Interplanetary Superhighway Makes Space Travel Simpler Interplanetary Superhighway Makes Space Travel Simpler A "freeway" through the solar system resembling a vast array of virtual winding tunnels and conduits around the Sun and planets, as envisioned by an engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., can slash the amount of fuel needed for future space missions. Image right: Artist's concept of interplanetary superhighway.+ Click for full image. Called the Interplanetary Superhighway, the system was conceived by Martin Lo, whose software was used to help design the flight path for NASA's Genesis mission, which is currently using this "freeway in space" on its mission to collect solar wind particles for return to Earth. Most missions are designed to take advantage of the way gravity pulls on a spacecraft when it swings by a body such as a planet or moon. Each planet and moon has five locations in space called Lagrange points, where one body's gravity balances another's.
Watch online as huge asteroid hurtles past Earth tonight A large asteroid discovered only days ago is set to sweep past the Earth on June 14, 2012. The great team at Slooh.com is going to try to catch it on camera as it goes by – so that you can watch it, too. Looking for the September 13-14 asteroid passage? Click here How many killer asteroids are out there? The asteroid will pass within about 3.35 million miles (5.4 million kilometers) of our planet, or roughly 14 times the distance between Earth and the moon. Artist's concept of an asteroid passing near Earth via the European Space Agency (ESA) You can watch the asteroid flyby on Slooh’s website, at events.slooh.com. This object was discovered only days ago and has been labeled 2012 LZ1 by astronomers. The online viewing is free to the public, starting at 5 p.m. Here's where near-Earth asteroid 2012 LZ1 will appear in the sky on the evening of June 14, 2012. Click here to expand image above Gallery: Partial and ring eclipse of May 20-21 Gallery: Venus transit June 5-6
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Czech Space Alliance (czechspace.eu) Lightcraft Lightcraft being propelled by laser A lightcraft is a space- or air-vehicle driven by laser propulsion. Laser propulsion is in early stages of development. Lightcraft uses an external source of laser or maser energy to provide power for producing thrust. The laser/maser energy is focused to a high intensity in order to create a plasma. The plasma expands, producing thrust. A lightcraft is distinct from a solar sail because it is dependent on the expansion of reaction mass to accelerate rather than being accelerated by light pressure alone. Types In one type of lightcraft, the laser shines on a parabolic reflector on the underside of the vehicle that concentrates the light to produce a region of extremely high temperature. In other lightcraft concepts, the laser arrives at the vehicle from above, and operates as an ablative laser tractor beam. This may have applications in the removal of space debris. Description See also References External links
Brief Answers to Cosmic Questions Structure of the Universe Does the Universe have an edge, beyond which there is nothing? Are the galaxies arranged on the surface of a sphere? Why can't we see the whole universe? Does the term "universe" refer to space, or to the matter in it, or to both? Evolution of the Universe Did the Universe expand from a point? More about the Big Bang When they say "the universe is expanding," what exactly is expanding? Structure of the Universe Does the Universe have an edge, beyond which there is nothing? Are the galaxies arranged on the surface of a sphere? Why can't we see the whole universe? If you could suddenly freeze time everywhere in the universe, and magically survey all of creation, you would find galaxies extending out far beyond what we can see today. Does the term "universe" refer to space, or to the matter in it, or to both? Today, the situation is reversed. Discovering the properties of space remains one of the deepest and most important problems in modern science.
EmbedPlus - Video editing, chopping, looping, annotations, slow motion, and chapters tool for YouTube embeds and WordPress video plugins Welcome | Virgin Galactic About Centauri Dreams Tracking Research into Deep Space Exploration Alpha Centauri and other nearby stars seem impossible destinations not just for manned missions but even for robotic probes like Cassini or Galileo. Nonetheless, serious work on propulsion, communications, long-life electronics and spacecraft autonomy continues at NASA, ESA and many other venues, some in academia, some in private industry. Above: Alpha and Beta Centauri are sometimes known as ‘The Pointers,’ since they lead the eye to the Southern Cross. I’m Paul Gilster. I don’t think we’ll see a robotic interstellar probe until late in this century, if then, but that doesn’t matter. I’ve been a full-time writer for the past twenty years.
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Human Space & Exploration Systems Mission Updates Feature Stories News Room Careers at Orbital Colony Worlds Bad Astronomy Well now, this is an interesting discovery: astronomers have found what looks like a "super-Earth" – a planet more massive than Earth but still smaller than a gas giant – orbiting a nearby star at the right distance to have liquid water on it! Given that, it might – might – be Earthlike. This is pretty cool news. Now let me be clear: this is a planet candidate; it has not yet been confirmed. The star is called HD 40307, and it’s a bit over 40 light years away (pretty close in galactic standards, but I wouldn’t want to walk there). Massive planets tug on their star harder, so they’re easier to find this way. In this case, HD 40307 was originally observed a little while back by HARPS, and three planets were found. We don’t know how big the planet is, unfortunately. But the very interesting thing is that it orbits the star at a distance of about 90 million kilometers (55 million miles) – closer to its star than is is to the Sun… but that’s good! Image credits: ESO/M. Related Posts:
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