Elevator to the Moon by 2020

A new lunar-elevator to transport robots, people, and supplies to the Moon is currently in development by The LiftPort Group, a private company led by CEO and former NASA researcher, Michael Laine.

The idea is different from other space-elevators in that it will be built on the Moon and not on the Earth. This is beneficial as the lack of gravity and harsh atmosphere means that more readily available and cheaper materials could be used in construction.

Spacecraft would launch from Earth, dock on the elevator platform, and take the rest of the journey via the transport pod. This reduces costs tremendously by eliminating the fuel needed to land and the take off from the Moon’s surface.

“The space elevator, scientists say, will help people build manned bases on the Earth’s natural satellite and organize the extraction of helium-3 there – a raw material that will solve global problems of the shortage of energy resources…” – EnergySafe

What If It Got Stuck?

The company has a Kickstarter campaign they started in order to raise funds and awareness. The first step is to build a 2 kilometer test elevator that will be suspended by balloons. If that test is successful, and everything goes according to plan, construction will begin in 2020.

I am beginning to believe that society is becoming excited by space again. Despite the discontinuation of the space-shuttle program, NASA has persevered, and is keeping busy trying to build a warp drive.

Meanwhile, private companies such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX are making a massive impact on the future of spaceflight and inter-planetary travel that even many countries cannot compete with.

 

 

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First Magnetically Levitating Futuristic Public Transportation Coming Soon

A California based company called Skytran, in cooperation with NASA, is developing the first magnetic levitation (maglev) public transportation system . The futuristic system, developed by Researchers at the NASA Ames Research Center, is comprised of two-seat pods containing a magnet which interacts with a coiled foil in the rail causing the pod to “float” on a cushion of air. This provides not only a smoother ride, but a quieter one as well compared to taxi, bus, and rail.

designed to reduce urban traffic congestion, skytran would provide a greener, less expensive, faster, and more comfortable alternative to cars and bus lines through the use of personal two-seater pods in a point-to-point service which travelers can use to reach specific destinations

Sky Tran

Plans are to eventually outfit the guideways with solar panels which will result in a nearly energy net neutral system. In addition, construction costs are far less than conventional public transit since the guideways are built vertically and will cause smaller and fewer construction zones. The pods are high-speed and can reach up to 150 mph, but will travel closer to 50 mph in city areas.

sky-tran station

Finding a pod will be a lot easier than calling for a taxi and cost about the same. You can request and schedule pods via a smartphone app that lets you enter the pick-up and destination locations beforehand.  The boarding platform will be located on a side ‘acceleration line’ track that prevents traffic jams.

The first of these systems is scheduled to be constructed in Tel Aviv, Israel by 2015 with other future locations in India and Indonesia in consideration.

Images courtesy of designbloom

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NASA Successfully Tests 3D Printed Rocket Engine Component

3d-printed Rocket Engine

So those kids over at NASA have been pretty busy. This time taking 3D printing even further, NASA has announced they’ve successfully tested a rocket engine fuel injector made using the new technology.

By using a specific technique called selective laser melting (SLM), they were able to cut the manufacturing time down from one year to four months, and reduce the cost by over 70%.

“Nasa recognises that on Earth and potentially in space, additive manufacturing can be game-changing for new mission opportunities, significantly reducing production time and cost by ‘printing’ tools, engine parts or even entire spacecraft” –  Michael Gazar

The term “additive manufacturing” refers to building a product from the ground up using the specific materials and quantities needed. On top of the benefits stated above, this technology also drastically reduces the amount of waste by-product.

Hit the link for more information on NASA’s successful test, as well as a competition from General Electric to create the best design for a 3D printed engine bracket.

 

 

It’s Official! NASA is Developing a Warp Drive

Traveling faster than light has been thought of as impossible due to Einstein’s work in relativity, but NASA is officially developing a vessel called to Alcubierre Drive designed to do that very thing. While the ship works by using intense gravity to contract space-time in front of the ship, and expand it behind. This causes the ship to “float” in a pocket of space-time that is moving at or beyond the speed of light.

Warp Engaged

Faster-than-light travel, also known as hyper space or “warp” drive from what the masses know for sure is currently at the level of speculation. Although there is already a lot of evidence that shows it is possible  and has already been accomplished, mainstream science is still catching up.  We are at the point right now where faster-than-light travel is still theoretical, but possible.

Moving faster than light also brings up interesting question on time travel and the flow of space-time. I’d also like to know a little more about the evidence that this has been done before, but until then I’ll be planning the outer space vacation I’ve always dreamed of. So long star-gazers and hit the link for the full article.

 

Nasa admits its working to travel faster than speed of light