GPS 3 is the future of navigation, and it’s set to roll out in 2023

6B76B746-C6AF-4D17-A602-6BC52470608A

Lockheed Martin GPS III

Since 1993, the US Air Force has made its Global Positioning System (GPS) available to the world, and ever since then that technology has found its way into many facets of our everyday lives. It’s in our cars, in our phones, and even in our watches. It’s not surprising then that the United States continues to invest in the development of the technology for both civilian and military use — and that investment is beginning to pay off.

With two satellites in orbit and eight more in various stages of development, the latest iteration, GPS III, already is in the process of being deployed. Here’s what you can expect when the next generation of GPS goes fully operational in 2023.

Continue reading… “GPS 3 is the future of navigation, and it’s set to roll out in 2023”

0

These researchers want to run cable from the Earth to the Moon

 

FB0F13F9-8518-433C-94A1-40C69C831337

It’s a space elevator concept that could actually work.

It would be much easier to escape Earth’s gravity if you could skip the energy-intensive rockets.

That’s the idea behind the Spaceline, a newly-proposed type of space elevator that would link the Earth and the Moon in a bid drastically cut the cost of space travel.

Described in research published to the preprint server ArXiv by researchers at Columbia University and Cambridge University, the Spaceline would be tethered to the surface of the Moon and dangle down into geostationary orbit around the Earth like a plumb bob, waiting for astronauts to latch on and ride into the cosmos. The proof-of-concept paper found that the Spaceline could be constructed out of materials that exist today, raising the possibility of easier space travel and perhaps even orbital settlements.

Continue reading… “These researchers want to run cable from the Earth to the Moon”

0

Battle for Mars: Planet Bezos, Planet Musk, Planet Branson, or Planet New America?

95DB7D83-96A1-4D6F-ABC1-1FB333F792CF

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong took “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” becoming the first human being to walk on the moon. NASA reported to Congress that the Apollo program cost $25.4 billion ($176 billion in 2019 dollars). At the time, there were only two entities with the resources to accomplish a mission of this scale: America and its cold war rival, the Soviet Union. America won.

Through the lens of history, the Apollo program had less to do with our innate curiosity, our need to explore, or our quest for knowledge than it had to do with proving to the Soviets that America had “space superiority” and could efficiently deliver weapons of mass destruction at will.

As the cold war drew to a close, NASA did its best to convince our military-industrial complex that we needed to continue to explore “the final frontier.” It has been an uphill battle, and today, NASA’s budget is a fraction of what most scientists believe it should be.

Continue reading… “Battle for Mars: Planet Bezos, Planet Musk, Planet Branson, or Planet New America?”

0

Everyone’s going back to the moon. But why?

3680BE9D-B790-425D-A83F-F0247BB20DEF

The Deep Space Gateway, seen here in an artist’s rendering, would be a spaceport in lunar orbit. Boeing

As the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo landing approaches, a host of countries are undertaking lunar missions. What’s behind the new space race?

At 2.51am on Monday 15 July, engineers at India’s national spaceport at Sriharikota will blast their Chandrayaan-2 probe into orbit around the Earth. It will be the most ambitious space mission the nation has attempted. For several days, the four-tonne spacecraft will be manoeuvred above our planet before a final injection burn of its engines will send it hurtling towards its destination: the moon.

Exactly 50 years after the astronauts of Apollo 11 made their historic voyage to the Sea of Tranquillity, Chandrayaan-2 will repeat that journey – though on a slightly different trajectory. After the robot craft enters lunar orbit, it will gently drop a lander, named Vikram, on to the moon’s surface near its south pole. A robot rover, Pragyan, will then be dispatched and, for the next two weeks, trundle across the local terrain, analysing the chemical composition of soil and rocks.

Continue reading… “Everyone’s going back to the moon. But why?”

0

A BFF in Space! Bioprinter Will 3D-Print Human Tissue on the Space Station

BFF-Official-Techshot Inc

A new 3D printer will launch to the space station in July with the goal of manufacturing human tissue in space.A new 3D printer will launch to the space station in July with the goal of manufacturing human tissue in space.(Image: © Techshot Inc.)

 The futuristic gizmo will launch this month.

Continue reading… “A BFF in Space! Bioprinter Will 3D-Print Human Tissue on the Space Station”

0

Will your next job be on Mars?

