Tag Archives: space

NASA considering using pre-flown SpaceX rockets for cargo flights

Source: Space.com

"SpaceX may not be far away from a big milestone — its first mission that involves both a reused rocket and a reused spacecraft. The California-based company launched a pre-flown Dragon capsule for the first time ever Saturday (June 3), using a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket to blast the robotic craft toward the International Space Station (ISS) on a cargo run for NASA. So the agency is obviously comfortable with used SpaceX spacecraft, at least on uncrewed flights. And it's now entertaining the possibility of going with used Falcon 9 boosters on future resupply missions as well, NASA officials said." (06/04/17)


Space industry CEO is "absolutely convinced" that aliens have visited Earth

The Verge

Source: The Verge

"On Sunday, Robert Bigelow — real estate mogul and founder of the space habitat company Bigelow Aerospace — did an interview with 60 Minutes, in which he touted the strengths of the commercial space industry and how private companies would pave the way for people to live in space. He also said aliens have definitely visited Earth. Lara Logan: Do you believe in aliens? Robert Bigelow: I'm absolutely convinced. That's all there is to it. Lara Logan: Do you also believe that UFOs have come to Earth? Robert Bigelow: There has been and is an existing presence, an ET presence. And I spent millions and millions and millions — I probably spent more as an individual than anybody else in the United States has ever spent on this subject." (05/30/17)


NASA to announce new details on mission to "touch the sun"

Source: USA Today

"NASA is set to release new details this week about the agency's 'unprecedented' mission to 'touch the sun.' The mission, Solar Probe Plus, will launch in summer of 2018 and marks the agency's first mission to fly into the sun's atmosphere. Data collected during the mission is expected to improve forecasting of space weather events that impact life on Earth and the lives of astronauts, NASA said in a statement. 'Placed in orbit within four million miles of the sun’s surface, and facing heat and radiation unlike any spacecraft in history, the spacecraft will explore the sun’s outer atmosphere and make critical observations that will answer decades-old questions about the physics of how stars work,' NASA said in a statement. NASA will make the announcement live on NASA Television and the agency's website at 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday." (05/30/17)


Chile: Construction begins on world's first "super telescope" that could help astronomers find alien life

Source: Daily Mail [UK]

"Construction has begun on a 'super telescope' that could help astronomers find alien life. The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), being built in Chile, is designed to help astronomers peer back to the first galaxies 14 billion years ago. … Located on a 3,000 meter-high mountain in the middle of the Atacama desert, it is due to begin operating in 2024. Among other capabilities, it will add to and refine astronomers' burgeoning discoveries of planets orbiting other stars, with the ability to find more smaller planets, image larger ones, and possibly characterise their atmospheres, a key step in understanding if life is present." (05/29/17)


New Zealand: Test rocket makes it to space but not to orbit

Source: New York Daily News

"California-based company Rocket Lab said Thursday it had launched a test rocket into space from its New Zealand launch pad, although the rocket didn't reach orbit as hoped. The company said its Electron rocket lifted off at 4:20 p.m. Thursday and reached space three minutes later. … Rocket Lab was given official approval last week to conduct three test launches from the remote Mahia Peninsula on the North Island. The company hopes to begin commercial launches later this year and eventually launch about one rocket every week." (05/25/17)


A teenager designed a pocket-sized satellite that will fly on a NASA mission

Source: Mic

"An 18-year-old created the world’s lightest functioning satellite, and it’s going to be launched on a real NASA mission next month. Rifath Sharook, who is from Tamil Nadu, India, made the pocket-sized satellite for a competition called Cubes in Space, which is an international design challenge that asks students aged 11 to 18 to fit their space-worthy invention inside a 13-foot cube. The pocket-sized 3-D printed satellite is much smaller than that. It weighs just 0.14 pounds and will measure the rotation, acceleration and magnetosphere of Earth, Sharook told Business Standard." (05/17/17)


These Federal Aviation Administration regulations are why we're not going to Mars

Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Clyde Wayne Crews

"[A]long with either eight or nine planets in the Solar System, there are at least 180 moons beyond our own, a couple of them (Ganymede and Titan) even larger than the planet Mercury. And there are more that two million asteroids larger than a half-mile in diameter. So resources in space are infinite as far as humanity is concerned. There's a lot of room, and little concern about bumping into one another. Just go walk the scale model of the solar system in front of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.. The model of the Sun is less than volleyball sized, and on that scale, the plaque that tells you where the nearest star Proxima Centauri would be in relation might shock. However I'm not sure how many folks, or even members of Congress outside its House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, realize just how thoroughly commercial space activities like asteroid mining are apt to be regulated." (05/16/17)


SpaceX launches Falcon 9 plus satellite

Source: USA Today

"A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is set to launch a 'behemoth' commercial communications satellite from Kennedy Space Center at 7:21 p.m. Eastern time on Monday. Weighing in at nearly 13,500 pounds atop the rocket, the fourth Inmarsat-5 satellite will be the heaviest load lofted by a Falcon 9 yet. The 230-foot rocket will need all its fuel and 1.7 million pounds of liftoff thrust to deliver the spacecraft larger than a double-decker bus on its way to an orbit more than 22,000 miles over the equator." (05/15/17)


NASA won't fly astronauts on first Orion-SLS test flight around the moon

Source: Space.com

"The first flight of NASA's next-generation heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), is now scheduled for 2019 and will not include a human crew, agency officials said today (May 12). As of 2016, NASA had planned for the SLS' first flight to take place in 2018, without a crew on board. But the transition team that the Trump administration sent to the agency earlier this year asked for an internal evaluation of the possibility of launching a crew atop the SLS inside the agency's Orion space capsule. Robert Lightfoot, NASA's acting administrator, said during a news conference today that, based on the results of this internal evaluation, a crewed flight would be 'technically feasible,' but the agency will proceed with its initial plan to make the rocket's first flight uncrewed." (05/12/17)


SpaceX test fires Falcon Heavy rocket that will one day carry humans to Mars

Source: Mirror [UK]

"Elon Musk's aerospace company SpaceX has successfully completed a test fire of its Falcon Heavy — the world's most powerful rocket booster, which will one day carry humans to Mars. A video of the test fire at SpaceX's development facility in McGregor, Texas, shows the rocket's engines being ignited while the vehicle is strapped down. Black and white smoke pour out from beneath the rocket, giving an indication of how powerful the engines are. The Falcon Heavy is essentially a souped up version of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket booster, which is regularly used to carry supplies to the International Space Station. It is composed of three Falcon 9s strapped together, with a total of 27 engines generating more than 5 million pounds of thrust — equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft." (05/10/17)