The United States is one step closer to eliminating its reliance on Russian technology to launch its military satellites. The Hydrocarbon Boost Technology Demonstrator, a U.S. Air Force technology effort focused on development of Oxygen Rich Staged Combustion rocket engine technology, has recently completed its first full-scale component test at 100-percent power. The development of Oxygen Rich Staged Combustion technology has been deemed a critical technology for the nation to help eliminate the United States’ reliance on foreign rocket propulsion technology.
To protect the Arctic from climate change, scientists require a detailed map which they can slowly update and reference over time. Such a resource has, until now, been difficult to produce because traditional capture methods -- low-flying aircraft, for instance -- are expensive or ill-equipped to deal with the region's harsh weather patterns. That's now changed, however, thanks to a project spearheaded by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the National Science Foundation.
Lockheed Martin, a global security and aerospace company, has partnered with Discovery Education to launch the next phase of Generation Beyond, an initiative to use science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to prepare today's middle school students nationwide for deep space exploration.
When complete, Aquila will be able to circle a region up to 60 miles in diameter, beaming internet connectivity down from an altitude of more than 60,000 feet to people within a 60-mile communications diameter for up to 90 days at a time. It will be part of a future fleet of drones.
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.”