HETs…

Topics: Applied Physics, Computer Modeling, NASA, Space Exploration, Spaceflight Abstract Hall effect thrusters operating at power levels in excess of several hundreds of kilowatts have been identified as enabling technologies for applications such as lunar tugs, large satellite orbital transfer vehicles, and solar system exploration. These large thrusters introduce significant testing challenges due to theContinue reading “HETs…”

Life As We Don’t Know It…

Topics: Astrobiology, Philosophy, SETI, Space Exploration In my freshman seminar at Harvard last semester, I mentioned that the nearest star to the sun, Proxima Centauri, emits mostly infrared radiation and has a planet, Proxima b, in the habitable zone around it. As a challenge to the students, I asked: “Suppose there are creatures crawling on the surfaceContinue reading “Life As We Don’t Know It…”

Uhura to Proctor…

Topics: NASA, Space Exploration, Spaceflight, SpaceX, Star Trek Dr. King revealed to Nichols that TOS was the only show that he and his wife, Coretta, allowed their little children to stay up and watch. Further, he told Nichols what the show meant to him personally and detailed the importance of her having created a character with “dignityContinue reading “Uhura to Proctor…”

Yonder Water Worlds…

Topics: Astrobiology, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Exoplanets, Space Exploration Hot, ocean-covered exoplanets with hydrogen-rich atmospheres could harbor life and may be more common than planets that are Earth-like in size, temperature, and atmospheric composition. According to astronomers at the University of Cambridge, UK, this newly defined class of exoplanets could boost the search for life elsewhere inContinue reading “Yonder Water Worlds…”

Biggie’s Starship…

Topics: Materials Science, Nanotechnology, Space Exploration, Spaceflight, Star Trek China is investigating how to build ultra-large spacecraft that are up to 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) long. But how feasible is the idea, and what would be the use of such a massive spacecraft? The project is part of a wider call for research proposals fromContinue reading “Biggie’s Starship…”

Gene Centennial…

Topics: Planetary Science, Space Exploration, Spaceflight, Star Trek NASA is helping the legacy of inspiration, hope, and diversity fostered by the creator of Star Trek to live long and prosper. The agency will observe the late Gene Roddenberry’s 100th birthday with a special program called, Celebrating Gene Roddenberry: Star Trek’s Bridge and NASA – aContinue reading “Gene Centennial…”

Roaming Goldilocks…

Topics: Astrophysics, Planetary Science, SETI, Space Exploration Even as a child, before he devoted his life to the search for extraterrestrial life, Frank Drake wondered whether Earth was alone in its ability to harbor life. He wasn’t the first or the only one to wonder. There’s a reason so many are fascinated by the question:Continue reading “Roaming Goldilocks…”

ISAAC…

Topics: International Space Station, NASA, Space Exploration, Spaceflight In April 2021, Bumble, one of the free-flying Astrobee robots aboard the International Space Station, was put to the test to investigate a simulated anomaly. In the simulation, the station’s life support systems detected a high concentration of carbon dioxide. A similar situation, in reality, could be very dangerousContinue reading “ISAAC…”

A Voyage In Her Lifetime…

Topics: International Space Station, Interstellar, NASA, Space Exploration, Spaceflight, Star Trek Light Sails were first mentioned in the year 1610 in a letter by astronomer Johannes Kepler to his friend, Galileo Galilei. “With ships or sails built for heavenly winds, some will venture into that great vastness.” Avery Brooks in his character of Benjamin SiskoContinue reading “A Voyage In Her Lifetime…”

Ganymede…

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, NASA, Planetary Science, Space Exploration Ganymede, get ready for your close-up. No probe has gotten a good view of Jupiter’s largest moon since 2000, when NASA’s Galileo spacecraft swung past the strange world, which is the largest moon in the whole solar system. But on Monday (June 7),  at 1:35 p.m. EDT (1735 GMT),Continue reading “Ganymede…”