Commercial Crew Providers Believe They Now Meet NASA Safety Requirements

Boeing and SpaceX, who have been struggling to meet safety thresholds established by NASA for commercial crew vehicles, now believe their vehicles can meet those requirements as they prepare for test flights scheduled in the next several months.

A key issue in the development of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon has been their ability to meet a “loss-of-crew” requirement — a measure of the probability of death or permanent disability of one or more people on a spacecraft during a mission — of 1 in 270. The companies have faced problems meeting that requirement, significantly more stringent than that of the space shuttle.

Read more at: Spacenews

NASA Targets Next-Gen Nuclear Reactors For Spacecraft, Space Colonies

The future of space exploration may rest in the hands of a group of Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers. They’ve built the first of a new generation of small nuclear reactors intended to power missions to deep space and even future astronaut bases on the moon and Mars.

Called Kilopower, their project aims to achieve a longstanding dream of the space community: a safe, effective, and powerful nuclear power reactor that can power spacecraft for years.

“I don’t think we can expand into deep space without nuclear power, which is what’s made me so passionate about developing the technology,” says David Poston, who leads the Kilopower team.

Read more at: astronomy

No Violations Found in Production of Soyuz Spacecraft With Damaged Hull

Russian State Corporation for Space Activities said that the commission of Energia Corporation, which builds Russian Soyuz spacecraft, had not found any violations in production of the Soyuz spacecraft with a hole in it.

Roscosmos also said that Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station (ISS) were planning a spacewalk on November 15 to open the spacecraft’s thermal cover and investigate the hole in it.Earlier, a source told Sputnik that an internal investigation, held by Energia showed that the hole had been deliberately made by a drill bit. The company did not say who might have drilled the hole, however.

Read more at: Sputnik news

The Moon Is Electric—Especially When It’s Full

The moon is often thought of as a lifeless and inactive place. But a new study reminds us that our pale celestial guardian is more dynamic than it seems from afar. Fresh measurements of its flimsy atmosphere back up the idea that our lunar companion is surrounded by an electric shell, and that shell seems to gather power when Earth shields it from the fury of the sun during a full moon.

In effect, when you gaze at a bright full moon shining in the sky, you are probably seeing the lunar orb at its most electric.

Worlds with atmospheres tend to have outer layers known as ionospheres. Material that reaches these extraordinary heights bumps up against the vacuum of space, where starlight and cosmic rays attack it, stripping electrons from atoms and creating a thinly spread shell of electrically charged gas, or plasma.

Read more at: National Geographic

Roscosmos Commission On Soyuz MS-09 Air Leak To End Work In November

A commission of Russia’s state corporation Roscosmos to investigate circumstances under which the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft was damaged plans to complete its work by the end of November, Roscosmos First Deputy Director General Nikolai Savostyanov told reporters.

“We have outlined the plan of work,” he said, commenting on the commission’s first meeting that took place on Tuesday. “We plan to gather once in two weeks and complete the commission’s work in late November.”

Savostyanov said that an internal check in the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energia) revealed no systemic flaws in the production of the Soyuz spacecraft. “A check by the company’s internal commission found no systemic problems in the production technology of the Soyuz spacecraft, which could have led to an accidental damage of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft,” he said.

Read more at: TASS

Soyuz MS-09 Authorized For Reentry

The drilled hole in its hull patched, Russia’s Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, currently attached to the International Space Station, has been authorized for further flight and re-entry as a rescue capsule, which will take the space crew back to Earth if need be, the manufacturer, space rocket corporation Energia, said after a meeting of the council of chief designers.

“The manned spacecraft Soyuz MS-09 has been authorized for further flight as part of Russia’s segment of the ISS and for being used as a rescue capsule,” the company said in a news release.

As the Energia corporation’s deputy general designer Vladimir Solovyov said at the meeting, the air leak had been eliminated and standard pressure restored.

Read more at: TASS

NASA’s Beloved Mars Rovers Are Having a Rough Year

At the start of 2018, nasa had two active rovers on Mars. Now, it has one—and it’s having some issues.

Earlier this summer, the Opportunity rover stopped communicating with Earth after a massive dust storm swept the planet and prevented sunlight from reaching its solar panels. The storm has mostly cleared, but nasa hasn’t heard from the rover since June, and engineers are listening daily for any faint pings.