E8927E79-C113-416E-8995-B27626B9E932

NASA Mars recruitment poster NASA/KSC

Look around the space where you are sitting. How many of the things you see were not available to you as a child? Perhaps you note a laptop, smart phone or Wi-Fi connection? Now imagine these things vanished. What would your life be like? Think back to when you were a child. Could you have imagined the items you now can’t live without?

This same dynamic may soon be on the horizon for jobs on Mars—we may one day wonder how we ever confined our human activities to Earth.

Advancing technology continues to create more unique and interesting jobs—for now, all of them based on planet Earth. But change may be upon us.

Continue reading… “Will your next job be on Mars?”

0

LightSail 2 gets ready to make its debut in space

C105B933-E55F-4D3D-B7FB-10A381B4871B

Artist’s concept of LightSail 2 above Earth. Image: The Planetary Society

Yesterday, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket successfully launched NASA’s STP-2 mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying with it a whole raft of technology demonstrations that will one day aid in smarter spacecraft design and help the agency’s efforts in getting to Mars.

Some of the more high profile projects included a Deep Space Atomic Clock that could change the way deep-space navigation is conducted, and a new propulsion system that runs on a high-performance and non-toxic spacecraft fuel called the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM).

However, also stashed amongst NASA’s payloads was a small satellite built by Georgia Tech students, called Prox-1 and packed safely within that like a Russian nesting doll, is a citizen-funded project that originally sprang from the mind of Carl Sagan.

Continue reading… “LightSail 2 gets ready to make its debut in space”

0

The Crab Nebula just blasted Earth with the highest-energy photons ever recorded

3AAC1BD1-BF45-4CB0-A1E6-0235E0FC0803

One measured photon has roughly the energy of a falling ping-pong ball.

The Tibetan Plateau is a vast elevated plain almost five kilometers above sea level, sometimes called the Roof of the World. It is bordered to the south by the world’s highest mountain range and to the north by desert lands. It is one of the most isolated places on Earth.

But the extreme altitude makes it a useful place for scientists. In 1990, they built an observatory here to study the showers of subatomic particles that rain down from the upper atmosphere whenever it is hit by a high-energy cosmic ray. This work is better done at high altitude because there is less atmosphere to absorb the particles.

Continue reading… “The Crab Nebula just blasted Earth with the highest-energy photons ever recorded”

0

Relativity is building a 3D-printing rocket manufacturing hub in Mississippi

42B37097-3D85-49C3-89A9-59FD82FBF696

The future of rocket manufacturing has touched down in Mississippi.

At NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, nestled in Hancock County, Miss., right on the border of Louisiana, the Los Angeles-based 3D-printed spacecraft manufacturer, Relativity Space, is planning a massive $59 million expansion to make a permanent manufacturing hub in this bucolic corner of the southeast.

Continue reading… “Relativity is building a 3D-printing rocket manufacturing hub in Mississippi”

0

Space X launches 60 satellites for Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet Constellation

14E14721-FF92-4EA2-856F-83250CDB45E0

The 60 satellites packed tightly into a fairing.

With one launch in the books and potentially dozens still to go, SpaceX has begun its build-out of the ambitious Starlink internet constellation—a series of interconnected satellites designed to deliver high-speed internet to paying customers around the globe.

The 60 Starlink satellites, each weighing 500 pounds (227 kg), were released to low Earth orbit (LEO) yesterday at around 11:32 pm ET, SpaceX confirmed in a series of tweets. Together, the tightly packed satellites weighed 13.6 metric tons, “making this launch the heaviest mission for SpaceX to date,” according to SpaceNews.

Continue reading… “Space X launches 60 satellites for Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet Constellation”

0

New video details NASA’s plan to return humans to the moon

267862EB-A34E-41CA-84CB-DF8D2EB1AFE5

We Are Going There

NASA is confident it’s going back to the Moon — and this time, it plans to stay there.

On Tuesday, the agency released “We Are Going,” a new video narrated by Star Trek actor William Shatner.

In the clip, NASA details precisely how it plans to send a crewed mission to the Moon by 2024 — touching on everything from the development of brand-new spacecraft to the hunt for mission-supporting water beneath the Moon’s surface.

Continue reading… “New video details NASA’s plan to return humans to the moon”

0