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Archive for the ‘space travel’ category: Page 446

Jan 7, 2016

Beyond SpaceX: 10 space companies to watch in 2016 & 2017

Posted by in categories: computing, space travel

While development is happening everywhere, these companies are the next big things to shoot past the stratosphere.

While a lot of end-of-the-year, turn-of-the-calendar roundups try to focus on the year that was or the year ahead, the space industry is very different. Developments are planned further in advance, so some of the qualifying news that gets companies on this list isn’t scheduled to happen until 2017. The industry is small compared to cloud computing or cybersecurity, for example, but the rate of growth is tremendous. There seems to be a cultural solidarity with spacetech on account of its tightly-knit history of cooperation and the still limited number of private companies that can facilitate space flight.

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Jan 6, 2016

NASA’s New VASIMR Plasma Engine Could Reach Mars in 39 days

Posted by in categories: energy, space travel

NASA recently provided $10 million in funding to Ad Astra Rocket Company of Texas for further development of its Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR), an electromagnetic thruster capable of propelling a spaceship to Mars in just 39 days. NASA’s funding was part of the “12 Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnership.” Ad Astra’s rocket will travel ten times faster than today’s chemical rockets while using one-tenth the amount of fuel.

The VASIMR system would cut the trip to Mars by months according to Franklin Chang Diaz, a former MIT student, NASA astronaut, and now CEO of Ad Astra.

Continue reading “NASA’s New VASIMR Plasma Engine Could Reach Mars in 39 days” »

Jan 2, 2016

Researchers say retrieving information from a black hole might be possible

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, physics, space travel

Interstellar is one of the best sci-fi movies of the last decade, imagining a post-apocalyptic human population that needs to be saved from a dying Earth. A nearby black hole has the answers to humanity’s problems, and the brilliant script tells us we can enter a black hole and then use it to transcend space and time. In the film, the black hole also leaks out information that can save us, and it is captured by a complex computer as it’s being entered. That might seem implausible, but since we don’t know a lot about how black holes work, we can certainly accept such an outlandish proposition in the context of the movie.

In real life, however, physicists are trying to figure out how to access the secrets of a black hole. And it looks like some researchers have a theory to retrieve information from it, though it’s not quite as exciting as the complex bookcase that Interstellar proposes.

DON’T MISS: The biggest ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ plot holes explained

Continue reading “Researchers say retrieving information from a black hole might be possible” »

Dec 31, 2015

Mars Curiosity Engineer Rips NASA In New Book

Posted by in categories: policy, space travel

New book by NASA JPL Curiosity Rover engineer has some hard truths about U.S. space policy. A good read.


A Mars Curiosity rover team lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) writes in a forthcoming first-person narrative that the space agency as a whole “doesn’t do enough flight projects to forge a broad set of practical skills across [NASA].”

Adam Steltzner — a JPL engineer who was a familiar face during the entry, descent and landing (EDL) phase of the Mars Curiosity rover’s triumphant August 2012 landing — is refreshingly candid about U.S. space policy in the new book “The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership, and High-Stakes Innovation.”

Continue reading “Mars Curiosity Engineer Rips NASA In New Book” »

Dec 31, 2015

Lunar Leap: Europe Is Reaching for a Moon Base by the 2030s — By Leonard David | Space.com

Posted by in categories: space, space travel, strategy

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“There is growing interest in Europe to prioritize the moon as humanity’s next deep-space destination.”

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Dec 30, 2015

The prose at the end of the universe — By Aaron Souppouris | Engadget

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, genetics, human trajectories, media & arts, space travel

“Programming ‘indestructible’ bacteria to write poetry.”

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Dec 29, 2015

[Visual Dictionary] Out of This World Space Art — By Dave Valeza | The Creators Project

Posted by in categories: media & arts, space, space travel

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“[Dave Valeza] captures the wonder artists worldwide have experienced with the rejuvination of the space industry of the past few years. From finding water on Mars to landing reusable rockets (plural!), 2015 has been a great year for space, and artists are loving it.”

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Dec 29, 2015

This Year in Science

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, drones, neuroscience, robotics/AI, science, space travel

Futurism presents its annual This Year in Science immersive experience! This year’s themes include robot intelligence, space exploration, drones, CRISPR (a breakthrough gene editing tool), plus a special ‘Futurist of the Year’ award.

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Dec 29, 2015

Speculation mounts over Elon Musk’s Mars plan

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

Some of SpaceX’s most ardent fans are guessing at the shape of the biggest thing to come: the Mars Colonial Transporter.

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Dec 27, 2015

NASA’s next Mars mission has been called off

Posted by in categories: futurism, space travel

A U.S. science satellite slated to launch to Mars in March has been grounded due to a leak in a key research instrument, NASA said on Tuesday, creating uncertainty about the future of a widely anticipated effort to study the interior of the planet.

The spacecraft, known as InSight, was designed to help scientists learn more about the formation of rocky planets, including Earth.

The cancellation raises questions about the future of the research effort, as it will be another two years before Earth and Mars are favourably aligned for a launch. NASA has not said if it will have funding for the program, which was capped at $425 million US.

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