NASA is another step closer to blasting off its experimental "green" spacecraft, which switches traditional (and toxic) propellants with a safer, more efficient alternative that looks like peach tea. The Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) is expected to launch in 2016 as part of a SpaceX Falcon flight, beginning a year-long experiment into whether greener fuels could revolutionize exploration of the solar system.
Microscopic dust particles that could date back to the very start of our solar system have been extracted from NASA's Stardust spacecraft payload, promising to be the first contemporary samples of interstellar dust. Stardust returned its collection of stellar detritus back in 2006, and thus began a painstaking sift through the particles to see what goodies had been gathered during the three billion mile journey.
Disposable cameras might be a relic of our past, but they’re still useful! Okay, we’re not talking about those plastic ones you used to buy at Walgreens, but this one is still a throwaway camera. Instead of snapping pics of grandma’s birthday party, the Break Up Camera captures pics in space.
With SpaceX getting its own launch center for Elon Musk to continue his march to Mars, it seems his mind is still on the planet we occupy. Roughly 6.5 acres of the site will house solar panels, according to a local paper. Even more interesting is that Musk is in control of the solar company, too.
Have you ever wondered what a Quantum Vacuum Virtual Plasma thruster is? You might have, and not even realized it. The engine, seen above, is considered a bit of an anomaly. Previously laughed-off as science fiction nonsense, the actual engine has been built by two separate teams, and verified by NASA as legitimately usable.
A cancelled NASA program appears to be the source of a major stash of mirror components Corning will soon be donating to a private cause. Suggesting the original project will not be revealed due to customer confidentiality, Corning has made note that they’ll be sending the collection to BoldlyGo Institute. This group will be aiming to put its ASTRO-1 telescope into orbit within the next 15 years.
Though it is clear in some cases where you can't fly drones (avoid those military bases, folks), it isn't quite as obvious in other places, particularly if you're doing so as a hobbyist. This issue was demonstrated yet again when one Amazon worker flew his drone near the Space Needle in Seattle, and was later visited by the police as a result.
Now that NASA has shuttered their own shuttle program, and Russia is being Russia again, how are we going to get to space? One popular option is SpaceX, which is currently testing re-usable rockets. Currently unmanned, SpaceX’s trips to the International Space Station could see passengers soon.