NASA breakthrough -- the EM Drive actually works!


Recommended Posts

JustGeorge

Deal! :p

 

And the second operational ship HAS to be the Enterprise! ;)

Damn skippy! That's a change.org campaign waiting to happen.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
DocM

Evaluating NASA

Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

Wow. That's a hell of an improvement, even if it's not FTL.

 

We'll take it. There's plenty of room for the technology to evolve. Possibly someday it'll get to the theoretical maximums.

 

I stand by what I said about the rest of the Aerospace technologies in my other post, though. There's room for those technologies to grow as well. It's likely that there will be breakthroughs and new ways of doing things with those core requirements in the years to come.

 

This is just the beginning, and the Universe is waiting. All we have to do is not destroy ourselves. I think Carl Sagan said that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ice-nine

This is huge.

 

The NASA Team working on the EM Drive (based on Alcubierre's Theories) found it by accident while testing their detectors and diagnostic equipment. They switched on the field generator for the EM Drive to get some readings and to make sure the equipment was working properly, and noticed that some of the laser light directed inside the "Warp Bubble" was moving faster than the speed of light.

 

They know this because they have "reference" lasers for that very purpose, along with other lasers that measure the outside of the Warp Bubble. They still don't know how the physics completely work, yet.

 

The discussion at the NASA Spaceflight Forums starts at post #1840 -- and I'll warn you ahead of time, it's VERY technical. Lots of science going on there. This development has just occurred in the past week, so there's very little mainstream news about it yet.

 

Now the plan is to study the results, study them some more, and do what scientists do best -- experiment. ;)

This is an incorrect characterization.  This was not an accident, but a planned experiment.  Also, the claim is NOT that the laser beam was moving faster than the speed of light (a violation of physical law)...it is that there was MINUTE shortening of the distance  (i.e., warping of the space) traversed by the laser, thereby allowing light through the truncated cone to reach it's destination more quickly than it would have had the device (the EM drive) not been active. This may be nitpicking in that the end result is the same (i.e., getting to the destination at apparent speeds faster than light). 

 

The EM drive is technically not based  on a "theory" by  Alcubierre. Alcubierre's Metric simply  posits a solution  whereby faster than light travel is possible without violating GRT. It provides no theory or "mechanism" for how this would be achieved.   The folks at Eagleworks DO have a theory for that mechanism, and they are testing it.  It appears that the EM Drive can (and at least preliminarily, HAS) been used to test the validity of that theory.  It is apparently Dr. White's conjecture that the physics behind the functioning of the EM Drive involves a mechanism which would also useful in generating warp fields, and as a result of that conjecture, a test was designed using the EM Drive to generate said field. This is separate and distinct from the test of the drive as a mechanism for producing thrust.  

 

It is at this time unknown whether Dr. White's theory is true, and it is unknown whether the effect they are seeing (warping of space) is real. That is openly stated by the Eagleworks team. Much more testing is required. Let's just say that there is apparently a considerable amount of cautious optimism. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ice-nine

NASA has been using ion thrusters for manoeuvring sats for ages (Since the early 90s), the Russians have been doing it even longer, it's nothing new. And accounting for movement of bodies in space is again nothing new, they needed to do that for the original moon landings.

Also, even people in the original forum thread are starting to tear apart the experiment, much like the previous time they claimed a "breakthrough", the device is still showing as generating thrust even when turned off.

1) The various incarnations of the "EM Drive" (i.e., Shawyer, Cannae, Yang, and Eagleworks) are not ion drives, so I'm not sure I see your point. There is a big difference between a propulsion mechanism which requires carrying fuel which will deplete (as in an ion drive) and one in which no on board propellant is required (as in the EM Drive). THAT's the big breakthrough here, if it is real. 

 

2) I've been following the nasa forum since the beginning, and from what I see, there is no "starting to tear the experiment apart" on the part of thread participants. There has been a lot back and forth between physicists, engineers and educated laypeople trying to falsify the experimental results. All are interested in finding the truth behind this anomalous  effect. Each is willing to go where the data leads Each conjecture on possible error or experimental artifacts (which might produce the thrust) has been systematically analyzed and refuted. No falsification has occurred as of today. What you may be seeing are late comers to the thread presenting objections which have already been discussed and nullified.  Your specific claim that the "device is still showing as generating thrust even when turned off" was explained by both Dr. Rodal (primary author of the paper on Nasaspaceflight.com) and Paul March (one of the engineers at Eagleworks). 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Ice-nine

Every single test of the EM Drive has been flawed in one way or another, combined with nobody having any idea how it's actually supposed to work, doesn't fill me with hope that it actually does anything.

