AS A small boy Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, dreamed of going into space. He even tried to launch the hollow aluminium arm of a chair, stuffed with propellant, into orbit. It didn't work out. But his latest adventure in space travel - a joint venture with Burt Rutan, a famous designer of aeroplanes - looks more promising. Earlier this month, the two of them said they will build an air-launched orbital delivery system. To do this, Paul Allen’s company Stratolaunch Systems will have to build the world’s largest aeroplane.
A robotic airplane similar to the U.S. military's battlefield drones could help scientists explore the surface of Saturn's moon Titan by flying below the atmospheric haze that blocks the view of space orbiters.
Under a new five-year plan unveiled in December, China will continue to make methodical progress in human spaceflight, expand its satellite navigation system, explore the moon and seek space technology partnerships with developing nations.
"One lure of space travel is the possibility that we might find a source of energy on another world. Now, a study published this month in The Astronomical Journal suggests that remote, frozen planetoid Pluto may harbor complex hydrocarbons like ethane and butane that are used as fuel here on Earth. These hydrocarbons, if confirmed, would also help explain the reddish-brown color we've seen on Pluto's surface."
Space Exploration Technologies' historic mission to the International Space Station (ISS) isn't quite ready for prime time, the company, which is owned and operated by internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, said this week.
So the launch dress rehearsal, scheduled for this week, as well as the launch itself, targeted for Feb. 7, are both on hold, pending the resolution of several unidentified technical issues, spokeswoman Kirstin Brost Grantham tells Discovery News.
http://AviationExplorer.com - A giant airplane that can launch a rocket carrying cargo and humans into orbit is the future of space travel, billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said.
The first test flight of the ambitious venture by Allen's new company Stratolaunch Systems is not scheduled until 2015, but partners in the project vowed it would revolutionize orbital travel in the post-space shuttle era.
The hellish conditions should emulate the surface of Venus (above), a planet baked of its water and suffocated by greenhouse gases. “Venus used to be like Earth. There’s a lot of lessons for us to learn from it,” said NASA Glenn engineer Rodger Dyson, leader of the Extreme Environment Test Chamber.
In the 1960s, NASA's astronauts were the cool, calm, and collected faces of the space program who represented American values - most were married and had some sort of religious affiliation. NASA's public affair office took great pains to keep its astronauts' images clean, but they were still men who occasionally cursed when faced with a bad situation. As NASA gathered steam and took a firm place in the public eye, the organization had a job covering up some of the less radio- and family-friendly transmissions.
The astronauts living on the International Space Station (ISS) are gearing up for a milestone event in February — the first visit of a commercial spaceship to the orbiting outpost.
The private spaceflight company SpaceX plans to launch its unmanned Dragon capsule to orbit Feb. 7 atop the firm's Falcon 9 booster from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida. The capsule will carry a load of food, clothing and other supplies for the six-man crew of the space station.
It is the year 2251. All is well on Earth – food is plentiful, climate ills are cured, and war is nonexistent. Humanity left its home decades ago, with the United Nations of Earth currently on the 20th round of colonization.
The assumption of a competition between China and the United States in space may be misplaced. While there may be elements of such a competition between those two countries, the bigger, and nearer-term, competition is among China and its neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region.
Artist Andy Gracie is attempting to breed a strain of fruit fly that could survive on Titan, Saturn's largest moon. The first stage of his work, The Quest for Drosophila Titanus, is part of an exhibition currently touring the UK.
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