Lets check out what’s in Earth news this week.
Well, after a small setback, SpaceX wins the race for NASA to select its crewed mission. As the article points out, its a decade in the making and there is light at the end of the tunnel! A few tidbits of information there, it was worth the few moments to read. They have the right to be proud, as indicated by their Twitter feed. A few more months of testing, but yea – they beat out Boeing and everyone else for the NASA contract. Not only that, but they split off into a (competing with Fly-To Inc.) commercial travel service, called Space Adventures. They will be rapidly pursuing the tourist option to the ISS in the next two years. It will only run you about 50 million or so, but that’s pocket change these days. Great link though, lots of information and jumping off points to current SpaceX development.
You don’t hear about Northrup Grumman in the news often, but they are sending supplies to the ISS currently. This is in the form of their Cygnus spacecraft. (wiki). Successful picture perfect mission that didn’t get the press they deserved. This is a nice PR piece they have about “Defining Possible” , worth the click – a lot of history and future and such in there. This is rather important, as they had the benefit of being the first to gain a lot of knowledge from the Apollo series early on, before others. Who knows what they may come up with.
Not to be left out, the military as always have their own path. Bringing back some old ideas that we can now make work, they are prepping a Nuclear Moon Rocket! I actually think this is a solid idea for earth-lunar (cislunar) transits! They are planning to test these orbits with cubesats with the upcomming Cislunar Explorers mission.
Speaking of propulsion, I found this today and it deserves consideration. The concept of a rotating detonation engine. Its like a scramjet, but for space. Kind of like the rotary Wankel engine, only like a rocket. Lets hope it doesn’t fade into obscurity like its inspiration namesake. Seems to show some potential however. On the other hand, not sure how much rotational impulse it imparts which could negate some of it’s positive benefits. Watch the videos and by golly, it almost looks like the engine from future movie spaceships! Pretty cool, plus the “it’s really violent” type quotes. I cant help but wonder however, if the rotational torque introduced from a rotating firing pattern would introduce a LOT of unwanted spin into a spacecraft. Somewhat wasted energy, I would think. But it’s cool all the same.
You may not know this, but you can join the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. Interesting read, never knew that existed…
Well, that’s the short list for this week, check over to Fly-To-Mars.com for recent Mars news!