NASA has a plan to put robot bees on Mars

April 3, 2018 by  
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NASA has announced the funding of a new research effort that will explore the possibility of using robot bees to study the Martian surface. NASA has appropriately called the concept the Marsbee, and the team hopes to develop a model that is capable of navigating the thin atmosphere of Mars in swarms, gathering information with various sensors. “The objective of the proposed work is to increase the set of possible exploration and science missions on Mars by investigating the feasibility of flapping wing aerospace architectures in a Martian environment,” explains University of Alabama researcher Chang-kwon Kang in a statement . A research team at the University of Alabama will work in collaboration with an as-of-yet unannounced team in Japan to create what may be a more efficient means to explore Mars. While the Mars rover has proven to be a reliable exploration machine, it does suffer from slow speeds. A swarm of robotic bees would not have this problem as it scours the surface of the Red Planet. The body of the Marsbee would be similar to that of an actual bumblebee, while its larger wings will be about the size of a cicada. Researchers are currently exploring the most effective mode of flight, whether flapping through flapping, fixed-wing or rotor. The collaborating group of Japanese scientists has already created their own wing-flapping robot, the hummingbird micro-air vehicle (MAV). Related: Elon Musk says trips to Mars coming as soon as next year The Marsbees would be bound to a mobile “hive,” in the form of a traditional rover. The rover would serve as a home base at which the Marsbees would recharge and store data. The Marsbees would also be capable of sending information whilst in-flight through Wi-Fi technology. The Marsbee is still very early in development. NASA expects feasibility studies to last a decade before the project moves onto Phase II. The challenges that must be overcome before the Marsbee takes flight include designing a potentially autonomous navigation system, determining flight style, and inventing a means to keep dust out of the Marsbee. Via Phys.org Images via NASA

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SpaceX Falcon 9 just rocketed a harpoon and net into orbit to hunt space junk

April 3, 2018 by  
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Human trash now litters space in the form of broken hardware and spacecrafts circling Earth. But the Surrey Space Center is working on tackling the issue – and they just got a boost from SpaceX . Their RemoveDEBRIS technology demonstrator is hitching a ride aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station (ISS), where it will hunt space debris using a harpoon and net. Scientists could obtain information on which space junk cleanup strategy works with the RemoveDEBRIS technology demonstrator, which consists of “a main satellite platform that once in orbit will deploy two CubeSats as artificial debris targets to demonstrate some of the technologies,” according to the project page. The platform is packed in specialist boxes ISS astronauts will unpack. The technology will be released outside of the space station via a robotic arm. Harpoon capture, net capture, dragsail, and vision-based navigation are the technologies to be tested on the mission. Related: Airbus wants to harpoon a satellite and bring it back to Earth Principal investigator Guglielmo Aglietti told the BBC experts aren’t yet decided on the best way to clean up space debris , noting the technologies each have their disadvantages and advantages. The project costs around $18 million — the Surrey Space Center described RemoveDEBRIS as low-cost. Aglietti told the BBC, “In my opinion, whether or not there are going to be real missions to remove debris will depend on cost. And I worry that if they are extremely expensive, people will think about other priorities.” The European Commission is providing half of the funding; the partners, including Airbus and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited , will provide the other half. SpaceX said the Dragon spacecraft, which is carrying RemoveDEBRIS among other supplies and payloads on Dragon Resupply Mission CRS-14, separated from the Falcon 9’s second stage around 10 minutes following liftoff, and will attach to ISS on Wednesday. + RemoveDEBRIS + SpaceX Dragon Resupply Mission CRS-14 + SpaceX Dragon Resupply Mission CRS-14 Press Kit Via the BBC Images via Official SpaceX Photos on Flickr and copyright ESA

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SpaceX Falcon 9 just rocketed a harpoon and net into orbit to hunt space junk

Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum May be the First Couple to Travel to Mars

July 11, 2014 by  
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Long road trips can quickly turn into a nightmare for many couples, but what happens when partners are stuck with each other in a confined environment for six to eight months? That’s what  Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum face as they hope to be the first couple from Earth to travel to Mars. Read the rest of Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum May be the First Couple to Travel to Mars Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Inspiration mars , Jane Poynter , mars , mars mission , nasa , orion spacecraft , paragon , space tourism , Taber MacCallum

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Deep Space Industries Unveil Plans To Mine Asteroids, 3D-Print the Raw Materials into Products While in Space

January 24, 2013 by  
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Virginia-based Deep Space Industries has announced bold plans to not only mine asteroids (which has been proposed by multiple companies), but to also turn the raw materials into complex metal parts by using 3D printers right there in space. The firm intends for their fleet of asteroid-prospecting spacecraft—which are set to be deployed in 2016—to assist in utilizing these orbiting resources in larger space exploration programs. Read the rest of Deep Space Industries Unveil Plans To Mine Asteroids, 3D-Print the Raw Materials into Products While in Space Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3D printers , 3D printing , asteroid prospecting , asteroids , cubesats , Deep Space Industries , firefly spacecraft , manned mars mission , mars , mars mission , microgravity foundry , mining asteroids , private space firm , satellites , smartphone , space mining , space resources , spacecraft

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Deep Space Industries Unveil Plans To Mine Asteroids, 3D-Print the Raw Materials into Products While in Space

Abu Dhabi Unveils an Arab-Styled Eco Villa That Meets Estidama Requirements

January 24, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Abu Dhabi Unveils an Arab-Styled Eco Villa That Meets Estidama Requirements Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , abu dhabi , arab eco home , arabian gulf , eco design , eco villa , Estidama , Green Building , green design , green living arab style , Middle East , oil , pearl rating system , Sorough , sustainable design , Urban Planning Council , water conservation

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Abu Dhabi Unveils an Arab-Styled Eco Villa That Meets Estidama Requirements

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