Until yesterday, every physicist was laughing at this engine and its inventor, Roger Shawyer. It’s called the EmDrive and everyone said it was impossible because it goes against classical mechanics. But the fact is that the quantum vacuum plasma thruster works and scientists can’t explain why. Shawyer’s engine is extremely light and simple. It provides a thrust by “bouncing microwaves around in a closed container.” The microwaves are generated using electricity that can be provided by solar energy. No propellant is necessary, which means that this thrusters can work forever unless a hardware failure occurs. If real, this would be a major breakthrough in space propulsion technology.
Earlier this year, an independent study found that a manned mission to Mars would just be waaaaay out of NASA’s budget for some time. But PayPal/Tesla/SpaceX founder Elon Musk spoke on CNBC recently and predicted that it would only be ten to twelve years before we launch people to the red planet.
With the next batch of astronauts going up to the ISS will also go the space station’s first espresso machine, but the space lounge in the sky is also getting another, cooler, more useful piece of technology— a 3D printer. As you can imagine, if you can get 3D printing working well in microgravity, it makes space station maintenance and upgrading far easier and cheaper. Some doo-dad that breaks and astronauts have to make do until a replacement part can be hand delivered from Earth? Or you could just print a replacement.
Italy’s first female astronaut is coming to the ISS and she’s bringing a space espresso machine awwwwww yeah
As new people come and go, as different nations send astronauts back and forth to the International Space Station, the interior of the space lounge changes little by little. And when Italy sends a woman into space for the first time in November, she’ll be bringing a super badass espresso machine specially built to offer space explorers the finest in hot caffeinated refreshment.
Just because NASA’s budget isn’t nearly what it should be, it doesn’t mean they can’t dream big about the future. The above rendering is a beautiful look at what NASA thinks a warp drive ship of the future would look like. There’s the ship itself, and on the outside, you’ll notice the two enormous rings that would theoretically create the warp bubble.
Though we’ve been told by presidents that a manned Mars mission is within our grasp in the 21st century, reinforced by independent reports that said it would be really expensive, but it could work… and today, a more comprehensive analysis showed that accounting for inflation, NASA’s measly budget that’s unlikely to change and other factors, that our ability to put a man and woman on Mars is just way out of our budget right now.
Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine and rumors that they might be stirring the pot in other former Soviet republics such as Moldova and Azerbaijan isn’t just bad for international politics, it’s also bad for space exploration. After being a leader in international space cooperation and research aboard the International Space Station, this week, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced it would no longer cooperate with the US on the ISS past 2020. Yay for peace.
Elon Musk, CEO and founder of SpaceX, announced Friday that SpaceX is filing suit against the Federal Government to protest and break the US Air Force’s awarding of lucrative launch contracts for high priority national security satellites to a sole rocket provider – United Launch Alliance (ULA) – on a non competitive basis.
At the beginning of this week, NASA announced its initiative to help private missions land on the Moon, and now it looks like the first privately built space shuttle will begin testing in 2016. The first tests will be unmanned to test the craft’s worthiness before a human crew is put on board.
The Dream Chaser space plane, buit by Sierra Nevada Corp., is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Nov. 1, 2016, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, the company announced Thursday (Jan. 23).
China’s brand new lunar rover, named Jade Rabbit was supposed to easily last three months, if not more, but it’s only been a month and it looks like the Rabbit is dead after encountering catastrophic problems.
The Moon exploration vehicle ran into problems due to the moon’s “complicated lunar surface environment”, Xinhua news agency said, citing science officials. The rover landed in December as part of China’s Chang’e-3 mission - the first “soft” landing on the Moon since 1976. It was expected to operate for around three months.