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A Space Based Construction Factory

Habitats for living and other spacecraft will be built in space on site. Building materials will be mined and pre-processed to sort and bundle, then will be “thrown” away from the mining site into a trajectory toward the construction site. When they arrive, they will be “caught” and refined for final processing. Large solar arrays […]

Light Speed Is Relatively Slow

We usually think of light as being extremely fast because it is the fastest thing we have been able to observe so far. The physics of relativity theory by Einstein suggests to us that the speed of light is an absolute limit built into the fabric of space and time as we observe it. This […]

GAIA Space Observatory Searches for New Asteroids

The GAIA space observatory platform was launched in 2013 into a stable Lagrange orbital point known as L-2. L-1 is a stable point on the Sun side of Earth and L-2 is a mirror of that but on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun. GAIA is a project of the European Space Agency […]

Robots in Space

We often use robots in environments that are harsh or unfriendly to humans. In space, there is a starkly drawn line between friendly and unfriendly environments – it’s called inside and outside. Inside the space habitats we will live in, it will be warm and well lit and safe. Outside it will be cold and […]

Japanese Space Elevator

Japanese firm wants to build a space elevator by 2050 – [youtube.com] The Space Elevator Construction Concept – [obayashi.co.jp] Concept Outline The space elevator is planned to be built by the year 2050 with a capacity to carry 100-ton climbers. It is composed of a 96,000-km carbon nanotube cable, a 400-m diameter floating Earth Port […]

Space Launch Costs Will Become Increasingly Irrelevant

Historically, one of the greatest impediments to the process of humanity moving out into space has been the extreme costs of launching payloads out of our gravity well. There are two factors that will contribute to a dramatic decrease in the affect of launch costs on space migration. Space elevators will greatly reduce the effort […]

Planet Earth Seen From Space

Jeff’s Earth – 4K – [youtube.com] The first time you see Planet Earth from space, it’s stunning; when you’ve spent 534 days in space—more than any other American—it still is! On his most recent trip the International Space Station NASA astronaut Jeff Williams used an Ultra High Definition video camera that he pointed at the […]

Navigation in the Asteroid Belt

Navigation requires time and position data and the ability to calculate and plot a course. Historically, we have used “fixed” points like stars and buoys and beacons and landmarks and we plotted courses to fixed destinations. More recently we have learned to use a network of Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. The satellites move constantly […]

A Huge New Space Telescope

The Hubble space telescope opened the universe to new levels for our viewing. After twenty years of effort, a replacement for the Hubble, called the James Webb Space Telescope is nearly ready to go. It will be one hundred times more powerful. Into the Unknown – [youtube.com] Into the Unknown tells the story of the […]

Deflecting an Asteroid Threat

Movies like to portray the ultimate defense against an asteroid threatening life on planet Earth as a nuclear weapon tipped missile. This makes little sense. We think of our Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) as being long range because they are compared to most of our other weapon systems. But in the sense of interplanetary […]