Showing posts from January, 2018

The Alcubierre-Froning Warp Drive part I | AsteronX


Trump's NASA Budget: Money for Moon Exploration but Halt to Space-Station Spending by End of 2024

The White House's next NASA budget is expected to propose government-industry moon initiatives and ending space-station funding by the middle of next decade, according to people familiar with the details. The 2019 spending proposal will lay out the first specifics of such lunar exploration--previously embraced by President Donald Trump--while calling for a modest $200 million program down payment, these people said. If all goes well, it projects manned missions to the moon by the early 2020s, according to internal government documents and people tracking the issue. For the longer term, the Trump administration seeks to free up money for the moon effort by ending federal spending on the international space station by the end of 2024. Studies by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Boeing Co., prime contractor for the station, highlight escalating costs to maintain the 1990s--vintage platform, which already costs the agency more than $3 billion a year. Withou

Kilopower Project: NASA Pushes Nuclear Power for Deep-Space Missions

Many of our most ambitious space missions to space have been made possible using nuclear power. On Thursday (Jan. 18), scientists and officials from NASA and the Department of Energy gathered at the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas to discuss the Kilopower project, the next generation of nuclear power plants for future space missions. In the past, NASA has used radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) to power spacecraft like Voyagers 1 and 2, the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Packages, and the Curiosity rover. This device directly converts heat from decaying plutonium into electricity. It has no moving parts, making it ideal for applications in space. However, it is not terribly efficient. Nuclear reactors can take advantage of active nuclear fission, or atom splitting, to be far more efficient, and NASA has been researching this technology for decades. The United States flew its first space reactor, SNAP-10A, in 1965. However, from the late 1970s through

NASA is ready to ditch Earth and colonize Mars

NASA has its sights set on Mars. The space agency is making plans for humans to colonize the red planet, including a way to grow crops. The first manned mission to Mars is scheduled for 2030. Source:

Prepare for liftoff! Here’s 7 crazy facts about the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket

Like many folks, we were super excited about this week’s Falcon Heavy rocket static-fire engine test. Unfortunately, the demonstration of the SpaceX rocket which Elon Musk hopes will one day wing its way to Mars was cancelled at the eleventh hour due to logistical and safety concerns. While no new date has yet been announced, you can entertain yourself in the meantime by feasting on some of these astonishing stats about Musk’s red planet rocket. It’s the world’s most powerful operational rocket Being, essentially, three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together (a single Falcon 9 with two additional Falcon 9 first stages acting as boosters), the Falcon Heavy promises to swat away the pesky confines of gravity like a giant swatting away a fly. SpaceX hails it as the “world’s most powerful rocket,” and that’s no exaggeration. In fact, it is the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two, boasting more than 5 million pounds of thrust. To put that figure in per

The SpaceX vs. Boeing Race Is Too Close to Call

There’s an American flag stuck to a hatch on the International Space Station. The first space shuttle mission, STS-1, flew the flag in 1981. The final shuttle flight, in 2011, left the flag behind in orbit, a prize to be claimed by the next crew to fly into space from U.S. soil. Boeing and SpaceX are locked in a duel to be the first to reach orbit with people on board their capsules. With yesterday’s news that SpaceX’s launch dates have slipped, that race is now too close to call. Before these companies can carry astronauts to space, NASA wants them to launch uncrewed test flights of the companies’ capsules, dress rehearsals for later manned launches. SpaceX will loft its Dragon 2 capsule on a Falcon 9 rocket, while Boeing’s Starliner capsule will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Both of these demonstrations are now scheduled for August 2018. However, we're now hearing that SpaceX’s manned launch has been delayed until December, which pushes Elon Musk's

SpaceX Will Test the Engines of the World's Most Powerful Rocket Today

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy is one step closer to liftoff. On Monday afternoon, the company will test fire the engines on its newest rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, according to local news reports. The test was originally scheduled for last Thursday, but was delayed first to Friday and then to Monday for unspecified reasons. Visible vapors around the rocket and launch pad last week indicated the rocket had been fueled up. SpaceX did not immediately return Fortune‘s request for comment on Monday’s planned test and last week’s delays. According to SpaceX, the Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket in operation. It has more than 5 million pounds of thrust, equivalent to 18 747 aircraft. With 27 engines and three cores to get the rocket off the ground, it is capable of carrying more than 140,000 pounds of cargo to low-Earth orbit. The cores are designed to be re-used, making the rocket much more cost effective. This rocket has been in the works for a wh

Boeing, SpaceX progressing towards 1st crewed missions in 2018: NASA

U.S. space agency NASA said Thursday its industry partners, Boeing and SpaceX, are targeting the return of human spaceflight from Florida's Space Coast in 2018. "Both companies are scheduled to begin flight tests to prove the space systems meet NASA's requirements for certification in the coming year," NASA said in a statement. "Boeing's Starliner will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 and SpaceX's Crew Dragon will launch on the company's Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A." Boeing is expected to perform an uncrewed flight test in August, during which the unmanned Starliner will dock to the International Space Station for about two weeks. Then, the company will fly the Starliner spacecraft for its first commercial spaceflight to the International Space Station in November with two crew members on board. Meanwhile, SpaceX is targeting the second quarter of 2018 for its first uncrewed de