Human Spaceflight

Updating Policies for Space Exploration and Use - Balancing Science, Technology and Activities in the coming Decade

space policyCurrently , the UN is studying questions of long term sustainability of space activities-- but there is scant focus beyond Earth Orbit as they deliberate updated policies. Most space activities have occurred in LEO and GEO over the past 5 decades-- and have involved a variety of activities and launchers..

Surface exploration of small solar system bodies: challenges and prospects

Rover conceptIn recent years, space agencies worldwide have shown an increasing interest in the exploration of small solar system bodies. Of special importance is direct access to their surfaces, as it allows precise characterization of soil properties and surface physics, and, in turn, holds the potential to lead to a much improved understanding about the origins and evolution of the solar system.

Advances in Fast Burning Fuels and High Performance Hybrid Rocket Propulsion

The hybrid rocket concept has been around for more than seventy-five years. The idea is to store the oxidizer as a liquid and the fuel as a solid producing a design that is immune to large-scale chemical explosion. The fuel is contained within the combustion chamber in the form of a cylinder with one or more channels called ports hollowed out along its axis. Combustion takes place between vaporized oxidizer flowing through the ports and fuel evaporating from the solid surface.

The Trillion Dollar Space Enterprise --> Or How The Lynx Suborbital Vehicle Will Change The World

Fully resuable spacecraft are the critical enabler for regular, low cost and safe access to space, and such access will enable space utilization in ways we've only dreamed about in the past. Much as the early ARPANET laid the foundation for a multi-trillion dollar enterprise revolving around the internet, early reusable spacecraft like the Lynx suborbital vehicle will establish the beginnings of a multi-trillion enterprise revolving around the Earth and our solar system.

Smart Coatings on Spacecraft Surfaces - New Tools for the Spacecraft Designer's Tool Belt

As we enter the era of manned space flight and habitation beyond low Earth orbit, much longer duration human occupation and much less frequent resupply will be the norm, stretching the capacities and capabilities of life support systems. The myriad internal surfaces aboard ISS and the various crew compartments on drawing boards today are viewed as a liability due to contamination and fouling. Yet, if such surfaces operate synergistically with life support systems, these same surfaces become an asset with practically no increased load weight penalty.

Moon Express - Pioneering the NewSpace Frontier

The health of our home planet and the survival of our species will only be secured through the use of space resources and the expansion of Earth's economic sphere to the Moon and beyond. Creating an off-Earth economy and multi-planet civilization will safeguard the long term prospects of humanity.

Fly Cheap, Fly Often, Fly Safe — Science research & education opportunities on commercial suborbital vehicles

Access to suborbital space, the realm above 100 km altitude, by vehicles not traveling fast enough to go into orbit about the planet, has a long history, from the 1950's early unmanned scientific sounding rockets for meteorological and upper atmosphere studies, to Alan Shepard's historic Freedom 7 flight 50 years ago, continuing today with multi-science disciplined sounding rocket programs launched from spaceports around the globe. These vehicles follow a parabolic-arc trajectory that also provides many minutes of low gravity enabling "microgravity" experiments.

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE): New Mission, Longstanding Questions

Nearly 40 years have passed since the last Apollo missions investigated the mysteries of the lunar atmosphere and the question of levitated lunar dust. The most important questions remain: what is the composition, structure and variability of the tenuous lunar exosphere? What are its origins, transport mechanisms, and loss processes? Is lofted lunar dust the cause of the horizon glow observed by the Surveyor missions and Apollo astronauts? How does such levitated dust arise and move, what is its density, and what is its ultimate fate?

NASA's Flexible Path Architecture Study for Human Missions

NASA supported the "Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans" (HSF) Committee during the Summer of 2009 by performing a study and analysis of a novel Flexible Path concept. The Flexible Path architecture for human spaceflight calls for incrementally more aggressive human missions out into the inner solar system. Exploration of the Moon, Lagrange points, Near Earth Objects, leading to the exploration of the Martian moons. All of these missions would have broad technical and scientific merit as precursors to the future exploration of the Mars surface. Dr.


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