Scientists build robot that could one day help us travel around black holes

Researchers from Georgia Tech claim they’ve built a robot that can move in curved space without Newton’s third law 

By Adam Smith

Scientists have built a robot that defies the standard laws of physics and could eventually help humans travel around black holes.

When humans, animals, and machines move through the world they must push against something – be that the ground, air, or water. This is Newton’s third law: every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

The law applies to flat, three-dimensional space that humans move through, but in curved space forces can differ – and objects can move without frictional or gravitational impact.

As such, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology claim they have built a robot that can move in curved space without pushing against anything.

Continue reading… “Scientists build robot that could one day help us travel around black holes”

ORGANS IN ORBIT 

Nasa sending ‘materials similar to human tissues and organs’ to dark side of Moon

By Charlotte Edwards

NASA is planning to send some female body parts to space on its upcoming Moon mission.

The unusual passengers will be rocketed past the dark side of the Moon later this month as part of the Artemis I mission.

The US space agency is planning to send real women to the Moon but it’s thought the female body has a bigger risk of negative impacts from space radiation.

This is where mannequins Helga and Zohar come into play.

The two torsos are said to be made up of materials similar to the bones, soft tissues, and organs of a female adult human.

Over 10,000 sensors and radiation detectors will be tracking the effects of space on these materials as Helgar and Zohar travel around the Moon.

The plan is to send the two identical torsos to space on the Artemis 1 mission that will be testing out all the tech that should take humans to the Moon in a few years time.

Nasa plans to rocket Artemis 1 into space later this month and send its Orion capsule looping around the Moon.

The current launch date is scheduled for August 29.

Continue reading… “ORGANS IN ORBIT “

Zenno Astronautics wants to move spacecraft around using electromagnets, not fuel

By Aria Alamalhodaei

It’s easy to think about satellites as a bunch of mini-moons, orbiting the Earth seamlessly and without any (noticeable) movement. But that’s not quite right: satellites and other spacecraft often require fairly continuous tweaks to their positions in orbit.

Historically, the aerospace industry has relied on thrusters, or a combination of reaction wheels and magnetic torque rods, to control a spacecraft’s attitude, control and positioning. But these take up a lot of space and mass, and limit how long a spacecraft can stay in orbit. New Zealand-based Zenno Astronautics has come up with an alternative to these heavy and time-limited propulsion systems. The core technology is an electromagnet that generates a very strong magnetic field, which can interact with other magnetic fields — like those on other spacecraft, or even Earth’s own — to generate torque.

The technology caught the interest of investors, who recently contributed to a NZ$10.5 million ($6.585 million) seed round. New Zealand-based VC firms GD1 (Global From Day One) and Nuance Connected Capital led the round, with additional participation from Shasta Ventures, NZGCP, K1W1, Austrian billionaire Wolfgang Leitner, Alt Ventures, Enterprise Angels, Arkisys and NZVC.

The funding marks the beginning of what Zenno hopes will be a landmark 18 months, culminating in their first launch in the fourth quarter of 2023. Around the same time, the company hopes to have a production facility operating with a massive manufacturing capacity of 1,000 electromagnetic systems per year.

“We can generate a new type of force in space,” founder Max Arshavsky told TechCrunch. “That is really the most fundamental breakthrough that we have.”

Continue reading… “Zenno Astronautics wants to move spacecraft around using electromagnets, not fuel”

Space Perspective Unveils Patented ‘Spaceship Neptune’ Capsule Produced at Kennedy Space Center

Space travel is about to get safer, more comfortable, and even more thrilling. Space Perspective, Planet Earth’s leading luxury space travel company, unveils the patent-pending Spaceship Neptune capsule design now in production at the company’s state-of-the-art campus, near its Operations Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida. (Space Perspective image)

COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS TARGETED TO BEGIN IN 2024

BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – Space travel is about to get safer, more comfortable, and even more thrilling. Space Perspective is currently taking reservations for 2025 and beyond. Tickets are priced at $125,000 per person.

Space Perspective, Planet Earth’s leading luxury space travel company, unveils the patent-pending Spaceship Neptune capsule design now in production at the company’s state-of-the-art campus, near its Operations Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

As the only carbon-neutral way to space, Space Perspective continues its pursuit of proprietary space travel innovation.

Thousands of virtual flight tests, simulations, and analyses run with cutting-edge technology from Siemens Digital Industries and AWS resulted in the pioneering capsule and splash cone designs.

An elegant spherical exterior maximizes the 360-degree panoramic views via the largest-ever, patented windows to be taken to the edge of space and a roomier Space Lounge interior, offering plenty of headroom as Explorers move around the capsule.

The proprietary splash cone ensures Spaceship Neptune’s ocean landing is gentle and safe.

Space Perspective is revolutionizing space travel – and is a world away from rocket-fueled space endeavors.

Explorers onboard Spaceship Neptune, taking flight commercially from the end of 2024, will safely ascend to the edge of space in the climate-controlled, pressurized capsule, propelled by a patented SpaceBalloonTM, absorbing the phenomenal beauty of Earth from space.

