Scanning the ever changing global environment and examining the leading trends in business management, strategic foresight, robotics, space (government and commercial), energy, the digital landscape and other emerging technologies today, in order to better understand tomorrow.
The Dutch company Mars One is looking for colonist for Mars for 2023. They will be announcing more details about the selection process today.
“Mars One is a not-for-profit organization whose goal is to establish a human settlement on Mars through the integration of existing, readily available technologies from industry leaders world-wide. Mars One intends to fund this decade-long endeavor by involving the whole world as the audience of an interactive, televised broadcast of every aspect of this mission, from the astronaut selections and their preparations to the arrival on Mars and their lives on the Red Planet.” - Mars One
A Successful Launch Adds Competition To The Private Space Industry
At 5 p.m. today, the first Antares test rocket from NASA’s commercial partner, Orbital Sciences Corp., finally lifted off from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, after being delayed by a technical issue on Wednesday and by high winds yesterday.
The unmanned rocket launched a payload into orbit as a test run for a resupply trip it is scheduled to make to the International Space Station later this year. When it makes its real cargo trip in June or July, Orbital Sciences will only become the second private company ever to dock with the station.
John Holdren, the president’s science advisor, had this to say in a statement on the White House’s website: “With NASA focusing on the challenging and exciting task of sending humans deeper into space than ever before, private companies will be crucial in taking the baton for American cargo and crew launches into low-Earth orbit.”
Of course, part of the reason private companies will be so crucial in the future of our space exploration is that we keep cutting NASA’s funding. Without commercial cargo supply runs from the California-based SpaceX, NASA has to rely on Russian, Japanese and European rocket launches, as Space.com points out. Adding another commercial supplier to the mix will break up SpaceX’s monopoly on ISS-bound cargo.
Orbital Sciences Antares rocket successfully launched at 5 p.m., Sunday, April 21 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
All system nominal. The Antares launch vehicle made its maiden flight Sunday, launching from Pad 0A at the Wallops Flight Facility, Va. at 5 p.m. Eastern time on a test flight that served as the precursor for a demonstration flight of its Cygnus resupply ship to the International Space Station later this year. Antares will be delivering a mass simulator payload to orbit 10 minutes after launch designed to mimic the Cygnus spacecraft’s weight and characteristics.
“Asteroid mining company Planetary Resources, Inc. announced this week that engineering giant Bechtel has joined their core group of investors and will be a collaborative partner in helping them to achieve its long-term mission, which is to mine near-Earth asteroids for raw materials, ranging from elements used in rocket fuel to precious metals, through the development of innovative and cost-effective robotic exploration technologies. Planetary Resources says that they already have multiple contracts to develop miniaturized and responsive technologies with far-reaching applications to space assessment, accessibility and resource recovery.” - Scienceworldreport.com
(Photo : Planetary Resources) “Orbiting the asteroid, the Arkyd 300 ‘Rendezvous Prospector’ will collect data on the asteroid’s shape, rotation, density, and surface and sub-surface composition.”
A look at the proposed Swiss Shuttle for satellite launches.
“A mini shuttle, based on a previous design called Hermes that was designed in Europe, is being developed for unmanned suborbital flights by Swiss Space Systems.
Unlike NASA, the aerospace newcomers, known as S3 for short, won’t be launching their shuttles using rockets. Instead they will be carried piggyback by a European aircraft, the Airbus A300, to a height of 10,000 metres and launched from there.” - sen.com
An artist’s impression of the Airbus A300 carrying S3’s shuttle. Credit: Swiss Space Systems