Archive for the ‘space travel’ category

Nov 13, 2020

Why making a real warp drive is possible

Posted by in categories: physics, space travel

Recent advances indicate that the idea could work.

Nov 12, 2020

SpaceX’s Starship SN8 roars to life ahead of debut launch

Posted by in category: space travel

Featured Image Source: @austinbarnard45 via Twitter SpaceX’s Starship SN8 (Serial Number 8) prototype roared to life last night during a Raptor engine static-fire test. This test is a routine pre-flight preparation meant to assess the three Raptor engines and all systems related to the propulsion system before a launch vehicle takes flight. SN8 is expected to become the first fully-assembled Starship prototype to perform a test flight. Engineers plan to launch Starship SN8 50,000 feet (15-kilometers) into Boca Chica Beach, Texas, sunny sky. Tuesday’s static-fire test was the second one performed. Raptor engines are fueled by a combination of cryogenic methane and liquid oxygen. During the test, engineers fuel the vehicke to briefly ignite the Raptors as the stainless-steel Starship SN8 vehicle remained grounded to a test stand at the South Texas Launch Facility. Last night’s engine ignition was different than the previous one; This time, SN8 featured a top nose cone section with an oxygen header tank. The vehicle’s first static-firing only featured the bottom base and excluded a test of the header propellant tanks. On October 20, teams performed the first static-firing in which the Starship SN8’s three Raptor engines where briefly ignited for the first time, utilizing fuel from the main propellant tank. Starship features two propellant tanks — a main one that holds most of the propellant and a ‘header tank’ that is a smaller tank that holds fuel reserves that can fuel the vehicle upon landing. A header tank for liquid oxygen is also located inside the vehicle’s top nose cone section.

Nov 11, 2020

Japanese astronaut hopes upcoming mission will pave way for ‘new future’

Posted by in category: space travel

Admitting he was both nervous and excited about the upcoming launch aboard the Crew Dragon capsule on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the 55-year-old said, “There are risks and a fear of failure when challenging oneself but I believe the benefits far outweigh that fear.”

Noguchi will be among four astronauts, including crew commander Michael Hopkins, aboard the Crew Dragon capsule to be launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday.

He juxtaposed the mission to the Japanese hit manga and anime series “Demon Slayer,” in which astronauts use and maximize their “individual strengths” toward a “common goal.” The series follows the story of a boy who, along with his comrades, fights human-eating demons after his family is killed by them.

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Nov 11, 2020

The Thermal Nuclear Engine That Could Get Us to Mars in Just 3 Months

Posted by in categories: chemistry, space travel

It’s twice as efficient as a chemical rocket.

Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) has designed a new thermal nuclear engine it says could carry astronauts to Mars in just three months—and back to Earth in the same amount of time. By using ceramic microcapsules of high assay low enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel, USNC’s thermal nuclear engine could cut the trip in half even from optimistic estimates.

🌌You like our badass universe. So do we. Let’s explore it together.

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Nov 11, 2020

NASA certifies SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft ahead of Crew-1 launch

Posted by in category: space travel

WASHINGTON — NASA formally certified SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft for transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station, clearing the way for a Nov. 14 launch.

Agency officials completed the certification of the spacecraft by signing a document known as a Human Rating Certification Plan during a flight readiness review for the Crew-1 mission Nov. 10. That confirmed that SpaceX met all of NASA’s requirements for safely carrying astronauts on the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

“It’s just a tremendous day that is a culmination of a ton of work,” said Kathy Lueders, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, at a Nov. 10 briefing about the flight readiness review. Lueders managed the commercial crew program at NASA for several years before being promoted to her current position in June. “It’s NASA saying to SpaceX you have shown us you can deliver a crew transportation capability that meets our requirements.”

Nov 9, 2020

Electric microwave plasma thruster could rival traditional jet engines

Posted by in categories: solar power, space travel

A Chinese team has demonstrated a prototype of a microwave plasma thruster capable of working in the Earth’s atmosphere and producing thrust with an efficiency comparable to the jet engines you’d find on modern airliners – under laboratory conditions.

Plasma thrusters are already operational on spacecraft as a means of solar-electric locomotion, using xenon plasma, but such things are no use in the Earth’s atmosphere, as accelerated xenon ions lose most of their thrust force to friction against the air. Not to mention, they only make a small amount of thrust in the first place.

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Nov 9, 2020

The future of space colonization – terraforming or space habitats?

Posted by in categories: biological, Elon Musk, engineering, environmental, habitats, space travel

The idea of terraforming Mars is a fascinating idea. … But just how long would such an endeavor take, what would it cost us, and is it really an effective use of our time and energy?

Ultimately, Yakovlev thinks that space biospheres could also be accomplished within a reasonable timeframe – i.e. between 2030 and 2050 – which is simply not possible with terraforming. Citing the growing presence and power of the commercial space sector, Yakovlev also believed a lot of the infrastructure that is necessary is already in place (or under development).

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Nov 9, 2020

UK firm to turn moon rock into oxygen and building materials

Posted by in categories: materials, space travel

“Anything you take from Earth to the moon is an added weight that you don’t want to carry, so if you can make these materials in situ it saves you a lot of time, effort and money,” said Ian Mellor, the managing director of Metalysis, which is based in Sheffield.

Analyses of rocks brought back from the moon reveal that oxygen makes up about 45% of the material by weight. The remainder is largely iron, aluminium and silicon. In work published this year, scientists at Metalysis and the University of Glasgow found they could extract 96% of the oxygen from simulated lunar soil, leaving useful metal alloy powders behind.

NASA and other space agencies are in advanced preparations to return to the moon, this time to establish a permanent lunar base, or “moon village” where nations will operate alongside private companies on critical technologies such as life support, habitat construction, energy generation and food and materials production.

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Nov 9, 2020

Astronauts arrive at launch site for 2nd SpaceX crew flight

Posted by in category: space travel

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Four astronauts arrived at Kennedy Space Center on Sunday for SpaceX’s second crew launch, coming up next weekend.

For NASA, it marks the long-awaited start of regular crew rotations at the International Space Station, with private companies providing the lifts. There will be double the number of astronauts as the test flight earlier this year, and their mission will last a full six months.

“Make no mistake: Every flight is a test flight when it comes to space travel. But it’s also true that we need to routinely be able to go to the International Space Station,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in welcoming the astronauts to Kennedy.

Nov 9, 2020

NASA: Crew Arrival Media Event at Kennedy with the following participants:

Posted by in category: space travel

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
Kennedy Center Director Bob Cabana
Junichi Sakai, manager, International Space Station Program, JAXA
NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins, spacecraft commander
NASA astronaut Victor Glover, pilot
NASA astronaut Shannon Walker, mission specialist
JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, mission specialist
Credit : NASA

This video has been used with NASA permission here :

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