Archive for the ‘space travel’ category

Sep 15, 2017

This tiny satellite will make personal space exploration affordable

Posted by in category: space travel

Click on photo to start video.

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Sep 10, 2017

Audacious Team Publishes Comprehensive Plan to reach Alpha Centauri Using Laser Powered, Femto Spacecraft in 50 years

Posted by in category: space travel

A recent research discussion paper “The Andromeda Study: A Femto-Spacecraft Mission to Alpha Centauri” discusses options for a 50 year (at 0.1c) one-way, fly-by, exploration trip to our nearest stellar neighbour, Alpha Centauri. In the paper the authors (Andreas M. Hein, Kelvin F. Long, Dan Fries, Nikolaos Perakis, Angelo Genovese, Stefan Zeidler, Martin Langer, Richard Osborne, Rob Swinney, John Davies, Bill Cress, Marc Casson, Adrian Mann, Rachel Armstrong) discuss the challenges and present possible solutions using current science and technology.

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Sep 10, 2017

‘New Home’ Habitat Proposes an Easy-To-Construct Living Solution For Mars

Posted by in categories: habitats, space travel

New home proposal for a Martian habitat, designed by marek podlaha and antónia pohanková, uses a prefabricated spaceship as the center of the structure.

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Sep 8, 2017

Extended human space travel through biolation

Posted by in categories: futurism, space travel

Deep space travel is circumscribed by an interactive conflict. For those that may want to make extended space journeys, the distances are remarkably great, and our spaceships are slow. These combine to make the trip times exceedingly long. When one attempts considering interstellar transit, you quickly realize that a normal human life span prevents an adult from ever even returning to Earth. Yet even for missions to nearby Mars travel times are projected to take about eight months one-way.

We cannot do anything about the physical distances, nor can we expect much more performance out of current chemical rockets for projected near-term transports within the solar system. While there are projected improvements in velocity in the future through introduction of fission propulsion, fusion-drive rockets, or other exotic space transport engines, space travel will continue to require long transit times. Even if one is able to exploit velocity-enhancing tricks like gravity-assist planetary flybys, deep space trips to, say, mineral-rich asteroids in the main belt will still be measured in years.

So, for transporting people around our solar system, the fundamental question has and continues to be whether anything practical can be done about adjusting the impacts for the humans on board. More precisely, are there practical near-term methods to improve space transport human system design factors that could allow us to create more cost-efficient spaceships and improve the safety to passengers and crew during these long voyages?

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Sep 4, 2017

How Humans Will Finally Reach Interstellar Space

Posted by in category: space travel

Four decades ago, Voyager 1 and 2 began their journey to the stars. When will humans follow them?

Editor’s note: This is a companion piece to the science fiction short “Dark was the night, and cold the ground,” published Thursday in Terraform.

As the summer of 1977 drew to a close, twin siblings bid farewell to Earth to explore the ultimate frontier. They wrote back often, and sent lots of beautiful postcards, so that everyone at home could keep up with their adventures. Each of them carried an identical golden time capsule, filled with the sights and sounds of the world they left behind, so they could act as ambassadors to any other lifeforms they might encounter on their endless journey.

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Sep 4, 2017

Russia, China to Join Together in Space Exploration Effort

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

China and Russia are set to sign a milestone agreement in October on joint space exploration from 2018 to 2022, sending manned missions to the Moon for the first time. The bilateral agreement will cover five areas including lunar and deep space exploration, developing special materials, collaboration in the area of satellite systems, Earth remote sensing, and space debris research. This is the first bilateral agreement to cover a partnership spanning five years. It is to be signed against the background of space exploration race the US is trying to win, so the two partners decided to join the efforts. In February, the Trump administration asked NASA to look into the possibility of manning a heavy-lift rocket mission, expected to be launched in 2018, setting the stage for a human return to the Moon.

Russia’s Glavkosmos space launch operator is also working with Chinese partners on joint experiments aboard the International Space Station (ISS). China was interested in buying the world’s most powerful Russian-made RD rocket engines produced by Energomash while Russian Space Systems showed interest in Chinese electronic technology.

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Sep 3, 2017

Here’s how to get to Alpha Centauri: propel a tiny spacecraft on the tip of a powerful laser beam

Posted by in categories: business, space travel

Our Andromeda interstellar probe article has been featured in MlT Technology Review :

Business Impact.

Femto-spacecraft could travel to alpha centauri.

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Aug 31, 2017

3D Printing Buildings on Mars Has Lessons for Back on Earth

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

At a test facility in rural Illinois, engineers fabricate structural segments for buildings. But instead of using typical assembly techniques, here at this dirt-floor arena with tightly controlled conditions, teams employ robotic nozzles to extrude domes, beams and cylinders using material chosen for its similarity to the regolith found on the surface of the planet Mars.

The activity comprises part of the 3D-Printed Mars Habitat Design Challenge, which focuses on how to go about building structures on Mars to eventually house human explorers. It’s a component of the NASA Centennial Challenges, a contest series that solicits the public to solve the practical problems of future space exploration. The third phase of the challenge, underway now, focuses on creating stable structural members using an additive manufacturing process based on basaltic rock geologically similar to what is found on Mars.

“This leg of the competition is focused on the materials, specifically the indigenous Mars regolith,” explains Tony Kim, deputy program manager for NASA’s Centennial Challenge. “All of the teams are approaching it differently.” Previous phases of the challenge focused on conceptual designs for habitats and proof-of-concept 3D-printed shapes. But this showdown emphasizes pure structural strength, as the 3D-printed cylinders, beams and domes will be subjected to loading until they fail.

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Aug 30, 2017

Mining the moon for rocket fuel to get us to Mars

Posted by in category: space travel

To get us to Mars and beyond, a team of students from around the world has a plan involving lunar rovers mining ice and a space station between the Earth and the moon.

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Aug 30, 2017

Phase two of NASA’s deep space habitat challenge finds a winner in architect & tech firm collaboration

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

As part of its support for the application 3D printing technology to deep space exploration, NASA has awarded a $250,000 prize to a joint team consisting of members from Foster+Partners California and Branch Technology (based in Chattanooga, Tennessee).

NASA’s competition, which has now reached level three of its second phase, aims to “advance construction technology needed to create sustainable housing solutions for Earth and beyond”, most notably with the aim of accommodating astronauts on Mars and building human colonies in outer space.

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