Some argue that spending money on Orion or SLS now is a misplaced use of resources. “The Orion program, along with the Space Launch System, actively assures that billions are lost that should go to the basic R&D that’s really needed to get to Mars,” said space industry analyst Charles Lurio
Dan Winters There’s no way to anticipate the emotional impact of leaving your home planet. You look down at Earth and realize: You’re not on it. It’s breathtaking. It’s surreal. It’s a “we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto” kind of feeling. But I’ve spent a total of 55 days in space, over the course of…
The Space Exploration Technology rocket factory is a large, white hangar-like building near Los Angeles international airport, with a parking lot filled with late-model motorcycles and Tesla electric cars. The vast metal structure once churned out 737 fuselages for Boeing. When you get through the front doors, past security and a cubicle farm stretching the width of the building, there it is: Science fiction being wrought into shape, right in front of you.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is planning ahead — way ahead. The agency wants you to email ideas for how "the Administration, the private sector, philanthropists, the research community and storytellers" can develop "massless" space exploration and a robust civilization beyond Earth.
Royal College of Art graduate Julian Melchiorri has developed a "man-made biological leaf," made from chloroplasts and a silk product, that produces oxygen the same way a real plant does. As Melchiorri explains in the video, that could be a boon for space exploration.
Astronauts Reid Wiseman and Alex Gerst continue enacting the real-life space buddy-movie we never knew we always wanted. From sticking a video camera inside a water bubble in microgravity to carefully measuring out their living quarters, they supply a steady stream of surreal reality from the space station.
The Hohmann transfer is a highly effective move -- road-tested and reliable. But it is expensive and time specific. Launches are limited to a brief window when the orbit and rotation of Earth and Mars are just right.
Ballistic capture, on the other hand, would allow a more flexible launch window. It would also do away with the fuel-guzzling that Hohmann's high-speed braking requires. Instead of rocketing straight at Mars, a ballistic capture technique would see the spacecraft launched out ahead of Mars' orbital path. It would gradually slow and hold in place, waiting for Mars to swing by -- the Martian gravity pulling the craft into orbit as it approached.
The flight of Orion looked, to some, like a throwback to the capsules of the 1960s. Andre Bormanis says that the rationales for human space exploration, by contrast, can’t look back to the past but instead embrace the capabilities of today and tomorrow.
Andre Bormanis applauds the achievements of the team that sent Orion into space last Friday. It thrilled him to see a vehicle capable of taking humans beyond LEO for the first time in over forty years pass its first real test so spectacularly. And certainly it’s a promising step in the direction of getting astronauts to the vicinity of Mars and back home. But if the Orion capsule is ever going to be put to its intended use, the President, Congress, and NASA needs to seriously re-think the role of humans in space, taking into account the ever-advancing capabilities in robotics and telepresence that will be available in the 2030s, probably the earliest timeframe in which a human mission to Mars might be undertaken. A program based on fifty-year-old mission plans and romantic nostalgia has little if any chance of being realized. The strategies of the past will not help us achieve the goals of the future.
L'institut européen du tourisme spatial et une agence de voyages spécialisée représentant de Virgin Galactic veulent créer un parc d'attractions qui proposerait notamment des vols suborbitaux, des vols en ballon stratosphérique, des vols en apesanteur...
Today the first company that comes to mind when you think of commercial space is SpaceX, which has multibillion dollar contracts with NASA. But there are many other companies in the emerging space economy. Scrappy startups with big visions and ideas that could revolutionize the commercial industry. As launches get cheaper and technology gets smaller, it’s now possible to get in on an industry that was once reserved for superpowers with superbudgets. Today tech billionaires and venture capitalists are pumping money into these startups, many of which are in Silicon Valley.
Back in the 1970s, Peter Glaser patented a solar power satellite that would supply energy from space to the Earth, one involving space platforms whose cost was one of many issues that put the brakes on the idea, although NASA
Vincent Lieser's insight:
As we continue to explore tiny devices that build subsequent machines, we can look toward expanding from colonization of our own Solar System into the problems of interstellar transfer.
The Aquarius concept is only one potential solution to practical interplanetary human spaceflight. Innovative synergistic mission architectures can bring into the realm of feasibility missions and destinations otherwise beyond the cusp of current capabilities.
Mars remains the beacon for human exploration. Generations of science fiction writers and multiple successful space probes and rovers have established Mars in the core of our collective consciousness. More than any other place, Mars beckons humanity. Although an eventual human landing on Mars is inevitable, most experts agree it is currently a bridge too far. However, there is an alternate path to Mars, one that not only has intrinsic value itself, but also one that would enable the first wave of human visitors to the Mars system to conduct extensive “humans-in-the-loop” real-time telerobotic exploration of the Martian surface from a natural staging area: the Red Planet’s outer moon Deimos.
Blockbuster 3D movies can be tremendously disappointing. But you know what's not disappointing at all? This video that lets you fly across a Martian chaos terrain, in 3D.
The brief flight comes to us courtesy of the ESA, who used footage from their Mars Express Orbiter to give us a taste of what it would be like to buzz the tops of the Hydraotes Chaos.
Chaos terrain was an excellent choice of landscape, in part because the mix of peak and mountains laid out seemingly at random is certainly a dramatic choice for an up-close flight. But it's also because, unlike many Martian landscapes that offer a slightly twisted version of something we might see on Earth, chaos terrains have no Earthly equivalent (with the notable exception, perhaps, of a slightly burned meringue) making this flight not only exciting, but uncommon.
Why do astronauts hop on the moon? After carefully watching hapless volunteers use a treadmill under variable gravity, researchers think it had more to do with the stiffness of spacesuits than anything else.
Cet entretien avec Guilhem Penent, doctorant en sciences politiques, chercheur associé à l'IFRI, rédacteur du blog De la Terre à la Lune et auteur du récent L’Europe spatiale : le déclin ou le sursaut (Edition Argos), a été réalisé en collaboration avec le blog Ultima Ratio. Quelques jours après la décision politique du lancement du lanceur Ariane 6 d'ici 2020, il développe quelques unes des grandes problématiques de l'Europe spatiale, civile et militaire, secteur où la France tient encore aujourd'hui l'un des rôles majeurs.
The 3D printer aboard the International Space Station produced its first part today (Nov. 21). The milestone moment marks a big step toward a future in which humanity explores far beyond its home planet, some experts say.