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Iter fusion power project: Scientists creating their own ‘Sun’ to tackle future energy problems

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

In southern France, engineers and scientists are creating a “mini- star,” which can produce the same reactions that take place in the sun, to provide energy for the future.

This interesting project is named ‘Iter,’ which means ‘the way’ in Latin, to underline the possibilities of energy as a means to create a peaceful and safe environment.

As reported by The Independent, the ‘star’ will weigh thrice as much as the Eiffel Tower and as big as 60 football pitches. A nuclear reactor will be placed inside the building, which will generate power through smaller and controlled versions of nuclear fusions. The power thus generated will be clean, safe to use and will lessen the over-exploitation of fossil fuels.

In 1987, ‘Iter’ was first introduced to the world in its primary stage. However, the project was delayed due to various problems.

Currently, it is being supported by seven entities, including European Union, US, Russia and China.

The group working on this project has also appointed a new head, Bernard Bigot, early this year.

The website reported Bigot as stating, “We are now entering into manufacturing and preparations for assembly.”

He added that he had joined as a part of a new management team that was set up to deliver “both a research and an industrial facility.”

The team involved in the project is expecting that preliminary operations can begin by the 2020s, followed by the production of energy after some time.

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NASA Probe to ‘Touch’ the Sun Will Carry 1.1 mn Names

A memory card containing the names was installed on the spacecraft on May 18, the US space agency said

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Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

When NASA’s s Parker Solar Probe, humanity’s first mission to “touch” a star, launches on July 31, it will carry more than scientific instruments on this historic journey — it will also hold more than 1.1 million names submitted by the public to go to the Sun, NASA has said.

Back in March, NASA invited people around the world to submit their names online to be placed on a microchip aboard its historic Parker Solar Probe. Submissions were accepted till April 27.

NASA this week revealed that a total of 1,137,202 names were submitted and confirmed over the seven-and-a-half-week period.

A memory card containing the names was installed on the spacecraft on May 18, the US space agency said.

The card was mounted on a plaque bearing a dedication to and a quote from the mission’s namesake, heliophysicist Eugene Parker, who first theorised the existence of the solar wind.

NASA
Representational Image, VOA

Throughout its seven-year mission, the spacecraft will swoop through the Sun’s atmosphere 24 times, getting closer to our star than any spacecraft has gone before.

“Parker Solar Probe is going to revolutionise our understanding of the Sun, the only star we can study up close,” said Nicola Fox, project scientist for Parker Solar Probe at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland.

“It’s fitting that as the mission undertakes one of the most extreme journeys of exploration ever tackled by a human-made object, the spacecraft will also carry along the names of so many people who are cheering it on its way,” she added.

This memory card also carries photos of Parker and a copy of his groundbreaking 1958 scientific paper.

Also Read: SpaceX to Launch Twin NASA Water Cycle Tracker Satellites

Parker proposed a number of concepts about how stars — including our Sun — give off material.

He called this cascade of energy and particles the solar wind, a constant outflow of material from the Sun that we now know shapes everything from the habitability of worlds to our solar system’s interaction with the rest of the galaxy.

Parker Solar Probe will explore the Sun’s outer atmosphere and make critical observations to answer decades-old questions about the physics of stars.

The resulting data may also improve forecasts of major eruptions on the Sun and subsequent space weather events that impact life on Earth, as well as satellites and astronauts in space, NASA said. (IANS)