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If We Don't Act Soon, Space Junk Might Trap Us On Earth. Not everything we send into space comes back down.

If We Don't Act Soon, Space Junk Might Trap Us On Earth

In fact, there are millions of pieces of junk, ranging from tiny flecks of paint to entire satellites currently taking up space around the Earth's atmosphere. As of now, space agencies are already tracking 750,000 pieces of space debris orbiting the Earth. This space pollution is a major problem--because of how fast objects orbiting Earth travel, even a paint fleck a few millimeters long can cause serious damage when it hits something.

The more that this space junk proliferates, the harder and harder it will be to send anything up into space. We could literally trap ourselves on Earth if we're not careful. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Luckily, scientists are working on ways to prevent this. Source: Curious Droid. Students Design Ways to Mine the Moon for Rocket Fuel. This article was originally published at The Conversation.

Students Design Ways to Mine the Moon for Rocket Fuel

The publication contributed the article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. Creepy Soviet Space Shuttles Are Sitting in a Kazakhstan Desert. Japan's Electric Whip Will Snare Space Junk. Japan wants what is essentially a giant electric whip on a cargo ship to take on the problem of space junk.

Japan's Electric Whip Will Snare Space Junk

The electrodynamic tether, or EDT, is made with the help of 106-year-old fishing net company Nitto Seimo. The Japanese space program, JAXA, plans to launch EDT as "a promising candidate to de-orbit the debris objects at low cost. " In its press release, JAXA states that the space junk cleanup is needed "to preserve the outer space environment for future generations. " 7 ways a trip to Mars could kill you. Time-lapse video shows inflatable BEAM space habitat coming to life. It took a couple of attempts, but over the weekend NASA successfully inflated the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) attached to the International Space Station (ISS).

Time-lapse video shows inflatable BEAM space habitat coming to life

Five key findings from 15 years of the International Space Station. The International Space Station is the longest-running continuously inhabited human outpost in space – this year it celebrated its 15th anniversary. As the ISS orbits the Earth it is essentially in a state of free fall, counteracting the Earth’s gravity and providing an ideal platform for science in space. Science aboard the ISS is decidedly cross-disciplinary, including fields as diverse as microbiology, space science, fundamental physics, human biology, astronomy, meteorology and Earth observation to name a few.

But let’s take a look at some of the biggest findings. 1. The fragility of the human body. Why Blue Origin's Rocket Landing Is Big News For Space Travel. Eight objects that define the Soviet space race. EmDrive Back in the News. Martin Tajmar’s presentation at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Propulsion and Energy Forum and Exposition in Orlando yesterday has been getting plenty of press.

EmDrive Back in the News

Tajmar is looking at the device now commonly called an EmDrive, studied by Sonny White’s team at Eagleworks (Johnson Space Center) and advocated by Roger Shawyer, Guido Fetta and Chinese experimenters as a way of producing thrust in a way that seemingly violates conservation of momentum. Tajmar (Dresden University of Technology) offers a paper entitled “Direct Thrust Measurements of an EmDrive and Evaluation of Possible Side-Effects” in his presentation on apparent thrust produced by the test device. As he told WIRED (which announced that The ‘impossible’ EmDrive could reach Pluto in 18 months), the current work will not close the story. From the paper itself: Image: Physicist Martin Tajmar.

Aerospace Engineers Warn First-Grader’s Design For Spaceship Completely Unsafe - The Onion - America's Finest News Source. MONROEVILLE, PA—Listing off a litany of structural and technological flaws, the nation’s leading aerospace engineers issued a stern warning Thursday that local 6-year-old Bradley Koenig’s design for a spaceship is entirely unsafe.

Aerospace Engineers Warn First-Grader’s Design For Spaceship Completely Unsafe - The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Experts from the fields of aerodynamics, jet propulsion, and control engineering unanimously confirmed that the orange-and-purple rocket ship, which Koenig drew during Mrs. Silvestri’s first-grade class, not only raises major safety concerns, but could compromise the lives of everyone on board were it to ever go to launch. “I can’t even begin to enumerate all the safety protocols and fundamental principles of spaceflight that this particular vehicle violates,” said veteran NASA flight director Raymond Fletcher, who called the crayon-drawn spaceship the “most poorly conceived” and “shockingly hazardous” craft he had ever encountered. “The asymmetrical oval shape of the craft alone would likely cause it to break apart upon reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.

