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Archive for the ‘space travel’ category: Page 8

Jul 31, 2019

How to Build a Warp Drive Using Metamaterials

Posted by in category: space travel

A “warp drive” built using metamaterials could reach a quarter of light speed.

Jul 31, 2019

The wild physics of Elon Musk’s methane-guzzling super-rocket

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, physics, space travel

The reusability is a key aspect, as Musk has said each engine needs to be capable of flying up to 1,000 times to support the ambitious operations of Starship. That’s a major challenge; the most re-used engines in space exploration history were the main engines on each Space Shuttle, which flew up to only a few dozen times each. “It’s quite ambitious,” says Dodd. “I don’t know if 1,000 flights is necessarily going to be achievable in the near future. If it lives up to its potential, maybe 1,000 is within the realm of possibility one day.”

SpaceX’s existing engine is called Merlin, which is used on its operational Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, but Raptor heralds a significant improvement. One is that it has double the thrust of its predecessor thanks to a much higher pressure, 380,000 pounds of thrust at sea level versus 190,000 pounds, despite being a similar size.

Jul 31, 2019

SpaceX to mature Starship Moon landing and orbital refueling tech with NASA’s help

Posted by in categories: food, space travel

NASA has announced 19 technology partnerships between the agency’s many spaceflight centers and 13 companies, including SpaceX, Blue Origin, and more. This round of Space Act Agreements (SAAs) shows a heavy focus on technologies and concepts that could benefit exploration of the Moon and deep space more generally, including lunar landers, food production, reusable rockets, and more.

Put simply, all 19 awards are great and will hopefully result in tangible products and benefits, but SpaceX has a track record of achievement on the cutting edge of aerospace that simply has not been touched over the last decade. As such, the company’s two SAAs are some of the most interesting and telling, both ultimately focused on enabling Starship launches to and landings on the Moon and any number of other destinations in the solar system. Perhaps most importantly, it signals a small but growing sect within NASA that is willing and eager to acknowledge Starship’s existence and actively work with SpaceX to both bring it to life and further spaceflight technology in general.

One agreement focuses specifically on “vertically land[ing] large rockets on the Moon”, while the other more generally seeks to “advance technology needed to transfer propellant in orbit”, a feature that Starship’s utility would be crippled without. In this particular round of SAAs, they will be “non-reimbursable” – bureaucratic-speak for a collaboration where both sides pay their own way and no money is exchanged. SpaceX’s wins ultimately show that, although NASA proper all but refuses to acknowledge Starship, the many internal centers it is nothing without are increasingly happy to extend olive branches towards the company and its ambitious next-generation rocket.

Jul 30, 2019

NASA Selects Dozen U.S. Companies For Moon To Mars Partnerships

Posted by in categories: materials, space travel

NASA selects key commercial partnerships to further its new Moon to Mars strategy.


Today, NASA announced it has selected 12 U.S. commercial companies for 19 partnerships in its crewed Moon to Mars efforts, which kicks off with a planned 2024 Artemis program crewed return to the lunar surface.

The selections entail six key areas for future development as well as a category for other exploration technologies. They are: advanced communications, navigation and avionics; entry, descent and landing; in-space manufacturing and assembly; advanced materials; power; and propulsion.

Continue reading “NASA Selects Dozen U.S. Companies For Moon To Mars Partnerships” »

Jul 30, 2019

NASA to help SpaceX, Blue Origin, and more develop technologies for Moon and Mars travel

Posted by in category: space travel

As NASA forges ahead to the Moon — and eventually to Mars — the agency is hoping to get some help from the commercial space industry. Today, NASA announced new partnerships with various aerospace organizations, aimed at advancing technologies related to landing on other planets, navigating the lunar surface, transferring propellant in space, and more — all of which could be critical for future missions.

Ten companies now hold a total of 19 partnerships with NASA through the agency’s Announcement of Collaborative Opportunity initiative, or ACO. In October, NASA put out a call for proposals from the industry, asking them to detail different technologies they’d like to develop through the program. Now, the companies that have been selected will be given expertise and resources from various NASA centers to help mature these space technologies — at no cost to the companies themselves.

Jul 30, 2019

Sun’s Puzzling Plasma Recreated in a Laboratory

Posted by in category: space travel

The sun’s magnetic fields trap hot plasmas in their loops, as seen in this ultraviolet image taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft. The solar flare seen on the right caused moderate radio blackouts on Earth.

Jul 30, 2019

Watch SpaceX Rocket Break Sound Barrier Twice and Land in This Amazing Video

Posted by in category: space travel

Maybe you’ve gotten a bit blasé about rocket landings. SpaceX has pulled off more than 40 of them during orbital launches, after all, and Blue Origin has done it 10 times on test flights of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle.

Jul 27, 2019

AI, Robot: Meet Russia’s New F-850 Android

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

Right now, the robot is busy with the pre-launch preparations. August 22, F-850 will be launched to the ISS aboard the Soyuz MS-14 unmanned spacecraft. However, the humanoid robot won’t be staying on board long, after a ten-day mission F-850 is set to leave the station and return to Earth.

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Jul 26, 2019

The X3 Ion Thruster Is Here, This Is How It’ll Get Us to Mars

Posted by in categories: military, space travel

The X3 is made possible thanks to a collaboration among NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne, the Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the University of Michigan.

It’s a new type of propulsion engine that smashed records during test firings. This engine and other electric propulsion systems will help us reach distant planets faster than ever before.

Continue reading “The X3 Ion Thruster Is Here, This Is How It’ll Get Us to Mars” »

Jul 26, 2019

Fly Me to the Moon… International Airport

Posted by in category: space travel

Meet Henk B. Rogers, a successful entrepreneur who lives in Hawaii and wants to build an underground settlement on the Moon. This is his vision.

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