The fact that educated people are discussing possible sources of error, does not mean the experiment is flawed. It means they are trying to explain results which are confounding when juxtaposed against our  current understanding of the way the universe works.  It is good science to look for understanding based on what we currently know, rather than imposing  a new physics out of the gate.  And to say they have no idea about how it actually works is disingenuous...it would be correct to say they are considerably less than certain as to the validity of their theory on how it works...but they certainly DO have a theory. 

Yeah, definitely something going on with their test setup. I've read the latest entries and the "Russian Contingent", who is looking over the testing data is ripping them a new one ... it pretty much amounts to "you have no idea if it's natural (Earth) vibration, noise from the WIFI router, or actual force from your device?!".

 

They're being as polite as possible about it, they really are -- but very direct, and rightly so. This is a big deal, and the test conditions are so critical.

The Russian "contingent" you speak of has clearly not read the rest of the thread, as most (if not all) of his points had already been brought up at an earlier time, and discussed in detail. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ice-nine

Same device, but this time they're actually claiming it's something entirely different (An Alcubierre drive).

Incorrect...they are not claiming it is an "Alcubierre Drive". It is conjectured that the physics behind the working of the EM Drive might  also useful in generating warped space-time. The EM Drive was a convenient tool to use to test that theory. This is independent of it's potential usefulness as a propellant-less thruster. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ice-nine

The rough speed calculations work out to being able to travel about 2.15 light years/day with this technology as it currently sits. That's the initial findings from another one of the NASA Scientists following the project. A lot more study is needed to determine what they can actually do with it; such as if they can go faster, etc.

 

They already know they can make the Warp Bubble larger (it's a matter of how much power you are able to put into it), and the breakthrough itself is proof that you don't need exotic materials to generate the necessary energy. The test field they created in the lab runs on very low power (28 Watts cycled twice), but it also means that Solar Panels won't really be an option for Primary Power.

 

Sorry for the "blinding light of information", folks. :( It's very, very technical information. I found some articles about it, but none that were from more "reputable" News sites that I would particularly trust. My apologies.

Where are you getting your information? There is nothing I have read wherein  Eagleworks has made any statement about speed, other than a theoretical model in which Dr. White calculated what would be required to generate a "warp bubble" which would have an effective velocity of 10x speed of light. This was done primarily to sell people on the idea of what COULD BE POSSIBLE, if this pans out. But this doesn't (to my knowledge) place a limit on what COULD be achieved, nor is it making a statement about what the current state of the technology is. The current state is that they have identified a non-trivial signal which is characteristic of what they would expect to see if a warping where occurring.  That's it.  And that signal was very small. They don't claim to have invented warp drive (yet)...this is preliminary work which COULD lead to that development if it pans out. They have made no absolute statements at this point in time. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ice-nine

Take the information with a mountain of salt, a lot of the "research" into this area has been absolute crap.

Like the last time they claimed it worked, when in reality it was a pretty bad measuring error (The "prototype" generated the same result whether it was on or off, which instead of being taken as a sign it didn't work, was taken as a sign that the device worked even when unpowered)

Are you referring to the null device? If so, you are misinterpreting the meaning and intent that particular test. The null device was powered...it was meant to test ONE PARTICULAR THEORY of operation, and the component of that theory which was critical to it's validity was left off of the test (null) article. The fact that the drive continued to work (because all other elements of a functioning EM Drive WERE there) simply meant that this particular theory was incorrect. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
PNWDweller

I wonder if the guys here will contact NASA for more information and incorporation into their project:

 

http://www.buildtheenterprise.org/

Link to post
Share on other sites
The_Decryptor

The fact that educated people are discussing possible sources of error, does not mean the experiment is flawed. It means they are trying to explain results which are confounding when juxtaposed against our  current understanding of the way the universe works.  It is good science to look for understanding based on what we currently know, rather than imposing  a new physics out of the gate.  And to say they have no idea about how it actually works is disingenuous...it would be correct to say they are considerably less than certain as to the validity of their theory on how it works...but they certainly DO have a theory. 

