Midnight In The Desert — space crafts

Virgin Galactic tests spaceship over California's Mojave Desert

Posted by K R on

Virgin Galactic tests spaceship over California's Mojave Desert

Virgin Galactic’s new SpaceShipTwo flew at supersonic speed over California’s Mojave Desert on Thursday, marking the first powered flight for the company since the fatal 2014 crash of its original rocketship. “Back on track ... Space feels tantalisingly close now,” Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson tweeted. VSS Unity’s flight was a “big step forward,” the company said. The craft is reportedly named for Stephen Hawking, the renowned physicist who died March 14 after dedicating his life to studying the cosmos. Eventually, Virgin Galactic plans to carry tourists on suborbital hops into the lower reaches of space, where they can see...

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'Luxury Space Hotel' to Launch in 2021

Posted by K R on

'Luxury Space Hotel' to Launch in 2021

Well-heeled space tourists will have a new orbital destination four years from now, if one company's plans come to fruition. That startup, called Orion Span, aims to loft its "Aurora Station" in late 2021 and begin accommodating guests in 2022. "We are launching the first-ever affordable luxury space hotel," said Orion Span founder and CEO Frank Bunger, who unveiled the Aurora Station idea today (April 5) at the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California. "Affordable" is a relative term: A 12-day stay aboard Aurora Station will start at $9.5 million. Still, that's quite a bit less than orbital tourists...

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NASA receives response from Voyager 1 spacecraft 13 billion miles away after 37 years of inactivity

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NASA receives response from Voyager 1 spacecraft 13 billion miles away after 37 years of inactivity

The thrusters aboard the Voyager 1 spacecraft just did what we thought was impossible. After 37 years of inactivity, NASA just received response from spacecraft 13 billion miles away, NASA said in a statement on its website. Voyager 1 is NASA’s farthest and fastest spacecraft. It was launched on September 5, 1977. Having operated for 40 years, 6 months and 14 days as of March 19, 2018, the spacecraft relies on small devices called thrusters to orient itself so it can communicate with Earth. These thrusters fire in tiny pulses, or “puffs,” lasting mere milliseconds, to subtly rotate the spacecraft...

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This NASA spacecraft will get closer to the sun than anything ever before

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This NASA spacecraft will get closer to the sun than anything ever before

Shortly after NASA was established in 1958, the nation's top scientists compiled a list of missions they thought the brand-new space agency should pursue. The proposals were heady, considering at that point only three satellites had ever been launched. Researchers suggested an Earth-orbiting telescope that could detect the universe's most distant stars, probes that would venture to the solar system's other planets, an initiative to land humans on the surface of the moon. With time, each of those dreams became a reality — the Hubble Space Telescope, the twin Voyager spacecraft, the Apollo program. All except one: an effort to...

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Stephen Hawking confirms this 200,000mph cigar-object in space may be alien spacecraft

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Stephen Hawking confirms this 200,000mph cigar-object in space may be alien spacecraft

The first mysterious object to reach our solar system was originally thought to be a comet or an asteroid from within the system. But, scientists realised it was neither and had travelled unimaginable disatances through interstellar space at almost 200,000 mph. Now, a scientific body led by Stephen Hawking is now trying to decipher whether the “cigar-shaped” object is an alien probe or a previously unseen natural phenomenon. Professor of astrophysics at Harvard University Avi Loeb said: "Perhaps the aliens have a mothership that travels fast and releases baby spacecrafts that freely fall into planetary system on a reconnaissance mission....

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