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Archive for the ‘space travel’ category: Page 353

May 26, 2015

The House just passed a bill about space mining. The future is here. — Brian Fung | The Washington Post

Posted by in categories: business, space, space travel

“What could the FAA, an agency whose chief concern is air travel, want with outer space? Well, the FAA is the agency that grants licenses for commercial space launches (the ones that aren’t performed for NASA or the Defense Department, anyway). This potentially gives the nation’s aviation regulators a tremendous amount of power over the fledgling private space industry.” Read more

May 21, 2015

NASA and The Planetary Society Launch the LightSail

Posted by in categories: astronomy, cosmology, education, energy, habitats, physics, science, solar power, space, space travel

The Planetary Society’s LightSail launched yesterday, May 20th, 2015.

May 9, 2015

Secret Air Force Space Plane Gets Darth Vader-Style Engine

Posted by in categories: engineering, military, space travel

By Kelsey D. Atherton - Popular Science

6 kW laboratory Hall thruster

The Air Force’s secret robot space plane is going to try out a new engine. The X-37B has so far spent a total of 1367 days tooling around in Earth’s orbit, doing classified things. Yesterday, the Air Force Research Lab announced that on its fourth flight, the X-37B will come with a new fuel-efficient engine for maneuvering in space. Read more

May 1, 2015

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launches its first rocket

Posted by in category: space travel

Katie M. Palmer and Neel V. Patel — Wired

You’d be forgiven for forgetting, but Elon Musk and Richard Branson aren’t the only billionaire magnates at the helm of a spacecraft company, gunning to rule the future of privatized space flight. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has been flying under the radar—but at long last, the company yesterday launched its flagship suborbital spacecraft from its West Texas proving grounds in a developmental test flight.

Video released by the company shows the spacecraft, called New Shepard, blasting off to an altitude of 307,000 feet before its crew capsule separates from a propulsion module. Named after the first US astronaut in space, Alan Shepard, the craft is meant to take off and land vertically, utilizing a reusable first-stage booster—the same approach SpaceX is using in its Falcon 9 rocket. Read more

Apr 24, 2015

To be a Space Faring Civilization

Posted by in categories: astronomy, cosmology, human trajectories, innovation, science, space, space travel, transportation

Until 2006 our Solar System consisted essentially of a star, planets, moons, and very much smaller bodies known as asteroids and comets. In 2006 the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) Division III Working Committee addressed scientific issues and the Planet Definition Committee address cultural and social issues with regard to planet classifications. They introduced the “pluton” for bodies similar to planets but much smaller.

The IAU set down three rules to differentiate between planets and dwarf planets. First, the object must be in orbit around a star, while not being itself a star. Second, the object must be large enough (or more technically correct, massive enough) for its own gravity to pull it into a nearly spherical shape. The shape of objects with mass above 5×1020 kg and diameter greater than 800 km would normally be determined by self-gravity, but all borderline cases would have to be established by observation.

Third, plutons or dwarf planets, are distinguished from classical planets in that they reside in orbits around the Sun that take longer than 200 years to complete (i.e. they orbit beyond Neptune). Plutons typically have orbits with a large orbital inclination and a large eccentricity (noncircular orbits). A planet should dominate its zone, either gravitationally, or in its size distribution. That is, the definition of “planet” should also include the requirement that it has cleared its orbital zone. Of course this third requirement automatically implies the second. Thus, one notes that planets and plutons are differentiated by the third requirement.

As we are soon to become a space faring civilization, we should rethink these cultural and social issues, differently, by subtraction or addition. By subtraction, if one breaks the other requirements? Comets and asteroids break the second requirement that the object must be large enough. Breaking the first requirement, which the IAU chose not address at the time, would have planet sized bodies not orbiting a star. From a socio-cultural perspective, one could suggest that these be named “darktons” (from dark + plutons). “Dark” because without orbiting a star, these objects would not be easily visible; “tons” because in deep space, without much matter, these bodies could not meet the third requirement of being able to dominate its zone.

Continue reading “To be a Space Faring Civilization” »

Apr 24, 2015

Article: Harnessing “Black Holes”: The Large Hadron Collider – Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction

Posted by in categories: astronomy, big data, computing, cosmology, energy, engineering, environmental, ethics, existential risks, futurism, general relativity, governance, government, gravity, information science, innovation, internet, journalism, law, life extension, media & arts, military, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, open source, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, posthumanism, quantum physics, science, security, singularity, space, space travel, supercomputing, sustainability, time travel, transhumanism, transparency, treaties

Harnessing “Black Holes”: The Large Hadron Collider – Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction

Why the LHC must be shut down

Continue reading “Article: Harnessing ‘Black Holes’: The Large Hadron Collider – Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction” »

Apr 24, 2015

CERN-Critics: LHC restart is a sad day for science and humanity!

Posted by in categories: astronomy, big data, complex systems, computing, cosmology, energy, engineering, ethics, existential risks, futurism, general relativity, governance, government, gravity, hardware, information science, innovation, internet, journalism, law, life extension, media & arts, military, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, quantum physics, science, security, singularity, space, space travel, supercomputing, sustainability, time travel, transhumanism, transparency, treaties
PRESS RELEASE “LHC-KRITIK”/”LHC-CRITIQUE” www.lhc-concern.info
CERN-Critics: LHC restart is a sad day for science and humanity!

Continue reading “CERN-Critics: LHC restart is a sad day for science and humanity!” »

Apr 22, 2015

NASA Chief Says Mars One Does Not Stand A Chance Without NASA

Posted by in category: space travel

By — Fast Company
Mars One, the Netherlands-based nonprofit that wants to send human colonists to Mars using private-industry rockets, has been widely criticized for its unrealistic goals and timeline. This week, in a U.S. House Committee hearing for NASA’s 2016 budget, NASA chief administrator Charles Bolden told the committee that “No commercial company without the support of NASA and government is going to get to Mars,” reports Engadget. Bolden’s statement, while not a direct reference to Mars One, certainly seems to support the skepticism surrounding the project. Read more

Apr 16, 2015

SpaceX’s Success

Posted by in categories: complex systems, disruptive technology, engineering, innovation, space, space travel

I read all the news about SpaceX’s Falcon 9 latest “failure” to land on an autonomous spaceport drone ship aka barge. I view these as trials to success. Here’s why.

1. Grasshopper Successes: The two videos below show that the early landing trials aka Grasshopper from several heights between 250m and 1,000m.

The lessons here are:

a) Pinpoint landing of a 1st stage rocket is technologically feasible.

Continue reading “SpaceX's Success” »

Apr 14, 2015

Here’s why humans are so obsessed with colonizing Mars

Posted by in categories: space, space travel

Vivian Giang | Quartz


“‘Mars has been unanimously agreed upon by the world’s space agencies as the ‘horizon goal’ for human spaceflight,’ said Do, part of the MIT research group responsible for a widely read report debunking Mars One’s mission as unfeasible. ‘It is widely agreed that Mars is the most promising destination for near term colonization.’” Read more