Home - Critical Computer Company Limited
Search:    Start Date:    Detail:           Sources

Show Items:     Beginning Next 
27/01/2021 13:10:07  

Also: First all-commercial crew named, Boeing readies Starliner again and NASA's ex-boss is off to private equity

In Brief The UK will be making its first major industrial contribution to the International Space Station (ISS) with the Columbus Ka-band Terminal (ColKa), which will be fitted to the Columbus laboratory module during a spacewalk by flight engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover.…

27/01/2021 07:10:01  

An American real estate investor, a Canadian investor, and a former Israeli Air Force pilot are paying $55 million each to be part of the first fully private astronaut crew to journey to the International Space Station. The Verge reports: The trio will hitch a ride on SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule early next year, with a veteran NASA astronaut as the commander. The Ax-1 mission, arranged by Houston, Texas-based space tourism company Axiom Space, is a watershed moment for the space industry as companies race to make space travel more accessible to private customers instead of governments. Private citizens have trekked to the space station in the past, but the Ax-1 mission marks the first to use a commercially built astronaut capsule: SpaceX's Crew Dragon, which flew its first two crews to the ISS last year. Larry Connor, an entrepreneur and nonprofit activist investor; Mark Pathy, the Canadian investor and philanthropist; and Eytan Stibbe, the former Israeli fighter pilot and an impact investor, were revealed by Axiom on Tuesday morning as the company's inaugural crew. Connor, 71, is president of The Connor Group, a luxury real estate investment firm based in Ohio. He'd become the second-oldest person to fly to space after John Glenn, who flew the US space shuttle Discovery at 77 years old. The crew's flight to the space station, an orbital laboratory some 250 miles above Earth, will take two days. They'll then spend about eight days aboard the station's US segment, where they'll take part "in research and philanthropic projects," Axiom said in a statement. Living alongside working astronauts from the US, Russia, and likely Germany, the private crew members will roll out sleeping bags somewhere on the station. [...] The Ax-1 mission will have to be approved by the Multilateral Crew Operations Panel, the space station's managing body of partner countries that includes the US, Russia, Canada, Japan, and others. That approval process kicked off today...

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

27/01/2021 06:09:56  

sciencehabit shares a report from Science Magazine: Researchers have discovered a common martian mineral deep within an ice core from Antarctica. The find suggests the mineral -- a brittle, yellow-brown substance known as jarosite -- was forged the same way on both Earth and Mars: from dust trapped within ancient ice deposits. It also reveals how important these glaciers were on the Red Planet: Not only did they carve valleys, the researchers say, but they also helped create the very stuff Mars is made of. Jarosite was first spotted on Mars in 2004, when the NASA Opportunity rover rolled over fine-grained layers of it. The discovery made headlines because jarosite needs water to form, along with iron, sulfate, potassium, and acidic conditions. The work suggests jarosite forms the same way on Mars, says Megan Elwood Madden, a geochemist at the University of Oklahoma who was not involved with the research. But she wonders whether the process can explain the huge abundance of jarosite on Mars. "On Mars, this is not just some thin film," she says. "These are meters-thick deposits." [Giovanni Baccolo, a geologist at the University of Milan-Bicocca] concedes that the ice core contained only small amounts of jarosite, particles smaller than an eyelash or a grain of sand. But he explains that there's much more dust on Mars than in Antarctica, which only receives small amounts of airborne ash and dirt from northern continents. "Mars is such a dusty place -- everything is covered in dust," Baccolo says. More ash would favor more jarosite formation under the right conditions, he says. Baccolo wants to use Antarctic cores to investigate whether ancient martian ice deposits were cauldrons for the formation of other minerals. He says jarosite shows how glaciers weren't just land carving machines, but might have contributed to Mars's chemical makeup. "This is just the first step in linking deep Antarctic ice with the martian environment." The researchers reported their findings this month in Nature Communications.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

