E-Vectors Space Company to build two type of space planes. A suborbital, the Fire Fly 200 and a manned unmanned plane that will be capable of traveling through deep space to Jupiter and beyond the Fire Fly 400. Both space planes will take off vertically before accelerating to speed of 22,000 miles per hour using fusion /neutronic engines. A spaceplane is an aerospace vehicle that operates as an aircraft in Earth’s atmosphere, as well as a spacecraft when it is in space. It combines features of an aircraft and a spacecraft, which can be thought of as an aircraft that can endure and maneuver in the vacuum of space or likewise a spacecraft that can fly like an airplane.
As in a previous blog most of the construction would take place in space at the space factory using the 3 D printer with some of the components built here on Earth.
(Phys.org) —All eyes are on ESA’s spaceplane to showcase reentry technologies after its unconventional launch on a Vega rocket this November
Instead of heading north into a polar orbit – as on previous flights – Vega will head eastwards to release the spaceplane into a suborbital path reaching all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
Engineers are forging ahead with the final tests on ESA’s Intermediate experimental Vehicle, IXV, to check that it can withstand the demanding conditions from liftoff to separation from Vega.
Launched in early November, IXV will flight test the technologies and critical systems for Europe’s future automated reentry vehicles returning from low orbit. This is a first for Europe and those working in the field are keeping a close watch.
The research and industrial community have the chance to use this information for progress in atmospheric reentry, oriented towards transportation systems with applications in exploration, science, Earth observation, microgravity and clean space.
Jose Longo, ESA’s head of aerothermodynamics, said, “The technical advancements that have been made since the first experiments with our Atmospheric Reentry Demonstrator in 1996 are huge.”
“This is the first flight demonstration of features such as highly advanced thermal structures: thrusters and flaps that are part of the control system, and the 300 sensors and infrared camera to map the heating all along the spacecraft from the nose to the flaps. These things just cannot be tested in the same way in laboratories.”
“The fact that ESA’s IXV will be launched on Vega makes this a fully European mission,” noted Stefano Bianchi, ESA’s head of launchers development.
IXV weighs almost two tonnes, close to Vega’s lifting capacity, and will be a tight fit inside the vehicle’s fairing.
“In this mission we are not only monitoring the spacecraft all along its autonomous flight, but also tracking its progress back to Earth to a particular spot – this is different to what we are used to,” said Giorgio Tumino, ESA’s IXV project manager.
When IXV splashes down in the Pacific at the end of its mission it will be recovered by ship and returned to Europe for detailed analysis to assess the performance and condition of the internal and external structures.
The actual performance will be compared with predictions to improve computer modeling of the materials used and the spaceplane’s design.
Such is the enthusiasm and interest of industry in the opportunities associated with reentry technologies that the third IXV workshop in ESA’s Technical Centre, ESTEC, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands was packed out last week.
“It is very encouraging to see such interest in this program,” added Giorgio. “Follow-up activities to this mission will build on the current industrial organization and associated technologies will provide opportunities to newcomers.”
After traveling for 37 years, Voyager I is recording pulses from the sun that confirm it has entered a different region near the edge of the solar system called interstellar space.
NASA’s Voyager I spacecraft has been steadily journeying away from the sun to the outer reaches of the solar system since its 1977 launch. As it travels farther out and enters a different region of the solar system, it’s occasionally affected by coronal mass ejections — shock waves caused from massive violent eruptions from our sun.
There have been three of these space “tsunamis” since 2012, and the third one — described by NASA on Monday — has helped the space agency confirm something it posited in late 2013: that Voyager is the first Earth craft to travel into interstellar space.
Interstellar space is the area just beyond the reach of what’s known as our heliosphere: an area where the solar wind pushes back the dense plasma of space in a sort of protective bubble. This plasma was ejected into the universe by the death of stars millions of years ago.
The plasma outside the heliosphere is about 40 times denser than the plasma that lies inside it. By using its 37-year-old cosmic ray and plasma wave instruments, Voyager has sent back signals to Earth that prove it has popped through our sun’s protective bubble and is now moving through the thicker plasma. Scientists can tell this is the case because the thicker plasma in interstellar space oscillates at a faster rate than less dense plasma and produces a different frequency when hit by the sun’s shock waves.
“The tsunami wave rings the plasma like a bell,” Ed Stone of the California Institute of Technology , the mission’s project scientist since 1972, said in NASA’s statement. “While the plasma wave instrument lets us measure the frequency of this ringing, the cosmic ray instrument reveals what struck the bell — the shock wave from the sun.”