Space travel may be bad for your brain – here's why. There is bad news for those planning to go to Mars in the near future: a study in mice has suggested that radiation in space could cause cognitive decline in astronauts.

Space travel may be bad for your brain – here's why

However, we know from past research that mental, social and physical exercise can boost cognitive functions. With planned Mars missions moving ever closer, it might be be worth exploring activity as a way to counter radiation damage. There are many hurdles to overcome to get to Mars. The obvious one, of course, is the amount of time it takes – about eight months.

But for those brave enough to attempt such a journey, this may well be acceptable. Mouse maze Worse still, a new report suggests that this type of radiation also damages the brain. The scientists used two tests of memory. 15 Ongoing Space Missions You Should Know About. Last month, the European Space Agency (ESA) landed a robot on a comet.

15 Ongoing Space Missions You Should Know About

While the exciting news seemed to come out of nowhere, you can be forgiven for sleeping through the initial launch—it happened in 2004. Scientists and engineers at space agencies around the world play very long games. Rosetta traveled 6.4 billion kilometers before rendezvousing with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Even on the starship Enterprise, that’s well over an hour away at warp speed. This raises the question: what else is going on up there? NASA Eyes Crew Deep Sleep Option for Mars Mission. A NASA-backed study explores an innovative way to dramatically cut the cost of a human expedition to Mars -- put the crew in stasis.

NASA Eyes Crew Deep Sleep Option for Mars Mission

The deep sleep, called torpor, would reduce astronauts’ metabolic functions with existing medical procedures. Torpor also can occur naturally in cases of hypothermia. ANALYSIS: Private Mars Mission in 2018? “Therapeutic torpor has been around in theory since the 1980s and really since 2003 has been a staple for critical care trauma patients in hospitals," aerospace engineer Mark Schaffer, with SpaceWorks Enterprises in Atlanta, said at the International Astronomical Congress in Toronto this week. "Protocols exist in most major medical centers for inducing therapeutic hypothermia on patients to essentially keep them alive until they can get the kind of treatment that they need.” The little-known Soviet mission to rescue a dead space station.

The following story happened in 1985 but subsequently vanished into obscurity.

The little-known Soviet mission to rescue a dead space station

Over the years, many details have been twisted, others created. Even the original storytellers got some things just plain wrong. After extensive research, writer Nickolai Belakovski is able to present, for the first time to an English-speaking audience, the complete story of Soyuz T-13’s mission to save Salyut 7, a fascinating piece of in-space repair history. It’s getting dark, and Vladimir Dzhanibekov is cold. A DIY Pressure Suit for Near-Space Adventures. In 2008, Cameron Smith, an anthropology professor at Portland State University in Oregon, decided to build a space suit. He designed the Mark I to protect himself on a high-altitude balloon ride, and so far it’s passed tests in a hypobaric chamber and underwater. Last year, independent space program Copenhagen Suborbitals offered him a potential path to the stratosphere (between about 30,000 and 165,000 feet above Earth).

Smith will make a suit for the Danish group this summer, and they’ll help him build a helium balloon craft. Traditional pressure garments can cost upwards of $30,000. What would a warp-drive ship actually look like? Artist Mark Rademaker has unveiled a set of concept images imagining what a spaceship capable of traveling to other stars in a matter of months would really look like. Although it may look like something from the next science fiction epic and is unlikely to lift off anytime soon, his IXS Enterprise design is actually based on some hard science. View all Interstellar travel is one of the most frustrating buzzkills of the space age. Since launched in 1977, the Voyager 1 spacecraft has traveled about 116 astronomical units (1.08 x 1010 mi, 1.7 x 1010 km).

At that speed, it would take about 75,000 years for it to travel to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, 4.3 light years from Earth – and it isn't even going in the right direction. Science fiction is filled with stories where this annoying limit is avoided by equipping spaceships with warp drives, hyperdrives, and infinite improbability drives. The idea comes from the work published by Miguel Alcubierre in 1994. Bigelow Aerospace. NASA announces partners for lunar lander program. NASA has announced the selection of three US companies to develop a lunar lander to deliver payloads to the Moon’s surface.

