Soft robots offer a wide range of characteristics that could be useful for future space missions, and NASA's Langley Research Center is working on the technology with a focus on silicone actuators using internal air bladders that allow movement much like a human muscle. NASA is also busy at Brigham Young University, where it is building an inflatable space robot named "King Louie," whose motion is controlled by inflating or deflating various air chambers in its limb.
Waste plastic may soon prove to be a valuable resource for generating hydrogen in the UK. Three companies are developing 11 plants that will use a thermal treatment known as distributed modular gasification to produce hydrogen that could be used to power heavy vehicles and eventually cars.
A Russian destroyer has been monitoring a US destroyer that recently arrived in the Black Sea. The USS Porter is visiting Bulgaria's Black Sea port as part of a bid to maintain regional stability, said Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander of the 6th Fleet.
China has thwarted plans for the amphibious dock landing ship USS Green Bay to stop in Hong Kong on Saturday and for the cruiser USS Lake Erie to pay a port call in September. The changes come as China struggles to quell massive pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
A plan to install four larger-diameter firing tubes on Virginia-class submarines has been delayed due to "substandard welding" and "improperly administered" testing by a subcontractor, Naval Sea Systems Command said. The new tubes would raise the subs' Tomahawk cruise missile capacity from 37 to 65.
General Dynamics' Electric Boat Division will be upgrading the Virginia-class submarine USS Washington under a $15.2 million contract. The work, which includes planning, procurement and repairs, should be completed by the end of the year.
Problems with the propulsion system on the USS Gerald R. Ford identified early last year have been addressed, the Navy said. Overall maintenance and repair work was completed last month, entailing 400,000 employee hours of maintenance and production.
Curtiss-Wright will provide propulsion valves for Columbia- and Virginia-class submarines under contracts with a combined value of more than $80 million from Bechtel Plant Machinery and General Dynamics Electric Boat. Work will include ship construction support and procurement of spare parts.
The ship service turbine generator aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault vessel USS Bataan is back in service thanks to repairs carried out by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center. The center fixed the trip throttle valve, labyrinth seals and bearings to the upper and lower turbine.
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