NASA Astronaut Tests How Long a Fidget Spinner Lasts in Space



A fidget spinner was part of a scientific experiment in space. “A fidget spinner in space! How long does it spin?” astronaut Randy Bresnik wrote in a Twitter post that accompanied a demonstration video. The situation took place aboard the International Space Station, where Bresnik recorded a video of the spinner as it spun and spun and spun. InsideEdition.com’s Keleigh Nealon (https://twitter.com/KeleighNealon) has more.

Elon Musk answered questions on Reddit Space yesterday about the Spacex BFR

Elon Musk answered questions about the Spacex BFR, Raptor Engine, Mars colonization and other space related topics.

Here are Elon Musks answers to questions.

* Elon on space radiation – Ambient radiation damage is not significant for our transit times. Just need a solar storm shelter, which is a small part of the ship.
Buzz Aldrin is 87.
* Our goal is get you there [to Mars] and ensure the basic infrastructure for propellant production and survival is in place. A rough analogy is that we are trying to build the equivalent of the transcontinental railway. A vast amount of industry will need to be built on Mars by many other companies and millions of people.
* Best mass ratio is achieved by not building a box in a box. The propellant tanks need to be cylindrical to be remotely mass efficient and they have to carry ascent load, so lowest mass solution is just to mount the heat shield plates directly to the tank wall.
* Wouldn’t call what BFS has a delta wing. It is quite small (and light) relative to the rest of the vehicle and is never actually used to generate lift in the way that an aircraft wing is used.
It’s true purpose is to “balance out” the ship, ensuring that it doesn’t enter engines first from orbit (that would be really bad), and provide pitch and yaw control during reentry.
* Some parts of Raptor will be printed, but most of it will be machined forgings. We developed a new metal alloy for the oxygen pump that has both high strength at temperature and won’t burn. Pretty much anything will burn in high pressure, hot, almost pure oxygen.
* The control thrusters will be closer in design to the Raptor main chamber than SuperDraco and will be pressure-fed to enable lowest possible impulse bit (no turbopump spin delay).
* The heat shield plates will be mounted directly to the primary tank wall. That’s the most mass efficient way to go. Don’t want to build a box in box.
* At first, the tanker will just be a ship with no payload. Down the road, we will build a dedicated tanker that will have an extremely high full to empty mass ratio (warning: it will look kinda weird).
* Thrust scaling is the easy part. Very simple to scale the dev Raptor to 170 tons.
The flight engine design is much lighter and tighter, and is extremely focused on reliability. The objective is to meet or exceed passenger airline levels of safety. If our engine is even close to a jet engine in reliability, has a flak shield to protect against a rapid unscheduled disassembly and we have more engines than the typical two of most airliners, then exceeding airline safety should be possible.
That will be especially important for point to point journeys on Earth. The advantage of getting somewhere in 30 mins by rocket instead of 15 hours by plane will be negatively affected if “but also, you might die” is on the ticket.
* Will be starting with a full-scale Ship doing short hops of a few hundred kilometers altitude and lateral distance. Those are fairly easy on the vehicle, as no heat shield is needed, we can have a large amount of reserve propellant and don’t need the high area ratio, deep space Raptor engines.
Next step will be doing orbital velocity Ship flights, which will need all of the above. Worth noting that BFS is capable of reaching orbit by itself with low payload, but having the BF Booster increases payload by more than an order of magnitude. Earth is the wrong planet for single stage to orbit. No problemo on Mars.
* Landing will not be a hoverslam, depending on what you mean by the “slam” part. Thrust to weight of 1.3 will feel quite gentle. The tanker will only feel the 0.3 part, as gravity cancels out the 1. Launch is also around 1.3 T/W, so it will look pretty much like a launch in reverse….
* The main tanks will be vented to vacuum, the outside of the ship is well insulated (primarily for reentry heating) and the nose of the ship will be pointed mostly towards the sun, so very little heat is expected to reach the header tanks. That said, the propellant can be cooled either with a small amount of evaporation. Down the road, we might add a cryocooler.
* 3 light-minutes at closest distance. So you could Snapchat, I suppose. If that’s a thing in the future.
* But, yes, it would make sense to strip the headers out and do a UDP-style feed with extreme compression and a CRC check to confirm the packet is good, then do a batch resend of the CRC-failed packets. Something like that. Earth to Mars is over 22 light-minutes at max distance.

