UAE to launch unmanned mission to the moon by 2024

9A2DB876-F4BB-4D7C-AFD2-63BC8A7CE541

Emirati officials brief Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum about a possible moon mission, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, September 29, 2020.

Gulf state boosts space program, could become fourth nation in the world to land on the moon.

The United Arab Emirates plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2024, a top Emirati official said Tuesday, the latest gamble in the stars by the oil-rich nation that could see it become only the fourth nation on Earth to accomplish that goal.

The announcement by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also serves as the vice president and prime minister of the hereditarily ruled UAE, shows the rapid expansion of the space program that bears his name. Already, an Emirati space probe is hurtling through space on its way to Mars while last year it sent its first astronaut to the International Space Station.

Continue reading… “UAE to launch unmanned mission to the moon by 2024”

0

Chitin could be used to build tools and habitats on Mars, study finds

7B5405FD-7156-4E4A-B12F-2B448DAFBCDD

The manufacturing process would require minimal energy and no specialized equipment.

Scientists mixed chitin—an organic polymer found in abundance in arthropods, as well as fish scales—with a mineral that mimics the properties of Martian soil to create a viable new material for building tools and shelters on Mars.

Space aficionados who dream of one day colonizing Mars must grapple with the stark reality of the planet’s limited natural resources, particularly when it comes to building materials. A team of scientists from the Singapore University of Technology and Design discovered that, using simple chemistry, the organic polymer chitin—contained in the exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans—can easily be transformed into a viable building material for basic tools and habitats. This would require minimal energy and no need for transporting specialized equipment. The scientists described their experiments in a recent paper published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Continue reading… “Chitin could be used to build tools and habitats on Mars, study finds”

0

Water on Mars: discovery of three buried lakes intrigues scientists

312879B6-627E-4D62-8666-9C72EA93F1EF

Researchers have detected a group of lakes hidden under the red planet’s icy surface.

Scientists have long thought that there could be water trapped beneath the surface of Mars.

Two years ago, planetary scientists reported the discovery of a large saltwater lake under the ice at Mars’s south pole, a finding that was met with excitement and some scepticism. Now, researchers have confirmed the presence of that lake — and found three more.

The discovery, reported on 28 September in Nature Astronomy1, was made using radar data from the European Space Agency’s Mars-orbiting spacecraft, called Mars Express. It follows the detection of a single subsurface lake in the same region in 2018 — which, if confirmed, would be the first body of liquid water ever detected on the red planet and a possible habitat for life. But that finding was based on just 29 observations made from 2012 to 2015, and many researchers said they needed more evidence to support the claim. The latest study used a broader data set comprising 134 observations from 2012 to 2019.

Continue reading… “Water on Mars: discovery of three buried lakes intrigues scientists”

0

“Impossible” EmDrive engine could make interstellar travel a reality

771DFA96-1414-46F7-8E54-8D23D1D98682

Latest research aims to resolve whether the exciting and controversial thruster could actually work.

The EmDrive could usher in an era of interstellar voyages for human beings. Or it could be a failed experiment that unsuccessfully tried to break the laws of physics. A pair of upcoming papers may just settle that decades-long argument.

The EmDrive was first proposed in 2001 by scientist Roger Shawyer. In theory, the drive—also called a radiofrequency resonant cavity thruster—converts electricity into microwaves and forces them through a sealed cone. The microwaves would bounce around the reflective surface of the cone, and since the microwaves carry momentum, they would impart that momentum to that surface. The waves would exert more force on the larger end of the cone than the smaller one, creating enough thrust—without the need for propellant—to push a spacecraft through the vacuum of space. And, the drive could theoretically increase momentum once it starts moving.

Continue reading… ““Impossible” EmDrive engine could make interstellar travel a reality”

0

Nasa is looking for private companies to help mine the moon

 C0311AAF-D5E2-4D02-927E-99EF09B94C7E

Nasa has announced it is looking for private companies to go to the moon and collect dust and rocks from the surface and bring them back to Earth.

The agency announced it is buying lunar soil from a commercial provider as part of a technology development program,

The American space agency would then buy the moon samples in amounts between 50 to 500 grams for between $15,000 to $25,000.

Continue reading… “Nasa is looking for private companies to help mine the moon”

0

China is building a floating spaceport for rocket launches

608F3191-BF36-40D9-95E4-E4793A7781F8

In the near future, launch facilities located at sea are expected to be a lot more common. SpaceX announced that it is hoping to create offshore facilities in the near future for the sake of launching the Starship away from populated areas. And China, the latest member of the superpowers-in-space club, is currently building the “Eastern Aerospace Port” off the coast of Haiyang city in the eastern province of Shandong.

This mobile launch facility is being developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the country’s largest aerospace and defense contractor. Once fully operational, it will be used to launch light vehicles, as well as for building and maintaining rockets, satellites, and related space applications. As China’s fifth launch facility, it will give the country’s space program a new degree of flexibility.

