SOLAR POWER ARRAY COULD ORBIT EARTH: 
The U.S. Navy has a solar power plan that’s literally out of this world. They are hoping to construct an orbiting solar array in space that spans nine football fields!  
by Alyssa Danigelis
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory spacecraft engineer Paul Jaffe is working on solar modules intended to be launched into space one at a time. Then robots would assemble them into an enormous array that converts solar energy into a radio frequency that gets beamed to receivers on Earth. Hat tip Inhabitat.
The U.S. Navy is serious about finding efficient ways to power military installations, especially in remote areas. Being able to receive power from space would help keep operations covert. The U.S. Naval Research Lab is saying the array could power a whole city, too…
Read more about this project: Discovery News

SOLAR POWER ARRAY COULD ORBIT EARTH:

The U.S. Navy has a solar power plan that’s literally out of this world. They are hoping to construct an orbiting solar array in space that spans nine football fields! 

by Alyssa Danigelis

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory spacecraft engineer Paul Jaffe is working on solar modules intended to be launched into space one at a time. Then robots would assemble them into an enormous array that converts solar energy into a radio frequency that gets beamed to receivers on Earth. Hat tip Inhabitat.

The U.S. Navy is serious about finding efficient ways to power military installations, especially in remote areas. Being able to receive power from space would help keep operations covert. The U.S. Naval Research Lab is saying the array could power a whole city, too…

Read more about this project: Discovery News

amnhnyc
amnhnyc:

Who’s joining us tonight for the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson?
Watch live online at amnh.org/live starting at 7:30 pm EDT.
Space exploration is entering a new era. Dozens of aerospace companies have emerged in recent years, all with the goal of commercializing space as never before. From serving NASA’s cargo needs to sending tourists on space vacations to mining asteroids for profit, this next generation of entrepreneurs, and not NASA, may be the ones who transform space into our backyard, possibly creating the first-ever trillionaires.
Watch live at 7:30 EDT on Wednesday, March 19, as host and moderator Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, leads the 2014 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate, Selling Space, with a panel of entrepreneurs and space historians…

amnhnyc:

Who’s joining us tonight for the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson?

Watch live online at amnh.org/live starting at 7:30 pm EDT.

Space exploration is entering a new era. Dozens of aerospace companies have emerged in recent years, all with the goal of commercializing space as never before. From serving NASA’s cargo needs to sending tourists on space vacations to mining asteroids for profit, this next generation of entrepreneurs, and not NASA, may be the ones who transform space into our backyard, possibly creating the first-ever trillionaires.

Watch live at 7:30 EDT on Wednesday, March 19, as host and moderator Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, leads the 2014 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate, Selling Space, with a panel of entrepreneurs and space historians…

Liftoff from Mars
Painted by Pat Rawlings for NASA, this image depicts the ascent stage of the Boeing-designed piloted Mars lander shown at the top of this post. Though Geoffrey Landis expected that Americans would support only two or three piloted Mars landing missions before they lost interest, this optimistic Space Exploration Initiative-era painting hints at an on-going piloted Mars program: shown on the surface are habitats, solar arrays, a tethered research balloon, and a nuclear plant.
from: “Footsteps to Mars: An Incremental Approach to Mars Exploration,” Geoffrey Landis, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, Vol. 48, September 1995, pp. 367-372; paper presented at The Case for Mars V conference in Boulder, Colorado, 26-29 May 1993.
(via: Wired Science)

Liftoff from Mars

Painted by Pat Rawlings for NASA, this image depicts the ascent stage of the Boeing-designed piloted Mars lander shown at the top of this post. Though Geoffrey Landis expected that Americans would support only two or three piloted Mars landing missions before they lost interest, this optimistic Space Exploration Initiative-era painting hints at an on-going piloted Mars program: shown on the surface are habitats, solar arrays, a tethered research balloon, and a nuclear plant.

from: “Footsteps to Mars: An Incremental Approach to Mars Exploration,” Geoffrey Landis, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, Vol. 48, September 1995, pp. 367-372; paper presented at The Case for Mars V conference in Boulder, Colorado, 26-29 May 1993.

(via: Wired Science)

"This is a fundamentally new approach to building robots," says one of its creators.

