Space Station could Get Laser Cannon to Destroy Orbital Debris

The International Space Station could one day get armed with a laser to shoot down orbiting debris, researchers say. This concept could eventually lead to a laser-firing satellite that could get rid of a large percentage of the most troublesome space junk orbiting Earth, scientists added.


Blue Origin’s New Shepard Conducts Maiden Test Flight

Blue Origin has conducted a test flight of its New Shepard suborbital system. Aimed at the space tourism market, the BE-3 engine-driven rocket lofted its capsule to Mach 3 and its planned test altitude of 307,000 feet. Attempts to recover the booster – which is designed to be reusable – were unsuccessful, although tweaks to the hydraulic system are already planned for the next test flights.


NASA Says EmDrive does Work and it may have Also Created a Star Trek Warp Drive

NASA has been testing a highly controversial electromagnetic space propulsion technology called EmDrive and has found evidence that it may indeed work, and along the way, might even have made a sci-fi concept possible. The EmDrive is a technology that could make it much cheaper to launch satellites into space and could be key to solving the energy crisis, if solar power could be harnessed off the satellites and sent back to Earth.


Top Secret X-37B Space Plane will Fly This Month Using an ‘Experimental Propulsion System’, Reveals the US Air Force

In an unprecedented disclosure, the US Department of Defense has revealed details about the X-37B latest mission, which is due to take off on May 20. ‘[We] are investigating an experimental propulsion system on the X-37B on Mission 4,’ Captain Chris Hoyler, an Air Force spokesman, told ‘The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office will also host a number of advance materials onboard the X-37B for Nasa to study the durability of various materials in the space environment,’ Hoyler added.


Russia Ready to Help Brazil Develop Space Centers, Rockets

Russia is ready to work with Brazil in the space industry to develop new space centers and Cyclone rockets for launches, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin said Friday. “Brazil is attempting to develop its own space center. Unfortunately, because of the losses by Ukraine of their technology, the Brazilian-Ukrainian project on using the Cyclone rocket on the coastal space center in Brazil has been practically shut down, but Russia has suggested its own ways of work…we have ideas as to how to help Brazil in developing its space centers,” Rogozin told journalists.


Space Traffic Management and Small Satellites to be Included in United Nations International Space Law Discussions

The main international forum for governments to discuss the laws governing outer space, the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), agreed today to discuss the emerging complexities of space traffic management and the application of international law on small satellite activities at its next session. Space traffic management, which is a set of technical and regulatory provisions for ensuring safe access into, operations in and return from outer space to Earth, has lately attracted increasing attention because of a sharp rise in the number of actors in outer space activities.


NASA 3-D Prints First Full-Scale Copper Rocket Engine Part

When you think of copper, the penny in your pocket may come to mind; but NASA engineers are trying to save taxpayers millions of pennies by 3-D printing the first full-scale, copper rocket engine part. “Building the first full-scale, copper rocket part with additive manufacturing is a milestone for aerospace 3-D printing,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Additive manufacturing is one of many technologies we are embracing to help us continue our journey to Mars and even sustain explorers living on the Red Planet.”


Space Duo: Russia Invites China to Create Joint Lunar Station

Moscow may team up with Beijing to create a scientific station on the Moon. The challenge for Russia is to build its own space station by 2024 to achieve its lunar exploration goals. According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who supervises defense-related policies, the question on “bringing China in as the main partner in creating a lunar scientific station,” is currently being discussed with Roscosmos.


Don’t Blame Just China for Escalating the Arms Race in Outer Space

China has been singled out for its military and ASAT testing in space. One of its air force chiefs was forthright, asserting that an arms race in space is a historical inevitability. Space-based information is now considered an integral feature of war-fighting capabilities. This is one reason the Chinese dream is getting bigger in space. And in reality, the Chinese leadership has made remarkable advances in space to serve especially its national security interests. This brings the country’s feats into sharper focus, ranging from anti access/area denial (A2/AD) and counterspace capabilities to even counterspace weapons. All this is of intense concern to the U.S. military.


Secretive US Space Command Breaks Silence to Warn of China

An otherwise silent branch of the U.S. military has suddenly decided to speak out. Air Force Space Command is in charge of watching for one of the most serious, yet most overlooked, threats to the United States—and it recently opened its doors for a segment on “60 Minutes.” “Somebody somewhere has made a political decision,” said William Triplett, former chief counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and an expert on national security, in a phone interview. Triplett said high-level clearance would be needed for the officers in the segment, especially in Space Command, to speak so openly with the press. This is even more so, he notes, since officers in the “60 Minutes” piece warn several times of the Chinese military.


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