So… what if we take the launchpad closer to the actual orbit? That’s what the guys over at Stratolaunch is trying to accomplish by building (and flying) the biggest aeroplane in the world.
On March 2, SpaceX launched its first test of an unmanned Dragon vehicle which is designed to carry humans into low Earth orbit and to the International Space Station. If the test is successful, later this year, SpaceX plans to launch American astronauts from United States soil for the first time since 2011.
The first few days of 2019 brought remarkable news from outer space. On January 1 NASA’s New Horizons space probe made the most distant planetary flyby ever, and captured images of a small object 4 billion miles away from earth. The following day, China landed its Chang’e 4 rover, named Jade Rabbit 2, on the far side of the moon – another first. This suggests that 2019 will be a big year for...[Read More]
Major General Charles Bolden is a former astronaut, fighter pilot and NASA administrator. He sat down with Stuff magazine publisher and editor-in-chief Toby Shapshak and Stuff editor Craig Wilson to talk about his illustrious and varied career, how seeing the earth from space changed the way he thinks about it, and how bicycles might be more dangerous than space shuttles. As it’s not every d...[Read More]
If you’ve heard about Kraftwerk, the German electronica group, you’ll know that their sound is bordering on extra-terrestrial communication and has many musical themes about space. Someone might have taken this too literally and invited an actual astronaut in orbit to join a live show. At the band’s recent gig in Stuttgart, Germany, Kraftwerk invited German astronaut Alexander Gerst to tune ...[Read More]
Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket is scheduled for launch on February 6, and the entire space industry is watching with anticipation. Aiming for first flight of Falcon Heavy on Feb 6 from Apollo launchpad 39A at Cape Kennedy. Easy viewing from the public causeway. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 27, 2018 What is so special about this rocket? This vehicle will be the first of its kind, t...[Read More]
Japan uses the smallest rocket possible to launch the Tricom-1R satellite into space The trend of late when it comes to rocket engines has been bigger and badder, with SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy due to lift off this Tuesday. But sometimes size doesn’t matter. Japan have gone the other route, using their smallest possible rocket to send the Tricom-1R satellite into Earth orbit. The rocket, a...[Read More]
Six people recently returned from an eight-month long isolation experiment to test human endurance for long-term space missions. Their “journey to Mars” involved being isolated below the summit of the world’s largest active volcano in Hawaii (Mauna Loa), and was designed to better understand the psychological impacts of manned missions. NASA, which aims to send expeditions to Mars by the 2030s, is...[Read More]
The space race between the USA and Russia started with a beep from the Sputnik satellite 60 years ago (October 4, 1957) and ended with a handshake in space just 18 years later. The handshake was the start of many decades of international collaboration in space. But over the past decade there has been a huge change. The space environment is no longer the sole preserve of government agencies. Privat...[Read More]
It’s been 60 years since the Soviet Union fired the first salvo of the space age. On October 4 1957 it launched Sputnik, the world’s first satellite, as its contribution to International Geophysical Year. It was the first of a series of superpower spectaculars, each bringing soft power – the term political scientists use to describe a state doing something benign which boosts their prestige. The U...[Read More]
Mission control on earth receives an urgent communication from Mars that an astronaut has fractured his shinbone. Using a handheld scanning device, the crew takes images of his damaged tibia and transmits them to earth. Orthopedic surgeons then use 3D printers to create an exact replica of the astronaut’s leg from medical imaging files obtained before the voyage. Surgeons on earth use a robot to s...[Read More]
Science fiction truly turned into reality in October 1957 when Sputnik was launched – humankind’s first step beyond the Earth. Since then, progress has been rapid. A significant number of men and women have now travelled to space to explore it and do research. But while we tend to think of space as the playground of scientists, could it prove more useful in the future? Could we one day gain econom...[Read More]