Archive for the ‘space travel’ category: Page 363

May 5, 2016

Deep Space Industries partners with Luxembourg to test asteroid mining technologies

Posted by in categories: government, space travel

Deep Space Industries, the asteroid mining company, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Luxembourg Government to co-fund the development and launch of DSI’s first spacecraft. Known as Prospector-X, the small spacecraft will test key technologies in Low Earth Orbit that will be necessary for future asteroid prospecting.

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May 4, 2016

Airbus Defence and Space signs contract to build Biomass – the European Space Agency’s forest mission

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, space travel, treaties

1st P-band radar in space will measure the amount of biomass and carbon locked in the world’s forests and how this changes over time — Biomass satellite will provide support to United Nations treaties, notably the Reduction of Emissions due to Deforestation and Forest Degradation

Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company has signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to build its next Earth Explorer mission, the Biomass satellite. Biomass is due to launch in 2021 and will measure forest biomass to assess terrestrial carbon stocks and fluxes for five years.

The spacecraft will carry the first space-borne P-band synthetic aperture radar to deliver exceptionally accurate maps of tropical, temperate and boreal forest biomass that are not obtainable by ground measurement techniques. The mission will collect frequent information on global forests to determine the distribution of above-ground biomass in these forests and measure annual changes. The 5-year mission will see at least eight growth cycles in the worlds’ forests.

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Apr 30, 2016

China celebrates Space Day and plans Mars voyage

Posted by in category: space travel

China is going to Mars; lookout SpaceX.

China recently celebrated its first Space Day marked by a flag-raising ceremony in Beijing. Space Day marks the launch of the country’s first man-made satellite 46 years ago.

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Apr 30, 2016

5 Takeaways From ESA’s Rosetta Comet Mission

Posted by in category: space travel

Comets are more complicated than ever imagined and even after ESA’s spectacularly successful mission to 67P, researchers are still debating whether they delivered most of the water to Earth and whether they helped jumpstart life here on terra firma.

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta mission to the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has arguably given planetary scientists the best new cometary data in a generation. Although the mission’s Philae lander has long ceased communication from the comet’s surface, the Rosetta spacecraft will continue operations until September when it makes a final touchdown on 67P’s surface. As I noted here previously, at that point, Rosetta will be so far from the Sun it will be on the verge of exhausting all its power.

But next month, researchers will meet at The Royal Society in London to discuss the data and the direction cometary science should take in this post-Rosetta era.

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Apr 30, 2016

From zero to 100mph in 1.2 seconds, the SuperDraco thruster delivers

Posted by in categories: innovation, space travel

New engine for SpaceX to take them to Mars in 2018.

Ars takes a closer look at SpaceX’s innovative and essential engine.

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Apr 29, 2016

NASA Now Has New Options For Sampling Moon’s Ancient Interior

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

The odds are now better than ever that future explorers, both robotic and human, will be able to take samples of the lunar’s hidden interior in deep impact basins like Crisium and Moscoviense. This gives planners more options on where to embed the first science colony.

Finding and sampling the Moon’s ancient interior mantle — one of the science drivers for sending robotic spacecraft and future NASA astronauts to the Moon’s South Pole Aitken basin — is just as likely achievable at similar deep impact basins scattered around the lunar surface.

At least that’s the view reached by planetary scientists who have been analyzing the most recent data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) and its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) missions as well as from Japan’s SELENE (Kaguya) lunar orbiter.

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Apr 29, 2016

SpaceX releases 360-degree footage of the Falcon 9 sea landing

Posted by in categories: drones, space travel

SpaceX has just published a stunning 360-degree video of its most recent feat: landing the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship in the ocean. If you ever wanted feel like you’re standing under a spaceship that’s landing without the awful side effect of being burned to shreds, here’s your chance.

To be honest, we thought we had seen every angle of this historic moment by this point. We watched it happen live. We watched it in 4K. We saw photos that were taken from just about every conceivable and terrifying angle.

But SpaceX has never released a 360-degree video, so you’ve definitely never seen anything quite like this. Watching the rocket descend from above from the perspective of the ship is extremely surreal, especially when you hear the landing rockets kick in. So sit back, throw your phone in a headset if you have one, and hit play. This will hopefully be just the first of many more to come. (Now if only they had filmed 360-degree videos of the ones that blew up.)

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Apr 28, 2016

Private Mars Missions: A Red Planet Exploration Roundup

Posted by in category: space travel

Here’s a brief look at the plans private organizations such as SpaceX and Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One have hatched to explore the Red Planet.

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Apr 28, 2016

SpaceX Plans a Mars Mission by 2018 — Start Up Your Day Roundup

Posted by in categories: business, Elon Musk, robotics/AI, space travel

Anyone ready to visit Mars for your next vacation in 2018?

Volvo’s driverless car will take on the roads of London. Looking for the latest headlines in small business, innovation and tech? While some tech companies suffered last quarter, Facebook announced a surge in users and revenue. In a series of tweets yesterday, Elon Musk announced plans to land an unmanned craft on Mars by 2018. Volvo will test its driverless car in London’s heavy traffic to collect data and make improvements, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

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Apr 28, 2016

Tiny Spacecraft to Take on Journey to Alpha Centauri

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, space travel

Draper’s ChipSat Research Could Make Stamp-Sized Spacecraft Functional for Interstellar Mission

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Chip-sized spacecraft will be beamed about 25 trillion miles to Alpha Centauri within 20 years of launch – a mission that would otherwise take 30,000 years – thanks to an engineering project sponsored by the Breakthrough Starshot team. Since 2010, Draper and Cornell University have collaborated on research into spacecraft that could be reduced to the size of a postage stamp and dubbed “ChipSats.” While ChipSats are small and inexpensive to launch, they face challenges far different from those of larger spacecraft and require a completely different approach to space missions.

Due to their tiny size, ChipSats experience disturbances in space in a different manner from large spacecraft. Much like a dinghy is greatly affected by waves that cannot move an oil tanker, the importance of small environmental forces, such as solar radiation pressure and aerodynamic drag, is magnified for ChipSats. This represents a challenge for completing the journey to Alpha Centauri and pointing precisely to send data back to Earth. But it is also an opportunity for developing new guidance and control approaches that take advantage of the environment.

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