DailyDirt: Looking Forward To More Space Exploration
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
We’ve seen space travel getting cheaper over time, but it’s still pretty expensive to get a person into low earth orbit. Some billionaires are optimistic that space travel will be accessible to more than just astronauts and other billionaires, and we’re seeing some progress. Reusable rockets and more affordable space stations could lead to some pretty cool space-based vacations — if you remember to bring your SPF infinity sunblock.
- SpaceX has successfully landed one of its rockets on a barge at sea. This is only the second time the company has been able to land a rocket safely, but it shows that it can be done. The next step is actually reusing one of these rockets (for less than the cost of building a new one). [url]
- The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) is going to be added to the International Space Station, and this inflatable habitat might point the way towards cheaper space stations. There are only a few ways to build space stations: launch large spaceworthy structures into orbit (say, in the bay of a space shuttle or actually on top of a rocket), bring up the pieces and put them together in space, or some combination of pre-fab structures and in-space construction. Inflatable space stations make it slightly easier to construct large structures in space — and we’ll see how spaceworthy they are. [url]
- A metal composite foam material might be lightweight and strong enough to protect people from dangerous radiation — AND bullets, too. These materials can block X-rays, gamma rays and neutron radiation better (compared to bulk metals of the same weight), but they’re not ready for trips to Mars just yet. [url]
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