Then on Saturday, the other rover, Curiosity, experienced a technical problem that has prompted engineers to temporarily turn off all its science instruments while they troubleshoot.

Read more at: Atlantic

Astronauts Going to Mars Will Absorb Crazy Amounts of Radiation. Now We Know How Much.

There are plenty of challenges to putting people on Mars, whether you look at the rocket, the astronaut or the planet itself.

New data from one of the many spacecraft at work around Mars confirm just how dangerous a round-trip human journey would be by measuring the amount of radiation an astronaut would experience. Cosmic radiation is made up of incredibly tiny particles moving incredibly fast, nearly at the speed of light — the sort of phenomenon a human body isn’t very well equipped to withstand. That radiation travels across all of space, but Earth’s atmosphere buffers us from the worst of its impacts. That means the farther away from Earth’s surface you go, the more cosmic radiation your body absorbs.

Read more at:

Russia’s Roscosmos Says to Remain Participant of 1st Moon Orbit Station Project

Russian space agency Roscosmos told Sputnik on Friday that the corporation will continue participating in the international Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway project.

Russia was offered to build an airlock module for discharging cosmonauts on the platform. In April, a source told Sputnik that the Russian side was forced to build the unit under the US standards that ensure the use of only US space suits instead of Russian ones on the platform.

“The delegation of the Roscosmos state corporation took part in the international meeting on discussing the requirements for the lunar orbital platform, which was held in Orlando. Roscosmos reiterated its intentions to be a fully legitimate participant of this project. As a result of this work, the parties agreed to continue cooperation in the creation of the international lunar platform,” the space agency’s spokesperson said.

Read more at: Sputniknews

NASA Wants To Prolong ISS Operation Till 2028-2030

The United States has initiated prolongation of the International Space Station’s service life till 2028-2030 and corresponding work is already in progress, Russian cosmonaut, deputy director of the Institute of Biomedical Problems under the Russian Academy of Sciences, Oleg Kotov, told TASS in an interview.

“No, they [NASA] do not wish to dump it [the ISS] and they have never wished to do that. They have already initiated prolongation of the station’s operation till 2028-2030 and this work is already in progress. There are two tasks on the agenda – to persuade the government to provide funds for financing the operation of the ISS and to carry out technical scrutiny into whether it is safe to prolong the station’s life cycle,” Kotov said.

Read more at: TASS

Stevenage Space Company Airbus To Develop Plans For Human Base In Lunar Orbit

Stevenage space company Airbus has been commissioned by the European Space Agency to look into creating a future human base in the moon’s orbit.

Over the next 15 months, scientists and engineers will develop a module for living in and research, although unlike the International Space Station, the ‘Gateway’ is not intended to be continually inhabited. In a second study, they will create proposals for refuelling, docking and telecommunications.

Airbus is hoping that the project will eventually serve as a staging point and hub for human missions to the Moon or Mars.

Read more at: bobfm

Look Inside A Deep Space Habitat For NASA To Take Astronauts To Mars

Elon Musk just booked his first SpaceX tourist to head to the moon, and Musk also has plans to get to Mars. He is not alone. NASA is on the job too.

A first round of prototypes for deep space habitats to one day carry humans to Mars will be delivered by a group of contractors to NASA for testing in 2019, NASA spokesperson Kathryn Hambleton tells CNBC Make It.

The renderings of the deep space habitats are fascinating.

NASA released its own rendering (embedded below) in 2016, when it announced the selection of a handful of private space companies — Bigelow Aerospace, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop GrummanInnovation Systems (formerly Orbital ATK), Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems and NanoRacks — that would come up with the prototypes for deep space habitats.

Read more at: CNBC

China’s Tiangong-2 Space Lab Completes Second Year In Orbit

China’s second space lab, Tiangong-2, has completed its second year in orbit having carried out a range of tests instrumental to plans for a large, modular Chinese space station.

Tiangong-2 was launched on September 15, 2016, and shortly after received two astronauts for what would become China’s longest crewed mission so far, testing advanced life support required for the Chinese Space Station(CSS).

The 8.6-metric-tonne space lab has also performed a range of science experiments, and notably been the target for the country’s first orbital refuellings and docking tests with the Tianzhou-1 cargo ship, which were completed on September 22, 2017, with the controlled deorbiting of Tianzhou-1.

