from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The space race has been over for quite some time now, and we’re headed into unknown territory now — without a singular mission for space exploration. There are a few manned missions still on-going, and there’s also a lot of experimental spacecraft under development. Here are just a few space projects that use some interesting technologies.
- A Japanese construction company says it might be possible to build a space elevator by 2050 using carbon nanotubes to form a cable 96,000 kilometers long. There’s no way to estimate the cost for this gigantic elevator to space, though, since the materials to actually build it can’t be manufactured (yet?). [url]
- Ion propulsion systems have been under development for decades, and the Dawn spacecraft used an ion thruster to get a closer look at a big asteroid named Vesta. Ion thrusters can run for a long time, unlike chemical propulsion, and achieve velocities far greater than conventional rockets. [url]
- Masten Space Systems’ Xombie suborbital rocket had a successful test flight, demonstrating vertical takeoff and landing maneuvers for NASA. This rocket uses a flight control system that could help land spacecraft on asteroids or other non-terrestrial bodies. [url]
- To discover more links on space exploration, check out what’s floating around in StumbleUpon universe. [url]
By the way, StumbleUpon can also recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.