WASHINGTON — As technical work ramps up on an experimental military spaceplane program, government and industry are studying how to eventually commercialize the vehicle, an effort that includes chartering a study by a space advocacy organization.
Il est des moments jubilatoires dans la science, quand les chercheurs rattrapent la science-fiction et tentent de voir si elle peut s'accorder avec la réalité. C'est un peu ce qui se passe dans une étude néerlandaise publiée le 27 août par PLoS ONE. Dans son cas, la science-fiction, ce sont ces récits qui mettent en scène la colonisation de la Lune et de Mars. Et pour ce qui est de la science, les premières phrases du résumé de l'article annoncent clairement la couleur : "Quand les humains s'installeront sur la Lune ou sur Mars, il faudra qu'ils y mangent. La nourriture pourrait y être envoyée. Une autre solution consisterait à cultiver des plantes sur place, de préférence sur les sols de là-bas." Après tout, le colon doit savoir gagner son indépendance, au moins alimentaire, non ? Ces chercheurs néerlandais ont donc voulu déterminer si l'on pourrait faire pousser quelque chose sur la Planète rouge et sur notre satellite. Pour ce faire, ils ont entrepris la première culture à grande échelle de végétaux sur des reconstitutions de sols martien et lunaire.
The Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle is ready to fly and left the Netherlands today for the launch site in French Guiana.
The spaceplane will reach an altitude of around 420 km before starting its descent. Using its sleek aerodynamic shape, thrusters and two tail flaps, it will return through the atmosphere as if from a low orbit.
The measurements collected by IXV during its hypersonic and supersonic flight to a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean will be invaluable for designing future reentry vehicles.
WASHINGTON — A bill that would grant property rights and other protections for commercial asteroid mining ventures received a mixed reception at a hearing of the House Science space subcommittee Sept. 10.
H.R. 5063, the American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities In Deep Space (ASTEROIDS) Act, would grant U.S. companies the rights to resources they extract from asteroids. The bill would also allow companies to take legal action if they suffered “harmful interference” during those activities by other entities under U.S. jurisdiction.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government hopes to add funding to its 2016 budget for alternatives to Russian-made rocket engines to launch sensitive satellites, a key Pentagon official said Wednesday.
On August 20th, Ottawa-based Grafoid Inc, a company involved in the research, development and production of graphene, opened a 225,000 square foot production facility in Kingston, Ontario. The move has Canada positioned to become a world leader in the production of the much-hyped super-material, with effects on many industries, not the least of which is aerospace.
With the recent announcement the Space Launch System (SLS) has become challenged by her schedule, the NASA rocket may soon find herself in a battle with a commercial “alternative”. SpaceX’s super powerful Exploration Class rocket is targeting crewed missions to Mars up to 10 years ahead of SLS – although both vehicles continue to avoid being classed as competitors.
Sir Richard Branson has rejected claims by critics after the latest delay in lift-off that his Virgin Galactic commercial spaceship business will never make it off the ground.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the entrepreneur was in typically ebullient mood as he insisted that he would be aboard the first passenger flight of his new “spaceline” by next spring.
“I know the first question everyone has,” he said as he sat inside dome of the planetarium of the National History Museum in Manhattan. “They want to ask, ‘Richard, when the **** are you going into space?’” But this celestial-inspired location was not as close as he would make it to the stars, he promised, despite major hold-ups in the rocket development for the spaceship.
PARIS — The French and German governments remain so far apart on a future space-launch policy for Europe that officials are now privately talking about canceling a December conference of European space ministers or stripping it of concrete decisions.
The National Research Council recently released their report on NASA’s plans for human spaceflight (see “A new pathway to Mars”, The Space Review, June 9, 2014). The report lays out the possible targets for human exploration:
“The technical analysis completed for this report—discussed fully in Chapter 4 of the report—shows clearly that for the foreseeable future, the only feasible destinations for human exploration are the Moon, asteroids, Mars, and the moons of Mars. Among this small set of plausible goals, the most distant and difficult is a landing by human beings on the surface of Mars. Thus the horizon goal for human space exploration is Mars. All long-range space programs, by all potential partners, converge on this goal.”