Tag Archives: space

Patent for a 20 kilometer tall tower for space launch and research

Concept of a space elevator by Thoth Technology (Source: Thoth Technology)
Concept of a space elevator by Thoth Technology (Source: Thoth Technology)

Thoth Technology, a Canadian tech company, has recently filed a patent for a 12.4 mile high (i.e. about 20 kilometer tall reaching the stratosphere, and about 20 times higher as compared to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa) “space elevator” that can become an alternative to rocket for astronauts, i.e. this invention will help to launch astronauts as well as tourists into orbit.

According to the patent of the company, it will be an inflatable, pneumatically pressured tower having a liftoff point (platform to launch) to space at the top. According to the company, this invention will help to save over 30% of the fuel of a conventional rocket.

“From the top of the tower, space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit, returning to the top of the tower for refueling and reflight,” stated Brendan Quine, who is the inventor of the ThothX Tower.

This invention will help to launch the rocket in a horizontal manner by removing the requirement for vertical launch, i.e. flight will be much like a passenger plane.

“In our concept, you ascend electrically and remove the whole vertical launch phase,” Quine stated. “Then you get into a space plane, which is like a passenger jet, and take off horizontally.”

This tower will serve not only for the launch of astronauts but it would also help in the generation of wind-energy, scientific research, communications, and tourism (as told earlier).

It is still on the paper but patent is showing that the company has moved a step to bring the physical product.

Source: Thoth Technology (http://thothx.com/news-2/)

NASA’s contract with Boeing and SpaceX

NASA, Boeing and SpaceX has joined hands in a commercial crew program (Image: NASA)
NASA, Boeing and SpaceX has joined hands in a commercial crew program (Image: NASA)

NASA will work with two aeronautical firms, Boeing and SpaceX, in a taxi contract to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in the coming years to perform important science research and other related tasks on ISS. NASA is also thinking to use the same technologies to take astronauts to other places in space such as Mars and asteroids in the future.

This contract would reduce the U.S.’s dependence on Russia to take and bring astronauts to and from the space station. At this time, Russian Soyuz takes at least four astronauts of NASA in a year at the price of $71 million per seat. On the other hand, SpaceX noted the cost $20 million per seat in the future after the success of technological contract. Continue reading NASA’s contract with Boeing and SpaceX

Quasar reveals “cosmic web” about 10 billion light-years away

Nebula (cyan) and quasar UM 287 (at the center of the image) (Credit: S. Cantalupo, UCSC)
Nebula (cyan) and quasar UM 287 (at the center of the image) (Credit: S. Cantalupo, UCSC)

Main Points:

Astronomers have found a gas cloud in the Universe that is the largest known to humanity. It is about 2 million light years across and reveals “cosmic web”. Continue reading Quasar reveals “cosmic web” about 10 billion light-years away

Studying the behavior of ants in space

Ant Forage Habitat Facility (Credit: NASA)
Ant Forage Habitat Facility (Credit: NASA/Flickr)

Astronomers are studying the behavior and colonization of ants in microgravity and comparing this behavior with that in normal condition of gravity. The behavior may include the interaction rate of a group of ants and the number of ants in a specific area.

This study has been done in International Space Station’s Destiny laboratory and NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, Expedition 38 flight engineer, is working on them using a video camera. Continue reading Studying the behavior of ants in space