The six-hour round trip enables anybody who can board an airplane to soak in the beautiful views of the thin blue line circling earth below and the dark vastness of space above.

Continue reading… “Space Perspective Unveils Patented ‘Spaceship Neptune’ Capsule Produced at Kennedy Space Center”

Researchers 3D Print Sensors For Satellites

By Amelia Podder 

MIT researchers have demonstrated a 3D-printed plasma sensor for orbiting spacecraft that works just as well as much more expensive, semiconductor sensors. These durable, precise sensors could be used effectively on inexpensive, lightweight satellites known as CubeSats, which are commonly utilized for environmental monitoring or weather prediction.

MIT scientists have created the first completely digitally manufactured plasma sensors for orbiting spacecraft. These plasma sensors, also known as retarding potential analyzers (RPAs), are used by satellites to determine the chemical composition and ion energy distribution of the atmosphere.

The 3D-printed and laser-cut hardware performed as well as state-of-the-art semiconductor plasma sensors that are manufactured in a cleanroom, which makes them expensive and requires weeks of intricate fabrication. By contrast, the 3D-printed sensors can be produced for tens of dollars in a matter of days.

Due to their low cost and speedy production, the sensors are ideal for CubeSats. These inexpensive, low-power, and lightweight satellites are often used for communication and environmental monitoring in Earth’s upper atmosphere.

The researchers developed RPAs using a glass-ceramic material that is more durable than traditional sensor materials like silicon and thin-film coatings. By using the glass-ceramic in a fabrication process that was developed for 3D printing with plastics, there were able to create sensors with complex shapes that can withstand the wide temperature swings a spacecraft would encounter in lower Earth orbit.

Continue reading… “Researchers 3D Print Sensors For Satellites”

Isro developing capability to launch humans on quick space tourism flights

The Gaganyaan crew module will be the first indigenous spacecraft to take Indian astronauts into space. (Photo: Isro)

Isro is working on developing indigenous capabilities towards space tourism through the demonstration of human space flight capability to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is working on developing space tourism capability in a bid to score a chunk of the pie, which is set to become a multi-million-dollar market in the coming years.

Science & Technology Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said that the space agency is in the process of developing indigenous capabilities towards space tourism through the demonstration of human space flight capability to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). He added that Isro is currently working with 61 countries of the world in different fields of space activity.

The space tourism market has catapulted in the last couple of years with private aerospace companies dominating the field as government space agencies playing catch up. Elon Musk founded SpaceX is leading the space tourism market with its Dragon spacecraft taking people on tourism flights in zero gravity.

Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos-led Blue Origin is another big player with its New Shepard spacecraft launching from West Texas with passengers in brief joyrides to space. The flights last nearly 10 minutes, giving the passengers a view of the Earth from outside it. Isro is currently working on several other missions as it looks to conduct its first human spaceflight launch with the Gaganyaan mission, with an uncrewed launch delayed to next year.

Continue reading… “Isro developing capability to launch humans on quick space tourism flights”

A New Method for Making Graphene has an Awesome Application: A Space Elevator!

The Space Elevator is one of those ideas that seems to have an endless supply of lives. Originally proposed about a century ago, this concept calls for a tether of supermaterial that connects a station in orbit to Earth’s surface. Our planet’s rotation would keep this tether taut, and a system of “climbers” would transport people and payloads to and from space. The engineering challenges and costs associated with such a structure have always been enormous. But every generation or so, new research comes along that causes engineers and space agencies to reevaluate the concept.

The single-greatest challenge has always been the tether since no known material has ever been strong enough to handle the stresses involved. But as it turns out, this issue may finally be resolved! According to scientists with the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC), a cost-effective manufacturing process could produce graphene ribbons that are strong enough to fashion a tether! Their latest findings are detailed in a paper they will present at the upcoming 2022 International Astronomical Congress in Paris.

The research was led by Adrian Nixon, a graphene and 2D materials scientist, a Royal Society of Chemistry member, founder and editor of Nixene Publishing, and a board member of StellarModal and the ISEC. He was joined by Dennis Wright – the Vice President of the ISECIBM and a former researcher with the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) National Accelerator Laboratory – and Dr. John Knapman, a former AI specialist with IBM, a member of the British Interplanetary Society, and the Managing Director of the ISEC. 

Continue reading… “A New Method for Making Graphene has an Awesome Application: A Space Elevator!”

Virgin Galactic announces deal with Boeing subsidiary to build next-gen motherships

An artist’s conception shows a Virgin Galactic mothership in flight.

BY ALAN BOYLE 

Virgin Galactic says it will partner with Aurora Flight Sciences, a Virginia-based Boeing subsidiary, to design and build next-generation motherships for its suborbital rocket planes.

The motherships will serve as flying launch pads for Virgin Galactic’s next-gen, Delta-class spacecraft, just as a carrier airplane called White Knight Two or VMS Eve has served for the company’s SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity rocket plane.

The system’s design is an upgraded version of the SpaceShipOne system that was funded almost two decades ago by Paul Allen, the late Microsoft co-founder, and won the $10 million Ansari X Prize in 2004.