Question – Why was Raptor thrust reduced from ~300 tons-force to ~170 tons-force?
One would think that for (full-flow staged combustion…) rocket engines bigger is usually better: better surface-to-volume ratio, less friction, less heat flow to handle at boundaries, etc., which, combined with the target wet mass of the rocket defines a distinct ‘optimum size’ sweet spot where the sum of engines reaches the best thrust-to-weight ratio.
Yet Raptor’s s/l thrust was reduced from last year’s ~300 tons-force to ~170 tons-force, which change appears to be too large of a reduction to be solely dictated by optimum single engine TWR considerations.
What were the main factors that led to this change?
permalinkembedreport
ElonMuskElon Musk – We chickened out
ElonMuskElon Musk
The engine thrust dropped roughly in proportion to the vehicle mass reduction from the first IAC talk. In order to be able to land the BF Ship with an engine failure at the worst possible moment, you have to have multiple engines. The difficulty of deep throttling an engine increases in a non-linear way, so 2:1 is fairly easy, but a deep 5:1 is very hard. Granularity is also a big factor. If you just have two engines that do everything, the engine complexity is much higher and, if one fails, you’ve lost half your power. Btw, we modified the BFS design since IAC to add a third medium area ratio Raptor engine partly for that reason (lose only 1/3 thrust in engine out) and allow landings with higher payload mass for the Earth to Earth transport function.

Begin-up looks to develop footprint in robotic space

The Chennai-headquartered start off-up organization, Robotix, that gifted the planet Phiro, an instructional robot, is now gearing up to release a different item.

“Currently in the improvement phase, the item is aimed at young children aged 3 to 8. We will be launching this at the Customer Digital Demonstrate at Las Vegas. It is a world-wide phase wherever future technology innovations are introduced to the industry location,” explained Aditi Prasad, Chief Operating Officer, Robotix.

Began in 2009 by Ms. Aditi and her sister Deepti Rao Suchindran, who looks following the firm’s U.S. operations, Robotix aims at altering the way young children study at school. The sisters are also instrumental in introducing the Indian Robotics League, an annual levels of competition.

Phiro allows young children study dilemma solving, computational contemplating, coding and robotics in an uncomplicated and pleasurable way.

Phiro looks like a toy automobile and has arrow keys. “Children can code a music and make the robot dance to their favourite tracks. They can even build a design and style,” Ms. Aditi explained.

Phiro was launched on kickstarter in November 2015, raised above $80,000 and delivered to clients by July 2016. The funds have been utilised for tooling and creation of the initial batch of Phiros.

Tie-up with faculties

The start off-up has tied up with eight faculties and of this a few are worldwide faculties. It is concentrating on STEM (science, technological know-how, engineering and arithmetic) schooling. “We are aiming to be a $10 million corporation, generating instructional robots for the planet industry and educating young children the newest in technological know-how to acquire 21st century expertise,” explained Ms. Aditi. She was on the lookout at additional faculties to join her community. “More faculties now are receiving excited about introducing new topics like robotics and coding to their young children, than just before,” she additional.

NASA Undeterred by the Threat of Space Radiation

When it comes to planning missions to Mars and other distant locations in the Solar System, the threat posed by radiation has become something of an elephant in the room. Whether it is NASA’s proposed “Journey to Mars“, SpaceX’s plans to conduct regular flights to Mars, or any other plan to send crewed missions beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO), long-term exposure to space radiation and the health risks this poses is an undeniable problem.

But as the old saying goes, “for every problem, there is a solution”; not to mention, “necessity is the mother of invention”. And as representatives from NASA’s Human Research Program recently indicated, the challenge posed by space radiation will not deter the agency from its exploration goals. Between radiation shielding and efforts aimed at mitigation, NASA plans to proceed with mission to Mars and beyond.

Since the beginning of the Space Age, scientists have understood how beyond Earth’s magnetic field, space is permeated by radiation. This includes Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs), Solar Particle Events (SPEs) and the Van Allen Radiation Belts, which contains trapped space radiation. Much has also been learned through the ISS, which continues to provide opportunities to study the effects of exposure to space radiation and microgravity.

