract the rocket’s landing legs, then rotate the booster horizontal for transport back to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for further inspections, and likely refurbishment for another launch.

The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 3:22 p.m. local time on Saturday 30 May from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre carrying NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on a test flight to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.

The launch grabbed the attention of space enthusiasts all around the world, as it marked the first time US astronauts have launched from U.S. soil into Earth orbit since the last space shuttle launch July 8, 2011.

After the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket detached from the upper stages, around two-and-a-half minutes after launch, it deployed four fins for aerodynamic stability, then reignited a subset of its Merlin engines to steer toward a landing on the drone ship ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ a few hundred miles northeast of Cape Canaveral.

A single-engine burn slowed the rocket for the final descent to the drone ship’s deck, and four black landing legs made of carbon fibre extended just before touchdown.

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