...

Yeah, one that violates the laws of physics, ask other people experimenting with it and they'll each tell you different mechanisms it apparently works by.

The latest results still shows it generating thrust when turned off, that points to an experimental fault.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

This is an incorrect characterization.  This was not an accident, but a planned experiment.  Also, the claim is NOT that the laser beam was moving faster than the speed of light (a violation of physical law)...it is that there was MINUTE shortening of the distance  (i.e., warping of the space) traversed by the laser, thereby allowing light through the truncated cone to reach it's destination more quickly than it would have had the device (the EM drive) not been active. This may be nitpicking in that the end result is the same (i.e., getting to the destination at apparent speeds faster than light). 

 

The EM drive is technically not based  on a "theory" by  Alcubierre. Alcubierre's Metric simply  posits a solution  whereby faster than light travel is possible without violating GRT. It provides no theory or "mechanism" for how this would be achieved.   The folks at Eagleworks DO have a theory for that mechanism, and they are testing it.  It appears that the EM Drive can (and at least preliminarily, HAS) been used to test the validity of that theory.  It is apparently Dr. White's conjecture that the physics behind the functioning of the EM Drive involves a mechanism which would also useful in generating warp fields, and as a result of that conjecture, a test was designed using the EM Drive to generate said field. This is separate and distinct from the test of the drive as a mechanism for producing thrust.  

 

It is at this time unknown whether Dr. White's theory is true, and it is unknown whether the effect they are seeing (warping of space) is real. That is openly stated by the Eagleworks team. Much more testing is required. Let's just say that there is apparently a considerable amount of cautious optimism. 

 

That was the best information available at the time -- that it was an accidental discovery, and I linked to the best source where the action was happening. Obviously with a finding of this magnitude it is required that there be more experimentation, peer review, and repetition of the original experiment to the point of being sick of it ... at which time they'll repeat the experiment some more. Please don't shoot the messenger.

 

Where are you getting your information? There is nothing I have read wherein  Eagleworks has made any statement about speed, other than a theoretical model in which Dr. White calculated what would be required to generate a "warp bubble" which would have an effective velocity of 10x speed of light. This was done primarily to sell people on the idea of what COULD BE POSSIBLE, if this pans out. But this doesn't (to my knowledge) place a limit on what COULD be achieved, nor is it making a statement about what the current state of the technology is. The current state is that they have identified a non-trivial signal which is characteristic of what they would expect to see if a warping where occurring.  That's it.  And that signal was very small. They don't claim to have invented warp drive (yet)...this is preliminary work which COULD lead to that development if it pans out. They have made no absolute statements at this point in time. 

 

That information is an extrapolation of the available data -- because contrary to all indications, many of us here at Neowin are educated beyond the High School level. In fact, I would venture to say that a High School Student could perform the necessary mathematical calculations to come up with the numbers that have been postulated in this thread. Does that mean the device in question will actually perform at those levels? Unlikely, as many of us have already stated, including me. Is the device simply doing nothing? That's a possibility too.

 

We will wait for the testing data, just as everyone else that is interested will do. Science teaches us to accept the facts, whatever those facts are.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ice-nine

 

That was the best information available at the time -- that it was an accidental discovery, and I linked to the best source where the action was happening. Obviously with a finding of this magnitude it is required that there be more experimentation, peer review, and repetition of the original experiment to the point of being sick of it ... at which time they'll repeat the experiment some more. Please don't shoot the messenger.

 

 

That information is an extrapolation of the available data -- because contrary to all indications, many of us here at Neowin are educated beyond the High School level. In fact, I would venture to say that a High School Student could perform the necessary mathematical calculations to come up with the numbers that have been postulated in this thread. Does that mean the device in question will actually perform at those levels? Unlikely, as many of us have already stated, including me. Is the device simply doing nothing? That's a possibility too.

 

We will wait for the testing data, just as everyone else that is interested will do. Science teaches us to accept the facts, whatever those facts are.

