REUTERS/NASA/Tim Peake/Handout Good fences make good neighbors, which is why the United States is building a space fence.The new space fence, since it promises to be more accurate, will shrink those uncertainty bubbles, Mercurio said.I think tracking more of the space debris, and particularly the smaller space debris objects, is a very good goal, Weeden added.With that in mind, the space situational awareness capacity of the Joint Space Operations Center has a deterrent aspect to it, because we are able to identify, characterize, and attribute actions in space.Omar Lamrani, a senior military analyst for Stratfor, an intelligence firm, said that the space fence could help the U.S. move a satellite away from another satellite that could harm it, and could also help attribute aggressive actions if they occur.In other words, if a country like Russia or China knows that the United States would be able to attribute a hostile action in space, they are less likely to do it.
Nasa's Bigelow Expandable Activity Module Beam is set to be expanded this week – and it's going to live-stream the mission.Beam was sent to the International Space Station in April as part of SpaceX's flight to deliver supplies to astronauts.Astronauts on board the ISS will be entering the habitat for the first time on June 2 before routinely entering the module to "monitor its behaviour and measure its performance" in the hostile environment of space.The inflatable pod will remain attached to the ISS for two years, with Nasa hoping that a similar module may accompany astronauts to Mars.According to Nasa, expandable habitats require "less payload volume on a rocket than traditional rigid structures", and also provide a "varying degree of protection from solar and cosmic radiation, space debris, atomic oxygen, ultraviolet radiation and other elements in space".The deployment will start at 5.30am EDT 9.30am GMT on May 26.
These, it turns out, are likely to play an important role in future deep-space missions when astronauts are expected to travel to Mars and beyond.BEAM is the result of years of collaboration between NASA, which first came up with the idea, and private space firm Bigelow, which has been developing it further.Engineers will learn about the effectiveness of its tough multi-layer fabric in dealing with hazards such as space debris.Instead, they ll return several times during the two-year test period to gather sensor data so they can examine conditions inside the module to confirm its safety.Bigelow announced a collaboration in April with United Launch Alliance ULA to develop a much larger expandable living pod that could launch on board a ULA Atlas V rocket in 2020.This one will be around 30 percent of the ISS s volume, and is expected to incorporate technology that could one day allow it to function as a self-sufficient orbiting outpost.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station ISS will tomorrow pump up the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module BEAM - the "first human-rated expandable structure that may help inform the design of deep space habitats".The engorgement is expected to begin at 10:10 GMT 6:10 AM EDT , with NASA TV's live coverage kicking of at 09:30 GMT 5:30 AM EDT .Pic: Bigelow AerospaceAstronauts will first venture into BEAM on 2 June, and then several times a year over the next two years, "to retrieve sensor data and assess conditions inside the module".Once scientists have determined how the structure "protects against solar radiation, space debris and the temperature extremes of space", it'll be cut loose from the ISS and consigned to a fiery death in Earth's atmosphere.The obvious threat to BEAM is high-speed orbiting debris, such as that which chipped the ISS's cupola window.It's unclear whether ISS crew are armed with a space-rated bicycle puncture repair kit to tackle such an eventuality.
Artist's concept of the BEAM module attached to the International Space Station.The roughly 3000-pound BEAM was first blasted up to the ISS in April aboard a SpaceX Falcon rocket.This first test of an expandable module will allow investigators to gauge how well the habitat performs and specifically, how well it protects against solar radiation, space debris and the temperature extremes of space, NASA said in a statement.NASA says that expandable modules like BEAM promise to be both lighter and smaller than traditional modules, and are thus easier to transport into space.It will eventually be jettisoned from the station and then burn up in the Earth s atmosphere.Follow Rob Verger on Twitter: @robverger
Bright and early Thursday at 5:30 a.m.ET, NASA will blow up a giant inflatable habitat on the International Space Station ISS .The $18 million dollar habitat, called the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module BEAM will be the star of a NASA live-stream as it expands into space.As BEAM expands, NASA will also host a live Q on Facebook and an AMA on Reddit.The pod was sent to the ISS in April aboard SpaceX s Dragon spaceship.The goal of the habitat, which will expand to about 6 feet long and 8 feet wide the size of a small bedroom is to give astronauts larger, more comfortable places to live on space missions, in particular ones headed to Mars.Over the next two years, sensors will measure how well the structure maintains safe temperature, pressure, and radiation levels, according to Popular Science.Starting on June 2, astronauts on board the ISS will routinely enter the module to keep track of how it performs in the harsh space environment, Wired reports.At the end of the two years, BEAM will be robotically jettisoned back down to Earth.Expandable habitats take up much less space on a rocket than what we use now, and also provide a "varying degree of protection from solar and cosmic radiation, space debris, atomic oxygen, ultraviolet radiation and other elements in space.If the inflatable habitat holds up to the test of time and space , it will make sending large habitats into space cheaper and easier.So check it out.
