TAG: Space travel

Recycling Nuclear Waste

Nuclear Recycling

Nuclear energy is often the only hope for power generation in countries without large deposits of fossil fuels. However, the presence of nuclear power plants compromise the security of that country, and most struggle to adequately dispose of the waste materials. Cumbria based British Sellafield has come up with an idea whereby nuclear waste is the key element. Nuclear waste in British plants mostly contains americium-241, and the organization plans to use this nuclear waste element to power long range spacecraft. This method of using nuclear waste is based on a design used in the Voyager probes, launched in 1977.  Even the popular… read more

New Faces In The Space Race

New Face in Space Race

Proponents of space exploration certainly recall the past predictions of science fiction that suggested we would be out of our Solar System by this time, and trudging on to other galaxies. Unfortunately, those travel plans have yet to materialize. NASA’s modern space program was designed with several purposes in mind, the foremost being human dominance in the universe. When President JFK announced the United State’s dedication towards reaching the Moon, he stoked an already blazing global space race that first began with the Russian ‘Sputnik’ program. Years later, amid budget cuts and the red tape of bureaucracy, we’ve still barely… read more

Space Tube Transportation of the Future

Space Tube Transportation of the Future

The human need to propel with man-made forms of travel can be found throughout history. Transportation is a necessity for daily schedules but things like emissions, particulate matter and carbon monoxide are obviously not so good for the environment. Daryl Oster wants to fix this issue with his version of space inspired mobility called Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies, or ET3™. It doesn’t rely on fossil fuels, can be a cost effective mode of transport and won’t even cause noise pollution. Oh, and if you need to cut down your commute or business travel time, it can also go faster than… read more

Send Your Own Tiny Spacecraft to the Moon

pocketspacecraft

For those of us who grew up in the heyday of the space race, nothing was more exciting than imagining that someday we would be able to take a more active role in space exploration. But that dream never came about, and space travel still remains the province of elite scientists and the wealthy. Unless you’ve got a Pocket Spacecraft, that is. Now, just about anyone can take part in the citizen science movement with their very own personalized spacecraft, which will hitch a ride on a commercial rocket and be deployed to land on the moon. “Pocket Spacecraft are… read more

Space Colonization

Space Station concept

It’s something of a tragedy that the prospect of colonizing space never fully materialized after the end of the Cold War, when nationalism was at an all-time high, and our eyes looked to the stars for the next great adventure. As they say, lack of competition means a lack of progress. Traveling to the Moon in 1969 was achieved largely in part by the rivalry between the United States and Russia. The two superpower nations were battling it out for control of the cosmos, and the United States gained the upper hand when Neil Armstrong famously traversed our solar cousin…. read more

No Looking Back To The Moon

Artist's Concept

It’s hard to imagine that over 40 years have passed since we put a man on the moon. Our lunar cousin beckons for us to return, though the prospect of such a mission has all but been shot down permanently by NASA. According to the space agency, we need to keep our priorities straight. Our finances aren’t as endless as some would like to believe. NASA’s Charles Bolden stated that if the next presidential administration reverses this decision and pursues a manned mission to the moon, we may never leave our planet. Just let that sink in for a moment…. read more

Space Tourism Faces Obstacles

Image of Virgin Galactic's White Knight 2 spaceship

Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos. These are the leaders when it comes to space tourism and innovating the private sector of space exploration. We’re all rooting for them to succeed, because it means we’ll be one step closer to living out Star Trek in real life. Unfortunately, the tourism industry has hit a little snag, namely on the environmental side of things. As it turns out, black carbon buildup in the atmosphere has been predicted to grow in correspondence with the emerging flights of private space companies such as SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. The majority of environmental scientists… read more

Plant Seed Pills in an Interactive Mars Garden

astrogarden

For those of you who try to grow some of your own food, you know how difficult it can be sometimes to overcome challenges such as early or late frosts, a drought, or hungry wildlife. But we learn as we go and we try harder (or try different tactics), and we find that those challenges, while daunting, can be met successfully. And much of that success can be chalked up to the fact that most of what we’re doing is enabling the plants that live in our world to do what they do best, in their natural environment. Now imagine… read more

To Infinity And Beyond

To Infinity And Beyond

In the near future, private space companies will ferry thousands of people to and from the edge of space. Leading the charge is Virgin Galactic, with over 500 people signed up at $200,000 per person for flights beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Founded by Richard Branson in 1999, Virgin Galactic was the first private space company to successfully launch a human being into space. This officially began the space industry boom, with several new companies and corporations joining the expanding market. Spaceport America, located 30 miles east of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, began construction in 2006. It was conceived of during… read more

It’s Ions To Mars

ionpropulsion

When ion thrusters were first imagined in the 1960’s, they were little more than a pipedream curiosity. Now, NASA has logged over 43,000 continuous hours with their current model of the futuristic propulsion system. This is a new world record, and a sign that NASA is headed in the right direction. Ion propulsion differs from traditional chemical thrusters in that it doesn’t burn fuel. Instead, the thruster’s energy comes from solar panels or a nuclear-powered system. In the case of the NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion engine, xenon molecules are ionized and then accelerated electrostatically using a cathode. The molecules… read more