The Russian military has been in the process of designing a next-generation stealth bomber for several years, which is no surprise. Governments with large militaries are always developing a few new weapons of war. However, recent announcements about the PAK-DA strategic bomber’s capabilities will probably raise some eyebrows.
Ion propulsion is incredibly efficient, which cuts way down on the fuel the craft has to carry. That massively reduces costs, and leaves a lot more room for other cargo. Combustion systems also require big burns to get going and big burns to slow down again, while ion propulsion moves more smoothly, opening up all sorts of new routes and locations.
In October of 2015, scientists had New Horizons fire its thrusters to reposition it for a course to 2014 MU69. he object 2014 MU69 sits 1 billion miles deeper into this chilly region of space -- 1 billion miles closer to the real edge of the solar system. The Kuiper Belt is thought to contain objects that formed billions of years ago during the early days of our solar system.
The milestone came late Monday, as Juno fired its main engine in a crucial 35-minute burn that slowed the probe down enough to be captured by Jupiter's powerful gravity. That burn started at 11:18 p.m. EDT and ended on schedule at 11:53 p.m. In the hours leading up to the engine burn, that same gravity had accelerated Juno to an estimated 165,000 mph relative to Earth -- faster than any human-made object has ever traveled, mission team members have said.
NASA's Juno spacecraft will enter into orbit around Jupiter on the Fourth of July, completing a journey of over 1.7 billion miles that began on August 5, 2011 when it blasted off from Earth on an Atlas V rocket. After the spacecraft slows down from a breakneck speed of over 40 miles per second and enters a polar orbit, it will study Jupiter, helping scientists better understand what's inside the planet and learn more about the gas giant's red spot, which is three times the diameter of Earth.
“This whole project was to introduce the girls to a fun hands-on STEM project,” Reeve said. “They’ve learned everything from electronics to computer programming. They built direction-finding antennas so we can track the balloon, they programmed, they learned about the sensors -- we’re flying about a dozen different sensors. They’ll analyze the data once it comes back down.”
In the U.S., to maintain our place as a leader in space exploration and the development of technology and capability, we must continue to invest in our most valuable resource -- today’s elementary, high school and college students. They are tomorrow’s space designers and travelers. If we don’t invest and drive change, the consequences could be severe.
Good fences make good neighbors, which is why the United States is building a space fence. But the first thing to understand about the space fence is that it’s not actually a fence -- it's radar. And when it's operational, pulsing up from an atoll in the Pacific, it will be able to track objects in space that are softball-sized, the Air Force says.
NASA has funded eight advanced-technology concepts that agency officials believe could help transform space science and exploration. The high-risk, high-reward ideas -- which received grants under Phase 2 of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program -- include a possible way to induce a hibernation-like state in Mars-bound astronauts and a proposal to blast tiny spacecraft between the stars using powerful lasers.
For the second month in a row, the aerospace upstart SpaceX landed a rocket on an ocean platform early Friday, this time following the successful launch of a Japanese communications satellite. A live web broadcast showed the first-stage booster touching down vertically in the pre-dawn darkness atop a barge in the Atlantic, just off the Florida coast. The same thing occurred April 8 during a space station supply run for NASA.