Space

NASA plans oxygen alchemy for manned Mars mission

NASA plans oxygen alchemy for manned Mars mission

NASA's manned mission to Mars could take a MacGyver approach to the flight home, potentially relying on oxygen extracted from the red planet's own atmosphere to support crew both during the mission and on the return journey. Dubbed in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), the strategy could mean a very different approach to mission design, particularly when it comes to the planned 2020 robotic rover NASA intends to send to Mars.

Continue Reading

Russian satellite launch ends in embarassing flames

Russian satellite launch ends in embarassing flames

After threatening to lock US astronauts out of the International Space Station, all Russia needed was a solid rocket launch to declare itself the current cowboys of space. Unfortunately, that's exactly what didn't happen, with an attempt to put Russia's most technologically-advanced satellite into orbit last night ending in disaster as the $206m Express-AM4P burned up over China after a fault with the Proton rocket.

Continue Reading

NASA issued Space Station challenge after Russian threats

NASA issued Space Station challenge after Russian threats

NASA has been challenged to come up with a way to use the International Space Station without relying on the Russians, as US lawmakers grow concerned that access to the orbiting research platform could be cut off amid sanction threats. Russia proposed effectively locking NASA out of the ISS earlier this week, after the US blocked high-tech exports as a sales scolding for allegedly supporting Crimean unrest.

Continue Reading

Russia threatens to lock US out of ISS as space tensions soar

Russia threatens to lock US out of ISS as space tensions soar

Russia has threatened to cut off access to the International Space Station and force the project to a premature close in retaliation over US sanctions, with NASA's orbiting research paying the price for growing international tensions. US plans to extend the ISS' life beyond the planned 2020 cut-off for another four years will be rejected, Russia's deputy prime minister said today, while also blocking the use of Russian rockets for upcoming launches.

Continue Reading

This is how Gravity’s stunning Space Station reentry was made

This is how Gravity’s stunning Space Station reentry was made

The visual effects design team behind one of the most memorable scenes in Gravity have shared the story behind the computer-generated sequence, creating a virtual space station to plunge into the Earth's atmosphere. Most of the Sandra Bullock and George Clooney blockbuster involved CGI, but Rising Sun Pictures was forced to mix science and speculation to get the scene where the Chinese space station is knocked out of its orbit.

Continue Reading