Archive for the ‘space travel’ category: Page 445

Jan 18, 2016

Jan Woerner: ESA chief wants to establish a Moon Village

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, materials, robotics/AI, space travel

European Space Agency building a space colony by 2030.

The European Space Agency unveiled plans on Friday to build a “lunar village” by 2030 as a stepping stone to Mars.

ESA chief Jan Woerner said the lunar “village” would be a series of structures made by robots and 3D printers that use moon dust as building material.

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Jan 18, 2016

Physicists hope for interstellar travel

Posted by in categories: physics, space travel

Asteroid mining and space tourism are all well and good, but a network of researchers around the world is thinking bigger when it comes to space exploration: interstellar travel.

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Jan 16, 2016

European Space Agency unveils ‘lunar village’ plans as stepping stone to Mars

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, materials, robotics/AI, space travel

Moon “village”, a successor to International Space Station, would be series of structures made by robots and 3D printers that use moon dust as building material.

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Jan 12, 2016

Ballantine designs ‘space glass’ for drinking whiskey in microgravity

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, space travel

Anyone offended by the prospect of drinking fine whiskey inside sealed space packs with straws after Suntory sent its finest variety to the ISS for testing? Don’t worry: Ballantine’s got your back. The liquor company has commissioned Open Space Agency’s James Parr — who also created a Lumia-powered 3D-printed telescope in the past — to design a high-tech whiskey glass especially for zero-G environments. He tested a number of designs before settling on a rounded glass with a spiral convex stainless steel base plated in rose gold that can create the surface tension necessary to hold the liquor down. The liquid then passes through channels on the sides of the glass all the way up to the golden mouthpiece.

The “glass” part itself is actually 3D-printed medical-grade PLA plastic, the same kind used for heart valves. Since everything tends to float in microgravity, the base hides a 22-pound magnet that can be used to stick the glass on magnetic surfaces. Plus, it has a one way valve where a customized whiskey bottle nozzle can be inserted to pour out a shot. Parr and Ballantine published more details about the design process on Medium, if you’d like to read more about how the “space glass” was created. Sure, it could be nothing but a marketing stunt, but it’s amazing how much thought went into designing a whiskey glass. It’s unfortunate that most of us might never get to use it in its intended environment; good thing the final product at least looks fancy enough to display.

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Jan 8, 2016

Why 3D Printing Will Be a Key Technology in the Next Space Race

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, economics, space travel, transportation

NASA recently announced that they test fired a research rocket engine. Nothing special about that—other than the fact said engine was 75 percent 3D printed parts.

As industrial 3D printing has moved from prototyping to actually manufacturing finished products, the aerospace industry has become an avid early adopter. Although in many industries mass production techniques still make economic sense—for the ultra-precise, almost bespoke parts in rockets? 3D printing is a great fit.

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Jan 7, 2016

Beyond SpaceX: 10 space companies to watch in 2016 & 2017

Posted by in categories: computing, space travel

While development is happening everywhere, these companies are the next big things to shoot past the stratosphere.

While a lot of end-of-the-year, turn-of-the-calendar roundups try to focus on the year that was or the year ahead, the space industry is very different. Developments are planned further in advance, so some of the qualifying news that gets companies on this list isn’t scheduled to happen until 2017. The industry is small compared to cloud computing or cybersecurity, for example, but the rate of growth is tremendous. There seems to be a cultural solidarity with spacetech on account of its tightly-knit history of cooperation and the still limited number of private companies that can facilitate space flight.

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Jan 6, 2016

NASA’s New VASIMR Plasma Engine Could Reach Mars in 39 days

Posted by in categories: energy, space travel

NASA recently provided $10 million in funding to Ad Astra Rocket Company of Texas for further development of its Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR), an electromagnetic thruster capable of propelling a spaceship to Mars in just 39 days. NASA’s funding was part of the “12 Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnership.” Ad Astra’s rocket will travel ten times faster than today’s chemical rockets while using one-tenth the amount of fuel.

The VASIMR system would cut the trip to Mars by months according to Franklin Chang Diaz, a former MIT student, NASA astronaut, and now CEO of Ad Astra.

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Jan 2, 2016

Researchers say retrieving information from a black hole might be possible

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, physics, space travel

Interstellar is one of the best sci-fi movies of the last decade, imagining a post-apocalyptic human population that needs to be saved from a dying Earth. A nearby black hole has the answers to humanity’s problems, and the brilliant script tells us we can enter a black hole and then use it to transcend space and time. In the film, the black hole also leaks out information that can save us, and it is captured by a complex computer as it’s being entered. That might seem implausible, but since we don’t know a lot about how black holes work, we can certainly accept such an outlandish proposition in the context of the movie.

In real life, however, physicists are trying to figure out how to access the secrets of a black hole. And it looks like some researchers have a theory to retrieve information from it, though it’s not quite as exciting as the complex bookcase that Interstellar proposes.

DON’T MISS: The biggest ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ plot holes explained

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Dec 31, 2015

Mars Curiosity Engineer Rips NASA In New Book

Posted by in categories: policy, space travel

New book by NASA JPL Curiosity Rover engineer has some hard truths about U.S. space policy. A good read.

A Mars Curiosity rover team lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) writes in a forthcoming first-person narrative that the space agency as a whole “doesn’t do enough flight projects to forge a broad set of practical skills across [NASA].”

Adam Steltzner — a JPL engineer who was a familiar face during the entry, descent and landing (EDL) phase of the Mars Curiosity rover’s triumphant August 2012 landing — is refreshingly candid about U.S. space policy in the new book “The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership, and High-Stakes Innovation.”

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Dec 31, 2015

Lunar Leap: Europe Is Reaching for a Moon Base by the 2030s — By Leonard David | Space.com

Posted by in categories: space, space travel, strategy


“There is growing interest in Europe to prioritize the moon as humanity’s next deep-space destination.”

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