“Normally, interstellar space is like a quiet lake,” Stone added. “But when our sun has a burst, it sends a shock wave outward that reaches Voyager about a year later. The wave causes the plasma surrounding the spacecraft to sing.”
How would you like to journey through space for a quick tour of all those alien worlds astronomers have discovered?
No spaceship, you say? No worries. An enterprising graduate student at the University of Leicester in England has created an amazing new exoplanet video that lets you fly by 1,774 extrasolar planets in 1,081 star systems–all from the comfort of your favorite chair.
There is a vast range of different time-scales on which exoplanets orbit their host stars, from things which orbit at many times the separation of the Earth and Sun over many hundreds of years, right down to planets which orbit so close to their star that they complete each orbit in just a few hours. It fascinating just how much these exoplanetary systems differ from our own system in scale.
To date, there are 1,776 confirmed exoplanets and 1,082 planetary systems.
Mars is the fourth planet from the sun, and the second closest to Earth (Venus is the closest). But the distance between the two planets is constantly changing as they travel around the sun.
In theory, the closest that Earth and Mars would approach each other would be when Mars is at its closest point to the sun (perihelion) and Earth is at its farthest (aphelion). This would put the planets only 33.9 million miles (54.6 million kilometers) apart. However, this has never happened in recorded history. The closest approach of the two planets occurred in 2003, when they were only 34.8 million miles (56 million km) apart.
The two planets are farthest apart when they are both at their farthest from the sun, on opposite sides of the star. At this point, they can be 250 million miles (401 million km) apart.
The average distance between the two planets is 140 million miles (225 million km).
The speed of light
Light travels at approximately 186,282 miles per second (299,792 km per second). Therefore, a light shining from the surface of Mars would take the following amount of time to reach Earth (or vice versa):
Closest approach: 182 seconds, or just over 3 minutes
Farthest approach: 1,342 seconds, or just over 22 minutes
On average: 751 seconds, or just over 12.5 minutes
Fastest spacecraft so far
The fastest spacecraft launched from Earth was NASA’s New Horizons mission, which is en route to Pluto. In January 2006, the probe left Earth at 36,000 mph (58,000 kph). The time it would take such a probe to get to Mars would be:
Closest approach: 942 hours (39 days)
Farthest approach: 6,944 hours (289 days)
On average: 3,888 hours (162 days
But then things get complicated …
Of course, the problem with the previous calculations is that they measure distance between the two planets as a straight line. Traveling through the farthest passing of Earth and Mars would involve a trip directly through the sun, while spacecraft must of necessity move in orbit around the solar system’s star.
Although this isn’t a problem for the closest approach, when the planets are on the same side of the sun, another problem exists. The numbers also assume that the two planets remain at a constant distance; that is, when a probe is launched from Earth while the two planets are at the closest approach, Mars would remain the same distance away over the course of the 39 days it took the probe to travel. [Countdown: The Boldest Mars Missions in History]
In reality, however, the planets are continuously moving in their orbits around the sun. Engineers must calculate the ideal orbits for sending a spacecraft from Earth to Mars. Their numbers factor in not only distance but fuel efficiency. Like throwing a dart at a moving target, they must calculate where the planet will be when the spacecraft arrives, not where it is when it leaves Earth. Spaceships must also decelerate to enter orbit around a new planet to avoid overshooting it.
How long it takes to reach Mars depends on where in their orbits the two planets lie when a mission is launched. It also depends on the technological developments of propulsion systems.
Here is a list of how long it took several historical missions to reach the red planet. Their launch dates are included for perspective.
Mariner 4, the first spacecraft to go to Mars (1964 flyby): 228 days
Mariner 6 (1969 flyby): 155 days
Mariner 7 (1969 flyby): 128 days
Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit Mars (1971): 168 days
Viking 1, the first U.S. craft to land on Mars (1975): 304 days
EVERYTHING about space flight is superlative. Even relatively modest rockets are hundreds of feet high. The biggest (the Saturn V, which launched astronauts to the Moon) remains the most powerful vehicle ever built. But space flight is superlatively expensive, too. One reason is that, for all their technological sophistication, rockets are one-shot wonders. After they have fired their engines for a few minutes they are left to fall back to Earth, usually splashing ignominiously into the ocean.
