Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Short Takes – 12-20-23

BlackCat Ransomware Raises Ante After FBI Disruption. article. Pull quote: “The DOJ says anyone with information about BlackCat affiliates or their activities may be eligible for up to a $10 million reward through the State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program, which accepts submissions through a Tor-based tip line (visiting the site is only possible using the Tor browser).”

Photonic crystals could be exactly what Breakthrough Starshot is looking for. article. Pull quote: “A paper recently published on the arXiv preprint server by a team led by Jin Chang explores the possibility of a new material for light sails known as nano manufactured photonic crystals. These crystals are optical nanostructures (between microscopic and molecular scales) where the refractive index changes periodically. These occur in nature in the animal kingdom for example in the reflective nature of cat and dog eyes.”

Competition: developing Europe's space cargo return service. article. Pull quote: “With this new initiative, European industry will develop a way to bring cargo to and from space stations in low-Earth orbit before the end of this decade, providing Europe with access to space, further bartering prospects, and the opportunity for European industry to develop commercial services for cargo transportation to low-Earth orbit on the global market. This cargo service could also become a stepping stone to develop one day a crew transportation to low-Earth orbit and possibly a cargo return capability from the Gateway. This opportunity is a first step in ESA’s renewed ambitious space exploration programme supporting Europe's continued journey to low-Earth orbit and beyond to the Moon and Mars.”

Pinhole propulsion for satellites. article. Pull quote: “The micro-fabricated ATHENA system has the advantage of highly customisable thrust, using non-toxic ‘green’ propellants with no need for pressurised tanks. And the thrusters can be clustered together freely as needed – a total of six would fit onto the 10 cm face of a single CubeSat unit. These units can then be further clustered to deliver thrust for satellites of up to 50kg in mass.”

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