Pentagon demands satellites that can dodge incoming fire like an NBA all star

Pentagon demands satellites that can dodge incoming fire like an NBA all star

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Once satellites are in orbit they stay there, in the same position until they run out of fuel, then they fall back to Earth, but as the militarisation of space hots up satellites need to be able to move.   In the event of a...

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NASA to test revolutionary X-Ray communications system on the ISS soon

NASA to test revolutionary X-Ray communications system on the ISS soon

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Traditional RF communications in space are slow, and can be blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere during re-entry, X-Ray communications have no such problems.   Recently NASA tested the world’s first interplanetary space internet by sending a selfie from the Arctic to the International Space Station...

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX capsule lands successfully in crucial step toward human spaceflight

Elon Musk’s SpaceX capsule lands successfully in crucial step toward human spaceflight

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF One of Elon Musk’s ambitions is to allow people to live off world, but first you have to get them there and this is the first step in a long journey.   SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, which Elon Musk first showed off a few months ago,...

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Luxury space hotel preps for launch in 2021

Luxury space hotel preps for launch in 2021

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the cost of getting to space falls, and access to space becomes more democratised, it will eventually become a tourist destination.   Well heeled space tourists will have a new orbital holiday destination four years from now, that is if one company’s plans come to fruition,...

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NASA’s ISS robot companion CIMON gets caught copping an attitude

NASA’s ISS robot companion CIMON gets caught copping an attitude

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As more machines and humans work alongside one another how we interact with one another will become increasingly crucial.   As he entered his final month on the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday, Alexander Gerst could be proud that he’s helped given birth to...

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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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