Not attempting to shoot the messenger...my concern is in over-hyping this.  If (and I emphasize IF) this is real, then the story as is, is huge. I'm just trying to keep it at the level of factual reporting. By blowing this up, it generates a level of expectation so high that the significance of the discovery gets completely lost. It's all about expectation setting...

 

As to your extrapolation of speed, I'm still not sure what data you are referring to.  There has certainly been written statements which speculate on speed...but none of that came from the experimenters as far as I know (beyond what I have already articulated in another post). If you have a different source then please enlighten me... Dr. White used  as an example the arbitrary value of 10c, then calculated the negative energy required to generate a warp bubble for a 10m diameter ship (which is where the negative mass/energy equivalent of the voyager space probe came from) to achieve that apparent velocity.   Theoretically, if you have enough negative energy (or if you find a way to further refine the warp bubble topology) you can get an arbitrarily large boost...in other words 10x light, 100x light, 1000x....and so on. There is no speed limit...at least none conjectured at this point.    Have you seen reputable information that suggests that Dr. White and the Eagle works team have precisely characterized the purported warp bubble and from that validated the Alcubierre metric and Dr. White's refinement of it?  If so, please share the link because I have clearly missed it....

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ice-nine

Yeah, one that violates the laws of physics, ask other people experimenting with it and they'll each tell you different mechanisms it apparently works by.

The latest results still shows it generating thrust when turned off, that points to an experimental fault.

I would suggest that you go to the NASA forum and read the interchange between those who are actively working on this and have by and large refuted the argument(s) which you articulate.  What you are referring to as non-powered thrust has been accounted for and can be explained by thermal effects, the magnitude of which have been pretty conclusively shown as insufficient to account for the forces measured (over the time period of the experiment). If you have looked at the data and have new insight as to how these thermal effects could in fact generate the forces being measured, then the folks there would love to hear from you and I would encourage you to enlighten them. 

 

As to your opening statement....the lack of a verified theory or the presence of multiple competing theories doesn't invalidate experimental results...This is the way science works. You come up with an hypothesis, or several, then you falsify each until you are left with one that explains the facts and makes falsifiable predictions which allows you to further refine. Which is exactly what is happening. No one is claiming assuredness with either the theory or the results ...they are going where the data leads. This is the way science is SUPPOSED to work.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
The_Decryptor

It was the people on the forum who were pointing out the flaws in the experiments, the "surpious thrust" generated by ambient heating was pretty much as much as the thrust they claimed the device actually generated.

At this point I consider the EM Drive to have the same amount of scientific backing as a perpetual motion machine, the claimed mechanism violating the laws of physcs, flawed experiments "backing it up", etc. It's following a pretty consistent path.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

No harm done. That's one of the things that science requires -- checking of references and data. In fact, that's something that life in general usually requires. Otherwise it's just talk, is it not? :)

 

- It appears that the earlier post that a NASA Employee/Scientist had made regarding the speed of some of the laser light inside the field being 789.7c ("Alpha Centauri in two days") has been modified, as I can no longer find that post (as it was) on the NSF site. I can't be, and I'm certain that I'm not, the only person who saw that in it's original form. As it appears currently .. well, it's not what it was a few days ago. That's what most of the excitement was about, and what the speed calculations were primarily based upon; an extrapolation of that statement, based upon the known distance of Alpha Centauri and the known speed of light.

 

We now have to assume that those numbers are invalid.

 

-----

 

So, where does it go from here?

 

- As posted earlier, the Hard Vacuum Test Data is in, and the results are interesting. It's not FTL, but it has the potential for some great advancements in Space Travel within 50 years, so that's something. They ruled out a lot of the things that could have been tainting the experiment.

 

- According to research performed at the Academy of Finland, When mediated by superconductivity, light pushes matter million times more. It's a radiative coupling effect at the quantum level that could be applied to the EM Drive to amplify it's effect by a factor of four to as much as six. Further information about this process can be found in this Nature.com article. What this means is that there is room for improvement using this methodology alone -- if they can apply it.

