Archive for the ‘space travel’ category: Page 238

Jul 24, 2020

U.S. Eyes Building Nuclear Power Plants on Mars, the Moon

Posted by in categories: government, nuclear energy, space travel

“Small nuclear reactors can provide the power capability necessary for space exploration missions of interest to the Federal government,” the Energy Department wrote in the notice published Friday.

The Energy Department, NASA and Battelle Energy Alliance, the U.S. contractor that manages the Idaho National Laboratory, plan to hold a government-industry webcast technical meeting in August concerning expectations for the program.

The plan has two phases. The first is developing a reactor design. The second is building a test reactor, a second reactor be sent to the moon, and developing a flight system and lander that can transport the reactor to the moon. The goal is to have a reactor, flight system and lander ready to go by the end of 2026.

Jul 24, 2020

NASA’s ‘Robot Hotel’ Gets Its Occupants

Posted by in categories: habitats, robotics/AI, space travel

Storage is just as important aboard the International Space Station as it is on Earth. While the space station is about the size of a football field, the living space inside is much smaller than that. Just as you wouldn’t store garden tools in a house when you could store them in a shed outside, astronauts now have a “housing unit” in which they can store tools for use on the exterior of the space station.

On Dec. 5, 2019, a protective storage unit for robotic tools called Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS) was among the items launched to station as part of SpaceX’s 19th commercial resupply services mission for NASA. As part of a spacewalk on July 21, NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Chris Cassidy installed the “robot hotel” where the tools are stored to the station’s Mobile Base System (MBS), where it will remain a permanent fixture. The MBS is a moveable platform that provides power to the external robots. This special location allows RiTS to traverse around the station alongside a robot that will use the tools it stores.

exterior view of portion of ISS, with blue-hued Earth in background

Jul 24, 2020

SpaceX May Fly A First Full-Size Prototype Of Its Mars Starship Rocket ‘Later This Week’ Says Musk

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

Elon Musk has said that SpaceX’s latest Starship prototype may fly for the first time this week, as the company continues its efforts to get the ambitious spacecraft up and running ahead of planned flights to the Moon and Mars.

Starship is SpaceX’s proposed spacecraft to transport up to 100 humans at a time – or maybe more – to the Red Planet. The company has been rapidly building prototypes of the giant steel rocket at a test site in Boca Chica, Texas, with the goal of eventually finding a design that works.

Continue reading “SpaceX May Fly A First Full-Size Prototype Of Its Mars Starship Rocket ‘Later This Week’ Says Musk” »

Jul 23, 2020

Elon Musk’s SpaceX in Talks to Raise Funds at $44 Billion Valuation

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

Billionaire Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is in talks to raise new capital at a valuation of about $44 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Jul 23, 2020

NASA, SpaceX Invite Media to First Operational Commercial Crew Launch

Posted by in category: space travel

Media accreditation now is open for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station – the first operational flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket after certification by NASA for regular flights to the space station.

The launch is targeted for no earlier than late-September, following a successful return from the space station and evaluation of NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley.

Crew Dragon commander Michael Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, and mission specialist Shannon Walker – all of NASA – along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission specialist Soichi Noguchi will launch on the Crew-1 mission from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Jul 22, 2020

Watch SpaceX ships finally catch a whole Falcon 9 rocket nose cone

Posted by in category: space travel

SpaceX triumphed with its first full fairing catch in a pair of giant nets at sea.

Jul 21, 2020

Temporal aiming with temporal metamaterials

Posted by in categories: mathematics, physics, space travel

Tailoring and manipulating electromagnetic wave propagation has been of great interest within the scientific community for many decades. In this context, wave propagation has been engineered by properly introducing spatial inhomogeneities along the path where the wave is traveling. Antennas and communications systems in general have greatly benefited from this wave-matter control. For instance, if one needs to re-direct the radiated field (information) from an antenna (transmitter) to a desired direction and reach a receiving antenna placed at a different location, one can simply place the former in a translation stage and mechanically steer the propagation of the emitted electromagnetic wave.

Such beam steering techniques have greatly contributed to the spatial aiming of targets in applications such as radars and point-to-point communication systems. Beam steering can also be achieved using metamaterials and metasurfaces by means of spatially controlling the effective electromagnetic parameters of a designed meta-lens antenna system and/or using reconfigurable meta-surfaces. The next question to ask: Could we push the limits of current beam steering applications by controlling electromagnetic properties of media not only in space but also in time (i.e., 4D metamaterials x, y,z, t)? In order words, would it be possible to achieve temporal aiming of electromagnetic waves?

In a new paper published in Light Science & Applications, Victor Pacheco-Peña from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics of Newcastle University in UK and Nader Engheta from and Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering of the University of Pennsylvania, USA have answered this question by proposing the idea of temporal metamaterials that change from an isotropic to an anisotropic permittivity tensor. In this concept, the authors consider a rapid change of the permittivity of the whole medium where the wave is traveling and demonstrated both numerically and analytically the effects of such a temporal boundary caused by the rapid temporal change of permittivity. In so doing, forward and backward waves are produced with wave vector k preserved through the whole process while frequency is changed, depending on the values of the permittivity tensor before and after the temporal change of permittivity.

Jul 21, 2020

Tesla and SpaceX are partnering up to create new materials to use on Earth and in space

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, Elon Musk, space travel, sustainability

Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla plans to use a different alloy for the upcoming Cybertruck electric pickup.

When Tesla unveiled the Cybertruck last year, one of the most interesting features was the fact the vehicle isn’t going to be built using a traditional automotive body system but with an exoskeleton.

The automaker wrote about the exoskeleton:

Jul 20, 2020

Fastest spinning object in the world hits 300 billion rpm

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, space travel

Circa 2018

Back in July 2018, researchers at Purdue University created the world’s fastest-spinning object, which whipped around at 60 billion rpm – and now that seems like the teacup ride at Disneyland. The same team has now broken its own record using the same technique, creating a new nano-scale rotor that spins five times faster.

Like the earlier version, the whirling object in question is a dumbbell-shaped silica nanoparticle suspended in a vacuum. When it’s set spinning, this new model hit the blistering speed of over 300 billion rpm. For comparison, dentist drills are known to get up to about 500,000 rpm, while the fastest pulsar – which is the speediest-spinning known natural object – turns at a leisurely 43,000 rpm.

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Jul 19, 2020

Watch the United Arab Emirates launch its first mission to Mars

Posted by in category: space travel

The United Arab Emirates is counting down to the launch of its first interplanetary space mission today — one that will send a spacecraft called “Hope” to orbit Mars. The Emirates Mars Mission will aim to provide a global snapshot of the weather on the Red Planet. It will also be a source of pride for the UAE as the country celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding in December of 2021.

To ensure that Hope is actually at Mars by the anniversary, the UAE must launch this summer. Planetary scientists have a very small window every two years to send spacecraft to Mars, when the Red Planet and Earth closely align on their orbits. If Hope launches in July, the spacecraft will spend the next seven months traveling to Mars, arriving sometime in February — leaving it plenty of time in orbit before the anniversary.