Rocket scientists have therefore long dreamed of making something able to fly more than once. Such a reusable machine, they hope, would slash the cost of getting into space. The only one built so far, America’s space shuttle, proved a dangerous and costly disappointment, killing two of its crews and never coming close to the cost savings its designers had intended. But hope springs eternal, and several of America’s privately run “New Space” firms are planning to try again.
The most notable are the four landing legs folded up along the side of its first stage. If everything goes to plan, once that stage has finished its job and detached itself from the rest of the rocket, it will fire its engines again. Instead of crashing into the sea, it will make a controlled descent, deploy its legs, slow almost to a stop off the coast of Cape Canaveral, and then drop itself delicately into the drink. Mr Musk gives himself a slightly-less-than-even chance of pulling this off.
Will you walk with me, Grasshopper?
If it does work, though, it will be the most dramatic demonstration yet of technology that the firm has been working on for several years. In 2012 SpaceX began flying an unwieldy-looking legged test rocket called Grasshopper. This was able to hover, manoeuvre around in mid-air, and land itself back on the pad that launched it.
Then, last September, it attempted to organise the controlled descent of a legless first stage. In what the firm’s engineers call a useful failure, the rocket’s engines restarted as planned, but as the stage descended it began spinning, flinging its remaining fuel against the walls of its tanks and starving its motors, causing it to crash.
This week’s test is intended to end up with the rocket in the ocean, chiefly for safety reasons in case something does go wrong. But SpaceX’s ultimate goal is to have the first stage fly all the way back to the pad it was launched from, and to land itself facing upwards. It will then be taken away, serviced, refilled with rocket fuel and readied to fly again. The firm wants, one day, to recover the Falcon’s second stage, too—though the greater altitude and speed the second stage reaches makes this a far tougher proposition.
Still, being the biggest, the first stage is the most expensive part, so retrieving it should make a huge difference to launch costs. SpaceX already offers some of the lowest prices in the business. Its launch costs of $56m are around half those of its competitors. Mr Musk has said in the past that a reusable rocket could cut those costs by at least half again.
If SpaceX can make its technology work, that will be the biggest advance in rocketry for decades. Whether it will translate into higher demand for space flight is less clear. Jeff Foust, who edits the Space Review, an industry newsletter, argues that even dramatically lower launch costs will do little to change the economics of the industry, at least for the governments and firms that make up almost all of its current customers. Launch costs, as Mr Foust points out, are but a small part of the total cost of developing, building and running a satellite network.
Mike Gold, an executive at Bigelow Aerospace, a firm that makes inflatable space stations—and which has an agreement with SpaceX to launch its products—thinks that most of the interest will come from people and organisations so far denied access to space. “Putting a big rocket like the Falcon in range of mid-size companies, research institutions and even wealthy private individuals, that’s a game-changer,” he says. “When the laser was first invented, no one had any idea what it might be used for. Today they’re everywhere. We’re still at that early stage with cheap rockets.”
Perhaps. But although SpaceX is a commercial firm, simple profitability is not its only goal. Mr Musk has been perfectly frank about his long-term aim: “to die on Mars, preferably not on impact.” After the Falcon 9, the firm plans a beefier version called the Falcon Heavy. That, in turn, would be a dress rehearsal for something called the Mars Colonial Transporter.
Mr Musk wants to build a machine that would let him offer prospective colonists a (one-way) trip to the Martian surface for about $500,000—or, as he puts it, roughly the cost of a nice house in California. Perfecting reusability is essential for achieving that dream.
If you build it, will they come?
Hard-headed commentators may roll their eyes at such ambition. And history suggests reusability is difficult to do properly. The shuttle itself, for instance, was intended to fly every week. In the end, it made only 135 trips over the course of 30 years. There is a credible case that it proved more expensive, in the long run, than old-fashioned throwaway rockets would have done. Yet SpaceX has already shaken up an industry once mired in stifling conservatism. A successful fully reusable rocket would just be the latest example in a long tradition of it confounding its critics.
NASA is plotting a daring robotic mission to Jupiter’s watery moon Europa, a place where astronomers speculate there might be some form of life.
The space agency set aside $15 million in its 2015 budget proposal to start planning some kind of mission to Europa. No details have been decided yet, but NASA chief financial officer Elizabeth Robinson said Tuesday that it would be launched in the mid-2020s.
Robinson said the high radiation environment around Jupiter and distance from Earth would be a challenge. When NASA sent Galileo to Jupiter in 1989, it took the spacecraft six years to get to the fifth planet from the sun.
