aerospace

June 12, 2019

NASA is just over a year away from the launch of the Mars 2020 rover, and all systems are go for the rover’s flying passenger. After completing its flight test early this year, the Mars Helicopter Scout (MHS) is undergoing final preparation and could join the rover this summer. If it works as planned, the MHS will be the first flying machine on another planet.

June 06, 2019

All of humanity save for a handful of astronauts have the advantage of living inside the protective bubble of Earth’s magnetic field. As space agencies and private companies look toward a future of people living on the moon and Mars, we have to contend with an unpleasant reality: the radiation out there is lethal. Any attempt to send humans to Mars right now would undoubtedly result in severe health problems, but scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) are studying the issue in hopes of making space safe for humanity.

May 27, 2019

These satellites will demonstrate the ability to provide high-speed internet connectivity for ground stations with a signal delay of less than 20 milliseconds, which is comparable to wired broadband. And this is just the first wave: Eventually, Musk expects SpaceX’s Redmond factory to turn out more than 1,000 satellites a year, with regular 60-satellite launches adding to the constellation.

May 24, 2019

Senior committee aides speaking to reporters on Thursday were short on details, but the move marks the first time a Senate panel has voted to support a separate service for space. In the same measure, senators also called for an overhaul of how the military buys satellites and launch services.

May 21, 2019

A key House panel has rejected the Trump administration’s plan to create Space Force, a sixth branch of the U.S. military focused on orbital operations. The proposal “leaves many unanswered questions and lacks important details and supporting analysis to justify the proposed size, scope, cost, roles, and authorities for the new military service,” members of the Democrat-led House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee said in their report on the 2020 budget proposal.

May 19, 2019

It’s almost as if Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos knew what was coming: His Blue Origin space venture is among 11 companies selected by NASA to conduct studies and produce prototypes of spacecraft that could carry astronauts down to the moon’s south polar region and back up by 2024.

May 12, 2019

Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos today laid out the architecture for missions to the moon aimed at supporting NASA’s goal of landing astronauts on the lunar surface by 2024. The game plan for Bezos’ space venture, Blue Origin, calls for continuing work on the company’s Blue Moon lunar lander and a new breed of hydrogen-fueled rocket engine known as the BE-7.

May 08, 2019

The main mission was to check out the launch system in preparation for flying people later this year, but Blue Origin said it flew 38 commercial payloads in the crew capsule -- including a 3-D printer and a scientific centrifuge designed for use in zero-gravity.

April 26, 2019

The asteroid belt is composed of three types of asteroid: C-type (carbonaceous, ~75 percent of all asteroids), S-type (silicate-rich, ~17 percent of asteroids) and M-type (metal-rich), which are roughly 10 percent of the total population. The numbers, in this case, don’t add up to 100 percent because we aren’t sure of the exact ratios. 16 Psyche is an M-type asteroid made of iron-nickel. What makes it unusual is that it’s believed to be the now-exposed core of a protoplanet. It’s also estimated to be worth $10,000 quadrillion dollars, if anybody has a towing hitch handy.

April 25, 2019

Today the U.S. has more than 400 military, government and commercial satellites circling the globe in geosynchronous Earth orbit, or GEO, a celestial path about 22,000 miles above the ground. These high-altitude satellites are ideal for telecommunications, meteorology and certain military applications, but when they break down, it’s nearly impossible to fix something far out in the cosmos.

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