Read more at: Gbtimes

Orion’s First Service Module Integration Complete

Last week at the Airbus integration hall in Bremen, Germany, technicians installed the last radiator on the European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft marking the module’s finished integration.

ESA’s European service module will provide power, water, air and electricity to NASA’s Orion exploration spacecraft that will eventually fly beyond the Moon with astronauts. The European Service Module is now complete for Orion’s first mission that will do a lunar fly-by without astronauts to demonstrate the spacecraft’s capabilities.

Read more at: ESA

Satellites Are At Higher Risk From Fast Solar Winds Than A Major Space Storm

The study which found the risk from fast solar winds was a collaboration between the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Surrey, UK, and Boston University, USA, and was published in the journal Space Weather. It investigated the risks from space weather to orbiting satellites. The researchers calculated the radiation levels within the Van Allen radiator belts, which are ring-doughnut-shaped zones which wrap around the Earth and trap charged particles. The Van Allen radiator belts contain the geostationary orbit.

The study analysed a years’ worth of satellite data to find that the electron radiation levels at geostationary orbit can remain very high for over five days, even after the speed of the fast solar winds die down. This means that electronic components on satellites can be damaged because they charge up to dangerously high levels.

Read more at: scitech europa

Spacewatch: Floating ‘Space Junk’ Captured

A satellite launched from the International Space Station has caught a piece of simulated space junk by ensnaring it in a net. Co-funded by the European commission, the 100kg RemoveDebris satellite was launched to the station in April as cargo on a supply mission. It was deployed from the station in June, and on 16 September began its experimental phase. It launched a small object to act as a dead satellite and a few seconds later fired a net at it.

The net unfurled as it caught up and then wrapped itself about the object. The extra mass that the net provides will help drag the object down into Earth’s atmosphere, where it will burn up.

Read more at: Guardian

The Battle For More Satellite Bandwidth

The largely obscure issue of access to electromagnetic spectrum is finally is getting high-level attention, says the head of a trade group representing the satellite industry that supports everything from 5G wireless and broadband communications to navigation and video services.

But Tom Stroup, the president of the Satellite Industries Association, hopes the White House National Space Council can do even more. “They’ve moved more quickly than I actually would have expected government to move given some of the major issues they’re undertaking, but we’re by no means where we need to be,” he said.

Stroup commends the body headed by Vice President Mike Pence for acting quickly on presidential directives that address top issues for Stroup’s dozens of member companies, including speeding up licensing and slashing regulations.

Read more at: Politico

Brazil Space Station Open For Small Satellite Business

Brazil is ready to launch small commercial rockets from its space base near the equator as soon as it agrees to safeguard U.S. technology that is dominant in the industry, the Brazilian Air Force officer managing the space program said on Friday.

Brig. Major Luiz Fernando Aguiar said Brazil wants to get a piece of the $300 billion-a-year space launch business by drawing U.S. companies interested in launching small satellites at a lower cost from the Alcantara base on its north coast.

“The microsatellite market is most attractive today and we are interested in the 50 to 500-kilo niche,” Aguiar told Reuters at the base’s main launch pad. “We are developing a rocket for microsatellites. For that this tower is totally ready.”

Read more at: Reuters

Japanese General Contractors Looking To Build Base On Moon

Major Japanese contractors are promoting research on construction projects in space, eyeing future demand for building bases on the moon from around 2030, when NASA and JAXA plan to set up their manned foothold on Earth’s natural satellite.

Shimizu Corp. launched a frontier development office in April to find business opportunities in space. About 10 staffers are conducting research on how to construct a base on the moon. Under their plans, concrete for base construction can be produced by mixing the moon’s surface soil with melted ice taken from the satellite. The melted ice can also be used to provide drinking water, oxygen and hydrogen as fuel to the base.

Read more at: mainichi

China Is Considering A New Launch Centre For Emerging Commercial Launch Companies

The Chinese government is studying the construction of an open commercial space launch centre for the country’s emerging private launch companies, which will soon be attempting their first orbital flights.

China took the decision to open the launch vehicle and remote sensing satellite areas of its space sector in 2014, leading to the founding of a number of commercial space companies.

