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Archive for the ‘space travel’ category

Apr 2, 2020

Elon Musk’s SpaceX bans Zoom over privacy concerns

Posted by in categories: education, Elon Musk, encryption, privacy, space travel

NASA, one of SpaceX’s biggest customers, also prohibits its employees from using Zoom, said Stephanie Schierholz, a spokeswoman for the U.S. space agency.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston office on Monday issued a warning about Zoom, telling users not to make meetings on the site public or share links widely after it received two reports of unidentified individuals invading school sessions, a phenomenon known as “zoombombing.”

Investigative news site The Intercept on Tuesday reported that Zoom video is not end-to-end encrypted between meeting participants, and that the company could view sessions.

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Apr 2, 2020

‘Build your own little spaceship’ — Chris Hadfield on isolation

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, space travel

Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield is spending lockdown searching for a better test for COVID-19, rewiring his stove, and talking to Euronews about what isolation means — and how to deal with it.

Apr 2, 2020

More than 12,000 apply to become an astronaut for NASA’s ‘Artemis Generation’

Posted by in category: space travel

The results are in and, no surprise, a lot of people want to be a NASA astronaut.

More than 12,000 people have applied to join what NASA is calling the “Artemis Generation,” a new class of astronauts to help the agency return humans to the moon and reach outward to Mars. It’s the second highest number of applications the agency’s astronaut corps has ever received, NASA officials said.

Mar 31, 2020

Two more astronauts join SpaceX’s first crewed mission to the ISS

Posted by in category: space travel

Two more astronauts have been assigned to the first operational crewed flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS). NASA astronaut Shannon Walker and Noguchi Soichi, of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), will join NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover Jr., who were assigned to the mission in 2018. If all goes according to plan, this will be the first in a series of regular Crew Dragon flights to the ISS, NASA said in a press release.

Mar 31, 2020

Here’s SpaceX’s plan to help NASA build a moon Gateway and explore space

Posted by in category: space travel

The company is developing an all-new capsule.

Mar 31, 2020

ESA Prepares To Nudge BepiColombo Towards Mercury

Posted by in category: space travel

European Space Agency (ESA) flight engineers are going to social distance at work in order to fine-tune the BepiColombo spacecraft’s trajectory to the planet Mercury.

Mar 30, 2020

Why a business case for Mars settlement is not required

Posted by in categories: business, economics, Elon Musk, government, space travel

Some people have claimed that a “business case” for profitable interplanetary trade with a Mars settlement, or at least the identification a saleable product for trade, is required before such a settlement can be established or supported by business or government. But there is no reasonable prospect for trade in any significant mass of physical material from a Mars settlement back to Earth in the near future due to the high transport costs. In his recent article in the National Review, “Elon Musk’s Plan to Settle Mars,” Robert Zubrin makes exactly the same point: a business case based on physical trade is not necessary and makes little sense. Later trade and commerce via non-physical goods such as software is probable once a settlement is fully operational. More significant and interesting economic situations will occur on Mars.

A good model for the expenditures needed to found colonies is the Greek and Phoenician expansion all across the Mediterranean and Black Sea areas in the period early in Greek history (before about 600 BC), leading to the founding of one of the greatest trading cities in history, Carthage. The cities who founded each colony did not expect immediate profit, but wanted good places for an expanding population and knew that, once the new cities were established, trade would also become established. Most of the cost was probably in building more ships. When European colonies were first established in the New World by Spain and Portugal, the emphasis was initially on a search for treasure, not production of products. English and Dutch colonies later led the way to commerce across the Atlantic, with tobacco, sugar, and cotton suddenly becoming a major part of world trade.

A look at some of the steps required to create a Mars settlement will help us understand at least a little about Mars settlement economics. For a Mars settlement, motivation and economics are interwoven. It is possible for at least a partial business case to be made for the transport of settlers and the materials they will need to initiate some phase of Mars settlement. This includes the current effort to create a large number of reliable, low cost, and reusable super-heavy boosters and spacecraft, able to take payloads of 100 tons or more of cargo and passengers to Mars and land them at the right location. Part of this development and construction cost will be defrayed by commercial and government uses of the same vehicles, such as placing very heavy payloads in LEO and taking equipment and passengers to and around the Moon.

Mar 28, 2020

SpaceX going to the Moon with NASA

Posted by in categories: astronomy, complex systems, disruptive technology, Elon Musk, satellites, space, space travel
Orion and Dragon XL near the Lunar Gateway Credit: NASA

By Bill D’Zio, Originally posted on www.westeastspace.com March 28, 2020

NASA may have sidelined the Lunar Gateway for a return mission to the Moon, but it is not stopping the momentum. NASA has awarded several contracts for the Lunar Gateway including the most recent one to SpaceX. This demonstrates the growing capabilities of New Space companies to capture contracts and complete missions.

This contract award is another critical piece of our plan to return to the Moon sustainably. The Gateway is the cornerstone of the long-term Artemis architecture and this deep space commercial cargo capability integrates yet another American industry partner into our plans for human exploration at the Moon in preparation for a future mission to Mars.NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a press release statement about the award to SpaceX.

NASA Awarded SpaceX the first Artemis Gateway Logistics Services (GLS) contract. The award for resupply services to the Gateway will require delivery of goods to a Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO). Not sure what a NRHO orbit is? A NRHO is a highly elliptical orbit that takes about 7 days for each orbit. Want some more details, just click here: Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO). There are a few options for NRHO orbits, but NASA is leaning towards the L2 9:2 lunar synodic resonant southerly Near-Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) which would be the likely location of the lunar Gateway. A simplification of the orbit is shown below.

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Mar 28, 2020

Getting Astronauts To Mars Easier Than Magellan’s Journey Across Pacific, Says Historian

Posted by in category: space travel

During this extremely rare epoch of non-travel, it’s worth looking back at Magellan and the Age of Discovery. Exploration and freedom of movement have always come with a price.

Mar 27, 2020

SpaceX stacks third Starship prototype ahead of testing (photos)

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

The latest test version of the Mars-colonizing Starship spacecraft, called the SN3, has been stacked at SpaceX’s South Texas facilities, new photos tweeted out by company founder and CEO Elon Musk show.

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