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Archive for the ‘space travel’ category: Page 450

May 25, 2016

Lasers Could Blast Astronauts to Mars, Protect Earth from Asteroids

Posted by in categories: innovation, space travel

The same laser system being developed to blast tiny spacecraft between the stars could also launch human missions to Mars, protect Earth from dangerous asteroids and help get rid of space junk, project leaders say.

Last month, famed physicist Stephen Hawking and other researchers announced Breakthrough Starshot, a $100 million project that aims to build prototype light-propelled “wafersats” that could reach the nearby Alpha Centauri star system just 20 years after launch.

The basic idea behind Breakthrough Starshot has been developed primarily by astrophysicist Philip Lubin of the University of California, Santa Barbara, who has twice received funding from the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program to develop the laser propulsion system. [Stephen Hawking Video: ‘Transcending Our Limits’ with Breakthrough Starshot].

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May 24, 2016

We can begin an interstellar mission today – and we should

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space travel

Fifty-five years ago, Yuri Gagarin rocketed into orbit and began to break our bonds to our planet. To mark the occasion, the nonprofit Breakthrough Institute just announced plans to free us from an even more formidable set of bonds and send a fleet of small spacecraft beyond our solar system, off to the stars. News of the ‘Breakthrough Starshot’ plan was met with great enthusiasm, but also with more than a little skepticism. The distance between stars is vast. Our closest neighbour, the Alpha Centauri system, is 4.4 light years away – roughly 25 trillion miles. The Voyager 1 spacecraft, the fastest object ever created by humans, would take 70,000 years to travel that far. Many reporters greeted the Breakthrough Starshot as an idea grounded more in fantasy than in reality.

The reaction was understandable. All previous plans for interstellar flight relied on non-existent or impractical technologies such as antimatter, wormholes and warp drives. But now we have a concrete path forward, which I have published in detail. It is possible to begin the journey to the stars today.

Drawing on recent advances in photonics and electronics, we could use arrays of lasers to accelerate miniature probes (the size and mass of a semiconductor wafer, weighing less than one ounce) to unprecedented velocities. Particles of light, or photons, have no rest mass but they carry energy and momentum. Just as a sailboat can be propelled by the wind, light sails can ride the momentum of photons by reflecting a wind of intense laser light. We call such focused beams of light ‘directed energy’.

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May 23, 2016

U.S. lawmaker orders NASA to plan for trip to Alpha Centauri

Posted by in category: space travel

Representative John Culberson (R–TX) wants agency to envision a spacecraft that can travel at 10% light-speed.

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May 23, 2016

Lockheed Martin joins the space race to Mars

Posted by in category: space travel

This week, Lockheed Martin revealed its Mars Base Camp concept, a space station that will orbit the Red Planet and help astronauts prepare for landing.

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May 20, 2016

Queen announces moves to develop UK’s first commercial spaceport | Belfast Telegraph

Posted by in categories: space, space travel

spaceport

“Driverless cars, drones and a commercial spaceport all featured in the Queen’s Speech.”

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May 18, 2016

Space exploration will spur transhumanism and mitigate existential risk

Posted by in categories: alien life, cyborgs, existential risks, geopolitics, policy, robotics/AI, solar power, space travel, sustainability, transhumanism

Friends have been asking me to write something on space exploration and my campaign policy on it, so here it is just out on TechCrunch:


When people think about rocket ships and space exploration, they often imagine traveling across the Milky Way, landing on mysterious planets and even meeting alien life forms.

In reality, humans’ drive to get off Planet Earth has led to tremendous technological advances in our mundane daily lives — ones we use right here at home on terra firma.

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May 17, 2016

Why DARPA Is Pursuing the Reusable Military XS-1 Spaceplane

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, government, military, space travel

Coming clean on the story around the XS-1 Spaceplane. Hmmm; US Government coming clean; really?


ORLANDO, Fla. – Here’s a phrase that’s not repeated everyday in the space community:

“You’ve heard Elon’s comments … we want to go beyond that,” Brad Tousley, the head of the tactical technology office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, said May 15.

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May 16, 2016

Coming soon: A “Made in India” space shuttle — By Madhura Karnik | Quartz

Posted by in categories: space, space travel

isro

“This month, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)—India’s equivalent of NASA—will begin the mission to launch its indigenous space shuttle, the Press Trust of India reported on May 15.”

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May 13, 2016

NASA Just Funded These 8 Bizarre Projects

Posted by in category: space travel

The agency just threw up to $4 million towards experimental space exploration technologies.

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May 12, 2016

DARPA News Update: To Build the First Space Shuttle Without A Pilot Known as the ‘Experimental Spaceplane’

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

https://youtube.com/watch?v=HMXKXzEz44c

Getting ready to send the robots to Space on an AI Spaceship; perfect for that trip to Mars, Jupiter, etc.


DARPA will soon build and relase their first space shuttle without a pilot.

Continue reading “DARPA News Update: To Build the First Space Shuttle Without A Pilot Known as the ‘Experimental Spaceplane’” »