Space startups OneSpace and iSpace, also known as Space Honor and Interstellar Glory, both launched suborbital rockets from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert earlier this month. Meanwhile Beijing-based Landspace is aiming for the first flight of its Zhuque-1 orbital rocket in the final quarter of 2018.

Read more at: Gbtimes

Jeff Bezos Conquered Retail. Here’s How He Aims To Conquer Space.

Jeff Bezos was at National Harbor on Wednesday for another Greater Washington fireside chat, this time with a retired Air Force general, and he again declined to reveal the location of his hotly anticipated HQ2. Sorry, folks, the big reveal will come before the end of the year.

But the Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) founder and world’s richest man did offer some advice on how the U.S. can maintain its dominance in space in the face of growing threats, and how the Air Force can balance its size with the need for a more innovative culture.

The occasion was the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference, which brings together Air Force senior leaders and experts from government, industry and academia to detail developments in air power, space and cybersecurity. Bezos was booked as a featured speaker and the discussion steered mostly clear of business platitudes, to the credit of Bezos and retired Air Force Gen. Larry Spencer, who interviewed Bezos.

Read more at: Bizjournals

Building On New Shepard, Blue Origin To Pump A Billion Dollars Into New Glenn Readiness

Blue Origin is making the final preparations for crewed spaceflight in West Texas. Meanwhile, at Cape Canaveral, Florida, the company is continuing to push towards achieving orbit and entering the commercial launch market. During a speech this week, Jeff Bezos confirmed the company has already invested $1 Billion in space coast facilities and another $1 billion will be fed into the New Glenn rocket next year.

The New Shepard rocket, named after the first American in space Alan Shepard, is designed for suborbital space tourism. Passengers can experience a few minutes of weightless as the spacecraft flies up to 107 km, 7 km above the officially recognized Karman Line between Earth’s atmosphere and space. New Shepard first reached this altitude on Flight 8 in April.

Read more at: NASA Spaceflight

Spacex Plans To Launch A Giant Spaceship Around The Moon. But How Will It Land Back On Earth?

The giant 100-passenger spaceship that SpaceX plans to load with a billionaire and a clutch of artists may one day circle the moon, perhaps as soon as 2023. But the ship also has to land safely back on Earth. While presenting wealthy lunar-enthusiast and future SpaceX passenger Yusaku Maezawa to the public on Monday, CEO Elon Musk also showed a simulation of how the forthcoming Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, will fall through the sky like a plummeting rock and eventually land upright back on Earth.

“It’s very counterintuitive,” Musk said. “It’s not like anything people are familiar with. It’s not like an airplane.”

Read more at: Mashable

Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch Systems Lays Out A Roadmap For Hypersonic Rocket Planes

Stratolaunch Systems, the aerospace company created by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, says it’s exploring the development of a series of rocket planes that would serve as a testbed for hypersonic flight.

Stephen Corda, Stratolaunch’s senior technical fellow for hypersonics, presented the concept this week at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies conference in Orlando, Fla.

If Stratolaunch follows through on the concept, the company could use the world’s largest airplane as a launch platform for an uncrewed aerospace plane that travels at more than 10 times the speed of sound, or Mach 10.

Read more at: Geekwire

More Players Rising In Space Launch Vehicle Market

India successfully launched its workhorse rocket PSLV as a purely commercial mission. PSLV demonstrated its capability to match small satellite requirements but competition is intense with the spurt in dedicated small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) ventures. An SSLV has a quick turnaround time eliminating the frustration in small satellite industry that has to wait for months before a launch opportunity arrives. The PSLV is not capable of this with the existing infrastructure and, therefore, ISRO’s response is to field its own SSLV starting launches next year.

Small satellite companies intend to launch thousands of small satellites for low latency communications, Internet, imaging, vehicle and ship tracking services etc.

Read more at: orf online

Can Space Tourism Save Elon Musk?

