JWST’s Mesmerizing 3D Flight through Intergalactic Space

Buckle up for an extraordinary journey through space, past thousands of galaxies, and at an astonishing speed of 200 million light years per second. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has recently unveiled a captivating 3D flight through the Extended Groth Strip, a region between the constellations Ursa Major and Boötes, showcasing the universe’s distant past and unveiling hidden cosmic wonders.

The Extended Groth Strip is teeming with at least 100,000 known galaxies, spread across more than 13 billion light years of space. In this virtual tour, we traverse approximately 5,000 galaxies, heading towards the distant reddish galaxy named Maisie’s Galaxy. The light from Maisie’s Galaxy began its journey to Earth just 390 million years after the Big Bang, offering a glimpse into our universe’s earliest epochs.

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Tiny Spacecraft Using Solar Sails Open Up a Solar System of Opportunity

A new generation of tiny spacecraft could be the key to unlocking the potential of solar sails, allowing us to explore the solar system in new and exciting ways. These spacecraft, which are no larger than a postage stamp, use the power of the sun to travel through space, and could help us to study asteroids, comets, and other celestial bodies in more detail than ever before.

Solar sails work by using the pressure of sunlight to propel the spacecraft forward. The sails are made from thin, reflective material that reflects the light and generates a small amount of thrust. Over time, this thrust can add up, allowing the spacecraft to reach high speeds and travel great distances.

According to Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye, solar sails have the potential to revolutionize space exploration. “Solar sails offer a new way of exploring the solar system,” he said. “They allow us to travel much faster and much farther than we ever have before.”

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Space startup Bellatrix to test electric propulsion for satellites on-board PSLV

Hall-effect thruster (HET), on Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C55 that is set for launch 

Space startup Bellatrix Aerospace is set to test its innovative electric propulsion system for satellites onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket. The test will take place as part of a satellite mission scheduled for later this year, marking a major milestone for the Bangalore-based startup.

Bellatrix Aerospace was founded in 2015 by Rohan M Ganapathy and Yashas Karanam, two young engineers from India’s prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. The startup is focused on developing cost-effective propulsion systems for satellites and spacecraft, with a particular emphasis on electric propulsion.

Electric propulsion systems are seen as a game-changer for the satellite industry, as they offer several advantages over traditional chemical propulsion systems. They are more efficient, which means they can carry more payload while using less fuel, and they can operate for longer periods of time, which is particularly useful for deep-space missions.

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China Develops New Aerospace Launching System That Offers Stiff Competition to Elon Musk’s SpaceX

China’s National Space Administration (CNSA) has reportedly developed a new aerospace launching system that could offer tough competition to SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk. The Long March-9 rocket is said to have a payload capacity of over 100 tons, significantly more than SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, which can carry up to 64 tons.

“The Long March-9 rocket is China’s answer to the heavy-lift demands of ambitious space exploration programs,” said a CNSA spokesperson. “It will be capable of carrying payloads of over 100 tons into low Earth orbit and over 50 tons into Earth-Moon transfer orbit.”

The Long March-9 rocket, expected to be ready for launch by 2030, will stand at 93 meters tall and 10 meters in diameter. It will be able to transport manned spacecraft and cargo ships, among other payloads.

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The Pentagon is preparing to launch a space mission aimed at testing the ability of laser power beaming to support missions to the Moon and beyond. This technology has the potential to revolutionize space travel by allowing spacecraft to receive power from land-based facilities on Earth or orbiting satellites.

The project, called the Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research (SSPIDR), will begin with the launch of a small satellite equipped with a solar panel and a laser transmitter. The satellite will be placed in a low-Earth orbit, and the laser will be used to beam power to the solar panel, which will then convert the energy into electricity.

According to the US Air Force, which is leading the project, SSPIDR aims to “demonstrate the technical feasibility of space-based solar power for DoD (Department of Defense) applications.” The project also has the potential to support civilian space missions, including those led by NASA.


An Alternative Theory of Inertia will Get Tested in Space

On June 10th, 2023, IVO Ltd. will test the first all-electrical thruster in space. 

The ION-DVR, the first all-electric thruster, is on its way to space. Developed by IVO Space Systems, this innovative thruster represents a significant advancement in electric propulsion technology.

The ION-DVR is a quantum drive that uses a patented ion engine to generate thrust. Unlike traditional rocket engines that burn fuel to create thrust, ion engines use electricity to accelerate ions, creating a continuous thrust.

According to IVO Space Systems CEO John Wright, “The ION-DVR is a game-changer for electric propulsion. It provides a more efficient and reliable way to travel in space, reducing the cost and time of space missions.”

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How a Beam of Pellets Could Blast a Probe Into Deep Space

A team of researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara has proposed a new method to propel probes into deep space using a beam of pellets. The technique involves firing a beam of small pellets, each about the size of a grain of sand, at a probe to create a burst of energy that would propel it forward.

According to the team, the method could potentially solve one of the biggest challenges in deep space exploration: how to efficiently and cost-effectively send probes beyond our solar system.

