It makes my day when new technology promises to make life’s most tedious tasks more interesting. Take laundry, for example. I would loathe it so much less if I had a friendly robot to help me fold my socks. Or perhaps if I had this waterless washing machine, which would levitate my clothes and scrub them clean with dry ice in a matter of minutes.
Astronauts and cosmonauts are generally chosen based on a balanced blend of desirable traits: mental acuity and psychological stability (it’s isolated up there), physical fitness, physiological durability, willingness to be strapped to a massive controlled explosion and hurled into an environment that is extremely hostile toward life, etc. But it’s no secret: Right Stuff or no Right Stuff, astronauts stink. There’s simply no good way to stay clean in space.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.