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‘Space Cube’ could be world’s smallest PC

August 29, 2008

Shimafuji Corporation has developed the Space Cube, a 2×2 inches PC designed for use in space to control various electronics and manage an “interstellar computer network.”

Running on just 5 Watts, the PC has a 300 MHz CPU, 16 MB of on-board flash memory, 64MB SDRAM card, LAN port, USB port, Ethernet port, and VGA monitor connector.

Space elevator by 2050 planned, to include space solar power

February 22, 2012

space_elevator

Obayashi Corp., headquartered in Tokyo, has unveiled a project to build a space elevator by the year 2050 that would transport passengers to a station 36,000 kilometers above the Earth and transmit power to the ground.

A cable, made of carbon nanotubes, would be stretched up to 96,000 kilometers, or about one-fourth of the distance between the Earth and the moon. One end of… read more

Space elevators face wobble problem

March 31, 2008

A Czech Academy of Sciences study suggests that building and maintaining a space elevator would be an bigger challenge than previously thought, because it would need to include built-in thrusters to stabilize itself against dangerous vibrations.

Space Elevators Maybe Closer To Reality Than Imagined

July 25, 2003

The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) commissioned a study of the construction and operation of a space elevator and Phase I of the report was published in late 2002.

The elevator would start as a 1-micron thick piece of tape made of carbon nanotubes 91,000km long, tapering from 5cm wide at the Earth’s surface to 11.5cm wide near the middle….

Space elevators to heave themselves skyward

October 16, 2006

Early prototypes for space elevators will compete in two NASA competitions at the Wirefly X Prize Cup in Las Cruces, New Mexico on October 20 and 21.

The hope is that one day a space elevator, comprised of a robot that will climb a strong tether about 100,000 kilometers (60,000 miles) long, will be able to send humans or other cargo cheaply into space.

Space elevators: ‘First floor, deadly radiation!’

November 14, 2006

Humans might not survive the trip on space elevators, thanks to the ionizing radiation they would receive travelling through the core of the Van Allen radiation belts around Earth.

Space imaging system helping to save Vatican books

December 20, 2011

Vatican Library’s reading room

Antique books in the Vatican Library are being digitized to make the contents more accessible and preserve them for future generations, using the Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) format developed by the European Space Agency (ESA).

Stemming from radio astronomy, the open-source FITS is now used to store data from many space missions. The format also lends itself to the fragile, ancient tomes in the Vatican’s collection.… read more

Space Medicine Gets Smart

June 22, 2001

Smart medical devices that help astronauts handle emergencies such as electrical burns will become part of the International Space Station perhaps as early as next month.

Further down the road, astronauts in trouble may also rely on “virtual clinics” on earth for in-depth medical assistance, which could also be used to help people on the ground in isolated places with no doctor nearby.

If an astronaut were to… read more

Space mirrors could create Earth-like haven on Mars

November 14, 2006

Mirrors in orbit around Mars could be used for “terraforming,” creating Earth-like conditions on a small patch of the planet’s surface, according to a NASA-funded study.

The extra sunlight would provide warmth and solar power for human explorers.

Space plan from China broadens challenge to US

December 30, 2011

Chinese EVA spacesuit

The Chinese government on Thursday announced an ambitious five-year plan for space exploration that would move China closer to becoming a major rival at a time when the American program is in retreat.

The plan calls for further development of the Beidou Navigation Satellite System (similar to GPS), which on Tuesday began providing navigation, positioning, and… read more

Space race underway to create quantum satellite

March 4, 2013

photons_in_space

In this month’s special edition of Physics World, focusing on quantum physics, Thomas Jennewein and Brendon Higgins from the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, Canada, describe how a quantum space race is under way to create the world’s first global quantum-communication network.

The field of quantum communication — the science of transmitting quantum states from one place to another… read more

Space ‘spiders’ could build solar satellites

December 15, 2005

A mission to determine whether spider-like robots could construct complex structures in space is set to launch in January 2006. The spider bots could build large structures by crawling over a “web” released from a larger spacecraft.

The engineers behind the project hope the robots will eventually be used to construct colossal solar panels for satellites that will transmit solar energy back to Earth. The satellites could reflect and… read more

Space ‘spiderwebs’ could propel future probes

April 25, 2008

A new type of interplanetary solar sail has been woven by scientists at Finnish Meteorological Institute.

The spiderweb-like sail is designed to catch the wind of ionized gas that blows from the Sun, carrying spacecraft to the outer reaches of the solar system, or letting them tack back and forth through the asteroid belt on exploration or mining missions.

They plan to reel out long wires… read more

Space Station Could Beam Secret Quantum Codes by 2014

June 11, 2008
(European Space Agency

University of Vienna researchers hope to send an experiment to the International Space Station (ISS) by the middle of the next decade that would pave the way for transcontinental transmission of secret messages encoded using quantum entanglement.

In addition to potential use for secure communications, the “Space-QUEST” project would give researchers a chance to test the theory that entanglement should be unlimited in range.

Space station gets HAL-like computer

June 27, 2005

Clarissa, a voice-operated computer assistant, will be used in space for the first time on Monday.

The program will initially talk astronauts on the International Space Station through tests of onboard water supplies. But its developers hope it will eventually be used for all computer-related work on the station.

The program “listens” to everything astronauts say and analyzes how to respond, using a “command grammar” of 75 commands… read more

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