VSS Unity and VMS Eve have been undergoing test flights for years, and commercial suborbital space missions are scheduled to begin next year at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Hundreds of customers have reserved spots on future flights.

The next-generation mothership and rocket plane are due to start revenue-generating missions in 2025. The partnership announced today will cover the production of two motherships. 

Continue reading… “Virgin Galactic announces deal with Boeing subsidiary to build next-gen motherships”

Japan Proposes a Wild Concept for Making Artificial Gravity on the Moon

By Jason Dorrier

The list of challenges space explorers will face is formidable. They’ll have to produce breathable air, clean water, and food in extremely hostile environments lacking all of the above. They’ll also have to peacefully coexist with small groups of fellow explorers in tight quarters for long periods of time, all while minimizing exposure to the searing radiation that’s ubiquitous virtually anywhere they go.

Assuming explorers overcome these challenges, there’s another that doesn’t get the love it deserves, according to researchers at Japan’s Kyoto University.

Long-term settlement of Earth orbit, the moon, Mars, and beyond requires explorers forsake Earth’s gravity—the steady downward force every Earthly animal has evolved to navigate over billions of years. Studies of astronauts spending weeks or months in microgravity have shown atrophied muscles, bone loss, vision loss, and changes to immune systems. There have, of course, been no studies of humans living on planetary bodies with low-gravity, but it’s likely adult explorers would contend with health issues—and how all this might affect childbirth and normal development in kids is unknown.

Assuming some kind of artificial gravity would lessen these risks considerably, Kyoto University partnered with construction company, Kajima Corp, to explore futuristic concepts that might one day offer tourists and settlers a healthy dose of good ol’ Earth gravity.

Their far-future vision? A towering sci-fi space cone, called the Glass, that would stand 1,312 feet (400 meters) tall and 656 feet (200 meters) across. This habitat would spin around its axis once every 20 seconds so that people living on its inner walls would enjoy Earth gravity—alongside trees, grass, and a lake that would do MC Escher proud. The plans call for spinning habitats on the moon and Mars, where gravity is notably less than on Earth.

In addition to the habitat itself, the three-part proposal, outlined in a press release and video last week, also sketched out a system for transportation between Earth, Mars, and the moon called Hexatrack, which would include standardized vehicles for travel between habitats on the surface of the planet or moon and base stations in orbit.

Continue reading… “Japan Proposes a Wild Concept for Making Artificial Gravity on the Moon”

SPACE MACHINES TO LAUNCH ITS OPTIMUS IN-SPACE ORBITAL TRANSFER VEHICLE

Australian in-space transportation provider, Space Machines Company (SMC) has secured the support of SpaceX as a launch partner to carry its Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) to space as part of its April 2023 mission. 

SMC’s Optimus OTV is one of the largest commercial spacecraft designed and manufactured in Australia. 

The 2023 mission will demonstrate the 270 kg Optimus OTV’s ability to deliver in-space logistics services and will deploy solutions for foundation customers.

The Optimus spacecraft’s assembly and integration will occur at the Space Machines Company facility within the University of Technology Sydney’s (UTS) Tech Lab, and will demonstrate Australian sovereign access to space capability. 

With more than 6,000 active and inactive satellites in orbit, there will increasingly be a need for infrastructure and logistics services to support and manage exponential growth in satellites and debris, according to the company. 

CEO of Space Machines Company Rajat Kulshrestha said: “Logistics is the new frontier in space innovation. 

Continue reading… “SPACE MACHINES TO LAUNCH ITS OPTIMUS IN-SPACE ORBITAL TRANSFER VEHICLE”

MIT’s New Self-Rearranging Space Station Revealed; Will TESSERAE Be Better Than ISS?

Griffin Davis 

MIT’s new self-rearranging space station has been revealed. However, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said that this new space tech is not yet under development. 

The new TESSERAE (Tessellated Electromagnetic Space Structures for the Exploration of Reconfigurable, Adaptive Environments) project aims to build a new space station that can rearrange or readjust itself. 

If this is true, then astronauts will have a better artificial environment as their study the universe. 

“The future of human habitation in space lies in self-assembling, adaptive, and reconfigurable structures,” said MIT via its official blog post. 

Continue reading… “MIT’s New Self-Rearranging Space Station Revealed; Will TESSERAE Be Better Than ISS?”

Jeff Bezos’s Rocket Company Tests America’s Largest Rocket Engine

Blue Origin’s BE-4 oxygen-rich, liquefied-natural-gas-fueled, staged-combustion rocket engine as part of a test at 100% power levels earlier this month while also displaying its ‘gimbaling’ capabilities. Gimbaling allows a rocket engine to slightly change its angle in order to aid the rocket to adjust orientation during flight

By Ramish Zafar

Retail billionaire Jeff Bezos’s aerospace firm Blue Origin has successfully tested the largest rocket engine in America. Blue Origin, Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) are the only three American firms that are developing next-generation, heavy-lift rockets to kick off the space race, alongside the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Space Launch System (SLS) which will form the backbone of the agency’s Artemis program aimed at developing and sustaining a human presence on the Moon.

Continue reading… “Jeff Bezos’s Rocket Company Tests America’s Largest Rocket Engine”
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