May 15, 2012 |
For the last half-century, space flight has been the domain of the world's superpowers. All that is set to change as soon as Saturday when SpaceX, the private rocket company in Hawthorne, will attempt to launch a spaceship with cargo into orbit and three days later dock it with the International Space Station. If successful, the mission could mean a major shift in the way the U.S. government handles space exploration. Instead of keeping space travel a closely guarded government function, NASA has already begun hiring privately funded start-up companies for spacecraft development and is moving toward eventually outsourcing NASA space missions.
August 6, 2011 |
What will it take to build a spaceship capable of traveling to the stars? And what if you wanted it to be ready to launch in just 100 years? It may sound like the premise of a science fiction show or reality TV series. But these are serious questions being asked by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the research-and-development arm of the U.S. military. This fall, DARPA intends to award up to $500,000 in seed money to a group that proves it would do the best job of developing the necessary technologies — whatever they may be — for interstellar travel.
August 14, 1986 |
"Scenario: A crewperson is found dead on the first morning on Mars. Died during sleep. Obviously an asymptomatic cardiac arrest, or previously undetected Martian virus, or suicide by poisoning, or clandestine homicide. How do we know?" The beginning of a science fiction novel? Rather it is the introduction to a selection by Robert M. Beattie Jr. in "The Case for Mars II, Volume 62" in a series published by the American Astronautical Society in 1985.
January 21, 1988 |
Yuri Romanenko, the Soviet cosmonaut who set an endurance record by staying in outer space for 326 days, said Wednesday that he sees no limit to how long human beings can stay in space. In fact, Romanenko said, he jokingly had told his wife that he would ask that his flight be extended unless the redecoration of their apartment was completed before his return to Earth on Dec. 29.
October 8, 1987 |
When former U.S. astronaut Owen Garriott was given the rare opportunity to converse with an orbiting Soviet cosmonaut during a recent visit to the Soviet Union's space center, he knew just what to ask Yuri Romanenko, who had just set a record for space endurance. Garriott, who holds the U.S. space flight endurance record with nearly two months aboard Skylab more than a decade ago, chose a topic both of them know something about.
May 17, 1987 |
"Beam me up, Scotty." The modern-day science fiction cliche, used to rescue many a main character from danger on alien worlds, came about during the voyages of the starship Enterprise in the popular television and movie series "Star Trek." But will it ever be possible in reality to travel from place to place by having your molecules rearranged on a beam of light and reassembled on arrival?