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Archive for the ‘space travel’ category

Jun 20, 2017

Top 100 Most Disruptive Space Companies in 2017

Posted by in categories: government, space travel

For decades, space exploration and experimentation has been the playground for world governments and wealthy academics. Exposure to space was limited to sci-fi, the odd government broadcast, and conspiracy theories. Normal people could only buy their loved ones stars or plots of cosmic land as a sentimental gift.

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Jun 19, 2017

Why Interstellar Travel Will Be Possible Sooner Than You Think

Posted by in categories: computing, physics, space travel

The term “moonshot” is sometimes invoked to denote a project so outrageously ambitious that it can only be described by comparing it to the Apollo 11 mission to land the first human on the Moon. The Breakthrough Starshot Initiative transcends the moonshot descriptor because its purpose goes far beyond the Moon. The aptly-named project seeks to travel to the nearest stars.

The brainchild of Russian-born tech entrepreneur billionaire Yuri Milner, Breakthrough Starshot was announced in April 2016 at a press conference joined by renowned physicists including Stephen Hawking and Freeman Dyson. While still early, the current vision is that thousands of wafer-sized chips attached to large, silver lightsails will be placed into Earth orbit and accelerated by the pressure of an intense Earth-based laser hitting the lightsail.

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Jun 18, 2017

China’s Hypersonic Spaceplane Could Be Available By 2030

Posted by in category: space travel

The CASTC is beginning advanced research on combined cycle engines that can takeoff from an airport’s landing strip and fly straight into orbit. Claimed to have operating status by 2030, this pace plane could enable space tourism.

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC) wants to re-invent how we travel in space.

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Jun 14, 2017

Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

Elon Musk’s paper on, available for free below.


This paper is a summary of Elon Musk’s presentation at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, September 26–30, 2016. In February 2017, SpaceX announced it will launch a crewed mission beyond the moon for two private customers in late 2018.

Used with permission from SpaceX.

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Jun 12, 2017

What if we built spacecraft… IN SPACE?

Posted by in categories: business, internet, robotics/AI, space travel, sustainability

We are incredibly excited to announce that Firmamentum, a division of Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI), has signed a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a system that will use in-space manufacturing and robotic assembly technologies to construct on orbit a small satellite able to provide high-bandwidth satellite communications (SATCOM) services to mobile receivers on the ground.

Under the OrbWeaver Direct-to-Phase-II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) effort, Firmamentum aims to combine its technologies for in-space recycling, in-space manufacturing, and robotic assembly to create a system that could launch as a secondary payload on an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV). This system would recycle a structural element of that rocket, known as an EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) ring, by converting the ring’s aluminum material into a very large, high-precision antenna reflector. The OrbWeaver™ payload would then attach this large antenna to an array of TUI’s SWIFT® software defined radios launched with the OrbWeaver payload to create a small satellite capable of delivering up to 12 gigabits per second of data to K-band very small aperture terminals (VSAT) on the ground.

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Jun 9, 2017

Will Mini Fusion Rockets Provide Spaceflight’s Next Big Leap?

Posted by in categories: materials, space travel

Fusion-powered rockets that are only the size of a few refrigerators could one day help propel spacecraft at high speeds to nearby planets or even other stars, a NASA-funded spaceflight company says.

Another use for such fusion rockets is to deflect asteroids that might strike Earth and to build manned bases on the moon and Mars, the researchers say.

Rockets fly by hurling materials known as propellants away from them. Conventional rockets that rely on chemical reactions are not very efficient when it comes to how much thrust they generate, given the amount of propellant they carry, which has led rocket scientists to explore a variety of alternatives over the years. [Superfast Spacecraft Propulsion Concepts (Images)].

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Jun 8, 2017

Can China’s spaceplane give it the edge against US in space race?

Posted by in category: space travel

Key feature will be its horizontal take-off, instead of vertical like traditional spacecraft – and it will be able to land at an airport.

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 June, 2017, 8:33am.

UPDATED : Thursday, 08 June, 2017, 11:50am.

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Jun 6, 2017

Solar System Map: Surprisingly deceptive

Posted by in categories: astronomy, cosmology, gravity, lifeboat, mapping, physics, space, space travel

What’s wrong with this illustration of the planets in our solar system? »

For one thing, it suggests that the planets line up for photos on the same solar ray, just like baby ducks in a row. That’s a pretty rare occurrence—perhaps once in several billion years. In fact, Pluto doesn’t even orbit on the same plane as the planets. Its orbit is tilted 17 degrees. So, forget it lining up with anything, except on rare occasions, when it crosses the equatorial plane. On that day, you might get it to line up with one or two planets.

But what about scale? Space is so vast. Perhaps our solar system looks like this ↓

No such luck! Stars and planets do not fill a significant volume of the void. They are lonely specs in the great enveloping cosmic dark.* Space is mostly filled with—well—space! Lots and lots of it. In fact, if Pluto and our own moon were represented by just a single pixel on your computer screen, you wouldn’t see anything around it. Even if you daisy chain a few hundred computer screens, you will not discern the outer planets. They are just too far away.

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Jun 6, 2017

The Spacesuit Designed For A New Generation

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

Clement Balavoine might just be what Elon Musk ordered. The Frenchman is still only 25 years old, passionate about design, traveled the (fashion) world and gravitates towards his own Mars experience with his new company Neuro. In his own words, he wants to create a label that reflects the future of the industry.

SpaceX on the other hand, is looking for innovation on so many levels on their ongoing mission to establish our first Mars colony. To get there, Elon Musk proposed the so-called Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) that combines our latest rocket technology with a space-carrier able to ship at least 100 but hopefully close to 200 passengers on each flight.

Of course, getting to Mars is an adventure that needs problem-solving skills and technology that we might not even think of yet. To better be safe than sorry, Balavoine’s new kind of spacesuit comes in handy, destined to protect our pioneering crew from bone loss, muscle atrophy and, hopefully, radiation.

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Jun 5, 2017

Space station welcomes 1st returning vehicle since shuttle

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel, sustainability

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The International Space Station welcomed its first returning vehicle in years Monday — a SpaceX Dragon capsule making its second delivery.

Space shuttle Atlantis was the last repeat visitor six years ago. It’s now a museum relic at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

NASA astronaut Jack Fischer noted “the special significance” of SpaceX’s recycling effort as soon as he caught the Dragon supply ship with the station’s big robot arm.

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