Russia unveils new nuclear powered spacecraft destined for Mars

Russia unveils new nuclear powered spacecraft destined for Mars

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many countries have tried to develop miniaturised nuclear reactors for space flight applications, but Russia’s by far the closest.   Elon Musk wants to travel to Mars using SpaceX’s planned monolithic rocket booster, the Big Falcon Rocket. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world in...

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After four year wait Cape Canaveral gets its license to launch commercial space planes

After four year wait Cape Canaveral gets its license to launch commercial space planes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In the past you would need a rocket to get into space, but today there are more planes taking on that role, and Cape Canaveral wants to dominate the future of commercial space flight.   As the race for space heats up, Cape Canaveral is...

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Pentagon seriously considers using rockets to move soldiers and equipment around the globe

Pentagon seriously considers using rockets to move soldiers and equipment around the globe

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the cost of access to space continues to fall it opens up new possibilities for a wide range of industries, the us military included.   Today the US already uses its unmatched fleet of cargo planes to project its influence and move its forces...

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Space Tango unveil their autonomous, robotic space based manufacturing platform

Space Tango unveil their autonomous, robotic space based manufacturing platform

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The benefits of manufacturing products in space are clear, but it’s still complex and expensive, this technology could help make space based manufacturing a commercial reality.   Over the past year or so I’ve been seeing more and more references made to not just space...

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Virgin Orbit strapped a rocket to their 747 to democratise access to space

Virgin Orbit strapped a rocket to their 747 to democratise access to space

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many companies are trying to lower the cost of launching goods and people into space, and this is one of the craziest yet, but it’s likely going to work.   A number of companies are exploring ways to launch a rocket not from a launchpad,...

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NASA starts assembling the spacecraft that will save Earth from an asteroid strike

NASA starts assembling the spacecraft that will save Earth from an asteroid strike

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Somewhere out there there’s an asteroid withEarth’s name on it, and NASA’s new spacecraft will be the one to try to deflect it.   Within near-Earth space there are a crazy 18,000 asteroids whose orbit occasionally brings them close to Earth. Over the course of millions of...

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World first as Japanese rovers relay incredible photos from distant ancient asteroid

World first as Japanese rovers relay incredible photos from distant ancient asteroid

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In galactic terms Earth’s neighbourhood is huge, and we’re only just beginning to explore it.   First Japan wants to be the world’s first country to drill a hole through the Earth’s mantle, and build the world’s first space elevator, and now the Japan Aerospace...

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World’s first space elevator hitches a ride to the ISS to begin first trials

World’s first space elevator hitches a ride to the ISS to begin first trials

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The cost of getting astronauts and cargo into space is still astronomical, a space elevator could eliminate the need for costly rocket launches and democratise access to space.   Let’s be honest, launching things into space with rockets is a pretty inefficient way to do...

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Step inside the SpaceX capsule that will take astronauts to the ISS

Step inside the SpaceX capsule that will take astronauts to the ISS

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Since the end of the Space Shuttle program the US has had to rely on rides from the Russians to get to the ISS, this marks America’s return to its own manned spaceflight.   After making history in 2012 as the first commercial spacecraft company...

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New autophage rocket devours itself for fuel

New autophage rocket devours itself for fuel

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A rocket that consumes itself for fuel could dramatically reduce the cost of future satellite launches.   A team of engineers from Scotland and Ukraine have developed what they call an “Autophage” rocket that would consume its own structure as it hurtles into space, and...

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Book tickets into space for $200,000, Blue Origin preps for take off

Book tickets into space for $200,000, Blue Origin preps for take off

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The cost of space travel is collapsing thanks to new technology and new blood in the industry, and soon you too could explore the vastness of our universe.   If Jeff Bezos has his way, and he probably will, then soon it’s likely you’ll be...

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Jeff bezos announces target to build the world’s first Moon base in 2023

Jeff bezos announces target to build the world’s first Moon base in 2023

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF At some point in the future humanity will become an interplanetary species, and several billionaires want it to be sooner rather than later.   Blue Origin, the space company run by Jeff Bezos, who wants to one day use the service to deliver goods to...

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Jeff Bezos wants to colonise the Moon and move heavy industry off Earth

Jeff Bezos wants to colonise the Moon and move heavy industry off Earth

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are an increasing number of billionaires who believe heavy industry should be moved off of Earth and onto the Moon, and Bezos might be one to help make it a reality.   Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is convinced that one day “we are going...

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European Space Agency’s new Ion thruster runs on thin air

European Space Agency’s new Ion thruster runs on thin air

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF When satellites and rockets burn all their fuel they inevitably fall back to Earth and crash, but what if they didn’t need to carry fuel in the first place? That would change the economics of space flight…   While ion thrusters are a promising propulsion...

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Google’s Lunar XPrize will continue, without Google

Google’s Lunar XPrize will continue, without Google

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Sometimes the prize isn’t the prize, it’s just a bonus, and in this case most of the teams who were involved in the original Google Lunar XPrize still have their sights set on a Moon landing in 2019.   The Google Lunar XPRIZE, a $30...

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Vodafone and Nokia partner to create a 4G network on the Moon

Vodafone and Nokia partner to create a 4G network on the Moon

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As different organisations around the globe look to start building the first human outposts on the Moon they’ll need high quality networks to transmit data and communicate with Earth.   Mobile phone coverage on Earth may not be as comprehensive as it could be, and...

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SpaceX launches the world’s most powerful rocket into space

SpaceX launches the world’s most powerful rocket into space

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Not only is the SpaceX Falcon Heavy the world’s most powerful rocket, but it’s also destined to be the one that takes colonists to Mars and help Musk realise his ambitions to ferry people around the world in under thirty minutes or less.   SpaceX’s...

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NASA’s tests its new interplanetary space internet system, sends a selfie to the ISS

NASA’s tests its new interplanetary space internet system, sends a selfie to the ISS

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As humanity reaches for the stars and pens its plans to become an interplanetary species today’s Earth bound internet system just won’t hack it, so an alternative  is needed.   As humanity reaches for the stars, and to colonise Mars from 2024, NASA used a...

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$30m Google Lunar XPrize moonshot competition ends without a winner

$30m Google Lunar XPrize moonshot competition ends without a winner

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The Google Lunar XPrize was ambitious moonshot, but, like any competition time was against the teams from the start.   After 10 long years, the Google sponsored competition, the Google Lunar XPrize, which aimed to land a robot on the moon for millions of dollars of prize money...

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SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy assumes launch position ready for maiden flight

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy assumes launch position ready for maiden flight

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF If humanity is to reach for the stars then space exploration needs to become easier and more affordable and this is a big step to achieving those goals.   Elon Musk this week announced that SpaceX is almost ready to launch its most daring rocket...

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