Astronauts returning from challenging long-duration missions face one more challenge when they get back to Earth: standing up and walking. And while they’re IN space, they need to dodge some of the debris out there.
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You can use it as biofuel! – As the New Year dawns and we finally finish opening our presents and see all the wrapping paper scattered around, a lot of us wish we could find a way to recycle all of it. Many cities recycle paper and plastic, but can we recycle fruit cake?

In, Keith Barry quotes researcher Spencer Quong as saying, “There’s probably a million fruitcakes that have been passed around for 20 years [and] there is, in the fruitcake, sugar and grain. All of that can be converted to ethanol.”

If Santa’s reindeer left any poop on the lawn, that makes a good fuel too. According to Quong, “It’s very similar to cow manure. You take the methane that comes off that, and then you can power vehicles from that.”
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Space is getting as crowded as a public beach in the summer, with everyone heading for the moon and leaving their trash behind. It’s time to set up some international rules!

How best to cope with the rising tide of orbital space debris? What international rules of behavior are required? Can space travel go “green?”

Researcher Ray Williamson says, “[This] is a recognition that the world needs to come together to develop appropriate international legal instruments to guide space activities for the future.” Before you blast off, Be sure to pack litter bags?

The key to getting into space may have to do with (believe it or not) sound. Find out all about it on this week’s Dreamland!

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We’ve written about the problem of trash on Mars, but the REAL problem is with trash in the ocean?especially non-biodegradable PLASTIC trash. Now researchers have come up with plastic that?s safe to dump in the sea.

Researchers have come up with a biodegradable plastic that dissolves into nontoxic components in salt water in about 20 days, which is good news not only because the trash we throw out on land often inadvertently ends up in the ocean, but it is also great for cruise ships, which can now toss items like plastic cutlery overboard without guilt (something they probably already do, despite the fact that international maritime law forbids the disposal of plastics at sea).
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