Here’s our roundup for Thursday 22 August 2012.
Nasa’s Curiosity rover about to take its first small steps on Mars
The Mars rover Curiosity will take its first test drive on Wednesday, moving about three metres (10ft) on its own before steering back to its landing site, Nasa has said. If all goes to plan Curiosity will end up parked at 90 degrees to its original touchdown position.
Sea uranium extraction ‘close to economic reality’
Today, a report presented to a scientific meeting showed that fast progress is being made towards turning the oceans into a uranium reservoir. The world’s oceans hold at least four billion tons of the precious metal, which is good news for energy companies who have not been able to commit to nuclear power until a regular supply of reasonably priced uranium can be sourced. The report shows how improvements to the extraction technology have almost halved production costs from around 560 dollars (£355) per pound of uranium to 300 dollars (£190).