Archive for the ‘space travel’ category

Feb 17, 2019

Elon Musk says SpaceX is developing a ‘bleeding’ heavy-metal rocket ship. Making it work may be 100 times as hard as NASA’s most difficult Mars mission, one expert says

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, Elon Musk, space travel

SpaceX is building a steel launch system called Starship for the moon and Mars, but some aerospace experts say Elon Musk’s new design won’t be easy.

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Feb 16, 2019

The company that promised a one-way ticket to Mars is bankrupt

Posted by in category: space travel

The company claimed it was going to send hundreds of people to live on Mars.

What a shocker.

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Feb 15, 2019

NASA heading back to Moon soon, and this time to stay

Posted by in category: space travel

NASA is accelerating plans to return Americans to the Moon, and this time, the US space agency says it will be there to stay.

Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, told reporters Thursday that the agency plans to speed up plans backed by President Donald Trump to return to the , using private companies.

“It’s important that we get back to the moon as fast as possible,” said Bridenstine in a meeting at NASA’s Washington headquarters, adding he hoped to have astronauts back there by 2028.

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Feb 15, 2019

3D-printed Mars habitat could be a perfect fit for early SpaceX Starship colonies

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, habitats, robotics/AI, space travel, sustainability

Space architecture startup AI SpaceFactory achieved second place in the latest phase of a NASA-led competition, pitting several groups against each other in pursuit of designing a 3D-printed Mars habitat and physically demonstrating some of the technologies needed to build them.

With a focus on ease of scalable 3D-printing and inhabitants’ quality of life, as well as the use of modular imported goods like windows and airlocks, MARSHA lends itself impeccably well to SpaceX’s goal of developing a sustainable human presence on Mars as quickly, safely, and affordably as possible with the support of its Starship/Super Heavy launch vehicle.

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Feb 15, 2019

Environmental noise found to enhance the transport of energy across a line of ions

Posted by in categories: information science, quantum physics, space travel

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Austria and Germany has shown that introducing environmental noise to a line of ions can lead to enhanced transport of energy across them. In their paper published in Physical Review Letters, the researchers describe their experiments and why they believe their findings will be helpful to other researchers.

Prior research has shown that when electrons move through , the means by which they do so can be described by quantum mechanics equations. But in the real world, such movement can be hindered by interference due to noise in the environment, leading to suppression of the transport . Prior research has also shown that electricity moving through a material can be described as a wave—if such waves remain in step, they are described as being coherent. But such waves can be disturbed by noise or defects in an atomic lattice, leading to suppression of flow. Such suppression at a given location is known as an Anderson localization. In this new effort, the researchers have shown that Anderson localizations can be overcome through the use of .

The work consisted of isolating 10 and holding them in space as a joined line—a one-dimensional crystal. Lasers were used to switch the ions between states, and energy was introduced to the ion line using . This setup allowed them to watch as energy moved along the line of ions from one end to the other. Anderson localizations were introduced by firing individual lasers at each of the ions—the energy from the lasers resulted in ions with different intensities. With a degree of disorder in place, the team then created noise by randomly changing the intensity of the beams fired at the individual ions. This resulted in frequency wobble. And it was that wobble that the team found allowed the movement of energy between the ions to overcome the Anderson localizations.

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Feb 15, 2019

Superinsulating aerogel resists mechanical and thermal shocks

Posted by in categories: materials, space travel

New ultralight hexagonal boron nitride material could be used in extreme-temperature applications such as spacecraft.

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Feb 14, 2019

NASA to Advance Unique 3D Printed Sensor Technology

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, robotics/AI, space travel

A NASA technologist is taking miniaturization to the extreme.

Technologist Mahmooda Sultana

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Feb 13, 2019

The “Impossible” Tech Behind SpaceX’s New Engine

Posted by in categories: innovation, space travel

The recent SpaceX Raptor engine was actually a real breakthrough. It was a holy grail desired by NASA and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union almost had it, but when we landed on the Moon they stopped development. The engine is a “full-flow staged combustion” engine.

“Full-flow staged combustion (FFSC) is a twin-shaft staged combustion cycle that uses both oxidizer-rich and fuel-rich preburners. The cycle allows full flow of both propellants through the turbines; hence the name The fuel turbopump is driven by the fuel-rich preburner, and the oxidizer turbopump is driven by the oxidizer-rich preburner”

Followers of the Church of Elon will no doubt already be aware of SpaceX’s latest technical triumph: the test firing of the first full-scale Raptor engine. Of course, it was hardly a secret. As he often does, Elon has been “leaking” behind the scenes information, pictures, and even video of the event on his Twitter account. Combined with the relative transparency of SpaceX to begin with, this gives us an exceptionally clear look at how literal rocket science is performed at the Hawthorne, California based company.

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Feb 13, 2019

NASA’s New Nuclear Reactor Could Change Space Exploration

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space travel

NASA and engineers from the Department of Energy are developing small nuclear reactors that could power spacecraft and space colonies.

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Feb 13, 2019

Mining Thousands of Tons of Space Ice with Queen Bee

Posted by in category: space travel

Five-thousand tons of water-ice delivered to cislunar space per two-year mission! In a recent announcement, TransAstra Corporation proposed a spacecraft able to achieve this. They call it the Queen Bee, a new part of the Asteroid Provided In-Situ Supplies (APIS; Apis) architecture. Queen Bee is a large scale version of their asteroid mining spacecraft design.

TransAstra is a Los Angeles, California based aerospace company founded in 2015 by Joel Sercel. Their goal is to help make industrial processes in space possible. A key process they study is extracting volatiles, including water, from small Near Earth Asteroids (NEA). Their past work has focused on Optical Mining, asteroid encapsulation, and solar thermal thrusters for the mining and utilization of carbonaceous Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) volatiles.

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