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa made his name as a drummer in a hardcore punk band, made his fortune in online fashion, and now wants to make history by becoming the first man to circle the moon, accompanied by a small entourage of artists and performers. On Monday, Maezawa appeared on the SpaceX factory floor next to Elon Musk to announce their lyrically titled mission, Dear Moon, which will not take place until 2023, at the earliest. Musk declined to disclose the exact amount Maezawa had forked over for the honor, but allowed that “a very significant deposit” had been made for a flight aboard SpaceX’s ambitious B.F.R. (“B” for big; “R” for rocket). Maezawa, it seems, is in it for the notoriety—according to The New York Times, he told Musk he’s willing to wait years for the rocket, as long as he’s the first “private person” to make it to the moon. “I want to contribute to society in a different way,” he told reporters, of the cadre of artists he hopes to bring along. “These artists will be asked to create something after they return to Earth, and these masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us.”

Read more at: Vanity fair

Corporations Are Ready to Build Moon Villages, Our Laws Are Not

At the 2018 International Space Development (ISDC) meeting in May, Jeff Bezos—founder of Amazon and Blue Origin—laid out his vision for human expansion into the solar system.

Bezos attended the event to accept the Gerard K. O’Neill Memorial Award for Space Settlement Promotion, named for the visionary physicist who pioneered many human space exploration concepts. While there, Bezos expressed a comprehensive perspective on the future of spaceflight, including the idea that we need to “leave Earth to save it.”

At the same time, Bezos added a new piece to the puzzle: lunar settlement. This places him in the middle of a growing fascination with the Moon and the promise of a robust “cislunar economy.”

Read more at: Motherboard vice

China Aims To Launch A Rocket Larger Than NASA’s SLS In 2028

China is working on a super-heavy-lift rocket, named Long March 9, which will allow the country to carry out a number of major robotic interplanetary and crewed lunar missions.

Li Guoping, director of the Department of System Engineering at the China National Space Administration (CNSA), said at the World Conference on Science Literacy 2018 on Tuesday in Beijing that the Long March 9 would be capable of lifting 140,000 kilograms, or 140 metric tonnes, to low Earth orbit (LEO), according to the preliminary design.

Reiterating previously stated dimensions, Li said that the length of the launch vehicle will be over 90 metres, with a core stage diameter of 10 metres.

Read more at: Gbtimes

Russia Plans to Develop Reusable Stage for Carrier Rocket by 2023, FPI Says

A fully-functioning prototype of the return stage of a reusable launch vehicle will be built in Russia within the next four years, an official from Russia’s Advanced Research Foundation (FPI) told Sputnik.

“As for the whole project, we are counting on four years from the start of the fully-fledged work…According to our estimates, the work will begin in the first half of next year,” the official said.

He clarified that the project to create a reusable stage was dubbed “Wing-SR” (stage reusable). The official said that the winged stage of the reusable carrier rocket would be capable of returning to a space center at a hypersonic speed.

Read more at: Sputnik news

America First, in Space

Over the past few months, US President Donald Trump has seemed infatuated with outer space. He and Vice President Mike Pence have made grandiose announcements about US space policy, foremost among them, the controversial plan to set up an “American Space Force” as a sixth branch of the US military. Trump even invited his supporters to vote on a possible logo for the proposed space force.

At first sight, it appears that the Trump administration has been consistently and vigorously engaged in the area of outer space. But a closer look reveals a sense of lack of detail and cohesion.

Read more at: Lowy institute

Air Force 4-Star: We Must Be Prepared to Fight in Space

The general overseeing the Air Force’s space operations says future operators must be prepared to fight there as the U.S. braces to face off against a near-peer enemy far above the planet.

Gen. John Raymond, head of Air Force Space Command, said training for future space missions will look more like what airmen experience when preparing to fight in other domains.

“We have the world’s best space operators, without any close second,” he said at the annual Air Force Association conference outside Washington, D.C. “But I will tell you what we are training them in today is a little different than [how] we’ve had to train them in the past, and that’s due to the threat.”

Read more at: Military

The Art Of Lawfare And The Real War In Outer Space

A battle for primacy in outer space took place on August 14, 2018, among the Russian Federation, the United States, and, indirectly, the People’s Republic of China. This battle did not involve the exotic technology of science fiction, antisatellite weapons (ASATs), or the incapacitation of satellites; it was not part of a hot war and did not even occur in outer space. Rather, it took place in the halls of the Conference of Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland, and concerned the interdiction of the hypothetical deployment of instrumentalities of a hot war in outer space. The carefully orchestrated arena for this battle by the proponents of banning so-called space weapons involved methodologies, institutions, and agents of international law but was undermined by a vigorous counterattack by the United States using the same forum and suite of instruments so skillfully levied against it.1 This battle, of course, is not a single instance but the latest skirmish of a much larger conflict involving real war in space.

