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A Layperson's View of Future Technology and Society

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Future Technology

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The Future of Space

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Space Tourism

Space Tourism

Have you ever dreamed of going to space? In the past, if you wanted to leave this planet you had to dedicate your life to becoming an astronaut. Even then, there is only a select few that ever get to see Earth in the rear view mirror.

Space Tourism and suborbital travel links

Teachers in Space - Space Frontier Foundation

The Rocketplane

Armadillo Aerospace

Scaled Composites

Virgin Galactic

Near Earth Objects

asteroid being tracked by satellite

 

What are the chances that a large asteroid will strike the Earth in the next 20 years? Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are comets and asteroids that have been nudged into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth's neighborhood. Efforts are being mounted to discover and study these objects and to keep an eye upon their future trajectories.

Near Earth Objects

Emerging Technologies May Fuel Revolutionary Launcher

NASA launcherAs NASA studies possibilities for the next launcher to the stars, a team of engineers from Kennedy Space Center and several other field centers are looking for a system that turns a host of existing cutting-edge technologies into the next giant leap spaceward.

image: Magnetic levitation (MagLev) system evaluated at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA)

An early proposal has emerged that calls for a wedge-shaped aircraft with scramjets to be launched horizontally on an electrified track or gas-powered sled. The aircraft would fly up to Mach 10, using the scramjets and wings to lift it to the upper reaches of the atmosphere where a small payload canister or capsule similar to a rocket's second stage would fire off the back of the aircraft and into orbit. The aircraft would come back and land on a runway by the launch site.

Rail-launched aircraft and spacecraft

Lassos in Space

Space Tethers

Roping cattle takes skill and finesse, but imagine trying to lasso a satellite in space. Now, imagine flinging the satellite up to a higher orbit to actually launch it!

That’s what a small business in Bothell, Wash., is planning to do. The researchers and engineers at Tethers Unlimited Inc. are not cowboys, but they are developing unique lassos. Their “lassos” are new systems that will be used to capture and launch spacecraft.

The tether is a long string or wire deployed in space from a spacecraft. These tethers can be used in different ways to move satellites or spacecraft in space.

The “lasso” concept is similar to a giant sling that would rotate as it orbits the Earth. The craft, ballast and tether increase orbital momentum and energy for boosting the payload to a higher orbit.

“It could swing down, pick up a spacecraft in low orbit and carry it up and toss it into a higher orbit,” said Rob Hoyt, Tethers Unlimited president.

Read the complete article at NASA 

Watch the video

Is the Space Station Flying Over Your City?

satellite over earth

 

Check out a list of quick and easy satellite  and space shuttle sightings in cities all over the world.

You enter your location and you find out when and where the International Space Station and other orbiting satellites can be seen from your view.

Satellite sighting times and locations

Moonbase Alpha

Moon base

In this free simulation game from NASA, you assume the exciting role of an astronaut working to further human expansion and research. Returning from a research expedition, you witness a meteorite impact that cripples the life support capability of the settlement. With precious minutes ticking away, you and your team must repair and replace equipment in order to restore the oxygen production to the settlement.

Moonbase Alpha

Space Exploration Articles, Blogs and Web Sites

All Links open in a new window. Bold = Recommended. Links do not imply endorsement.

Space  Articles
Title Source Date
GRAIL mission solves the mystery of the Man in the Moon Gizmag 10/14
Nasa validates 'impossible' space drive Wired 08/14
Hubble captures most comprehensive picture ever of the Universe KurzweilAI.net 06/14
NASA Mars Orbiters See Clues to Possible Water Flows NASA 03/14
Welcome to the DarkSide: Project aims to find particles of dark matter Phys.org 01/14
Mars rover Curiosity finds water PhysOrg 09/13
Space Warps Zooniverse 05/13
Mysterious Hurricane at Saturn's North Pole (video) NASA 04/13
Ion Thruster Sets World Record NASA 12/12
GRAIL's Gravity Tour of the Moon (video) NASA 12/12
How Self-Sustaining Space Habitats Could Save Humanity from Extinction io9 08/12
William Shatner and Wil Wheaton Narrate New NASA Mars Curiosity Rover Video NASA 07/12
NASA'S Cassini Finds Probable Subsurface Ocean on Saturn Moon NASA 06/12
Voyager 1 at the Final Frontier NASA 06/12
Construction firm aims at space elevator in 2050 The Daily Yomiuri 02/12
Salt Water May Flow on Mars NASA 08/11
The shuttle's successors BBC News 07/11
Five weird theories of what lies outside the universe io9 05/11
All star image Euro South Observatory 04/11
Fireballs Webcast NASA 04/11
First Ever STEREO Images of the Entire Sun NASA 02/11
Hubble Finds Most Distant Galaxy Candidate Ever Seen in Universe NASA 01/11
A First Look at Flight in 2025 NASA 01/11
Company is first to return spacecraft from orbit Business Week 12/10
Youngest-Ever Nearby Black Hole Discovered NASA 11/10
DARPA-funded “Hundred Year Starship” program KurzweilAI.net 10/10
Skylon spaceplane gathers momentum The Engineer 09/10
Cyborgs Needed for Escape from Earth Astrobiology Magazine 09/10
Solar Probe+ to Plunge Directly into Sun's Atmosphere NASA 09/10
Giant nets could remove orbiting space junk PhysOrg 08/10
Stephen Hawking's Warning: Abandon Earth—Or Face Extinction Big Think 08/10
Sport in outer space WA Today (Australia) 08/10
Big Bang Abandoned in New Model of the Universe Physics arXiv Blog 07/10
Ancient Ocean May Have Covered Third of Mars Science Daily 06/10
Nasa warns solar flares from 'huge space storm' will cause devastation Telegraph 06/10
In New Space Race, Enter the Entrepreneurs NY Times 06/10
A Mars Rover Named "Curiosity" NASA 10/09
Rotating Space Elevator Propels its Own Load PhysOrg 05/09
Solar System's 'look-alike' found BBC News 04/08

 

Space Web Sites, Multimedia and Blogs
Title Description
360 view of Space Shuttle flight deck 360VR
All-Sky Milky Way Panorama Axel Mellinger
Amazing Space uses the Hubble Space Telescope's discoveries to inspire and educate about the wonders of our universe from NASA
Apollo Space Program Imagery & information from manned Apollo missions
Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle NASA
DragonLab A free-flying, reusable spacecraft
Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope
Gravity Probe B Testing Einstein's universe
International Space Weather Initiative To discuss storms from the sun
Kepler Mission Search for Habitable Planets
Lunar Prospector NASA Discovery Mission
Mars One Go to Mars
Planet Hunters Help astronomers look for exoplanets
Robonaut 2 Robotic assistant in space
Space Facts Learn about the universe
Space Future For everyone who'd like to travel to space
Space Future Guide Space Project web site
WorldWide Telescope Microsoft

 

References
Article Sources
Space Tourism Image from Wikimedia Commons
Lassos in Space Article by Sheri Beam, NASA Langley Research Center
Is the Space Station Flying Over Your City? NASA images
NEOs NASA images
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