Tag Archives | reviews

NORAD to track Santa again

As part of the Christmas celebrations, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) is attempting to track Father Christmas (Santa Claus) as he makes his way around the world on his sleigh, delivering presents to all the good children.   The site …

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Musk plans a stock offering for SpaceX after successful IPOs in his other firms

Elon Musk, the billionaire Internet, clean energy and rocket entrepreneur who made his initial fortunes in the internet business, most noticeably via his interest in the sale of the Paypal business, has just added to his wealth via the public sale of the solar …

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US military once planned to explode atom bomb on Moon

There has been much tabloid interest in what is a re-release of the revelation, originally made by the protect’s leader Leonard Reiffel in 2000, that the US Air Force had once considered launching a rocket to explode an atom bomb on the surface …

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Opinion: ESA has chosen badly with respect to its launch vehicle development

At the recent European Space Agency ministerial meeting in Naples, Italy, the agency really had three choices with respect to its launch vehicle development:  it could built the Ariane 5 ME (Mid-Life Evolution) which might buy a little more time for …

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Musk goes for methane-burning reusable rockets as step to colonise Mars

While speaking at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London in November, the billionaire former Paypal Internet executive, Tesla electric car entrepreneur, and current Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) CEO and self-taught lead rocket engineer, Elon Musk, described his plan to enable a self-sustaining human

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No space predictions (or space errors) in Skyfall as James Bond serves his country well (Updated)

While the latest James Bond adventure Skyfall (Director: Sam Mendes) does use a lot of ‘Big Brother’ surveillance technology to make us fret about the future (GPS tracking, Automatic Number Plate Recognition ANPR cameras, networked CCTV cameras with facial recognition software …

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History: UK gave up impressive space programme including plans to launch UK astronauts “just to get into Europe”

There will be sadness in those “space cadets” in the United Kingdom of all ages as we note that new evidence has come to light showng just how advanced the main space launch programme in the United Kingdom promised to be before …

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Opinion: The madness of imprisoning earthquake scientists may halt satellite seismic forecasting research

To world scientific dismay, on 22 October, seven scientists working at the Italian National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks received jail terms of six years for “negligence” and “manslaughter” in failing to provide adequate warning of the earthquake …

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Budget cuts force US Air Force to throw out reusable booster baby with the bathwater

As reported by Flightglobal, the US Air Force has now its its back on liquid-fuelled flyback boosters as it shut down its Reusable Rocket Booster programme due to budget cuts.  This total halt, which included its Pathfinder technology demonstrator programme, is actually against the advice of the …

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NASA tests SLS Block 1 configuration in supersonic wind tunnel

NASA has released Schlieren imagery of supersonic wind tunnel tests of a scale model of the initial 70 tonne capable Block 1 Orion-capsule carrying configuration of the Space Launch System (SLS) which may carry astronauts to the Moon, The tests have been …

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US National Research Council pours cold water on USAF reusable flyback booster plan

The Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), Jean-Jacques Dordain, recently asserted at the International Astronautical Congress in Naples, that the expected flight rate for new launch vehicles would not be high enough to make reusable technology economic to develop and operate in the near term.  Now it seems that …

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Iran probably had satellite launch failure in late May

The launch of Iran’s Fajr technology testing and remote sensing satellite flying on a Safir 2 (B1) rocket out of the Semnan launch site  is believed to have ended in a major failure on or just later than 23 May 2012.  A launch is suspected to …

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On a lighter note: UFO seen “spraying chemicals” over Scotland – where is a Sea Slug when you need one?

A new video of a strange UFO object has been released showing it either trailing a contrail, or more ominously, releasing a chemical trail.  According to the video, the UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) was purporpedly imaged over Scotland on 5 …

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Masten crashes its Xaero vertical landing rocket

The US-based rocket system developer, Masten Space Systems, lost its Xaero suborbital launch and landing vehicle on 11 September after it crashed during a test flight at the Mojave spaceport in California. The craft was coming in to land after a flight to above 3,000 feet when it …

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NASA gets its Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission launched at last

The launch of NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission finally took place from Cape Canaveral using an Atlas V 401 rocket on 30 August 2012 at 0805 GMT.  The launch had been delayed for five days by the onset of Tropical Storm Isaac (which

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On a sadder note: Sir Bernard Lovell passed away in August

Radioastronomy pioneer Sir Bernard Lovell has passed away in early August at the age of 98.  Lovell became famous for his association with the development and running of the Jodrell Bank Mark 1 radio telescope. 

Having graduated from the University …

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ANALYSIS: Isle of Man rises to fourth favourite in manned race back to the moon (Updated)

Two years ago, the space team at the Ascend consultancy (now part of Flightglobal) did an analysis on which nation was likely to be the first to return men to the moon.   In the analysis notional odds were

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ANALYSIS: F-35B or not – aircraft carriers may be made impotent by sat-targeted diving missiles

HMS-Prins-of-Wales-Queen-Elizabeth-class-aircraft-carrier.jpg

Courtesy: BAE Systems

 

The UK Government has just reversed a decision on which type of F-35 fighter aircraft it wants for its new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers which are currently under construction.  Fearful of any costly development hitches

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Nozette receives 13 year jail sentence for space spying

In late March, the US space scientist Stewart Nozette who had previously worked on NASA projects, was awarded a 13 years jail sentence after admitting that he tried to sell space technology secrets during sting operation FBI sting operation in 2009.  Nozette believed …

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Japan and UK agree to further ties on space technology

Having previously collaborated on the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) instrument for JAXA’s  Hinode (Solar B) mission, and with the UK having provided disaster monitoring imaging via the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) system after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in

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