“We wanted to find a way to get a spacecraft up to a very high speed using a method that doesn’t require a lot of propellant,” said Philip Lubin, a professor of physics at UCSB and one of the authors of the study. “And that’s what led us to the idea of using a beam of pellets.”

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Starfish Space raises $14M to advance development of satellite servicing vehicles

An artist’s conception shows an Otter servicing vehicle docked to a larger satellite. (Starfish Space Illustration)

Starfish Space, a startup based in the Seattle area and founded by two former employees of Blue Origin, has raised $14 million in Series A funding to develop spacecraft for satellite servicing. The company plans to use the funds to complete the Otter Pup, a prototype satellite servicing vehicle, and the full-size Otter spacecraft. Otter Pup is set to launch this summer as a rideshare payload on SpaceX’s Transporter-8 mission. If successful, the Otter Pup will use electrostatic-based capture to latch onto a docking target on the space tug.

Starfish Space has raised a total of $21 million in investment, including pre-seed and seed funding rounds, and has received technology development grants from NASA and the US Space Force’s SpaceWERX program.

According to Austin Link, one of the company’s founders, “The technology that [Otter Pup] can demonstrate around satellite rendezvous, proximity operations and docking” is a major focus for the company. The successful launch of Otter Pup will boost confidence in the development of the full-size Otter, which aims to do satellite life extension at scale and less expensively.

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ESA Set To Deploy 4-Armed Robots To Clean Space Junk in Orbit

ESA commissioned ClearSpace for the active space debris removal mission.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced its plan to tackle the issue of space debris with the deployment of four-armed robots. The robots, named “e.Deorbit,” will use nets and harpoons to capture space debris and bring it back to Earth. ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight, Josef Aschbacher, said in a statement, “Space debris is a growing problem that poses a threat to both space exploration and the safety of our planet. We are excited to launch the e.Deorbit mission as a crucial step in mitigating this issue.”

The e.Deorbit mission is expected to launch in 2025 and will target objects in low-Earth orbit. This is where most of the space debris is located and poses the most significant risk to spacecraft and satellites. The robots will be remotely controlled from the ground and capable of capturing debris up to 10 meters in size. The project is anticipated to be challenging due to the unpredictable environment and the significant amount of debris in orbit.

The ESA hopes that e.Deorbit will pave the way for future space debris cleaning technologies. As Aschbacher explained, “This mission will be a significant step towards developing sustainable space exploration practices. We look forward to working with international partners and industry to make this mission a success.”

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Artificial gravity habitats now have access to satellite ‘space tug’

Space station company Vast’s acquisition of startup Launcher will give it access to a space tug to build a permanently habitable space station in low Earth orbit.

VAST Space Systems, a space station startup, has recently announced the acquisition of Launcher, a rocket manufacturing company. This acquisition will allow VAST to develop their own rockets to launch payloads into orbit and to provide transportation services to their own space stations.

In a statement, VAST CEO, Dylan Taylor, expressed his excitement about the acquisition and the potential it holds for the company. “The acquisition of Launcher represents a major milestone for VAST as we look to expand our capabilities in space,” said Taylor. “With Launcher’s innovative rocket technology and our own unique approach to space station design, we are poised to revolutionize the way that humans live and work in space.”

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Low-Earth orbit: A launchpad for Europe’s spacetech startups

Satellites going, up to the skies

Low Earth orbit (LEO) is a popular destination for space tech startups due to its proximity to Earth and the potential for new innovations. In Europe, several companies are exploring the possibility of launching LEO launchpads to support these startups.

One such company is Isar Aerospace, a German startup that is developing a rocket capable of launching small satellites into LEO. CEO Daniel Metzler believes that LEO is the “next frontier for space tech startups,” and sees Isar Aerospace as a key player in this emerging market.

Another company, UK-based Orbex, is developing a 3D-printed rocket called Prime that is designed to launch small satellites into LEO. CEO Chris Larmour sees LEO as a “game-changer” for the industry and believes that Orbex can help European startups compete with larger US-based companies.

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Japanese startup announces balloon flights taking passengers up to space

A Japanese startup announced plans Tuesday to launch commercial space viewing balloon flights that it hopes will bring an otherwise astronomically expensive experience down to Earth.

The company plans to use high-altitude balloons to carry people and payloads to an altitude of approximately 100,000 feet (30,480 meters), which is above the Earth’s atmosphere.

The balloons will be equipped with a pressurized cabin that can accommodate up to eight passengers and two pilots. The cabin will be designed to provide a comfortable environment for the passengers during the flight, which is expected to last for approximately two hours.

Space BD is currently working on developing the technology required for the balloon flights, including the balloons themselves, the pressurized cabin, and the propulsion system. The company has partnered with several other organizations, including the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the University of Tokyo, to help develop the technology.

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Discover the Hidden Patterns of Tomorrow with Futurist Thomas Frey
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By delving into the futuring techniques of Futurist Thomas Frey, you’ll embark on an enlightening journey.

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