NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is awake and cruising toward Pluto

FlashGordon2014: It’s alive!!! 🙂

From the article: ” NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is awake and doing fine.The spacecraft bound for Pluto roused itself from its latest hibernation on Saturday at noon PST. One and a half hours later, it sent a radio signal to Earth to confirm it had successfully turned itself back on.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-pluto-new-horizons-hibernation-nasa-20141205-story.html

New Horizons

Credit: LA Times, Author:

Strange thrust: the unproven science that could propel our children into space

From the article: For many decades, a fantasy among space enthusiasts has been to invent a device that produces a net thrust in one direction, without any need for reaction mass. Of course, a reactionless space drive of this type is impossible. Or is it?

http://boingboing.net/2014/11/24/the-quest-for-a-reactionless-s.html

Figure-3

Credit: BoingBoing.net website: Author:Charles Platt

Philae “Mignon” – the Rosetta Lander Finds Organic Molecules on the Comet

FlashGordon–I am reminded of Carl Sagan’s quote:” We are made from star stuff.” I never realized that the theory of seeding earth from comets was old. From the article” That theory, panspermia, was first proposed by a Greek philosopher, Anaxagoras, in the 5th century BCE”

http://www.21stcentech.com/philae-mignon-rosetta-lander-finds-organic-molecules-comet/

Credit-21st Century Tech Web site, posted by

Atomic Space Propulsion and Power

Flashgordon2014: Interesting article on evolution of propulsion. Clearly, we are going to need nuclear propulsion for deep space travel–solar is not going to cut it. I like the quote from  Konstantin Tsiolkovsky that stated in 1903  “the Earth is the cradle of mankind, but man cannot live in the cradle forever.”

http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/aerospace-engineering/nuclear-propulsion/atomic-space-propulsion-power/

Full scale mockup of the final design NERVA-1 engine circa 1970 that was designed to deliver 75,000 pounds of thrust at 1,500 MW, 10 hours of running lifetime at full power and 60 recycles (full starts and stops) and a specific impulse of 826 seconds.

Credit: Willis Shirk , Space Safety Magazine

Asteroid Initiatives LLC Intends to Dramatically Lower the Price of Asteroid Prospecting

Flashgordon2014: This is the first time I hear of this company. However, they are still in the raising capital phase. I wish them luck. A quote from their website: “Asteroid Initiatives will substantially lower the cost of asteroid prospecting by taking the nano and femtospacecraft revolution into deep space. Before you can do asteroid mining, you have to do asteroid prospecting; Asteroid Initiatives intends to determine the economic potential of Near-Earth Asteroids by being the first to go to mining candidates.”

http://www.1888pressrelease.com/asteroid-initiatives-llc-intends-to-dramatically-lower-the-p-pr-541269.html

Asteroid Initiatives Logo

Credit: http://www.1888pressrelease.com, September 10, 2014

A Major Malfunction: The Fateful Launch Of Challenger

Flashgordan2014: I am a bit disturb that one of the headings states “Defective Design” referring to the O-rings design. I don’t think it was ever meant to operate at those cold temperatures that January morning.

http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/space-disasters/challenger-disaster/major-malfunction-launch-challenger/

http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Challenger_flight_51-l_crew.jpg

Credit: Spaceflight Safety Magazine.

Roscosmos Chief Discusses Plans for GLONASS Stations in China

Flashgordan2014: This is interesting news just out. I am wondering if the Russian sense that when the commercial companies come onboard to provide American astronaut launch services to the ISS, they will lose a big customer.

Credit : GPS World

http://gpsworld.com/roscosmos-chief-discusses-plans-for-glonass-stations-in-china

SpaceX Failure Seen Slowing NASA Pick on Capsule Contract

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-25/spacex-failure-seen-slowing-nasa-pick-on-capsule-contract.html

Flashgordon2014: I personally feel this failure alerted the SpaceX team not to become complacent–past successes do not guarantee future ones. The space business is hard.

Credit: Bloomburg.com; Alan Ohnsman Aug 25, 2014

10 Technology Innovations Needed for Deep Space Exploration

FlashGordan2014: Ok…. Here are the ten (10) technologies we need for deep space exploration. They are all interesting but I find # 9 interesting since even that data rate will make it diffcult for creating holograhic phone conversations with loved ones. We need quantum communications!! 🙂

http://www.sciencechannel.com/aliens-space/10-technology-innovations-needed-for-deep-space-exploration.htm

Space Photos of the Week May 30-June 6 2014

Credit: Science Channel, August 2014

What happened to Charlie Bolden?

Flashgordan2014: Sometimes I feel Bolden, the administration, and congress have not taken the time and effort to restructure the agency based on the political realities that exist today along with the importance of a strong space program. This administration and congress as well as others in the past are full of lawyers (nothing against them) and haven’t a clue about the STEM aspects of a strong space program that contributes to a strong nation.

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/space-flight-news/editorial-commentary-opinion/happened-charlie-bolden/

With his recent comments the question on many space enthusiasts' minds is - what has happened to Charles Bolden? Photo Credit: Jason Rhian / SpaceFlight Insider

Credit:Spaceflight Insider, Collin Skocik, March 30, 2014

Three Teams Selected for DARPA’s Experimental Spaceplane

http://www.citizensinspace.org/2014/07/three-teams-selected-for-darpas-experimental-spaceplane/

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has announced the selection of three teams to conduct Phase One design studies for the agency’s Experimental SpacePlane 1 (XS-1).

DARPA has selected Boeing (working with Blue Origin), Masten Space Systems (working with XCOR Aerospace), and Northrop Grumman Corporation (working with Virgin Galactic) to design the reusable experimental spaceplane, which is expected to fly ten times in ten days, fly to Mach 10+ at least once, and launch a 3,000-5,000 pound payload to orbit.

DARPA Experimental SpacePlane-1 (XS-1) launch

Story Credit: Citizens in Space (citizensinspace.org ), July 15, 2014