Slowly but surely NASA is moving toward the accumulation of technologies which will allow humans to go to Mars, spend time there in a constructive manner and return to Earth.
The Mars 2020 Rover will test one of those technologies, the use of carbon dioxide on Mars to create oxygen, oxygen for the astronauts to breathe and to create the fuel needed for the crew to launch from the Martian surface for the return flight. Continue reading “MOXIE: First step to a factory on Mars”
NASA announced this week that the next Martian rover has passed its final development milestone. The design will be finalized and construction begun with a view to launching the rover in the summer of 2020 and landing on Mars in February 2021.
Continue reading “Mars 2020 Rover: The search for life on Mars”
The allure of the space plane has always been the cost saving associated with the fact that every major component can be reused. The rocket fuselage, its engines the crew accommodations, all of the electronics, hydraulics, avionics, virtually everything is preserved.
The United States’ space shuttle was the only operational space plane to date, although the Buran of the former Soviet Union did make one unmanned flight.
Great Britain’s effort was centered on a program known as the Horizontal Take-Off and Landing (HOTOL) design. The program began in 1982 and was cancelled in 1988 when a lack of progress on technical issues discouraged the British government from providing further funding.
Continue reading “Skylon: The UK’s Space Plane”