Read more at: Space review

Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Has Some Advice For The Air Force

Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos made a plea for the Air Force to become more agile, innovative and friendly to commercial industry during a Sept. 19 speech.

Bezos sat down at the Air Force Association’s annual conference for a highly anticipated discussion on space. While the richest man in the world didn’t make any big announcements about the highly-anticipated location of its second headquarters or whether United Launch Alliance had finally chosen a Blue Origin engine to power its next launch vehicle, he talked at length about how the service could improve its acquisition policies and space enterprise.

Read more at: Defense news

US Takes Off The Gloves In Global Cyber Wars: Top Officials

The United States is taking off the gloves in the growing, shadowy cyber war waged with China, Russia and other rivals, a top White House official said Thursday.

National Security Advisor John Bolton said the country’s “first fully articulated cyber strategy in 15 years” was now in effect.

The new more aggressive posture follows a decision by President Donald Trump to revoke rules established by his predecessor Barack Obama to require high-level authority for any big military cyber operations. “Our hands are not tied as they were in the Obama administration,” Bolton said.

Read more at: Space daily

SBIRS GEO-3 Achieves Operational Acceptance

The Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite (GEO-3) successfully achieved Air Force Space Command operational acceptance. The satellite is healthy and sending data to the Mission Control Station, operated by the 460th Space Wing located at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado.

SBIRS GEO-3 launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 booster on January 19, 2018. Upon separation from the booster, satellite operations personnel began a series of planned Liquid Apogee Engine transfer orbit maneuvers to safely place the spacecraft into its final orbit.

Read more at: Spacewar

NASA’s First Flight Director’s Advice For The First Woman To Hold His Job

If an astronaut has to say, “Houston, we have a problem,” Holly Ridings will be on the other end of the call.

When humans are in space,  NASA’s chief flight director at mission control in Houston, Texas runs the show. And for the first time in NASA’s 60-year history, that chief flight director is a woman.

Ridings has worked in human spaceflight operations at NASA since 1998. Now, she will be responsible for the hundreds of flight controllers who monitor the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) each day, and the thousands who come into play during launches or spacewalks. Next year, her team will supervise the first astronauts to launch from US soil since 2011, flying for the first time in commercial vehicles operated by SpaceX and Boeing. They will also work on NASA’s exploration missions around the moon in the Orionspacecraft, planned for 2022, which will be the first human US deep-space flights since 1972.

Read more at: QZ

An Indian Space Scientist Accused Of Spying Finds Closure After 24 Years

Twenty-four years, and a lifetime of insults. That’s what it took Nambi Narayanan to clear the taint of spying against his own country.

It didn’t help that the veteran scientist was acquitted by courts just two years after the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) spy scandal broke in 1994. The case trudged on for decades, blighting reputations and livelihoods—but he fought back relentlessly.

“(My children) told me if I die, they will forever be known as children of a spy. They told me I was the only person who can prevent such a disgrace on the family. It was then that living to fight this became a necessity for me,” Narayanan, now 76, told The Economic Times newspaper last week.

Read more at: QZ

Australian Beer Company Working On Building A Special Bottle That Will Allow Astronauts To Drink Their Beverage In Microgravity

The same Australian partnership that came up with space beer are now working on an appropriate space bottle. In a article, the new design will allow astronauts to enjoy beer and other beverages in microgravity.

4 Pines Brewing and Saber Astronautics Australia have previously collaborated to make “Vostok Space Beer.” This stout beer is formulated so that it can be poured and drunk in low-gravity environments. Now the two companies are raising funds on Indiegogo to fund the industrial design of a bottle that will work in space.

In an email statement, the cofounder of 4 Pines and the CEO of Saber Astronautics explained that beer is the leading entertainment drink in the history of humankind. A casual drink in space would affirm that humankind feels at home there.

Read more at:

The First Earthlings Around the Moon Were Two Soviet Tortoises

Anders. Borman. Lovell. The names of the first three humans to journey around the moon will echo throughout eternity. But these brave Apollo 8 astronauts were actually not the first earthlings to complete the voyage. Two tortoises beat NASA to the moon by a matter of months.