The addition of a sea platform will also help mitigate the risk to populated areas. At present, all of China’s other launch facilities are located inland at Jiuquan (northwest China), Taiyuan (north), Xichang (southwest), and the coastal site at Wenchang (south) on the island of Hainan. Launches from these locations often result in spent stages falling back to Earth, which requires extensive safety and cleanup operations.

Continue reading… “China is building a floating spaceport for rocket launches”

0

Dragonfly is a ‘relocatable lander’ drone designed to fly on Saturn’s Titan moon

77B55A1C-B3A9-4FB0-9401-5823841FD4B9

It turns out that Titan, one of Saturn’s many moons, is a relatively optimal place to fly a drone. This is due to the fact that Titan’s atmosphere is four times denser than the Earth’s. So when NASA chose Titan as the next location to “search for the building blocks of life,” they decided to take advantage of that by using a drone instead of a typical rover.

Dragonfly will essentially be a large drone with eight rotors that weighs in at around 1,200 pounds. It will be approximately the same size as the Curiosity rover, only much more maneuverable due to its form factor.

Described as a “relocatable lander,” Dragonfly will travel by flight from location to location much quicker than even the fastest rover to date. NASA describes Dragonfly’s capabilities as being able to “fly its entire science payload to new places for repeatable and targeted access to surface materials.”

Dragonfly was chosen to be part of NASA’s New Frontiers program. The purpose of the program is to “support missions that have been identified as top solar system exploration priorities by the planetary community.”

Continue reading… “Dragonfly is a ‘relocatable lander’ drone designed to fly on Saturn’s Titan moon”

0

Alphabet’s Loon balloons are helping scientists study gravity waves

 NZEALAND-TECHNOLOGY-INTERNET-GOOGLE

The research could lead to better models for predicting the weather.

 In between beaming internet to people in developing countries and sometimes passing for UFOs, Alphabet’s Loon balloons have been busy helping scientists study how our planet works. A team led by Stanford professor Aditi Sheshadri recently published a report on gravity waves, ripples created by gravity when it pushes down on air forced up into the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

To compile their report, professor Sheshadri and her team used data that Alphabet’s Loon balloons collected over 6,811 separate 48-hour periods between 2014 and 2018. “This was just a very lucky thing because they weren’t collecting data for any scientific mission. But, incidentally, they happened to be measuring position and temperature and pressure,” the researcher told Stanford News.

Continue reading… “Alphabet’s Loon balloons are helping scientists study gravity waves”

0

Here’s how asteroid mining will transform the world

Asteroid mining sounds fantastically futuristic, but it is almost feasible with existing technology.

We have already landed spacecraft on asteroids and taken samples.

Now all of that “simply” needs to be done at a much larger scale mining a well-scouted space rock.

The payoff for humanity will be astronomical.
Continue reading… “Here’s how asteroid mining will transform the world”

0

The big future of satellite internet just took a promising step forward

E478FCEF-FD39-4C73-A30B-9751DB1EA07E

As companies like SpaceX and Amazon scramble the satellites to build internet constellations, an old piece of tech gets an update.

Some of the biggest companies in the world, like Amazon and SpaceX, are looking towards space for the future of the Internet. Satellite-based Internet is a nascent enterprise, but analysts believe that broadband Internet beamed to Earth from orbit could be a massive business fewer than 20 years, earning hundreds of billions of dollars.

Attention has focused on the “space” part of “space Internet,” with news stories focused on the rocket launches getting SpaceX’s Starlink satellites into space, and how Amazon plans to catch up with satellites of its own. But all of these satellites will need transceivers on Earth to send and receive data. Scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Socionext Inc. have built a new one that is made to work with the next generation of Internet satellites.

Continue reading… “The big future of satellite internet just took a promising step forward”

0

Virgin Galactic offers peek inside new space plane for tourists

Inside of VSS Unity unveiled, showing the cabin in which six passengers will be able to float in zero gravity on the edge of space

Virgin Galactic has revealed the interior of its centrepiece space plane, showing off a cabin with new custom seats and a “space mirror” in a virtual tour of what its passengers can expect to experience on flights to the edge of space.

For $250,000 a ticket, passengers who have signed up for the suborbital flight aboard the air-launched plane VSS Unity will strap into six tailored seats and be able to peer out of the cabin’s 12 circular windows as they ascend 97km (60 miles) above Earth. The plane has five other windows.

Continue reading… “Virgin Galactic offers peek inside new space plane for tourists”

0

Hope Probe: UAE spacecraft blasts off in first ever mission to Mars

Mission had been delayed twice due to bad weather

The United Arab Emirates has launched its first mission to Mars, the first of three missions to the Red Planet to take place this month.

The Hope Probe launched from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center for seven-month voyage, facing off bad weather which caused the mission to be delayed twice.

The mission originally intended to leave Earth on 14 July.

Continue reading… “Hope Probe: UAE spacecraft blasts off in first ever mission to Mars”

0