Shooting stars, meteors, and full-on meteor showers are wonders to behold.These celestial light shows occur when gas, dust, and space debris burn up in Earth's atmosphere.But they don't happen as often as we might like, nor do they predictably occur exactly when and where we'd like them to.So a startup called ALE, with scientific collaborators from Japanese universities, wants to manufacture shooting stars with a sky-high project called "Sky Canvas."You can kind of see how it would work in this promotional video they made:ALE's plan is to launch a satellite about 310 miles up, where it would release 500 to 1,000 pellets — each containing different elements to make them burn up in different colors.Once the pellets fly one-third of the way around the Earth, they'd reenter the atmosphere about 40 miles up and ignite, becoming tiny shooting stars.The company has tested the pellets in the lab, and reported they could be bright enough to see even under the glow of city lights.A number of news outlets reported that the company planned to open the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony with their artificial meteor shower, but ALE said that isn't the case."However, our product is still in development and we have not formally talked to the Olympic committee so any articles claiming that we 'will' or that we have 'already bid / proposed' are technically false."But would this actually work?Aerospace engineer and space debris expert Hugh Lewis, from the University of Southampton, told Tech Insider that creating an artificial meteor shower is possible.Doing so at the altitude ALE is planning to, however, could be problematic.More from Tech Insider:This incredible new first-person shooter is perfect for newcomers and veterans alikeThis Bill Gates-backed veggie burger is the best one you can buy in a grocery storeThe most innovative desserts the inventor of the Cronut has dreamed upHere s how long to wait before you text your crush backPeugeot's throwback race car concept is beautiful and innovativeNOW WATCH: Here's what you actually see while you're watching a meteor showerLoading video...
A horde of news outlets reported that Japanese company ALE plans to open the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with an artificial meteor shower, but the startup told Tech Insider that's a bit premature.Some fail when they get there, or eventually stop working, leaving them afloat in the "graveyard" of space tens to hundreds of miles above the Earth.NASA currently tracks over 500,000 objects larger than a marble — 20,000 of which are bigger than a softball.Each one has the potential to catastrophically damage the International Space Station ISS , so crew members take cover anytime they go by a particularly large hunk of space junk.Some apocalyptic sci-fi minds even say that if we continued at this launch pace without cleaning up the space debris, we would eventually create a barrier of junk so thick that we wouldn't be able to leave the Earth.That's a little far-fetched, of course, but it illustrates how dire the growing space debris problem has become.NASA, the European Space Agency, and other organizations are coming up with ways to clean up the space environment, but they haven't settled on a winning, feasible idea yet.This is why aerospace engineer and space debris expert Hugh Lewis, from the University of Southampton, told Tech Insider that he thinks launching satellites to create artificial meteor showers is unwise."The company's plan is to launch a satellite about 320 miles up that would release hundreds of pellets, which would ignite and become shooting stars as they re-entered the atmosphere around 40 miles up.ALE says it has developed software to determine the likelihood of colliding with other objects in space so its satellites and artificial meteors could hopefully avoid them."We would ensure that our pellets do not hit the International Space Station or other satellites based on the ISS data from the Joint Space Operations Center," Yamamoto told Tech Insider in the email.
Following last week s failed effort, NASA has now managed to inflate its experimental habitat attached to the International Space Station ISS .It took astronaut Jeffrey Williams seven hours of opening and closing the module s air valve – plus some help at the end from internal air tanks – to get it fully expanded to five times its original size.That s six hours longer than it should ve taken, but after Thursday s aborted attempt, engineers didn t want to take any chances during the procedure.A significant milestone has been accomplished pic.twitter.com/xPvQHPFRkS— Bigelow Aerospace @BigelowSpace May 28, 2016About the size of a small bedroom, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module BEAM will be tested over the next two years for its safety and durability in the hope that the technology could one day be used to build self-sufficient orbiting outposts or even accommodation for visitors to the moon and Mars.The pod comprises several layers of tough fabric, including a bullet-resistant polymer called Vectran, which its creators say should be able to withstand hazards such as space debris, extreme temperatures, and radiation.According to Bigelow Aerospace, it was friction within these layers, apparently caused by the way the pod had been stored, that prevented the module from properly inflating on Thursday.
