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Science, Space & Robotics Posts - Page 1

SpaceX successfully launches and lands a used rocket

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 1 day, 17 hours ago

SpaceX has successfully launched and landed another Falcon 9 rocket. This mission marked the second reflight of a Falcon 9 first stage, having previously supported the Iridium-1 mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base in January of this year.




SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched the BulgariaSat-1 satellite into orbit - the first geostationary communications satellite in Bulgaria's history.


Following stage separation, the first stage of Falcon 9 successfully landed on SpaceX's East Coast droneship 'Of Course I Still Love You,' stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

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NASA to send a spacecraft into the Sun next year

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 31, 2017 5:17 pm

NASA plans to send a spacecraft straight into the Sun next year. The space agency made the announcement during a news conference and a ceremony at the University of Chicago.




The mission begins in August 2018. Since this isn't a journey that a human can take, NASA will send a 10-foot high probe on the historic mission, since this will mark the first time humanity has reached the giant star.


NASA named the probe Parker Solar Probe in honor of astrophysicist Eugene Parker, which is the first time in the space agency's history a space vessel is named after a living person.


The probe will have to withstand substantial radiation and heat never before experienced by a spacecraft. The Parker Solar Probe will have 4.5-inch-thick (11.43 cm) carbon-composite solar shields which will protect the spacecraft from temperatures of around 2,500 Fahrenheit (around 1,380 Celsius).

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NASA shows Mars 2020 rover concept

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 24, 2017 3:31 pm

NASA has published an artist' concept of the Mars 2020 rover, which should join Opportunity and Curiosity rover on the Red Planet in 2020.




The Mars 2020 rover is intended to investigate an astrobiological relevant ancient environment on Mars, investigate its surface geological processes and history, including the assessment of its past habitability, the possibility of past life on Mars, and a potential for preservation of biosignatures within accessible geological materials.


The Mars 2020 rover introduces a drill that can collect core samples of the most promising rocks and soils and set them aside on the surface of Mars. A future mission could potentially return these samples to Earth.

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ISS crew on an urgent spacewalk after equipment failure

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 23, 2017 5:33 pm

NASA's astronauts have successfully completed an emergency spacewalk after a key equipment failure on the ISS. The Expedition 51 astronauts had to fix a problem after a computer failure on ISS over the weekend.




Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA had to change out a multiplexer-demultiplexer (MDM) data relay box on the S0 truss that failed on Saturday morning. The cause of the MDM failure is not known. The data relay box is one of two fully redundant systems housed in the truss that controls the functionality of radiators, solar arrays, cooling loops and other station hardware. The other MDM in the truss is functioning perfectly, providing uninterrupted telemetry routing to the station's systems.


NASA pointed out that the crew was never in any danger.

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SpaceX marks 6th successful launch this year

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 16, 2017 8:21 pm

Just two weeks after their last launch, SpaceX has successfully launched another Falcon 9 rocket.




The company launched a communications satellite that will complete Inmarsat's fifth-generation broadband network. The Inmarsat-5 F4 communications satellite is the heaviest object delivered by the company to space, for now.


Getting the 13,400-lb. (6,100 kilograms) heavy F4 into its intended orbit emptied the Falcon's fuel tanks, leaving no propellant for the landing attempt.

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Tesla releases solar roof prices: Cheaper than expected

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 11, 2017 6:27 pm

We've heard a lot about Tesla's solar roof tiles products, but the most important piece of information was missing - the price.


The company has now announced the prices, and they are lower than expected. Consumer Reports estimates that a Solar Roof for an average size U.S. home would need to cost less than $24.50 per square foot to be cost-competitive with a regular roof. The cost of Solar Roof is less.




Tesla says that typical homeowner can expect to pay $21.85 per square foot for Solar Roof. The $21.85 per square foot price point was calculated for a roof where 35 percent of the tiles are solar (solar tiles cost more per square foot than non-solar tiles). A 14kWh Powerwall 2 is also an available option.


Solar Roof uses two types of tiles - solar and non-solar. Looking at the roof from street level, the tiles all look the same. Customers can select how many solar tiles they need based on their home's electricity consumption. For example, households that charge an electric vehicle every day may want more solar tiles on their roof.

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SpaceX first Falcon Heavy static fire test is a success

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 10, 2017 7:42 pm

SpaceX is currently using the Falcon 9 rocket for the company's launches, but the bigger Falcon Heavy should take over soon. Elon Musk first mentioned Falcon Heavy in a September 2005 news update. The rocket was scheduled to fly in 2014, then 2015, but there have been delays, and now, the company is aiming for the second half of this year.




SpaceX CEO explained last year that developing the Falcon Heavy proved to be much more difficult than they previously thought, but it seems that the company is on track. They conducted the first static fire test on the rocket's critical center core, and the test was successful.


This is a huge milestone in the development of the Falcon Heavy. The company has big plans for this rocket, which should play a major role in the crewed mission to the Moon and Mars. SpaceX plans to begin sending uncrewed spacecraft to Mars by 2020, meaning it is crucial that the Falcon Heavy starts flying soon if the company wants to stay on schedule.

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ESA 3D prints bricks which may help build lunar colonies

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 8, 2017 9:28 pm

A base on the Moon is many scientists' dream because it would set a new milestone in space exploration. According to observations from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft that might be much more complicated than previously thought.




According to NASA's last year's data, the Moon experiences a heavier bombardment by small meteoroids than models had previously predicted. This revelation implies that equipment placed on the Moon for long durations, such as a lunar base, will have to be sturdier.


Of course, building on the Moon wouldn't be easy, but the ESA produced their first 3D printed brick, which could help with the building material. Bricks have been 3D printed out of simulated moondust using concentrated sunlight - proving in principle that future lunar colonists could one day use the same approach to build settlements on the Moon.



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Air Force's X-37B lands after secret 2-year mission

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 8, 2017 3:32 pm

The Air Force's X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission 4 has landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility on May 7th, after 718 days in orbit.




The Air Force's statement says that the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, or OTV, is an experimental test program to demonstrate technologies for a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform for the U.S. Air Force. The primary objectives of the X-37B are twofold; reusable spacecraft technologies for America's future in space and operating experiments which can be returned to, and examined, on Earth.


Technologies being tested in the program include advanced guidance, navigation and control, thermal protection systems, avionics, high temperature structures and seals, conformal reusable insulation, lightweight electromechanical flight systems, advanced propulsion systems, advanced materials and autonomous orbital flight, reentry and landing.


However, not much is know about the spacecraft. Among many theories floating around, some mention that the X-37B could be a space bomber or a new type of probe that can destroy spy satellites.

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Check out SpaceX's latest launch photos and footage

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: May 2, 2017 6:33 pm

On Sunday, SpaceX successfully launched and landed yet another Falcon 9 rocket. The military spy satellite was successfully launched into the orbit, and SpaceX marked their tenth successful landing.


The company landed their first rocket in December 2015, and just last month, they successfully launched and landed an already used Falcon 9 rocket, which was the first time in history that an already used rocket has been launched again.




Elon Musk believes that reusable rockets are the key to space exploration. He recently said that the company's next goal is to land and re-launch the same rocket within 24 hours.

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