The three companies, Astrobotic Technology, Masten Space Systems, and Moon Express, won’t be receiving any funds, but will negotiate with the space agency for a partnership to exchange technical expertise and help promote the private space sector. The partnerships are part of NASA’s Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) initiative. Like the Commercial Crew Program (CCP), where NASA called on private industry to come up with a replacement for the Space Shuttle to carry crews and cargo to the International Space Station, the CATALYST initiative is a way for the agency to get around shrinking budgets or lack of government interest by teaming with private partners. The Moon Express MX-1 Lander (Image: Moon Express, Inc) Astrobotic Technology’s Griffin lander (Image: Astrobotic Technology) Source: NASA.

Boeing reveals future CST-100 commercial spacecraft Interior. Captain Picard’s ride seemed to have landed in Las Vegas today, as Boeing unveiled a mock-up of the new commercial interior of its Crew Space Transportation (CST-100). Under development as part of a NASA program to put a privately-owned and operated manned spacecraft to ferry American crews and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), the new interior reflects Boeing’s design strategy and it ambitions beyond NASA.

View all Like a shuttle craft out of Star Trek, the new CST-100 interior is very different from interiors that followers of manned spaceflight are used to. There’s no complicated assemblage of switches, readouts, or the general aviation look – instead, it's more like something out of science fiction, with a minimalist design. The passenger seats are lightweight plastic affairs and the pilot’s seat seems to float above them.

Rug-Like Robotic 'Flat Landers' May Be Key To Exploring Other Planets. Future space missions may send dozens of rug-like robots fluttering down to the surface of alien worlds, taking much of the risk out of planetary exploration. Researchers are developing flat, blanket-size landers that could be delivered en masse to worlds such as Mars or the Jupiter moon Europa. JPL develops space flowers to help find Earth-like planets. Apparently NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, thinks that what space exploration in the 21st century needs is spacecraft that are a bit more botanical. 60,000 miles up: Space elevator could be built by 2035, says new study.

Objective Europa wants to send astronauts on a one-way mission to Jupiter's moons. Slingatron to hurl payloads into orbit. Documentary to feature claims of back-engineered UFO technology (Video) NASA Admits Alcubierre Drive Initiative: Faster Than The Speed Of Light. NASA is currently working on the first practical field test toward the possibility of faster than light travel. Traveling faster than light has always been attributed to science fiction, but that all changed when Harold White and his team at NASA started to work on and tweak the Alcubierre Drive. Special relativity may hold true, but to travel faster or at the speed of light we might not need a craft that can travel at that speed.

The Black Knight Returns: Space Junk or Alien Eavesdropper? Astronomers across the world make a game of spotting secret government spy satellites, tracking them, and sometimes sharing the information with plausible deniability. Not everything in Earth orbit has a prosaic explanation like this object. Star Trek Enterprise vs. Star Wars Millennium Falcon: Which Ship is Fastest? Alpha Centauri. UFOs, ETs, and Alien Abductions: What We Know. Swiss company aims to fly satellites into space. Improved ion engines will open up the outer Solar System. Stardust: A beautiful short film about the Voyager 1 and the wonder of the universe. Satellite-Refueling Experiment Resumes on Space Station. Students calculate what hyperspace travel would actually look like. Amazing Video: Riding the Shuttle’s Booster.

Science & Environment - 100 Year Starship: An interstellar leap for mankind? SKYLON spacecraft's engine passes critical test. New small fission reactor for deep-space missions demonstrated. X's Manned Dragon Space Capsule Explained (Infographic) SpaceX Mars mission will fly on methane. DARPA Wants Amateur Help Tracking Space Junk. NASA examines hybrid solar-electric propulsion for manned space missions. NASA heli-capsule could let astronauts land anywhere. NASA Is Building A Mocked-Up Deep-Space Habitat In Texas. Sailing by solar winds. Warp drive looks more promising than ever in recent NASA studies. X's Reusable 'Grasshopper' Rocket Makes 1st Test Flight. Canada Unveils Next-Generation Robotic Arms for Spaceships. LiftPort Group - Space Elevator - Technology Spinoffs.

LiftPort plans to build space elevator on the Moon by 2020.