Archive for the ‘space travel’ category: Page 410

Jul 8, 2016

This innovation could change space travel forever

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space travel

While there are several forms of ion propulsion, the version Brophy used on Dawn involves two grids, each about a foot wide and spaced half a millimeter apart. An electrical system powered by a solar array on the spacecraft passes a current through both grids, and the resulting voltage differential between the two is what accelerates the xenon particles as they pass through the grids. Each accelerating particle only provides a tiny amount of thrust — roughly equivalent to the pressure of a piece of paper lying in your hand — but in the airless and frictionless environment of space, a steady stream of that tiny thrust can build up to monumental speeds of about 24,000 miles-per-hour.

What Brophy and his coworkers aimed to do was build a grid and propulsion system that could pull this off, and demonstrate that the setup was durable enough to survive the whole mission. So before both Deep Space 1 and Dawn, they ran versions of the ion system here on Earth continuously for years to demonstrate their lifespan.

Finally, the Dawn mission became possible when Ceres and Vesta reached a once-every-17-years alignment, allowing the mission to visit them both. “That was really a great boon for space exploration to do the two largest asteroids in the asteroid belt with one mission,” Russell explains.

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Jul 6, 2016

No, Humans Will Never Achieve Interstellar Travel

Posted by in category: space travel

Assumption upon assumption upon assumption…

With a side order of totally flawed logic, hold the mayo.

This post originally appeared on Quora: Will humans achieve interstellar travel?

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Jul 4, 2016

SpaceX will use Falcon Heavy for 2018 Mars Mission, then at least two Falcon Heavies in 2020 and then a Mars Colonial Transporter in 2022

Posted by in categories: futurism, space travel

From Next Big Future:

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Jul 4, 2016

Voyagers | Santiago Menghini

Posted by in categories: space, space travel

“Travel along with the Voyager spacecrafts as they traverse the solar system on their planetary expedition spanning over three decades.

A film by — Santiago Menghini”

Jul 1, 2016

Interstellar Comparisons

Posted by in categories: engineering, environmental, space travel

Adam Crowl talking about the energy of the Sun and what we can do with it.

No one thinks big better than Adam Crowl, a Centauri Dreams regular and mainstay of the Icarus Interstellar attempt to reconfigure the Project Daedalus starship design of the 1970’s. If you’re looking for ideas for science fiction stories, you’ll find them in the essay below, where Adam considers the uses to which we might put the abundant energies of the Sun. Starships are a given, but what about terraforming not just one but many Solar System objects? Can we imagine a distant future when our own Moon is awash with seas, and snow is falling on a Venus in the process of transformation? To keep up with Adam, be sure to check his Crowlspace site regularly. It’s where I found an earlier version of this now updated and revised essay.

By Adam Crowl

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Jun 30, 2016

Inside ULA’s Plan to Have 1,000 People Working in Space by 2045

Posted by in categories: economics, space travel

GOLDEN, Colorado — A major American launch provider has outlined a plan that the company says will help enable a space economy based on refueling spacecraft in Earth orbit.

Dubbed the “Cislunar 1,000 Vision,” the initiative foresees a self-sustaining economy that supports 1,000 people living and working in Earth-moon space roughly 30 years from now. The concept stems from an analysis and ongoing technical work by United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing Co. that provides launches aboard Atlas and Delta rockets.

A central element of the plan involves the use of a souped-up Centaur rocket stage called ACES (Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage). This liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen upper stage is designed to be reusable and can be refueled, perhaps by propellant made using water extracted from Earth’s moonor asteroids. [Moon Base Visions: How to Build a Lunar Colony (Photos)].

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Jun 29, 2016

Jeff Bezos provides a sneak peek at Blue Origin’s orbital rocket factory in Florida

Posted by in category: space travel

Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos today put a spotlight on the construction of a giant rocket production facility in Florida for his Blue Origin space venture – but he also gave a shout-out to the engine production team back in Kent, Wash.

In an email to Blue Origin’s fans, Bezos noted that ground has been broken for an orbital vehicle manufacturing site at Exploration Park, just south of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Ground-clearing actually began last month.)

“The 750,000-square-foot rocket factory is custom-built from the ground up to accommodate manufacturing, processing, integration and testing,” Bezos wrote. In comparison, the production facility in Kent where Blue Origin is building rocket engines and its New Shepard suborbital spaceships takes in about 300,000 square feet.

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Jun 27, 2016

New Paper Claims EM Drive Works, Produces Light As Exhaust

Posted by in categories: physics, space travel

A new paper in AIP Advances argues that the controversial EM Drive doesn’t break physics as we know it, as it emits light (photons) as exhaust. However, other experts assert that it’s likely just an artifact.

Want to get people excited about science? Simple. Just post about EM Drive.

For those of you who may be new to the topic, EM Drive is a method of space travel that, if realized, would utterly transform our way of life. We could get to Mars in just 10 weeks (as opposed to the current 6+ month journey), and we could save a massive amount of money on fuel. We could have a truly viable space industry.

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Jun 23, 2016

Interstellar Defense Network Might Avert Real-Life ‘Independence Day’

Posted by in categories: alien life, space travel

The new “Independence Day” is likely to be a popcorn-chomper, but it does provide us with some serious food for thought. We need to take a page from our former secretary of defense’s playbook and start thinking about such ‘known-unknowns.’ Eg., we need to take the development of interstellar propulsion much more seriously for a whole host of reasons.

As debris from an exploded mothership burned through Earth’s atmosphere, many audiences likely left the 1996 film “Independence Day” wondering when the rest of this ugly, stinking group of fictional extraterrestrials would return for a sequel? The answer lies in “Resurgence,” Roland Emmerich’s new blockbuster about locust-like space aliens that appear hellbent on killing off earth-like civilizations.

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Jun 23, 2016

SpaceX discusses progress toward human missions of Dragon/Falcon 9

Posted by in category: space travel

While continuing to impress even themselves with their ability to successfully propulsively land Falcon 9 first stages on land and in the ocean, SpaceX is continuing to progress on its human spaceflight endeavors, with the company’s Dragon spacecraft, Falcon 9, and ground operations development all keeping pace for a second quarter 2017 debut of the human-rated Dragon spacecraft before the first human Dragon launch by the end of 2017.

Humans on Dragons:

As one of two companies to receive funding and contracts for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP), SpaceX has spent years developing its human-rated Dragon spacecraft to help fill a crucial aspect of spaceflight left void by NASA following the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program in July 2011.

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