Archive for the ‘space travel’ category: Page 255

Feb 21, 2020

This Company Built a Gigantic Centrifuge to Fling Rockets Into Space

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

In some biology classes, teachers will place vials of spit into a funny looking contraption and let it spin around the samples until the stringy DNA separates from the rest of the saliva. It’s a pretty rudimentary experiment, but it quickly gets to the heart of not only your own genetic material, but also how centrifugal force works: Spinning really fast in a circle creates a force strong enough to push a moving object out and away from the center of its path.

But what happens when that moving object is a rocket that weighs thousands of pounds? We might find out as soon as this year, when a cryptic startup called SpinLaunch starts suborbital test flights of a rocket that is launched using an enormous centrifuge.

Here’s the gist: A centrifuge the size of a football field will spin a rocket around in circles for about an hour until its speed eventually exceeds 5,000 miles per hour. At that point, the rocket and its payload will feel forces 10,000 times stronger than gravity. When the centrifuge finally releases the rocket at launch speed, it should, practically speaking, fly through the stratosphere until it fires its engines at the periphery of our atmosphere.

Feb 21, 2020

Rocket Report: Astra nearing first launch, Starship may soon roll to pad

Posted by in category: space travel

A ride to the Moon for under $10 million? That’s quite a price.

Feb 20, 2020

Patent Approved for Anti-Gravity Spacecraft using Mass Reduction & Non-Conventional Propulsion

Posted by in category: space travel

Warning: This article presents information that sounds like it comes out of a high-tech Hollywood sci-fi production. I suggest you first view the patent filing linked here to verify its credibility before proceeding.

Because the patent was filed by the US Navy and is now under an “Active” status, this is the real deal. This is NOT a work of fiction.

The Short Story

Feb 19, 2020

New Rocket Design Is Powered by a Ring of Literal Explosions

Posted by in categories: energy, space travel

Violent Detonations

Engineers have long suspected such a design could revolutionize the fuel efficiency of modern engines, but until now, there was one major problem.

Continue reading “New Rocket Design Is Powered by a Ring of Literal Explosions” »

Feb 19, 2020

Homo Sapiens 2.0? We need a species-wide conversation about the future of human genetic enhancement

Posted by in categories: genetics, space travel

And the revolution has already begun.

Today’s genetic moment is not the stuff of science fiction. It’s not Jules Verne’s fanciful 1865 prediction of a moon landing a century before it occurred. It’s more equivalent to President Kennedy’s 1962 announcement that America would send men to the moon within a decade. All of the science was in place when Kennedy gave his Houston speech. The realization was inevitable; only the timing was at issue. Neil Armstrong climbed down the Apollo 11 ladder seven years later.

Continue reading “Homo Sapiens 2.0? We need a species-wide conversation about the future of human genetic enhancement” »

Feb 19, 2020

The clock is running for DARPA Launch Challenge, with stealthy Astra Space racing to win $10M prize

Posted by in categories: military, space travel

The DARPA Launch Challenge has begun, with a once-stealthy startup called Astra Space aiming to launch two rockets from an Alaska spaceport within the next month and a half to win a $10 million grand prize.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency set up the challenge in 2018 to serve as an added incentive for private-sector development of a highly mobile launch system that the military could use.

At first, DARPA specified that two orbital launches would have to be executed over the course of two weeks from completely separate launch sites in order to win the top prize. However, program manager Todd Master said the plan was changed for logistical and regulatory reasons. Dealing with all the hassles associated with launches from widely separated sites “wasn’t really our goal in solving the challenge,” Master told reporters today during a teleconference.

Feb 18, 2020

SpaceX will launch private citizens into orbit

Posted by in category: space travel

The private spaceflight company is working with Space Adventures, which has helped manage trips to the International Space Station. The tourists will fly in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, but there’s no word on when the flight will happen or how much it will cost.

Feb 18, 2020

SpaceX signs deal to fly 4 space tourists around Earth in about two years

Posted by in category: space travel

SpaceX will fly four privately-paying space tourists to orbit in its Crew Dragon capsule, the company unveiled on Tuesday.

“This historic mission will forge a path to making spaceflight possible for all people who dream of it, and we are pleased to work with the Space Adventures’ team on the mission,” SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement.

The customers will be brokered through Space Adventures, a company that’s flown private citizens to the International Space Station using Russian spacecraft. The firm said this Crew Dragon mission will allow four individuals to “see planet Earth the way no one has since the Gemini program” of the 1960s.

Feb 18, 2020

The Value of Space Exploration

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, solar power, space travel, sustainability

Steven Hawking: “I don’t think we will survive another thousand years without escaping beyond our fragile planet.”

Probably the most notable direct result of space exploration is satellites. Once we could position a ship in orbit and take telemetry, we knew we could place unmanned pieces of equipment there and just let it orbit, running on its own, while receiving orders from the ground. From those satellites, we have created a global communication system and the global positioning system (GPS) that powers most of our communications capabilities today. What can bring peace and harmony on the planet more than our ability to communicate with each other beyond geographic and political boundaries? These technologies have been enhancing and saving for years.

Continue reading “The Value of Space Exploration” »

Feb 18, 2020

Blue Origin opens rocket engine factory

Posted by in category: space travel

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Blue Origin formally opened a factory Feb. 17 that the company plans to use to produce engines both for its vehicles and for United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the completion of a 350,000-square-foot factory here that will produce BE-4 and BE-3U engines. The factory, built in a little more than a year, will host more than 300 employees and produce up to 42 engines a year.

“You can see we can get some things done really quickly,” said Bob Smith, chief executive of Blue Origin, in remarks at the ceremony. “Twelve months to actually build this kind of facility is an amazing accomplishment for our team.”