Declassified: US Military’s secret Cold War space project revealed
A newly released treasure trove of historical data reveals intriguing details about a secret Cold War project known as the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL).
The U.S. Air Force’s MOL program ran from December 1963 until its cancelation in June 1969. The program spent $1.56 billion during that time, according to some estimates.
While the program never actually lofted a crewed space station, those nearly six years were quite eventful, featuring the selection of 17 MOL astronauts, the remodeling of NASA’s two-seat Gemini spacecraft, the development of the Titan-3C launch vehicle and the building of an MOL launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California
U.S. Air Force awards more rocket research contracts
The U.S. Air Force awarded another round of research contracts Dec. 23 as part of a broader effort to end U.S. reliance on a Russian rocket engine for launching national security missions, according to posts on the Federal Business Opportunities website.
The three rocket technology research contracts are the largest the service has made to date. The recipients are: $3.1 million for Orbital ATK of Dulles, Virginia; $6 million for propulsion provider Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California; and $5.4 million for Northrop Grumman of El Segundo, California.
Mysterious radio signals from space discovered to be a much better test of Einstein’s General Relativity theory
A new way to test one of the basic principles underlying Einstein’s theory of General Relativity using brief blasts of rare radio signals from space called Fast Radio Bursts is ten times, to one-hundred times better than previous testing methods that used gamma-ray bursts, according to a paper just published in the journal Physical Review Letters. The paper received additional highlighting as an “Editor’s Suggestion” due to “its particular importance, innovation, and broad appeal,” according to the journal’s editors.
The new method is considered to be a significant tribute to Einstein on the 100th anniversary of his first formulation of the Equivalence Principle, which is a key component of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. More broadly, it also is a key component of the concept that the geometry of spacetime is curved by the mass density of individual galaxies, stars, planets, and other objects.
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Build up your space industry resume by participating in the SETI data quest. Propose and describe a service or a product that can be built with SETI data. It can be a website with visualization of SETI data. Or it can be a data mining project. The only restriction is your imagination. More information