Last year, scientists discovered liquid plumes of water shooting up through Europa’s ice. Flying through those watery jets could make Europa cheaper to explore than just circling it or landing on the ice, said NASA Europa scientist Robert Pappalardo .Past NASA probes have flown by Europa, especially Galileo, but none have concentrated on the moon, one of dozens orbiting Jupiter. Astronomers have long lobbied for a mission to Europa, but proposals would have cost billions of dollars.
NASA will look at many competing ideas for a Europa mission, so the agency doesn’t know how big or how much it will cost, Robinson said. She said a major mission goal would be searching for life in the strange liquid water under the ice-covered surface.
Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb said going to Europa would be more exciting than exploring dry Mars: “There might be fish under the ice.”
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – NASA budget plan for 2015 includes funding for a robotic mission to an ocean-bearing moon of Jupiter and could help boost commercial ventures to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, NASA officials said on Tuesday.
The White House is requesting a $17.5 billion budget for the U.S. space agency in the fiscal year that begins October 1.
That marks a 1 percent decrease from NASA’s 2014 budget. But NASA could also have access to an additional $900 million from the President’s proposed Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative, a $56 billion fund for special projects that is separate from the regular budget.
If approved, the agency would have $1.1 billion next year to help at least two companies develop commercial space taxis to fly astronauts to and from the space station. The $100 billion research outpost, a project of 15 nations, flies about 260 miles above Earth.
Since the space shuttles were retired in 2011, the United States is dependent on Russia to fly crews to the space station at a cost of more than $65 million a seat.
For now, escalating U.S. tensions with Russia over the crisis in Ukraine have not affected the space partnership, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told reporters on a conference call.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation,” Bolden said. “Right now, everything is normal in our relationship with the Russians,” he said.
Currently, NASA is supporting space taxi designs by Boeing Co, privately owned Space Exploration Technologies and privately owned Sierra Nevada Corp.
The agency intends to select at least two companies for a final round of development funding this summer. NASA wants to have U.S. options for flying astronauts to the station before the end of 2017.
The so-called Commercial Crew program is receiving $696 million for the 2014 fiscal year ending September 30. The proposed funding increase would add as much as $400 million to the program for fiscal 2015.
The new budget also includes $3.1 billion for NASA to operate the station and provides $2.8 billion to continue development of the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket and Orion capsule for future human missions to the moon, asteroids and Mars. An unmanned Orion test flight is scheduled for September 18.
One of the first operational Orion missions would send astronauts to an asteroid that has been robotically relocated into a high orbit around the moon. Planning for the so-called Asteroid Redirect Mission gets a boost to $133 million in the 2015 budget proposal, up from $78 million in 2014.
As currently envisioned, hiking spending on the asteroid initiative means cutbacks in other programs, warns the Coalition for Space Exploration, a Houston-based industry advocacy organization.
“We remain concerned and opposed to the annual effort to drain funds from our nation’s exploration programs,” the group said in a statement.
Science missions would share nearly $5 billion in 2015, including $15 million to begin planning for a mid-2020s mission to Europa, an ice-encrusted moon of Jupiter.
Scientists have strong evidence that the moon has a vast ocean beneath its frozen surface. Water is believed to be essential for life.
“It’s one of those places where life might occur, in the past or now, and so we’re really excited about going there,” said NASA’s Chief Financial Officer Beth Robinson.
The proposed budget keeps the Hubble Space Telescope successor program – an infrared observatory known as the James Webb Space Telescope – on track for launch in 2018. It also lets NASA begin planning for a new telescope to probe the mysterious force known as “dark energy” that is driving the universe apart at faster and faster rates.
(Editing by Kevin Gray, Tom Brown , Ken Wills and Robert E)
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After gathering the materials from the moon landings , we have discovered the fuel need for space travel to other worlds . The fuel is a product from element 115 also known as Ununpentium. The product of element 115 is not sent to earth but kept in space, on a space payload ship.
Using a Space Station type ship, large enough to house the people,the wares, and materials ,we begin to mass produce spaceships. The materials used are a Kevlar solution which is light weight and stronger than steel, and a product from the martian soil that absorbs water which protects against high levels of radiation. 3 D Printers are used for the configuration of the crafts. Some of the basic components will be made on Earth .\
We will discover the solution to space travel. The equations Space x Unknown = TIME and Time x Unknown = SPACE meaning Space equals Time. Yes when we look up at the stars ,we are looking back in tjme . So to traveling through space we will be traveling through time.