The magnetic field and electric currents in and around Earth generate complex forces that have immeasurable impact on every day life. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

For instance, though it orbits within Earth’s magnetic field, astronauts receive over ten times the amount of radiation than people experience on average here on Earth. NASA is able to protect crews from SPEs by advising them to seek shelter in more heavily shielded areas of the station – such as the Russian-built Zvezda service module or the US-built Destiny laboratory.

However, GCRs are more of a challenge. These energetic particles, which are primarily composed of high-energy protons and atomic nuclei, can come from anywhere within our galaxy and are capable of penetrating even metal. To make matters worse, when these particles cut through material, they generate a cascade reaction of particles, sending neutrons, protons and other particles in all directions.

This “secondary radiation” can sometimes be a greater risk than the GCRs themselves. And recent studies have indicated that the threat they pose to living tissue can also have a cascading effect, where damage to one cell can then spread to others. As Dr. Lisa Simonsen, a Space Radiation Element Scientist with NASA’s HRP, explained:

“One of the most challenging parts for the human journey to Mars is the risk of radiation exposure and the inflight and long-term health consequences of the exposure. This ionizing radiation travels through living tissues, depositing energy that causes structural damage to DNA and alters many cellular processes.”

To address this risk, NASA is currently evaluating various materials and concepts to shield crews from GCRs. These materials will become an integral part of future deep-space missions. Experiments involving these materials and their incorporation into transport vehicles, habitats and space suits are currently taking place at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL).

At the same time, NASA is also investigating pharmaceutical countermeasures, which could prove to be more effective than radiation shielding. For instance, potassium iodide, diethylenetriamine pentaacietic acid (DTPA) and the dye known as “Prussian blue” have been used for decades to treat radiation sickness. During long-term missions, astronauts will likely need to take daily doses of radiation meds to mitigate exposure to radiation.

Space radiation detection and mitigation technologies are also being developed through NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division. These include the Hybrid Electronic Radiation Assessor for the Orion spacecraft, and a series of personal and operational dosimeters for the ISS. There are also existing instruments which are expected to play an important role when crewed mission to Mars begin.

Who can forget the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), which was one of the first instruments sent to Mars for the specific purpose of informing future human exploration efforts. This instrument is responsible for identifying and measuring radiation on the Martian surface, be it radiation from space or secondary radiation produced by cosmic rays interacting with the Martian atmosphere and surface.

Artist depiction of a rover on the surface of Mars. Researchers are developing shielding concepts for transport vehicles, habitats and space suits to protect future astronauts on a journey to Mars. Credits: NASA

Because of these and other preparations, many at NASA are naturally hopeful that the risks of space radiation can and will be addressed. As Pat Troutman, the NASA Human Exploration Strategic Analysis Lead, stated in a recent NASA press statement:

“Some people think that radiation will keep NASA from sending people to Mars, but that’s not the current situation. When we add the various mitigation techniques up, we are optimistic it will lead to a successful Mars mission with a healthy crew that will live a very long and productive life after they return to Earth.

Scientists are also engaged in ongoing studies of space weather in order to develop better forecasting tools and countermeasures. Last, but not least, multiple organizations are looking to develop smaller, faster spacecraft in order to reduce travel times (and hence, exposure to radiation). Taken together, all of these strategies are necessary for long-duration spaceflights to Mars and other locations throughout the Solar System.

Granted, there is still considerable research that needs to be done before we can say with any certainty that crewed missions to Mars and beyond will be safe, or at least not pose any unmanageable risks. But the fact that NASA is busy addressing these needs from multiple angles demonstrates how committed they are to seeing such a mission happen in the coming decades.

Artist’s impression of the the Interplanetary Spacecraft approaching Mars. Credit: SpaceX

“Mars is the best option we have right now for expanding long-term, human presence,” said Troutman. “We’ve already found valuable resources for sustaining humans, such as water ice just below the surface and past geological and climate evidence that Mars at one time had conditions suitable for life. What we learn about Mars will tell us more about Earth’s past and future and may help answer whether life exists beyond our planet.”

