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Archive for the ‘space travel’ category: Page 7

Oct 16, 2020

China’s moon mission robots wake up for a 23rd lunar day as team snags major award

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

China’s Chang’e 4 moon mission received a prestigious international award just as the two spacecraft that make up the project awoke for their 23rd lunar day.

Oct 16, 2020

Air-breathing rocket engines: the future of space flight

Posted by in category: space travel

UK firm Reaction Engines hopes to revolutionize space access with a new class of propulsion system for reusable vehicles, as Oliver Nailard explains.


Reusable vehicles are vital to make access to space more affordable, but conventional rocket engines have their limits. Oliver Nailard describes how UK firm Reaction Engines hopes to revolutionize space access with a new class of propulsion system, the Synergetic Air Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE)

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Oct 16, 2020

FAA Revamps Space Launch Rules as SpaceX, Blue Origin Expand

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

Commercial rocket ventures including Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin should get a clearer path to space under new regulations that oversee non-government launches.

Oct 16, 2020

The No Manning Required Ship (NOMARS) Program kicks off trade space analysis and conceptual design for long-endurance Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV)

Posted by in categories: health, military, robotics/AI, space travel

Seven performers selected to pursue novel USV concepts and enabling technologies.


DARPA has awarded seven contracts for work on Phase 1 of the NOMARS program, which seeks to simultaneously explore two competing objectives related to unmanned surface vessels (USV) ship design: the maximization of seaframe performance when human constraints are removed; and achieving sufficient vessel maintenance and logistics functionality for long endurance operations with no human crew onboard. NOMARS aims to disrupt conventional naval architecture designs through creative trade space explorations that optimize useable onboard room considering a variety of constraints. This should pave the way for more capable, affordable small warships that can be procured and maintained in large numbers.

Autonomous Surface Vehicles, LLC, Gibbs & Cox Inc., and Serco Inc. received Phase 1 Track A awards, and will work toward developing novel NOMARS demonstrator conceptual designs. These awards will focus on maximizing vessel performance gain across new design criteria, with potential considerations to include: unusual hull forms, low freeboard, minimizing air-filled volumes, innovative materials, repurposing or eliminating “human space” exploring distributed system designs, and developing architectures optimized for depot-maintenance.

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Oct 16, 2020

Eight nations sign NASA-led Artemis Accords to guide moon exploration

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

NASA developed the Artemis Accords to partner with other nations to set basic principles to guide robotic and crewed lunar exploration.


Eight nations have signed on to become founding members of NASA’s Artemis Accords, an international agreement that establishes how countries can cooperate to peacefully and responsibly conduct exploration of the moon.

NASA announced Tuesday that the United States signed the accords, together with Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the agreement would establish a “singular global coalition” to guide future expeditions to the moon.

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Oct 16, 2020

Episode 20 — The Case for a Lunar Science Moon Rush

Posted by in categories: economics, science, space travel

Hugely informative and surprisingly candid new Cosmic Controversy episode on why the Moon is so crucial to our collective space future with Notre Dame Planetary Geologist Clive Neal. Well worth a listen.


Notre Dame Planetary Geologist Clive Neal stops by the podcast for a terrifically candid discussion of why the Moon has to be the first stop en route to Mars. We talk about why the Moon holds the key to the new Space Economy; the prospects for NASA making its 2024 Artemis mission deadline; and, why lunar samples are still being analyzed 50 years hence. Why more lunar samples and lunar seismometers are keys to understanding our inner solar system. And why it’s imperative that we revisit the Moon in a permanent way if we are ever to make Mars our own. We also mull over the politics of all of this three weeks away from a pivotal presidential election.

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Oct 15, 2020

SpaceX’s Starship wins $53M from NASA for full-scale orbital refueling test

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

SpaceX’s Starship program has won $53 million from NASA to perform a full-scale test of orbital propellant transfer, taking the company and space agency’s relationship on the crucial technology to the next level.

NASA revealed the results of its fifth round of “Tipping Point” solicitations on October 14th, announcing awards of more than $370 million total to 14 separate companies. This year’s investments focused on three main categories: “cryogenic fluid management, lunar surface [operations], and closed-loop [i.e. autonomous] descent and landing capability demonstrations.”

In a fairly predictable outcome, the bulk (~$176 million) went to Lockheed Martin and the United Launch Alliance (ULA), while the other half (~$189 million) was split among the twelve remaining companies. In an upset, however, SpaceX was awarded a substantial contract for a crucial aspect of Starship development.

Oct 15, 2020

The Latest Soyuz Launch Just Delivered The ISS Crew in 3 Hours! It Used to Take Days

Posted by in category: space travel

A three-person crew successfully reached the International Space Station on Wednesday aboard a Russian rocket after the fastest ever journey from Earth of just over three hours.

The mission of the Soyuz space craft carrying two Russian cosmonauts and one NASA astronaut was of immense importance to Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, coming as the SpaceX programme relaunches crewed spaceflight from the United States and ignites fresh talk of a space race between the two countries.

Roscosmos said “a new record for flights to the International Space Station was set – the total time from launch to docking of the Soyuz MS-17 was three hours and three minutes.”

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Oct 15, 2020

SpaceX Starship: Elon Musk responds to impressive render of future launch

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has weighed in on a new fan render that shows the upcoming Starship “SN8” taking off.

Oct 15, 2020

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to Speak Virtually at 2020 Mars Society Convention

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

There’s no better way to kick-off Day 1 of the 2020 International Mars Society Convention than with a big announcement: SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk will be joining us virtually tomorrow (Friday, October 16th) at 3:00 pm PDT (6:00 pm EDT) [PLEASE NOTE NEW TIME] to provide our global audience with a special update about SpaceX and its plans for the Moon and Mars.

As a world leader in advocating for humanity to become a multi-planetary species, Mr. Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) in 2002 with the goal of creating affordable (reusable) launch vehicles and spacecraft to help open up exploration and settlement of the solar system, including the planet Mars.

To date, SpaceX achievements include the first privately funded liquid propellant rocket to reach orbit (Falcon 1, 2008), the first private company to launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft (Dragon, 2010), the first private company to send a spacecraft to the ISS (Dragon, 2012), the first vertical take-off and vertical propulsive landing of an orbital rocket (Falcon 9, 2015) and the first private company to send astronauts to orbit and to the ISS (Crew Dragon Demo-2 Mission, 2020).

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