Space-based mission aims to dodge solar flare damage

A space-based mission aims to set up an early-monitoring system for solar flares and geomagnetic storms. The European Space Agency (ESA) project, which will be led by Airbus UK, aims to put a spacecraft between the sun and the Earth to keep track of when the sun ejects material. This causes ‘space weather’, which can […]

NASA develops mini-nuclear system for Mars

NASA has conducted successful initial tests of a small-scale nuclear fission system designed to power a long-duration manned mission to Mars. Officials from the agency have said a full-power run of the Kilopower project is scheduled for March. Its purpose is to enable robotic missions and potentially develop colonies in space, which requires a power […]

US Air Force upgrades space-based solar

The US Air Force has developed new highly efficient, radiation-tolerant solar cells for use in space. The US Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) inverted metamorphic multi-junction (IMM) solar technology offers increased power efficiency at reduced costs and will be used primarily for military space applications. Each unit’s multiple layers of light-absorbing materials means it can […]

NASA wants to replace batteries in space flights

US space agency NASA wants to replace the battery technology which has long powered its space exploration programme. Yesterday the agency put out a call for proposals to develop new, “more capable” energy storage technologies. Michael Gazarik, Associate Administrator for space technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington said: “NASA is focusing on creating new advanced […]

NASA tests nuclear powered space travel

American scientists have tested a type of nuclear fission technology which could be used on space flights. It is the first experiment to produce electricity with a nuclear reactor system meant for space since 1965. The team from NASA and the USA’s Department of Energy demonstrated the first use of a heat pipe to cool […]

NASA hosts futuristic flight competition

US space agency NASA is hosting a competition to find the fuel efficient aircraft of the future. Five teams will compete in the 2011 Green Flight Challenge to bag $1.65 million (£1m) in prize money. The planes can be electric, biofuel or hybrid powered. To win, an aircraft must fly 200 miles in less than […]