Fifty years ago today, on September 18, 1968, the Soviet Union’s Zond 5 spacecraft circled the moon, ferrying the first living creatures known to have orbited another world. On board were two Russian steppe tortoises along with some worms, flies and seeds.

“It really was one of those last hurrahs for the Soviet spaceflight program because it was one of the last times they were able to preempt the Americans in any real way,” says Cathy Lewis, the international space program curator for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Read more at: Discover magazine

A Third Of Us Would Go One-Way To Mars – But It May Shrink Your Brain

Many people would consider going on a one-way mission to Mars, according to the 2018 New Scientist Asks the Public survey. But new evidence suggests that the lengthy trip may be bad for the part of your brain involved in forming memories.

The survey, carried out in August by Sapio Research on a representative sample of 2026 UK adults, found that 50 per cent of men and 30 per cent of women would be happy to go on a return trip to Mars. As for a one-way trip, 40 per cent of men said they would definitely or probably want to go, compared with 20 per cent of women.

Read more at: New Scientist

What Powers Deep Space Travel?

When Khooshboo Dani grew up dreaming of traveling through space and building something among the cosmos, she never considered what would power her voyage.

Inspired by Neil Armstrong’s biography and trips to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Boeing’s Factory in Seattle, she decided to pursue a graduate education in astronautical engineering after completing a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Amrita University in India. Now, as a master’s student in Viterbi’s Department of Astronautical Engineering (MS ’19) and former member of the Liquid Propulsion Lab, a student-led rocket building group, she has developed an interest in power systems.

This summer, Dani spent her time as an intern for the Center of Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) at the Idaho National Laboratory, a group which develops advanced nuclear systems for space travel. She and her research team of four other college students were tasked with determining how nuclear fuel interacts with the surrounding materials and how this interaction can influence the efficiency of energy conversion.

Read more at: Viterbi school

Review: The High Frontier: An Easier Way

In space, as in other fields, ideas come and go, returning after past failures in the hopes that changes in technology, policy, or economics will allow people to accept a concept they previously rejected. That appears to be the case with space settlements. In the 1970s, “space colonies” were all the rage among space enthusiasts, attracted by the idea proposed by Princeton professor Gerard K. O’Neill that giant habitats, many kilometers in size, would be the best place for humanity to live in space. There were NASA-sponsored studies of space colonies with lavish illustrations of the concepts, and ideas to use such facilities to enable space-based solar power (another idea that comes and goes) and other space industries. But, within a few years the concept faded away, with NASA ending its support and predictions that the Space Shuttle would enable frequent low-cost access to space failing to come true.

Read more at: Space review

‘Accessory To War’ An Uncomfortable Wake-Up Call For Some

Any doubts that science has a dark side were extinguished when, on August 6, 1945, an American Air Force B-29 bomber dropped the atomic bomb Little Boy on Hirsoshima.

Three days later, Fat Man, a plutonium implosion-type bomb, was dropped in Nagasaki, prompting Japan to surrender.

Just weeks before, on July 16, scientists and military personnel working at the top-secret Los Alamos facility had detonated the first-ever atomic bomb. Everyone present knew that the world would never be the same after that. “Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds,” Manhattan Project director J. Robert Oppenheimer was quoted as having said years later, reminiscing about the event.

Read more at: NPR

“Safe Passage to Mars” Design Challenge

“Safe Passage to Mars” is a design challenge for undergraduate students. Enabling safe space exploration of Moon, Mars and beyond requires the application of the concepts of Engineering Psychology to design and build hardware (tools, devices, or equipment) which can mitigate critical human performance issues associated with long-duration spaceflight.

Read more at: ISSF

10th IAASS Conference

15 – 17 May 2019 – Los Angeles, USA

The tenth IAASS Conference “Making Safety Happen” is an invitation to reflect and exchange information on a number of topics in space safety and sustainability of national and international interest. The conference is also a forum to promote mutual understanding, trust, and the widest possible international cooperation in such matters. The once exclusive “club” of nations with autonomous space access capabilities is becoming crowded with fresh, and ambitious new entrants. New commercial spaceports and near-spaceports are in operations and others are being built.

Read more at: IAASS Conference

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