Beyond NASA, Roscosmos, the Chinese National Space Agency (CSNA) have also expressed interest in conducting crewed mission to the Red Planet, possibly between the 2040s or as late as the 2060s. While the European Space Agency (ESA) has no active plans for sending astronauts to Mars, they see the establishment of an International Lunar Village as a major step towards that goal.

Beyond the public sector, companies like SpaceX and non-profits like MarsOne are also investigating possible strategies for protecting and mitigating against space radiation. Elon Musk has been quite vocal (especially of late) about his plans to conduct regular trips to Mars in the near future using the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) – also known as the BFR – not to mention establishing a colony on the planet.

And Baas Landsdorp has indicated that the organization he founded to establish a human presence on Mars will find ways to address the threat posed by radiation, regardless of what a certain report from MIT says! Regardless of the challenges, there is simply no shortage of people who want to see humanity go to Mars, and possibly even stay there!

And be sure to check out this video about the Human Research Program, courtesy of NASA:

Further Reading: NASA

NASA future ‘in question’: Profound space missions debilitated over colossal plutonium lack



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NASA future ‘in question’: Profound space missions debilitated over colossal plutonium lack
THE eventual fate of NASA might be in question after a deficiency of plutonium, which is required for profound space missions, was revealed by US authorities. The news comes as NASA researchers had planned to send shuttles to investigate concealed seas on moons of Jupiter and Saturn and travel assist into profound space to reveal the privileged insights of the universe.Alan Stern, the lead researcher on NASA’s the New Skylines mission stated: “These missions would require atomic power.”Jessica Daylight, a researcher who built up a comet-container mission for Nasa, disclosed to Business Insider that without plutonium missions like hers will likewise come into question.She stated: “It’s not a matter of would you be able to improve, however would you be able to do it by any stretch of the imagination. “On a comet, working at insane separations, you can’t arrive with sunlight based boards the measure of an Airbus wing. A radioactive power supply is a thoroughly empowering thing.”The US Government quit making Pu-238 of every 1988 and keeping in mind that Russia sold some to Nasa in the 2000s, this finished in 2009.As an outcome, NASA just has around 77pounds (35kg) left, but since Pu-238 rots just about portion of is viewed as sufficiently crisp for space mission.

This would insufficient for another mission like Cassini, which utilized more than 50pounds (23kg), to send a rocket to circle Saturn.Between 2030 and 2040, NASA intends to send its initially kept an eye on mission to Mars.The space organization is as of now exploring techniques to shield Mars-bound space explorers from the unsafe radiations beams of the Red Planet. Douglas Terrier, NASA’s acting boss technologist, stated: “We’re taking a gander at a scope of things, from sedate treatments, and those appear to be very encouraging, to more extraordinary things like an epigenetic modification.”I think those have a considerable measure of moral results so they’re still in the test thought stages.”Russia, China, the European Space Office and the US are as of now involved in another age space race to wind up plainly the first to get to Mars. 00FastNews. If it’s not too much trouble Subscribe!

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NASA could Modify space travelers’ DNA before sending them on Mars mission



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NASA could Modify space travelers’ DNA before sending them on Mars mission
NASA could change the DNA of space explorers making a beeline for Mars to shield them from fatal levels of inestimable radiation.

These particles can tear through a man’s DNA, and is likewise prone to build their danger of both growth and dementia.Douglas Terrier, NASA’s acting boss technologist, stated: “We’re taking a gander at a scope of things, from tranquilize treatments, and those appear to be very encouraging, to more outrageous things like epigenetic modification.”I think those have a great deal of moral outcomes so they’re still in the test thought stages.”NASA would like to accelerate the race to Mars after President Donald Trump promised $19.1 billion this year in financing to help the mission. The 2018 NASA spending plan is marginally littler than the one guaranteed by Barack Obama a year ago, yet regardless it gives a considerable measure of subsidizing for the space’s agency.NASA will probably send people to the red planet by the 2030’s – an objective approved in 2010. These designs additionally incorporate sending a kept an eye on mission to catch a space rock by 2025, to catch it and place it in circle around the moon.The huge logical endeavor is a zenith of years of research and mechanical advancement. 00FastNews. It would be ideal if you Subscribe!

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