I will start out with a look at space-based solar power, including both microwave and laser based beaming approaches as well as seeing if there’s some use that can be had for that power that doesn’t involve beaming it. This will probably lead into discussion concerning interstellar propulsion. Also, I will present why I think storage makes space based solar power unnecessary and probably non-competitive on Earth, at least for grid usage. I will also explain why I think launch costs are not the greatest barrier for space-based solar power.
This week’s #IOTW shows European astronaut Andreas Mogensen during a ‘fit-check’ of the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft, ready for his trip next week. Mogensen, Sergei Volkov and Aidyn Aimbetov will be departing from Baikonur, Kazakhstan at 05:34 BST (2 September 2015) …
Driven by the explosion of a massive star, supernova remnant Puppis A is blasting into the surrounding interstellar medium about 7,000 light-years away. At that distance, this colorful telescopic field based on broadband and narrowband optical image data is about 60 light-years across. As the supernova remnant expands into its clumpy, non-uniform surroundings, shocked filaments of oxygen atoms glow in green-blue hues.
Hydrogen and nitrogen are in red. Light from the initial supernova itself, [...]
NASA has completed the first developmental test series on the RS-25 engines that will power the agency’s new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on missions deeper into space than ever before.
The test series wrapped up Thursday with a seventh hot fire test of a developmental RS-25 engine on the A-1 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The test ran for a full-duration 535 seconds.
“The completion of this test series is an important step in getting [...]
The six-person Expedition 44 space station crew is getting ready to expand to nine people next week. A docked Soyuz vehicle will be moved early Friday morning making room for a new Soyuz spacecraft carrying Sergei Volkov, a new Expedition 45 crew member, and two visiting crew members Andreas Mogensen and Aidyn Aimbetov.
The orbital residents will shift their schedules tonight as One-Year crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko join Commander Gennady Padalka for a short Soyuz ride from [...]
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found that Markarian 231 (Mrk 231), the nearest galaxy to Earth that hosts a quasar, is powered by two central black holes furiously whirling about each other.
The finding suggests that quasars — the brilliant cores of active galaxies — may commonly host two central supermassive black holes that fall into orbit about one another as a result of the merger between two galaxies. Like a pair of whirling skaters, the black-hole duo generates [...]
We only have one example of a planet with life: Earth. But within the next generation, it should become possible to detect signs of life on planets orbiting distant stars. If we find alien life, new questions will arise. For example, did that life arise spontaneously? Or could it have spread from elsewhere? If life crossed the vast gulf of interstellar space long ago, how would we tell?
New research by Harvard astrophysicists shows that if life can travel between the stars (a process called p [...]
In its ninth flight (GSLV-D6) conducted today, (August 27, 2015), India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, equipped with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS), successfully launched GSAT-6, the country's latest communication satellite, into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
The achieved orbit is very close to the intended one. The launch took place from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota, the spaceport of India. This wa [...]
A group of researchers from Ehime University, Princeton University, and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) among others has performed an extensive search for Dust Obscured Galaxies (DOGs) using data obtained from the Subaru Strategic Program with Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC). HSC is a new wide-field camera mounted at the prime focus of the Subaru Telescope and is an ideal instrument for searching for this rare and important class of galaxy.
The research group discovered 48 DOGs [...]
The 16th century Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his crew had plenty of time to study the southern sky during the first circumnavigation of planet Earth. As a result, two fuzzy cloud-like objects easily visible to southern hemisphere skygazers are known as the Clouds of Magellan, now understood to be satellite galaxies of our much larger, spiral Milky Way galaxy.
About 160,000 light-years distant in the constellation Dorado, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is seen here in a rema [...]
"Within the Agency, we want to ensure the evidence on the impact of our policies and the benefits that they produce for the UK are the best they can be. It is important that every pound spent by government represents …