 

- Furthermore, there is a plan to employ a multiband approach in conjunction with Masers to boost the functional output of the EM Drive. Think of it as a "Fire Hose" approach. The details are here. Since it has only been two days, I doubt they have had time to implement that approach or build any of the gear necessary. This has the greatest degree of chance for improving the technology in the shortest amount of time.

 

I hope this clears things up.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sean Nelson

In this laser interfermeter experiment light was slower than it should have been. The explanation they're going with was, if we know it's speed was constant, and the time was longer, it must have traveled a greater distance so there appeared to be space expansion no length contraction so its 1/2 the Alcubierre  metric (ergo 1/2 'warp bubble') Don't get me wrong if that happened its a breakthru but you need the length contraction too to 'spoof' FTL.  Looking at this graph there was no negitive dip   Next laser test will be done in a vacuum to try to repeat the results ( or disprove them )

post-547188-0-21255100-1430490231.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
BinaryData

I think of this, and get the feeling "beam me up, Scotty" isn't too far away.

Though, what I'm thinking is; If space allows you to be 1/10th of your normal weight, how would that work for something the size of a U.S. Air Craft Carrier? The Largest ACC is 97,000t, 302ft long, does that mean in space it'd be 9,700t?

I'm trying to understand zero gravity and the works. I'm curious about it all. if it takes x power to move y object z distance on Earth, wouldn't it be far less for something in space? I don't quite understand how the thrusters and EM drive works. I'm a nerd, but y'all have surpassed me on this one, :p!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Forjo

I think of this, and get the feeling "beam me up, Scotty" isn't too far away.

Though, what I'm thinking is; If space allows you to be 1/10th of your normal weight, how would that work for something the size of a U.S. Air Craft Carrier? The Largest ACC is 97,000t, 302ft long, does that mean in space it'd be 9,700t?

I'm trying to understand zero gravity and the works. I'm curious about it all. if it takes x power to move y object z distance on Earth, wouldn't it be far less for something in space? I don't quite understand how the thrusters and EM drive works. I'm a nerd, but y'all have surpassed me on this one, :p!

Don't confuse weight with mass. Weight is what you measure in the presence of a gravitational field. Objects have no weight without gravity, but they still have mass.

 

It is mass that determines the energy required to move an object, not its weight. So while you'd need additional energy to counteract gravity and friction while inside the earths gravitational pull (and atmosphere), getting into space doesn't save you much as it's the mass of the carrier (its inertia) that resists movement.

 

-Forjo

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
BinaryData

Don't confuse weight with mass. Weight is what you measure in the presence of a gravitational field. Objects have no weight without gravity, but they still have mass.

 

It is mass that determines the energy required to move an object, not its weight. So while you'd need additional energy to counteract gravity and friction while inside the earths gravitational pull (and atmosphere), getting into space doesn't save you much as it's the mass of the carrier (its inertia) that resists movement.

 

-Forjo

 

I should know this. I play EVE Online, knowing a classes mass helps with specific tasks, i.e. Closing Wormholes.

Thanks for the explanation!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Unobscured Vision

I'm going to lean against the fence about this one and simply watch what happens. Am I interested? Sure.

 

I don't like misleading anybody with bad information, and this subject has way too much of that already over the years. I'm embarrassed, quite frankly, that I had a hand in turning this topic into something you'd see in the "It's A Conspiracy!" sub-forum. *shudder*

 

I accept responsibility for my part in it. It won't happen again.

Link to post
Share on other sites
netty2014

how and why it works are quite academic questions but fundamentally not really theorised enough on the basis of what happens next ,ok great we have advancements into the aria of physics that on a whole quantifiable in its own little states is amount-able to a question being thought about out side the usual scientific field of understanding but the human body is a fragile thing and im not sure we are ready to sit in a tin can and be propelled in a liner direction at 10 X the speed of light  would do us any good at all it just gets me thinking yeah here is 2000 ponds of gold but you have only a tea cup to carry it all in and once only hum theory's make us were we are today just banging about at the back of the universe make a load of noise as usual :p

Link to post
Share on other sites
Torolol

now that you mention it, i always wonder if there limit of maximum chunk of mass that can travel at speed of light while maintaining their structural integrity (information).

