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Jul 31, 2019

Propellantless propulsion system could keep satellites in orbit, reduce space junk

Posted by in category: satellites

Circa 2018

One of the main factors limiting the life of satellites is how much propellant they can carry to execute orbital corrections. Now scientists in Spain have come up with a propellantless propulsion system that also doubles as an electric generator. Using the Earth’s magnetic field interacting with a 2-km long aluminum tether, the system could be used to dispose of space debris and boost the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS).

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

[hep-th/0510126] On Closed String Tachyon Dynamics

Posted by in categories: information science, space

We study the condensation of closed string tachyons as a time-dependent process. In particular, we study tachyons whose wave functions are either space-filling or localized in a compact space, and whose masses are small in string units; our analysis is otherwise general and does not depend on any specific model. Using world-sheet methods, we calculate the equations of motion for the coupled tachyon-dilaton system, and show that the tachyon follows geodesic motion with respect to the Zamolodchikov metric, subject to a force proportional to its beta function and friction proportional to the time derivative of the dilaton.

Jul 31, 2019

Princeton Unveils Plasma-Powered Satellite

Posted by in categories: futurism, satellites

Future satellites could make their way deeper into space than ever before thanks to a new plasma-fueled thruster.

The new thruster, built by engineers at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, could open up a whole new realm of scientific research, according to a Princeton press release. That’s because the thruster could finally give the tiny satellites called CubeSats the ability to move between the upper and lower bounds of orbit — a spectacular leap toward comprehensive orbital infrastructure.

Jul 31, 2019

First Fully Automated Indoor Farm Being Built In Ohio

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI, sustainability

The next time you shop for cherry tomatoes at Whole Foods or another retailer, you may end up buying some grown in an indoor, controlled environment outfitted with the latest robotic technology. Ohio will get the first fully automated indoor farm in the United States. 80 Acres Farms plans to build one in Hamilton, a suburb of Cincinnati, by the end of the year. The farm will have grow centers for greens, such as herbs and kale, and will supply produce to multiple retailers and distributors.

80 Acres Farms plans to construct the fully automated indoor farm in three phases. When it finishes, the farm will be 150,000 square feet of controlled environmental agriculture (CEA). Mike Zelkind, cofounder and chief executive officer of 80 Acres Farms, explains that the company uses “renewable energy, very little water and no pesticides.” The Hamilton farm will produce leafy greens, microgreens, kale and herbs for retailers such as Whole Foods Markets, Jungle Jims, Dorothy Lane Markets, U.S. Foods and others.

Jul 31, 2019

High-power Military Lasers: The Pentagon’s laser weapon plans expand

Posted by in categories: energy, military

Solid state laser :3.

Advances in high-energy solid-state lasers and encouraging results from field trials show expanded capabilities of recent U.S military laser prototypes.

Jeff Hecht

Continue reading “High-power Military Lasers: The Pentagon’s laser weapon plans expand” »

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 31, 2019

Space junk: a recycling station could be cleaning up in Earth orbit by 2050

Posted by in categories: space, sustainability

Jez Turner does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Jul 31, 2019

New video from our 2019 Undoing Aging conference: Mikhail Shchepinov, Chief Science Officer at Retrotope, Inc., on aging and diseases resulting from the gradual accumulation of oxidative damages. ____________

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, science

New video from our 2019 Undoing Aging conference: Mikhail Shchepinov, Chief Science Officer at Retrotope, Inc., on aging and diseases resulting from the gradual accumulation of oxidative damages.