Archive for the ‘space travel’ category: Page 296

Aug 8, 2019

Thousands of “indestructible” tardigrades could be living on the moon after spaceship crash

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

The tardigrades were part of a “lunar library” that Spivack’s foundation had put together. According to Wired, the package was about the size of a DVD and contained human DNA—including Spivack’s own—as well as 30 million pages of information on mankind’s knowledge and thousands of dehydrated tardigrades.

Tardigrades are known as one of the toughest creatures on Earth. They are microscopic, measuring about 0.012 to 0.020 inches in length, and can withstand temperatures of up to 304 degrees Fahrenheit and can survive being frozen alive. One tardigrade is known to have survived being frozen for 30 years. They can also live without water for up to a decade by shriveling up and placing themselves in a state of suspended animation—a trait DARPA is currently studying in the hope of preserving soldiers injured on the battlefield.

Aug 7, 2019

Crashed spacecraft may have left creatures on the moon

Posted by in categories: astronomy, biological, science, space, space travel

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Aug 6, 2019

The Stars Are Far: Getting There Requires Time, Tech And Public Advocacy

Posted by in categories: business, space travel

My regular readers appreciate the fact that NASA is partnering with a number of commercial space businesses to permanently expand the human frontier into cis-Lunar space. While $20 billion in federal funding drives NASA’s amazing programs, the agency doesn’t get that money without strong public support. NASA has also long been supported by the National Space Society, a group founded by Werner von Braun. I’m proud to represent NSS as their Vice President of Space Development and to have chaired their International Space Development Conference this year. I’m also a huge fan of the Moon Village Association, which is helping to pave an international path for lunar settlement. The Southern California Commercial Spaceflight Initiative, which I direct at USC, hosted both those groups in a fantastic event last year. I’m excited to note that we will bring in the Mars Society this fall. That organization, founded by Robert Zubrin, leads the push for our next step, colonizing the Red Planet. You may however, be less familiar with the small group of aspirational space visionaries already working on conquering the stars, or with Tau Zero, the foundation dedicated to achieving that most audacious goal.

Aug 6, 2019

LightSail 2 Nears 2 Weeks of Solar Sailing

Posted by in category: space travel

The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 spacecraft is continuing to sail on sunlight in Earth orbit. The high point, or apogee of the spacecraft’s orbit around the Earth was 729 kilometers on Monday, 5 August—an increase of 3.2 kilometers since sail deployment on 23 July. The spacecraft has also captured a few new images, which are available on our raw image downlink page.

Aug 5, 2019

SpaceX’s Florida Starship hits growth spurt as Texas Starship begins bulkhead installation

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

In the last week alone, SpaceX’s twin orbital Starship prototypes have made some truly jaw-dropping progress. Onlookers have witnessed Florida’s Starship push through a rapid growth spurt, while the company’s Texas team has begun to install propellant tank bulkheads and work on a triple-Raptor thrust structure.

Meanwhile, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has suggested that one or both of the orbital-class Starship prototypes could be “almost ready to fly” by August 24th, the date of the CEO’s next official update on Starship (formerly BFR and ITS). Although the actual challenge of building a massive, orbital-class launch vehicle is far subtler than the visible steelwork needed to build its primary structure and pressure vessels, the veritable leaps forward made in both Texas and Florida in the last 7–10 days are extremely encouraging signs.

Starting off in Boca Chica, Texas, SpaceX’s team of engineers and technicians have been simultaneously handling Starhopper’s first untethered flight test (completed on July 25th) and building the facility’s orbital-class Starship prototype. Most significantly, after a few days of preparation, what is likely the Texas Starship’s first bulkhead was lowered inside its ~25m-tall (80 ft) barrel section, composed of the spacecraft’s propulsion section and propellant tanks.

Aug 4, 2019

Jeff Bezos touts a full-power firing of Blue Origin’s next-generation BE-4 rocket engine

Posted by in category: space travel

Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos is showing off a picture of his Blue Origin space venture’s BE-4 rocket engine going full blast during a hot-fire test in Texas.

“BE-4 continues to rack up time on the test stand,” Bezos said in an Instagram post accompanied by a picture of today’s full-power engine test.

Aug 4, 2019

‘We could have lost the Apollo 11 crew:’ A once-classified anomaly nearly killed NASA’s first moon astronauts, a new book reveals

Posted by in category: space travel

A new book about the Apollo program, “Eight Years to the Moon,” suggests that a rogue space module nearly crashed into an astronaut space capsule.

Aug 4, 2019

SpaceX tried to launch a Mars spaceship prototype on its first big flight, but the test abruptly ended after ignition

Posted by in category: space travel

Wednesday’s experimental launch was supposed to show the first true flight of the Starhopper, but a spout of flame started coming out of its top.

Aug 4, 2019

SpaceShipTwo Wings Systems Installation

Posted by in category: space travel

What’s the latest with the next spaceship we’re building for Virgin Galactic? The wing structure is complete! Watch as we made preparations to install landing gear, RCS systems, flight controls and pneumatic tubing which powers the feathering system http://virg.in/wLg

Aug 2, 2019

A 3D map of stars reveals the Milky Way’s warped shape

Posted by in categories: computing, space travel

Like a misshapen potato chip, our home galaxy is warped. A new 3D map brings the contorted structure of the Milky Way’s disk into better view, thanks to measurements of special stars called Cepheids, scientists report in the Aug. 2 Science.

Making 3D measurements of the galaxy requires estimating how far away stars are from Earth, typically a matter of guesswork. But unlike other stars, Cepheids vary in brightness over time in a particular way that can be used to determine a precise distance to each star.

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