NASA is funding a steam-powered spacecraft.
“God created the heavens and the earth,” he says.
Things are getting pretty dicey in outer space.
French scientist working on the Hall thrusters — an advanced type of engine that harnesses a stream of plasma to generate forward momentum — have recently figured out a way to optimize them, allowing them to run on (wait for it) a staggering 100 million times less fuel than conventional chemical rockets. The research has been published in Applied Physics Letters.
It’s a glorious reminder, but a sad day as well. It’s been 42 years since humans have been on the moon… or anywhere else beyond low orbit for that matter. Apollo 17 was the final mission of the United States’ Apollo lunar landing program, and was the sixth and last landing of humans on the Moon. It left the Moon
In light of recent NASA budget cuts, a lot of politicians, citizens and, frankly mostly non-science folks, reflect that money should be funneled to other more, immediate goals: education, health, fighting unemployment etc. The rhetoric goes by the familiar terms that there isn’t any reason for man to venture outside the planet, until he at least settles his affairs in
There are millions of asteroids currently residing in our Solar System, of which some 500 thousand orbit in the inner solar system, where our planet also lies. Space agencies in the world have only mapped so far a mere 1% of these. Clearly, an asteroid impact with Earth poses a serious and realistic threat to humanity, and based on this
This Monday, China took a historic step forward after the nation’s manned spacecraft Shenzhou-9 successfully docked the Tiangong 1 space station test platform. This marks the first time a Chinese mission crew docks with a space platform. Also, another unprecedented event occurred – the first ever female Chinese astronaut to travel in space. The Shenzhou-9 capsule was launched Saturday from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
It doesn’t only happen in the movies: the launch of the SpaceX Falcon rocket, destined to hit the International Space Station and the history books was delayed, when there was less than a second to go. Like any dramatic James Bond movie, the clock showed 3 seconds, then 2 seconds, then 1 and then… Cancel everything! However, instead of saving
NASA is equivalent to innovation and cutting edge technology, and this was made possible by the creative flow of whole generations of brilliant scientists. The same philosophy is in place today, as well, and even though the agency has been faced with drastic budget cuts in the past few years, it has kept an open mind and still hasn’t abandoned
There are numerous challenges that come with outer Earth colonization of distant planets like Mars, or our neighboring moon, and one of the major issues scientists have addressed is reproduction. Part of a recently published study, scientists have tracked the development of worm cultures in space in an experiment designed to study how micro-gravity and radiation has affected them. Back in 2006, researchers blasted
On November 26, after countless delays, budget overruns and buckets of sweat, humankind’s most capable machine of landing on and traveling through the red planet will finally touch base and launch towards its ambitious destination. The Curiosity rover‘s lift off is currently scheduled for 10:02 a.m. EST, this Saturday. Also known as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the Curiosity rover will
This year, mankind celebrated 50 years of space exploration since Yuri Gagarin‘s pioneering flight around Earth’s orbit, however the American Museum of Natural History is more concerned to set its eyes towards future, once with the opening of its new “Beyond Planet Earth” exhibit, which features tomorrow’s space age wonders, as well as relics from the old space programs. Colonies on
If the Americans and NASA are having some issues regarding their space program at the moment, the Russians are doing just fine; recently an unmanned Russian Progress cargo ship loaded with 2.9 tons of supplies and equipment traveled and docked the International Space Station without any notable incidents or accidents. “Capture. We have indicator mode,” cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, noted, while
Trekkies might rejoice at the news that NASA has recently decided to fund a research group employed to study how tractor beam technology might become applicable in space exploration missions. The agency has awarded a $100,000 initial grant to a team of reserachers who will study three experimental techniques involving capturing small-particle samples with lasers. “Though a mainstay in science
Yesterday NASA tested a 18,000 pound mock-up of the ambitious Orion spacecraft in a water basin, to simulate how it would handle a Pacific Ocean landing in moderate sea conditions. The spacecraft is slated for space exploration programs and is capable of carrying four astronauts for as much as 21 days. The scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center used a
It sounds like something pinned off a SciFi novel, but it seems like new developments in space exploration technology might make an Earth to Mars journey last as less as 39 days. The distance between Mars and Earth varies because of the different Sun revolution periods (365.25 days for Earth, and 686 days for Mars), such that at its closest,
Private company SpaceX has successfully delivered its first payload into orbit. It was the second successful launch for the company, which aims to reduce the cost of reaching orbit by a factor of ten. The launch took place Monday from Omelek in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii. The two-stage Falcon 1 rocket carried RazakSAT,
Mike Massimino hit the news in May as the first to “Tweet” in space. He began “tweeting” under the name “Astro Mike” while training for the STS-125 mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Soon nearly 250,000 people were following his Twitter feed. The reality is that Massimino probably wasn’t really “tweeting” at all, at least directly. Astronauts do not
Stormy weather conditions may delay the launch of space shuttle Endeavour, currently scheduled for liftoff on Saturday, July 11. This comes on the heels of two delays last month caused by a hydrogen gas leak. A similar problem delayed the launch of space shuttle Discovery in March. The 16-day mission will feature a number of spacewalks intended to complete construction