Technology

NASA SELECTS TWO NEW SPACE TECH RESEARCH INSTITUTES FOR SMART HABITATS

As exploration missions venture beyond low-Earth orbit and to the Moon — and eventually Mars — NASA must consider automated technologies to keep habitats operational even when they are not occupied by astronauts. To help achieve this, NASA has selected two new Space Technology Research Institutes (STRIs) to advance space habitat designs using resilient and […]

WHEN HUMANS SETTLE ON MARS, HOUSES COULD BE 3D-PRINTED

When the first humans settle on Mars, what if their homes were not built but printed? That’s the question being posed in the latest NASA Centennial Challenge, pitting teams from industry and academia to design and 3D-print habitats using materials that can be found on the Martian surface. “The great thing about 3D printing is […]

BACTERIAL FACTORIES COULD MANUFACTURE HIGH-PERFORMANCE PROTEINS FOR SPACE MISSIONS

Nature has evolved protein-based substances with mechanical properties that rival even the best synthetic materials. For example, pound for pound, spider silk is stronger and tougher than steel. But unlike steel, the natural fiber cannot be mass-produced. Today, scientists report a new method that takes advantage of engineered bacteria to produce spider silk and other […]

NASA’S MARS HELICOPTER COMPLETES FLIGHT TESTS

Since the Wright brothers first took to the skies of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, December 17, 1903, first flights have been important milestones in the life of any vehicle designed for air travel. After all, it’s one thing to design an aircraft and make it fly on paper – or computer. It is quite […]

GOOGLE AND NASA HAUGHTON-MARS PROJECT PARTNER ON MOON/MARS EXPLORATION PREP

The Mars Institute and the SETI Institute are announcing a new partnership between Google and the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) to advance Mars exploration at one of the most otherworldly places on Earth: Devon Island, in the High Arctic. The announcement is accompanied by the release of new Street View imagery; a Google Earth guided […]

RETURNING ASTRONAUTS TO THE MOON: LOCKHEED MARTIN FINALIZES FULL-SCALE CISLUNAR HABITAT PROTOTYPE

For long-duration, deep space missions, astronauts will need a highly efficient and reconfigurable space, and Lockheed Martin is researching and designing ways to support those missions. Under a public-private partnership as a part of NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) Phase II study contract, Lockheed Martin has completed the initial ground prototype for […]

NASA WANTS IDEAS FROM UNIVERSITY TEAMS FOR FUTURE HUMAN SPACE MISSIONS

Teams of engineering students and faculty at U.S. colleges and universities have an opportunity to help NASA with innovative design ideas to meet the challenges of space exploration. The 2020 eXploration Systems and Habitation (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge supports NASA’s efforts to develop technologies and capabilities that will enable future human missions to the Moon, […]

UCF RESEARCH LAYING GROUNDWORK FOR OFF-WORLD COLONIES

Before civilization can move off world it must make sure its structures work on the extraterrestrial foundations upon which they will be built. University of Central Florida researchers are already laying the groundwork for the off-world jump by creating standards for extraterrestrial surfaces. Their work was detailed recently in a study published in the journal […]

CLUES TO MARTIAN LIFE FOUND IN CHILEAN DESERT

A robotic rover deployed in the most Mars-like environment on Earth, the Atacama Desert in Chile, has successfully recovered subsurface soil samples during a trial mission to find signs of life. The samples contained unusual and highly specialized microbes that were distributed in patches, which researchers linked to the limited water availability, scarce nutrients and […]

NASA SET TO DEMONSTRATE X-RAY COMMUNICATIONS IN SPACE

A new experimental type of deep space communications technology is scheduled to be demonstrated on the International Space Station this spring. Currently, NASA relies on radio waves to send information between spacecraft and Earth. Emerging laser communications technology offers higher data rates that let spacecraft transmit more data at a time. This demonstration involves X-ray […]

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