For several hours carefully pumped air intermittently into a valve to the expandable module beam, which is coupled to the ISS. The tests with Beam is part of the American space agency NASA plans to establish settlements on the moon or Mars. The full-size Beam measuring four meters long and 3.2 meters wide. During two years of probation to be astronauts from the ISS and then test how it is to live in Beam and read instrument on how the module is capable of radiation, space debris and the extremely low temperature. The first temporary migration is scheduled for June 2nd. Get the news you're going to talk about in your Facebook feed - like Metro Sweden
Image courtesy of NASA The International Space Station has a new piece of real estate -- after technical difficulties last week astronauts have now inflated the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module BEAM .Upon arrival, the module, which is developed by Bigelow Aerospace, measured 7.0 feet long and less than 7.5 feet in diameter.After initially struggling to inflate the module Thursday, NASA announced Saturday that the room had inflated to 13 feet long and 10.5 feet in diameter in 10 minutes.It will be equally pressurized with the space station and remain attached to it for the next two years.Hatch opening and NASA astronaut Jeff Williams first entrance into BEAM will take place about a week after leak checks are complete, wrote NASA, on its blog.Related: Watch NASA inflate a new room on the ISS ThursdayThe blog also stated that the module will allow scientists to gauge how well the habitat performs and specifically, how well it protects against solar radiation, space debris and the temperature extremes of space.
GIFAround 4am this morning, people near Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona were treated to a loud boom and flash of blinding light as some sort of space junk intersected with Earth s atmosphere.The AP reported that the possible meteor or meteorites may have landed by the nearby town of Cibecue.The event is not believed to be part of a meteor shower rather but a chance collision between Earth s orbit and some errant space debris.Surveillance footage and video from people who happened to be filming the normally pitch-black roads of pre-dawn Arizona surfaced on social media, illustrating the intensity of the flash.Those who weren t quick enough to catch the boom itself snapped photos of the trails of ionized air left behind in the sky.The event was best summarized in the video below with a simple phrase: Holy fuckin shit.
After a few problems getting it inflated, astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Monday had their first opportunity to enter the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module BEAM .Installed on the space station s Tranquility node, the inflatable pod could one day provide extra living and work space for astronauts on missions into deep space.Broadcast live on NASA TV, the American astronaut told Mission Control in Houston that the living pod looked pristine, adding that it felt cold inside.The inflatable pod is made with several layers of tough fabric, including a bullet-resistant polymer called Vectran, which its engineers say should be able to withstand hazards such as space debris, extreme temperatures, and radiation.Tests and data gathered from the module over the next two years will give its designers precise information on its durability and effectiveness in a space environment, allowing them to make any necessary changes to improve its design.Bigelow recently announced a collaboration with United Launch Alliance ULA to develop a much bigger pod that could launch aboard a ULA Atlas V rocket in 2020.
This undated artist's rendering shows the MX-1 microlander space craft Moon Express U.S. officials appear poised to make history by approving the first private space mission to go beyond Earth s orbit, according to people familiar with the details.The government s endorsement would eliminate the largest regulatory hurdle to plans by Moon Express, a relatively obscure space startup, to land a roughly 20-pound package of scientific hardware on the Moon sometime next year.It also would provide the biggest federal boost yet for unmanned commercial space exploration and, potentially, the first in an array of for-profit ventures throughout the solar system.The expected decision, said the people familiar with the details, is expected to set important legal and diplomatic precedents for how Washington will ensure such nongovernmental projects comply with longstanding international space treaties.The principles are likely to apply to future spacecraft whose potential purposes range from mining asteroids to tracking space debris.Approval of a formal launch license for the second half of 2017 is still months away, and the proposed mission poses huge technical obstacles for Moon Express, including the fact that the rocket it wants to use hasn t yet flown.
This week, the US patent office issued 6896 patents.The phone will include a structural frame that holds modules of the owner s choice, such as a display, camera or an extra battery.Boeing plans to play with firePatent Number: US 9,345,916Boeing patents a high-tech fire suppression system to air transport Li-Ion batteries.The global market for lithium-ion batteries is rapidly expanding.Further, based on co-presence of the user with other individuals, the mobile device may open an app, e.g., play a happy birthday song when co-presence is detected with an individual with a birthday , send an email or text message to an individual when co-presence is detected with one or more other individuals , or take a picture .NASA has invented a self-healing polymer that can automatically heal punctures created by bullets high speed space debris that hits spacecrafts,for example .The self-healing material is designed to locally melt upon impact by a speeding bullet.
