Tag Archives | Space

NASA’s Space Suits for Mars Missions

mars space suitIt does now seem inevitable that there will be manned missions to Mars this century, so designing a practical 21st century space suit may not be such a crazy idea. NASA is showing off its designs, report via BBC News:

US space agency Nasa has been showing off the wardrobe essentials for future astronauts looking for a new outfit for their first flight to Mars.

Nasa said the Z-2 spacesuit was only a prototype, but elements of it would be incorporated into the suit worn by the first humans to reach the Red Planet.

The suit uses light-emitting patches and luminescent wire that could be customised to identify individuals.

The “technology” design beat two others with 63% of a public vote of 233,431.

The suit will be tested in Nasa’s pools used to teach astronauts to spacewalk
The others were:

  • a “bio-mimicry” suit, which mirrored the bioluminescence of aquatic creatures and the tough scaly skins of fish and reptiles
  • a “trends in society” suit, which reflected what everyday clothes may look like in the future
    Aesthetic appeal

The Z-2 will be built using 3D-printed parts, and 3D laser scans will ensure each suit fits each astronaut perfectly.

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Japan’s Plan To Supply All The World’s Energy With A Power Plant On The Moon

Kelvinsong (CC)

Kelvinsong (CC)

Jeez, why can’t we just leave the moon alone? The United States and the Soviet Union wanted to to nuke it, NASA now wants to turn it into a vegetable garden, and the Japanese want to turn it into a power plant. The latter story from Quartz:

Shimizu, a Japanese architectural and engineering firm, has a solution for the climate crisis: Simply build a band of solar panels 400 kilometers (249 miles) wide (pdf) running all the way around the Moon’s 11,000-kilometer (6,835 mile) equator and beam the carbon-free energy back to Earth in the form of microwaves, which are converted into electricity at ground stations.

That means mining construction materials on the Moon and setting up factories to make the solar panels. “Robots will perform various tasks on the lunar surface, including ground leveling and excavation of hard bottom strata,” according to Shimizu, which is known for a series of far-fetched “dream projects” including pyramid cities and a space hotel.

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NASA Plans To Grow Plants On The Moon

plants

The new balanced diet includes space fruits. The Independent reports:

NASA has announced plans to grow plants on the moon by 2015 in a project designed to further humanity’s chances of successfully colonising space. If successful, the Lunar Plant Growth Habitat team will make history by seeding life from Earth on another celestial body for the first time, paving the way for humans to set up more permanent habitation.

NASA plans to deliver the payload via the Moon Express lander, a commercial spacecraft enrolled in the Google Lunar X Prize. Seeds will include Arabidopsis, basil, and turnips,” said NASA officials in a press release.

Partial gravity and lunar radiation will need to be accounted for, although the plants will travel with their own water reservoir and enough air for five days of growth. Cameras and sensors will monitor the plants and send data back to Earth.

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United Nations to Adopt Asteroid Defense Plan

Ssc2005-01bThe Hollywood adaptation of this story is no doubt already in the works. In the meantime, Scientific American has the details of the UN’s plan to defeat an asteroid attack:

When a meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February, the world’s space agencies found out along with the rest of us, on Twitter and YouTube. That, says former astronaut Ed Lu, is unacceptable—and the United Nations agrees. Last week the General Assembly approved a set of measures that Lu and other astronauts have recommended to protect the planet from the dangers of rogue asteroids.

The U.N. plans to set up an “International Asteroid Warning Group” for member nations to share information about potentially hazardous space rocks. If astronomers detect an asteroid that poses a threat to Earth, the U.N.’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space will help coordinate a mission to launch a spacecraft to slam into the object and deflect it from its collision course.

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Voyager I Has Left the Solar System

766px-VoyagerLadies and gentlemen, Voyager I has left the building…

Via New York Times:

By today’s standards, the spacecraft’s technology is laughable: it carries an 8-track tape recorder and computers with one-240,000th the memory of a low-end iPhone. When it left Earth 36 years ago, it was designed as a four-year mission to Saturn, and everything after that was gravy.

But Voyager 1 has become — thrillingly — the Little Spacecraft That Could. On Thursday, scientists declared that it had become the first manufactured object to exit the solar system, a breathtaking achievement that NASA could only fantasize about back when Voyager was launched in 1977, the same year “Star Wars” was released.

Keep reading.

How about a little send-off music?

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Space Farming: The Final Frontier

VEGGIE1

Vegetable Production System (NASA)

What do you do next when you’ve successfully screwed up the Earth? Screw up Space too! Agricultural science is approaching its next frontier reports Modern Farmer:

Last year, an astronaut named Don Pettit began an unusual writing project on NASA’s website. Called “Diary of a Space Zucchini,” the blog took the perspective of an actual zucchini plant on the International Space Station (ISS). Entries were insightful and strange, poignant and poetic.

“I sprouted, thrust into this world without anyone consulting me,” wrote Pettit in the now-defunct blog. “I am utilitarian, hearty vegetative matter that can thrive under harsh conditions. I am zucchini — and I am in space.”

An unorthodox use of our tax dollars, but before you snicker, consider this: That little plant could be the key to our future. If — as some doomsday scientists predict — we will eventually exhaust the Earth’s livability, space farming will prove vital to the survival of our species.

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Sangreal, The Holy Grail: Recovering the Lost Science of Antiquity part 5.

Sangreal_Red_Rain_4

Flagetanis the heathen saw with his own eyes in the constellations things he was shy to talk about, Hidden Mysteries. He said there was a thing called the Grail, whose name he had read clearly in the constellations. A host of angels left it on the earth…” – Parzival

Via Randall Carlson @ SacredGeometryInternational.com

We left off last month with a synopsis of a portion of Chretien de Troyes account of the Grail quest. We learned how Percival became a knight in King Arthur’s court and subsequently set out in pursuit of adventure, whereupon he encounters a fisherman who directs him to a castle. Within a great hall in this castle Percival witnesses the ‘Grail Procession.’ One of the items carried in the procession is a white lance dripping blood. The grail itself, when conveyed through the hall, is overwhelmingly brilliant. He later learns that the fisherman is a king who has suffered a grievous wound which will not heal.… Read the rest

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Elon Musk Proposes ‘Hyperloop'; Expects Others to Build It

From Modern Mythology:

California has been working up the gumption to build itself a bullet train for about five years now. It will cost tens of billions of dollars, and will be finished no sooner than 2028. A week ago, Musk proposed a solution that is not only cheaper than the proposed bullet train, but better in pretty much every conceivable way. His plan, in really stupidly simple terms, is to build a gigantic closed-circuit blowgun. Yeah, it sounds totally ridiculous, but that’s mainly because I described it in a ridiculous way. The plan itself actually makes a lot of sense.

Here’s the actually puzzling part, at least to me. Musk went ahead and proposed this wild thing, even wrote up a 52-page technical document about it, but he’s got no intention of lifting a finger to actually build it. Yes, people are constantly coming up with ways for the government to run itself better.

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