Link to post
Share on other sites
XerXis

now that you mention it, i always wonder if there limit of maximum chunk of mass that can travel at speed of light while maintaining their structural integrity (information).

no mass can travel at the speed of light, not even the tiniest particle

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By zikalify
      NASA has delayed the Crew-2 Dragon mission to the ISS
      by Paul Hill



      Over the weekend when This Week in Rocket Launches #9 was published, it was planned that the Crew-2 Dragon mission carrying astronauts to the International Space Station would take place on Thursday, April 22. Due to unfavourable weather conditions along the flight path, NASA is now looking to launch the mission at 5:49 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 23.

      According to the new schedule, the crew is scheduled to dock at the space station just under 24 hours after launch at 5:10 a.m. on Saturday, April 24. The mission will be carrying four astronauts, namely NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA’s Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA’s Thomas Pesquet. Once they arrive, the ISS will be host to a large crew of 11 people.

      On Friday at 1:30 a.m. EDT, NASA Television will begin live launch coverage. This will be followed up at 7:30 a.m. with a press conference hosted by NASA’s Steve Jurczyk and Kathy Lueders, JAXA’s Hiroshi Sasaki, ESA’s Frank de Winne, and an unnamed representative from SpaceX.

      The docking, hatch opening, and welcoming ceremony will also be streamed live on Saturday at 5:10 a.m., 7:15 a.m., and 7:45 a.m. respectively. To prepare for the stream, be sure to head over to the NASA TV website and save it as a bookmark ready for the launch.

    • By zikalify
      NASA successfully flies Ingenuity Mars Helicopter
      by Paul Hill

      NASA/JPL-Caltech, Ingenuity's first black and white image during flight NASA has announced that it has successfully flown its Ingenuity Mars Helicopter on the Red Planet. The event is historical as it’s the first time that humans have performed a powered, controlled flight on another planet.

      The flight was controlled by the Ingenuity team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. The aircraft first flew at 3:34 a.m. EDT (12:34 a.m. PDT) but due to the data having to travel 178.9 million miles, the confirmation of the flight was not received until 6:46 a.m. EDT (3:46 a.m. PDT).

      Commenting on the news, acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk said:

      According to NASA, the craft flew to a height of 3 meters, hovered for 30 seconds and then touched down on the surface with the total flight lasting just 39.1 seconds. While the agency has received some data already, it is still waiting for other portions to travel across the Deep Space Network. The Martian airfield from where Ingenuity took off has been named Wright Brothers Field by NASA tying today’s event to the Wright Brothers who flew the first aircraft here on Earth in 1903.

      Ingenuity is currently on the 16th sol (Martian day) of its 30-sol (31-Earth day) flight test window. NASA said it will continue to receive information on the test flight over the next three sols and then will decide how to conduct a second experimental test flight. It said that no more flights will be conducted before April 22 but it does hope to conduct several more over the craft’s lifetime.

    • By zikalify
      TWIRL 9: SpaceX Crew-2 Dragon to take astronauts to ISS, NASA to try Mars Helicopter
      by Paul Hill

      Background image by NASA This week is panning out to be quite dramatic with NASA set to test its Mars Helicopter and SpaceX taking astronauts to the ISS on its Crew Dragon spacecraft. In addition to those events, SpaceX is also expected to launch the Starship SN-15 mission which will see the firm attempt to land the craft following NASA’s decision to pick Starship as the human landing system for its missions to the Moon from 2024.

      Monday, April 19
      There are no rocket launches listed for Monday, however, Elon Musk did put out a tweet explaining that SpaceX is aiming to launch Starship SN-15 this week, therefore, Monday is the earliest time we will see the launch. This is the first Starship launch since NASA chose the vehicle for its human landing system on the Artemis missions so SpaceX should have a bit more motivation to get the landing right this time around.

      While this series is called This Week in Rocket Launches, it’s probably worth mentioning that NASA is looking to fly the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter from Monday at 3:30 a.m. EDT (12:30 a.m. PDT). Data from the autonomous flight will take time to get back to Earth and a live stream is due to start at 6:15 a.m. EDT (3:15 a.m. PDT). If the flight takes place, NASA will hold a briefing at 2 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. PDT) to apprise us of how the mission went.

