Archive for the ‘space travel’ category: Page 6

Feb 16, 2023

Ion Thrusters Are the Future. How Far Away Are They?

Posted by in categories: cryptocurrencies, space travel

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Feb 16, 2023

Fission rocket concept could reach Solar Gravitation Lens in 15 years

Posted by in categories: chemistry, space travel

The concept could one day capture incredibly detailed images of distant alien worlds.

NASA is betting on nuclear propulsion technologies. The space agency’s Institute of Advanced Concepts (NIAC) awarded a grant to a company called Positron Dynamics for the development of a novel type of nuclear fission fragment rocket engine (FFRE).

The lightweight nuclear fission engine concept could outperform traditional chemical rocket engines while also allowing for long-lasting, deep space missions.

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Feb 16, 2023

NASA Turns to AI to Design Mission Hardware

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

Research Engineer Ryan McClelland pioneered the design of one-off spacecraft and mission elements for NASA using commercially available AI software.

Feb 15, 2023

NASA one step closer to redefining what we think of as food

Posted by in category: space travel

We don’t mean new alternatives to Cheetos, Funyuns, or some other processed snack. We’re talking about developing truly revolutionary, nutritional, and tasty foods that require minimal resources and minimal space, and still fulfill the dietary needs of space travelers or Earth-bound people suffering from famine or nutritional deficiencies.

NASA has announced 11 finalists in Phase 2 of the Deep Space Food Challenge, a competition to find unique ways to feed astronauts on extended space missions, such as voyages to Mars and beyond. The Challenge, which is co-sponsored by Methuselah Foundation, invited innovators to design, build, and test new ways to sustain astronauts during months-or years-long space missions.

“As we prepare for long-duration human spaceflight, food is essential not only for nutrition, but also familiarity and comfort on long voyages and in isolated environments,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in an agency statement. “The creativity of innovators is allowing us to tackle this important yet complex challenge in new and interesting ways.”

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Feb 15, 2023

Blue Origin claims its new method unlocks ‘unlimited solar power’

Posted by in categories: law, solar power, space travel, sustainability

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ space firm, Blue Origin, announced it has developed a method for producing solar cells and transmission wire using only lunar regolith.

Blue Origin famously filed a legal complaint against NASA after it snubbed its lunar lander design in favor of awarding SpaceX a contract for a modified Starship lander.

Feb 15, 2023

SpaceX drops plans to convert oil rigs into launch platforms

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

WASHINGTON — SpaceX has abandoned efforts to convert two oil rigs into launch platforms for its Starship vehicle, but the company still believes that offshore launch platforms will be part of its long-term plans.

In 2020, SpaceX acquired two oil rigs, which it subsequently named Phobos and Deimos after the two moons of Mars. The company planned to convert the rigs into offshore launch platforms that would be used for its Starship vehicles.

“SpaceX is building floating, superheavy-class spaceports for Mars, moon & hypersonic travel around Earth,” tweeted SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk in June 2020, shortly after job postings for “offshore operations engineers” were posted on SpaceX’s website.

Feb 14, 2023

Blue Origin made solar cells

Posted by in categories: chemistry, solar power, space travel, sustainability

Whether or not Blue Origin puts a lander on the Moon, it might play a key role in sustaining lunar operations. Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight company has revealed that it can produce solar cells and transmission wire using simulated Moon regolith. The firm’s Blue Alchemist technique uses molten electrolysis to separate the lunar soil’s aluminum, iron and silicon from bound oxygen to extract key materials. The process can build solar cells, cover glass and aluminum wire using only sunlight and the reactor’s silicon.

This approach would not only save explorers the trouble of importing material, but would be kinder to both the Moon and Earth. There are no carbon-based emissions, no chemicals and no need for water. The resulting solar cells can operate on the Moon for over a decade despite a “harsh” environment, Blue Origin claims.

As Ars Technica explains, Blue Origin is pitching this as a solution for NASA’s Artemis program and missions to Mars. The space agency could establish bases or other long-term installations while minimizing the environmental impact. While the concept of using regolith to build outposts isn’t new, earlier efforts have largely focused on habitats rather than the power supplying those off-world facilities.

Feb 13, 2023

Why all of Hollywood UI looks the same

Posted by in categories: entertainment, holograms, robotics/AI, space travel, wearables

Science fiction films love to show off huge leaps in technology. The latest Avatar movie features autonomous, spider-like robots that can build a whole city within weeks. There are space ships that can carry frozen passengers lightyears away from Earth. In James Cameron’s imagination, we can download our memories and then upload them into newly baked bodies. All this wildly advanced tech is controlled through touch-activated, transparent, monochrome and often blue holograms. Just like a thousand other futuristic interfaces in Hollywood.

When we are shown a glimpse of the far future through science fiction films, there are omnipresent voice assistants, otherworldly wearables, and a whole lot of holograms. For whatever reason these holograms are almost always blue, floating above desks and visible to anyone who might stroll by. This formula for futuristic UI has always baffled me, because as cool as it looks, it doesn’t seem super practical. And yet, Hollywood seems to have an obsession with imagining future worlds washed in blue light.

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Feb 11, 2023

Rolls-Royce Nuclear Engine Could Power Quick Trips to the Moon and Mars

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, space travel

The company’s prototype is a smaller version of the nuclear reactor it’s hoping to send to the Moon by 2029.

Feb 11, 2023

2010: Odyssey Two — The Forgotten Sequel

Posted by in category: space travel

My God it’s full of stars.

2010: Odyssey Two — The Year We Make Contact. (Contains Spoilers)
The Forgotten Sequel.

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