26/01/2021 22:09:54  

SpaceX has begun launching Starlink satellites with laser links that will help provide broadband coverage in polar regions. As SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter on Sunday, these satellites "have laser links between the satellites, so no ground stations are needed over the poles." From a report: The laser links are included in 10 Starlink satellites just launched into polar orbits. The launch came two weeks after SpaceX received Federal Communications Commission approval to launch the 10 satellites into polar orbits at an altitude of 560km. "All sats launched next year will have laser links," Musk wrote in another tweet yesterday, indicating that the laser systems will become standard on Starlink satellites in 2022. For now, SpaceX is only including laser links on polar satellites. "Only our polar sats have lasers this year & are v0.9," Musk wrote. Alaskan residents will benefit from the polar satellites, SpaceX told the FCC in an application to change the orbit of some of its satellites in April 2020.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

26/01/2021 20:09:55  

SpaceX Transporter-1 Carries Two Phase Four-Powered Small Satellites to Low Earth Orbit in New 'ROI in Space' Era
26/01/2021 19:09:58  

Enzychem Lifesciences Receives NASA Grant Funding to Evaluate EC-18 as a Protective Agent for Radiation and Pathogen-Induced Tissue Damage and Inflammation in Space
26/01/2021 19:09:55  

Virgin Orbit to Launch First Satellite for Dutch Ministry of Defense
26/01/2021 06:09:48  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Bad news, land-speed record fans: the project to set a new 1,000mph (1,609km/h) speed record is yet again in serious doubt. On Monday morning, the Bloodhound Land Speed Record Project revealed that it's looking for a new owner in order to try and break the existing record. Whoever steps in will need pretty deep pockets, too -- almost $11 million, in fact. Trying to set a new land-speed record is probably one of the harder activities one can engage in. You need to design and build a vehicle capable of going faster than 763mph (1,228km/h), twice within an hour. You need to find somewhere flat enough to run the car, presumably away from neighbors who might get annoyed by the window-shattering sonic booms. And while all that sounds like a serious challenge, perhaps the biggest problem is finding the money to make it all happen. [...] 2019 was a good year for Bloodhound. It found a new owner who saved it from life as a museum curio, and it even arrived in South Africa for the start of high-speed testing. Although it was only equipped with its Rolls Royce EJ200 jet engine, Bloodhound still reached 628mph (1,010kmh) that year. But going faster will require integrating Bloodhound's other propulsion source, a monopropellant rocket made by Nammo (a Norwegian aerospace and defense company). And the cost to do that and then conduct the test program to set a new record will require about $11 million, according to current owner Ian Warhurst. In a statement, he said: "When I committed to take the car high-speed testing in 2019, I allocated enough funding to achieve this goal on the basis that alternative funding would then allow us to continue to the record attempts. Along with many other things, the global pandemic wrecked this opportunity in 2020 which has left the project unfunded and delayed by a further 12 months. At this stage, in absence of further, immediate, funding, the only options remaining are to close down the program or put the project up for sale to allow me to pass on the baton and allow the team to continue the project."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

26/01/2021 01:09:47  

A Vancouver seaplane company says its retro-fitted all electric airplane is set to take to the skies for more test flights this year, as it pushes forward with its plans to make commercial air travel cheaper and greener. CBC.ca reports: "There's no wavering in our confidence and determination and interest in getting this done," said Harbour Air CEO Greg McDougall. Founded by McDougall in 1982, Harbour Air uses small propeller planes to fly commercial flights between the Lower Mainland, Seattle, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Whistler. In the last few years it has turned its attention to becoming a leader in green urban mobility, which would do away with the need to burn fossil fuels for air travel. In December 2019, McDougall flew one of Harbour Air's planes, a more than 60-year-old DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver float plane, which had been outfitted with a Seattle-based company's electric propulsion system, for three minutes over Richmond B.C. Harbour Air joined with Seattle-based company MagniX in early 2019 to design the e-plane's engine, which was powered by NASA-approved lithium-ion batteries that were also used on the International Space Station. At the time, based on the success of that inaugural flight, McDougall had hoped to be using the plane to fly passengers on its routes, such as between downtown Vancouver and downtown Victoria, by the end of this year. Now, that timeline has been pushed back at least one year due to the pandemic.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

25/01/2021 16:09:44  

NASA Administrator joins Acorn Growth Companies
24/01/2021 18:09:33  

D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier Rides SpaceX’s Falcon 9 to Orbit
24/01/2021 18:09:32  

