Space

Bezos’ Blue Origin teases 2018 missions as it chases SpaceX

Bezos’ Blue Origin teases 2018 missions as it chases SpaceX

Blue Origin, the private space flight start-up funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has successfully tested off-the-shelf hydrogen rockets ahead of 2018 unmanned missions starting, though the company says it expects to switch eventually to rockets of its own design. The company, which will present its engine work to NASA in May 2014 as part of its ongoing part-funding from the US space agency, expects to also have human passengers flying - albeit suborbital - in the same timeframe, Rob Meyerson, president and program manager, told Aviation Week, as Blue Origin revealed a few extra details about what has been one of the more clandestine space projects.

Continue Reading...

Life on Mars: Curiosity sends back first rock datings

Life on Mars: Curiosity sends back first rock datings

This week the NASA folks behind the Curiosity Mars rover mission have published a set of papers which suggest that they're closer than ever to finding habitable environments on the planet. These findings are pre-emptive in finding actual organic materials, and show how life could maybe, possibly have existed on Mars at one time. Basically the scientists on this project have said they're confident that there's a possibility of life at this point without literally saying they've found that life outright.

Continue Reading...

NASA PhoneSat 2.4 finally phones home

NASA PhoneSat 2.4 finally phones home

Back in November, NASA launched the latest version of its PhoneSat into orbit. The PhoneSat 2.4 satellite launched at 8:15pm on November 19 hitching a ride into orbit using a Orbital Minotaur I rocket. PhoneSat 2.4 built on the successful flights of other small satellites that used smartphones for their brain.

Continue Reading...

Luna Ring concept puts solar panels on the moon to power Earth

Luna Ring concept puts solar panels on the moon to power Earth

Solar energy is one method for powering homes and such with renewable resources, something that has seen great strides in past years but that still suffers from various limitations. One Japanese company has a big vision for the technology that would overcome some of these limitations, and it involves putting solar panels on the moon and beaming electricity at the Earth with lasers.

Continue Reading...

NASA Van Allen probes confirm Earth as giant particle accelerator

NASA Van Allen probes confirm Earth as giant particle accelerator

The NASA Van Allen twin probes launched last year have revealed that the Earth is a giant particle accelerator. Recently it was reported that particles in the magnetosphere sometimes accelerate across distances of a few hundred meters. But the newer discovery shows the acceleration can occur across hundreds of thousands of kilometers. The data will be helpful to to scientists helping satellite operators and the International Space Station to predict and prepare for the destructive tendencies of the seemingly random fluctuations that can occur in the magnetosphere.

Continue Reading...