A meteor shower she witnessed while a student made a deep impression.I don t just want to sell the stars, I want to pair them with exciting events on the Earth so people can enjoy them, said Ms. Okajima, who previously worked for Goldman Sachs GS -0.50 % and holds a Ph.D. in astronomy.In March, Singapore-based Astroscale Ltd., which was founded by a Japanese man and plans to help clear space debris, received $35 million in funding, including $30 million from a Japanese state-backed investment fund.The same month, Japan s space agency announced it would work with Japanese venture ispace technologies to create an insectlike robot to explore the moon.There was a surge in space venture companies, especially in America, and as a result companies in Japan started to think that they too should look into space, said Yuya Nakamura, chief executive of Axelspace Corp., a startup that develops micro satellites weighing less than 100 kilograms.The five-person company is working to launch a satellite by early 2018 that will eject tiny balls in space that will burn as they fall back through the Earth s atmosphere, like the space dust and rocks that appear to those on the ground as shooting stars.
The collision of American satellite Iridium 33 with Russian satellite Kosmos-2251 in 2009 created thousands of pieces of space debris larger than four inches in diameter.Two years later, ISS had to perform a avoidance maneuver to put itself at a safe passing distance from incoming debris caused by the collision.Some 29,000 pieces of space debris larger than four inches in diameter are known to orbit Earth, according to the European Space Agency ESA .Every time a satellite explodes or some debris collides with another, that figure grows in a domino effect that may one day lead to a scenario known as the Kessler syndrome, in which debris is so prolific that orbit becomes unfeasible.The initiative s first mission, e.Deorbit, will involve using either a net or a robotic arm to capture one of ESA s derelict satellites in low orbit and burn it up in an atmospheric reentry.Projected to launch in 2023, Clean Space s e.Deorbit mission will mark the first proactive effort to safely remove debris from space – a task that will only become more essential in the years to come.
Sketch of a radar facility in the EISCAT 3D. Photographer: Nat Inst of Polar Research 50000 antennas at five different locations in Sweden, Norway and Finland form one of the world's largest radar. Japan is now investing in the project that can detect debris down to 1.5 cm, threatening satellites and space stations. Cooperation takes place within the framework of EISCAT European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association that took a radar observations of the aurora borealis and the atmosphere at altitudes from 70 km to 1500 km in operation in 1981. Japan will develop the transmitter in the new facility, which is expected to be operational 2022nd In autumn, a demonstration plant is being tested in northern Norway.
Long March 7 rocket, China's new model carrier rocket, lifts off from the launch pad in Wenchang, Hainan province.Photo: suppliedA small spacecraft sent into orbit by the Long March 7 rocket launched from Hainan in southern China on Saturday is tasked with cleaning up space junk, according to the government, but some analysts claim it may serve a military purpose.In order to fulfil the obligations and responsibilities, our country is working endlessly towards achieving a technological breakthrough in space debris removal technology, Tang says on the website of the China National Space Administration.It would need to search for and identify the target, then plan and adjust its own course of approach.The European Space Agency is expected to approve a similar project called e.deorbit later this year.The ESA also claims the e.deorbit would be the world s first active debris removal mission , though that is no longer true given the launch of Aolong-1.
Your browser does not support HTML5 videoPlayPausePlayPauseMute0%00:00 / 00:00FullscreenSmallscreen Close Embed Feed Experts fear China may have launched a robot into space that could destroy enemy satellites like the one taking off in this related video IBTimes UKChina has just launched a robotic spacecraft into orbit with the intention to clean up man-made space debris and collect old, defunct satellites circling our planet.Or so the Chinese government claims.The AoLong-1, also known as Roaming Dragon, was blasted from Southern China on 25 June in what is described as the first of a number of craft equipped with a robotic arm and a mission to spring clean the swathes of space junk in the Earth's orbit.It works by grabbing chunks of debris and crashes back to Earth in a safe location like the ocean – the idea being that it could prevent any large objects from crashing into major cities.After China's government blew up an out-of-service weather satellite back in 2007 – and millions of shards of debris were sent scattering – it resulted in outrage among international space agencies.
More

Top