Exolaunch Delivered 30 Small Satellites into Orbit Aboard Falcon 9 Today
23/01/2021 22:09:15  

Ars Technica reported Saturday that "The Falcon 9 rocket was ready. Its payload of 143 satellites were ready. But Mother Nature was not ready." Although SpaceX pressed ahead with fueling of the Falcon 9 booster on Saturday morning, the company scrubbed the launch attempt of the Transporter-1 mission a few minutes before the window opened due to weather. Conditions at Cape Canaveral violated the electrical field rule for a safe launch. The company now plans to try to launch again on Sunday morning, with the launch window opening at 10am ET (15:00 UTC). Slashdot noted earlier that SpaceX plans to launch the most satellites ever deployed in a single mission, 143, from Florida for more than a dozen customers. UPI reports: A 2017 mission by the India Space Research Organization launched 104 spacecraft, which would be the previous record if the SpaceX launch is a success... The Transporter-1 mission is the first in a series of regularly scheduled SpaceX rideshare projects for multiple customers. SpaceX also plans to carry 10 of its Starlink communications satellites on this mission. "The Starlink satellites aboard this mission will be the first in the constellation to deploy to a polar orbit," according to the SpaceX mission description. Polar orbits circle the globe by passing over the North Pole and South Pole, while many satellites circle above equatorial regions. Houston-based space firm Nanoracks is acting as a broker to arrange some customers for the launch, said Tristan Prejean, a mission manager at Nanoracks. Nanoracks' two customers for Transporter-1 are two satellite companies, California-based Spire Global and Montreal-based GHGSat. Spire launches fleets of small satellites that monitor weather and patterns for shipping for aviation interests. GHGSat monitors industrial emissions of gasses from space -- especially greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

23/01/2021 10:09:13  

SpaceX plans to launch the most satellites ever deployed in a single mission, 143, on Saturday morning from Florida for more than a dozen customers. UPI reports: A 2017 mission by the India Space Research Organization launched 104 spacecraft, which would be the previous record if the SpaceX launch is a success. Liftoff aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is planned for at 9:40 a.m. EST, but could come up to 42 minutes later in case of a problem. The Transporter-1 mission is the first in a series of regularly scheduled SpaceX rideshare projects for multiple customers. SpaceX also plans to carry 10 of its Starlink communications satellites on this mission. "The Starlink satellites aboard this mission will be the first in the constellation to deploy to a polar orbit," according to the SpaceX mission description. Polar orbits circle the globe by passing over the North Pole and South Pole, while many satellites circle above equatorial regions. Houston-based space firm Nanoracks is acting as a broker to arrange some customers for the launch, said Tristan Prejean, a mission manager at Nanoracks. Nanoracks' two customers for Transporter-1 are two satellite companies, California-based Spire Global and Montreal-based GHGSat. Spire launches fleets of small satellites that monitor weather and patterns for shipping for aviation interests. GHGSat monitors industrial emissions of gasses from space -- especially greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

23/01/2021 00:09:05  

NASA Earth Venture Mission-3 Announcement of Opportunity Amendment #2 Released
22/01/2021 20:09:12  

NASA Selects 8 Proposals to Support Astronaut Health and Performance
22/01/2021 20:09:11  

NASA Spaceline Current Awareness List #933 22 January 2021 (Space Life Science Research Results)
22/01/2021 20:09:09  

NASA Request for Information Related to High Energy Physics and Space-Based Astrophysics
22/01/2021 20:09:08  

NASA Selects 8 Proposals to Support Astronaut Health and Performance
22/01/2021 20:09:08  

NASA Spaceline Current Awareness List #933 22 January 2021 (Space Life Science Research Results)
22/01/2021 18:10:51  

NASA Invites Media to Next Space Station Cargo Launch With Northrop Grumman
22/01/2021 02:08:57  

CASIS Research Announcement in Technology Advancements to Leverage the ISS
22/01/2021 02:08:54  

CASIS Research Announcement in Technology Advancements to Leverage the ISS
21/01/2021 19:08:53  

CASIS Unveils Research Announcement in Technology Advancements to Leverage the ISS National Lab
21/01/2021 19:08:52  

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to Host Annual NASA Day of Remembrance Thursday, January 28, 2021