Just imagine, if there was a robot that had the brains of Curiosity but the nimbleness of a tumbleweed. That’s exactly what a group of scientists at NASA are looking to create with the Super Ball Bot, a tangle of rods and motors that could revolutionize the way robots work in space and here on Earth…

This Week on Planetary Radio:

JPL’s Blaine Baggett and former JPL director Ed Stone talk The Stuff of Dreams,€ a documentary about an era in planetary exploration that was both exhilarating and exasperating. Emily Lakdawalla explains why Curiosity has joined the fraternity of backward driving rovers on Mars, and Bill Nye considers the not-too-distant future when airliners and spaceliners will share the sky…

Fantasies of a renewable future obscure our big climate responsibilities, says Ozzie Zehner in ‘Green Illusions.’

As epic drought ravages North America and Arctic ice melts to record low levels, some of the most apocalyptic predictions of climate science are coming true ahead of schedule. Climate change’s severity has become all too apparent in 2012, and calls to end the reign of fossil fuels grow ever stronger.

Bill McKibben’s article on “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math" elicited millions of views, 112,000 Facebook likes, and over 5,000 comments as it elucidated the problem of fossil fuel companies and their unwillingness to set a price on carbon, address global warming or embrace an energy alternative. Though what would that alternative look like?

Chasing the Edge of the Solar System

by David McComas

For most of its lifetime, Voyager 1 has been traveling through uncharted territory. Initially launched to study the outer planets, Voyager 1 has soldiered on past Jupiter and Saturn and on to the outer edges of the solar system.

It’s currently the farthest human-made object from Earth, but when will it be the first spacecraft to travel between the stars? Well, we won’t know until we answer two more fundamental questions: Where does our solar system end and the rest of the space between the stars begin? And if you were at the “edge” of our solar system, how would you know you had left?

Recent scientific discussions on the Voyager spacecraft missions have captivated many people. And as the scientific debate swirled around the internet in near-real time, it became clear that these questions are not easy to answer…

(read more: Nova Next - PBS.org)

images: courtesy of NASA

A Box That Took 3 Million Photos of the Sky

by Kate Baggaley

Ken Murphy, a computer programmer in California, built a rig to photograph the sky once every 10 seconds for a year. The resulting time-lapse video collage is a kaleidoscope of shifting weather patterns. Murphy’s project is one of more than 150 featured in The Art of Tinkering (released this month). Karen Wilkinson, one of the book’s editors, says it shows time-lapse photography is now more accessible than ever before. “People are even writing apps for it,” she says. True to form, the book includes a guide for mastering the art of time-lapse.

1) Camera:  Recording millions of sequential photos wore through the components of two point-and-shoot cameras in one year.

2) Computer:  A small computer triggered the camera and saved images to a memory card. It also enabled remote access to the data over a network.

3) Housing:  A metal electrical box purchased for $3 from a junkyard—fitted with a see-through window—kept the electronics safe from the elements.

A metal electrical box purchased for $3 from a junkyard—fitted with a see-through window—kept the electronics safe from the elements.

(via: Popular Science)

photo of machine: Courtesy Laura Flippen

Scientists in California make landmark advance towards unlimited fusion energy
by Will Dunham, Reuters
U.S. scientists announced on Wednesday an important milestone in the costly, decades-old quest to develop fusion energy, which, if harnessed successfully, promises a nearly inexhaustible energy source for future generations.
For the first time, experiments have produced more energy from fusion reactions than the amount of energy put into the fusion fuel, scientists at the federally funded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California said.
Unlike fossil fuels or the fission process in nuclear power plants, fusion offers the prospect of abundant energy without pollution, radioactive waste or greenhouse gases.
Unlike the current nuclear fission energy that is derived from splitting atoms, fusion energy is produced by fusing atoms together.
Experts believe it still will be many years or decades before fusion can become a practical energy source…
(read more: The Raw Story)
image: Shutterstock

Scientists in California make landmark advance towards unlimited fusion energy

by Will Dunham, Reuters

U.S. scientists announced on Wednesday an important milestone in the costly, decades-old quest to develop fusion energy, which, if harnessed successfully, promises a nearly inexhaustible energy source for future generations.

For the first time, experiments have produced more energy from fusion reactions than the amount of energy put into the fusion fuel, scientists at the federally funded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California said.

Unlike fossil fuels or the fission process in nuclear power plants, fusion offers the prospect of abundant energy without pollution, radioactive waste or greenhouse gases.

Unlike the current nuclear fission energy that is derived from splitting atoms, fusion energy is produced by fusing atoms together.

Experts believe it still will be many years or decades before fusion can become a practical energy source…

(read more: The Raw Story)

image: Shutterstock