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NASA just unveiled a tiny nuclear reactor for future Mars residents

Researchers at NASA, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Department of Energy have revealed that they have successfully tested a small nuclear reactor that may someday provide power to human habitats on Mars and beyond. Called Kilopower, the reactor comes in several versions to meet certain power needs, from 1 kilowatt (enough to power a small kitchen appliance) to ten kilowatts, four or five of which would be required to provide power for a habitat on Mars. ”Kilopower’s compact size and robustness… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

The world’s first vending machine for the homeless just launched – and it’s totally free

Homeless people in the United Kingdom can now obtain food or items like socks or toothbrushes at no cost any time of day with a recently installed vending machine. New charity Action Hunger aims to work alongside existing charities tackling the issue of homelessness with the vending machines that can offer necessities at hours when charities may not be operating. The charity has plans to expand across the UK and to New York City in early 2018.

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MIT engineers just unveiled living, glowing plants

What if you could read a book at night not with the help of a lamp or flashlight, but with a glowing plant? That’s the vision Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) weaves with new research from their engineers. They embedded nanoparticles into watercress leaves, inducing the greenery to emit dim light for almost four hours.

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Off-grid camping just got so much better with these solar-powered teardrop trailers

Explorers could venture way off the grid thanks to the new collaboration between teardrop trailer maker Vistabule and solar power company Sunflare. Sunflare makes bendy solar panels a few micrometers thick that can be taped to any surface – so they’re the perfect solution to adorn the top of a teardrop trailer, conforming to the trailer’s unique shape. The lightweight solar panels add virtually no weight to the Vistabule trailer.

Related: Sunflare’s new ultra-thin View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Scientists just discovered snow on Mars

Forget everything you know — or think you know — about Mars. In the study Nature Geoscience, scientists confirm that there is, in fact, snow on Mars. It’s not what you might think, however. The red planet experiences explosions of snow known as “ice microbursts” which only occur in the shadows and are very unlike the snowfall on Earth. This finding is challenging previous notions about Mars’ history and the likelihood of future generations colonizing it.

The clouds have… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Elon Musk just announced he got verbal approval to build a New York to DC hyperloop

Elon Musk just announced that the New York City to Washington D.C. hyperloop is happening. Taking to Twitter, Musk said that he has received verbal approval to build an underground hyperloop from city to city, with at least a dozen entrance/exits in each city. Once completed, riders will be able to zoom from city to city in under 30 minutes.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/888053175155949572

Musk added – again, on Twitter – that there is still work to do to get official approval, but… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Oregon just approved the nations first tax on bicycles – and cyclists are furious

Because bicycling is good for one’s health and results in fewer cars being on the road (reducing carbon emissions), one would think governments would go out of their way to encourage more people to commute in such fashion. Right? Wrong. In Oregon — a state which is known for its avid bicycling culture, the nation’s first statewide bike tax has been approved. The new excise tax will require consumers to pay $15 in tax on a bike that costs more than $200 and has a wheel diameter of at least… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

The UN just passed a historic treaty banning nuclear weapons worldwide

Could world peace be on the horizon? Last Friday, a historic treaty imposing a total nuclear weapons ban was passed by the United Nations in an attempt to prevent WWIII from breaking out. The 10-page document, entitled Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, was inspired after the U.N. reopened discussion of a global nuclear ban in March of 2017, prompting 2,500 scientists from 7 countries to sign a petition urging nuclear disarmament. Now that the first-of-its-kind ban has passed, some are… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Hyundai’s new emissions-free bus travels 180 miles on just one hour of charging

Due to electric vehicles becoming more affordable and consumers becoming more educated on the benefits of “going green,” an increasing number of automobile makers are joining the trend of unveiling electric cars, trucks, and buses that benefit the environment. Hyundai is the latest to jump on the green bandwagon after unveiling its first mass-produced electric bus called the Elec City. After one hour of charging, the bus can travel 180 miles due to a 256kWh battery pack. And, the company’s first… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building