Space propulsion startup, WFIRST telescope and Virgin Galactic’s new SpaceShipTwo

dsc_0080Space propulsion startup Accion Systems starts taking orders

The space propulsion company Accion Systems has announced that they will officially start taking orders for their micro-propulsion systems designed for CubeSats and other small satellites. The company is selling miniature electrospray ion engines that generates thrust by accelerating charged particles to very high speeds.Accion’s engine, about the size of a small coin, uses 480 microscopic nozzles that make use of capillary action that direct propellant out of the engine. Capillary action enables liquid to flow into narrow spaces without the assistance of an external force like gravity. If you put a straw in a glass of water, some of that water will travel up the straw because of capillary motion.

Accion’s engine, about the size of a small coin, uses 480 microscopic nozzles that make use of capillary action that direct propellant out of the engine. Capillary action enables liquid to flow into narrow spaces without the assistance of an external force like gravity. If you put a straw in a glass of water, some of that water will travel up the straw because of capillary motion.

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What to expect from Virgin Galactic’s new SpaceShipTwo

The Verge reports that the updated vessel will be structurally identical to SpaceShipTwo, but that many more of its features and functionality will be operated autonomously, without requiring human control (after all, it was human operator error that was partly to blame for the 2014 crash).

Such implementations ought to greatly add to the safety of the spacecraft, and considering that the company aims to eventually take passengers to dizzying heights as paying space tourists, safety is nothing less than paramount.

Despite numerous people signing on to be among the first private space tourists—celebrities and regular joes alike—Virgin Galactic remains primarily focused on launching satellites into orbit around our planet for now.

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NASA set to unravel mysteries of cosmos with WFIRST –“100 Times Bigger View than Hubble”

6a00d8341bf7f753ef01b7c81742ce970b-800wi“The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) has the potential to open our eyes to the wonders of the universe, much the same way Hubble has,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “This mission uniquely combines the ability to discover and characterize planets beyond our own solar system with the sensitivity and optics to look wide and deep into the universe in a quest to unravel the mysteries of dark energy and dark matter.”

With a view 100 times bigger than that of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, WFIRST will aid researchers in their efforts to unravel the secrets of dark energy and dark matter, and explore the evolution of the cosmos. It also will discover new worlds outside our solar system and advance the search for worlds that could be suitable for life.

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A job opening for a Satellite Maneuver Analyst, Omitron (USA). Omitron is seeking a candidate to fulfill the role of Satellite Maneuver Analyst. Responsibilities include: maneuver planning, calibration, and reconstruction for three operational Libration Point spacecraft; risk Mitigation Maneuver (RMM) Planning for one mission in low Earth orbit; support the software development lifecycle, including requirements definition, acceptance testing, and deployment. More information


Do you want to directly contribute to space exploration and build your space resume? Astronomers need your help to find spectacular jets and match them to the galaxy that hosts them. Radio Galaxy Zoo gives you a visual tool where you can see two images of the same part of the sky, one from a radio telescope and one from an infrared telescope. There is a requirement of the observation power and accuracy. More information

 

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