      Tuesday, April 20
      There’s only one event set for Tuesday and that is ExPace’s planned launch of the Kuaizhou KZ-1A with the Jilin Gaofen 2D satellite (Jilin 28) aboard. We’ve spoken several times about this launch in older issues of TWIRL but briefly, this satellite will capture high-resolution full-colour images from 535 km and will work within the Jilin 1 constellation that’s already in orbit.

      Thursday, April 22
      Thursday will be one of the most interesting days of the week with SpaceX carrying out the Crew-2 Dragon mission which will carry NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, and JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide to the international space station. This Dragon capsule is named Endeavour after the Space Shuttle and was the first of the dragon capsules to carry a crew.

      Interestingly, the ISS only got new arrivals two weeks ago so when the four new astronauts arrive there will 11 people on-board which is the highest number that has ever been on the space station at once, though, it’s not the highest number of people that have been in space at one time. Luckily for those on board, four of the astronauts will be departing on the SpaceX Crew-1 on April 28 bringing the ISS crew size to 7.

      Sunday, April 25
      On Sunday there will be two missions. Roscosmos is looking to launch the Resurs-P 4 satellite from Baikonur atop a Soyuz 2.1b rocket and OneWeb will have 36 of its satellites put into orbit by a Starsem-owned Soyuz 2.1b rocket. The Resurs-P satellite will conduct Earth observation for Russian government agencies while the OneWeb satellites will make up a constellation providing internet for people on Earth and flying in planes.

    • By zikalify
      NASA chooses SpaceX to land next Americans on the Moon
      by Paul Hill



      NASA has awarded a $2.89 billion contract to SpaceX to continue developing a commercial human lander that will deliver the next two American astronauts to the lunar surface. Under current plans, the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft will take astronauts to Lunar orbit where two of the up to four crew members would transfer to SpaceX’s human lander.

      Kathy Lueders, NASA’s associate administrator for Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate, said:

      You’re probably already familiar with SpaceX’s human landing system, it’s the Starship which the firm has recently been smashing into the ground as it attempts to perfect the landing sequence. The latest Starship test is expected next week where it will hopefully achieve a landing with the newfound financial motivation from NASA.

      For those wondering whether the private sector can meet the rigorous NASA requirements, the space agency has confirmed that SpaceX has been working closely with NASA experts to ensure the lander design meets NASA’s performance requirements and human spaceflight standards. The standards range from engineering, safety, health, and medical technical areas.

      The first mission to the Moon's surface by NASA is its Artemis 3 mission which is expected in 2024 but it could still be delayed. Artemis 3 will be preceded by Artemis 1 expected in November 2021 and Artemis 2 planned for August 2023. Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed lunar orbital test flight while Artemis 2 will send a crewed mission to lunar orbit.

      NASA has big plans for the Moon in this decade. It wants to carry out several lunar surface missions and build a space station in orbit around the Moon for easier access to the lunar surface.

    • By zikalify
      NASA's SLS' core stage to undergo final Green Run test
      by Paul Hill



      NASA has announced that its Space Launch System (SLS), a rocket designed to send astronauts to the Moon, will undergo its final Green Run series test this week on Thursday. The space agency said that the two-hour testing window will open at 3 p.m. EDT on March 18 and plans to begin streaming the event 30 minutes before the test on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

      In this eighth and final Green Run test, engineers will power up all of the core stage systems and fire the rocket’s four RS-25 engines to simulate the stage’s operation during launch. The engines will burn 700,000 gallons of supercold cryogenic propellant and generate 1.6 million pounds of thrust.

      Two hours after the test, NASA will hold a briefing on NASA TV where it will be able to explain whether everything went smoothly and will answer media questions by phone. Once this test is complete, NASA will be assured that the core stage of the SLS rocket is ready for the Artemis missions to the Moon, marking a major milestone.

      The core stage of the rocket is a very important part of the rocket; it includes a liquid hydrogen tank and liquid oxygen tank, four RS-25 engines, computers, electronics, and avionics, which NASA explains, acts as the brains of the SLS.

      The Artemis I mission, which will use the SLS rocket, is planned for November this year. It is an uncrewed test flight and will be the first to integrate the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and the Space Launch System. This will then pave the way for two planned Artemis missions and a further six proposed missions - all of which will be crewed.