The golden age of Space research
This is definitely the best time to be alive, we got so many exciting projects running now for space research and their discoveries are amazing.
The following summary intend to simplify and emphasize some important projects but obviously this is just a partial list.
Tomorrow (September 15) the Cassini spacecraft journey would come to an end after 20 years of space time. Its main mission was researching Saturn and the data we got from it will provide scientists many more years of discoveries and better understanding about our solar system. It took Cassini 7 years to get Saturn which is in 1.4 billion kilometers from planet earth, Saturn is famous especially because of its beautiful orbiting rings and its big Moon Titan.
On 1977, 40 years ago, 2 NASA spacecrafts, voyager 1 and 2, were launched to reach beyond our solar system, beyond Neptune and Pluto, Crazy Sci-Fi.
Voyager 1 is the farthest human-made object from Earth, more than 17.4 billion kilometers from the sun, it takes more than 13 hours to communicate one way with it.
It also carry images and sounds from earth in case some intelligent life would be found out there.
The Voyager program is a continuing American scientific program that employs two robotic probes, and , to study the…en.wikipedia.org
Juno is a NASA spacecraft orbiting Jupiter for research purposes.
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, 1300x bigger than earth.
Juno left earth on 2011 and reached Jupiter on 2016, it takes 14 days for one trip around Jupiter and the current plan is orbiting 37 times.
Juno is a NASA space probe orbiting the planet Jupiter. It was built by Lockheed Martin and is operated by NASA's Jet…en.wikipedia.org
The International Space Station
One of the most active places on space is the international-space-station (ISS) which is like a science lab orbiting our planet earth, 400 km away, doing research on different conditions than here.
you can find here some of its top research results:
And some of its famous astronauts:
Peggy Whitson — NASA astronaut, she just got back from the ISS setting a new world record for cumulative time on space, the female with the most spacewalks and she was the first woman to command the ISS.
Peggy Annette Whitson (born February 9, 1960) is an American biochemistry researcher, NASA astronaut, and former NASA…en.wikipedia.org
Scott Kelly — NASA astronaut, selected to participate on 1 year mission, spending 340 days on ISS without getting back, orbiting earth 5400 times, trying to explore how the human body will respond during such long duration in space before the future Mars trips.
In October 2015, he set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space by an American astronaut…en.wikipedia.org
ISS Live feed — http://www.n2yo.com/space-station/
Launched on 1990, Hubble telescope is one of the most important telescope ever built, located 547 kilometers above earth and transmits about 140 gigabits of raw science data every week.
Hubble has revealed the age of the universe to be about 13 to 14 billion years, much more accurate than previous calculations and the farthest that Hubble has seen so far is about 10–15 billion light-years away.
In 2018 NASA plans to send their next generation space telescope called James Webb which will have complementary capabilities to his Hubble friend.
Spitzer is an infrared space telescope launched in 2003, like Hubble it is also part of the Great Observatories Program, intend to capture better raw data so we would have more information about our universe.
Spitzer recently has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star, which could be potentially habitable environment, this remote system called TRAPPIST-1.
The contest led to the telescope being named in honor of astronomer Lyman Spitzer, who had promoted the concept of…en.wikipedia.org
The Private Sector
The space is not anymore a government playground only, now we have few amazing private sector based companies driven mainly of course by financial ROI but the outcome would lead also to more space travel time and discoveries.
SpaceX, lead by the famous entrepreneur Elon Musk, is already a very successful company, has billion of dollars contract with NASA, managed to reduce the costs of space transportation by using reusable launch system and rockets.
Another crazy goal of the company is sending people to our Moon and maybe even to Mars.
It has some great competition from companies like BlueOrigin, Virgin Galactic, RocketLAB, MOMO and many more.
The Asteroid Mining
“Planetary Resources” and “Deep Space Industries” are 2 private companies aiming to mine Asteroids.
These companies state that their goals would be refueling satellites in space, extract precious metals and fuels and of course be eventually highly profitable.
Deep Space Industries is an Asteroid Mining company, developing the technologies to find, harvest, and supply the…deepspaceindustries.com
Google lunar X Prize
Organized by XPRIZE and sponsored by Google, an international competition for landing a robot on the moon by private company only.
Currently there are 5 teams left out of 32 — SpaceIL, Moon Express, Synergy Moon, Team Indus, and Team Hakuto.
The $30M is not the main incentive, the costs are far greater, it’s about inspire people all over the world and have more curiosity about space.
The Google Lunar XPRIZE ( GLXP), sometimes referred to as Moon 2.0, is an inducement prize space competition organized…en.wikipedia.org