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  1. #121
    Machine Gunner Justin's Avatar
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    https://spacenews.com/administration...nuclear-power/

    Administration policies seek to promote use of space nuclear power
    by Jeff Foust — August 22, 2019

    CHANTILLY, Va. — A revised policy for approving the launch of spacecraft with nuclear power systems is the latest measure intended to support greater use of nuclear power systems in orbit and beyond.

    The policy, formally issued by President Trump Aug. 20 to coincide with the latest public meeting of the National Space Council, updates guidelines for how both government and commercial spacecraft carrying space nuclear systems are reviewed and approved for launch.

    The policy establishes a three-tier system for reviewing payloads carrying nuclear power systems, such as radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) or fission reactors, based on the amount of radioactive material on board and the probability of certain radiation exposure levels in the event of an accident.

    Spacecraft that fall in the first two tiers will be approved by their sponsoring agency, although in some cases with a review by a new Interagency Nuclear Safety Review Board that NASA is tasked to establish within 180 days. Those in the third tier require presidential authorization, which can be done through the National Security Council for national security missions or Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) for other missions.

    “Our primary objective here is to ensure that rigorous and effective nuclear safety analysis and reviews are conducted prior to the launch of any space nuclear system,” said Kelvin Droegemeier, director of OSTP, during comments at the National Space Council meeting at the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center here. “To that end, we must provide clear guidelines to help mission planners and launch approval authorities ensure that launch safety is maintained.”

    The policy, he continued, is also intended to promote a “positive safety analysis” and “forward-looking” authorization process that can take into announce new space nuclear systems.

    Droegemeier said the policy was just one step in supporting greater use of space nuclear systems. “Moving forward, we must also focus on ensuring that we sustain the skills here in America and also develop the technologies needed to provide space nuclear systems that are ready to propel as well as power future American spacecraft,” he said.

    While the policy doesn’t go into technology development and related issues, it does call on the Secretary of Transportation to develop in the next year guidance for private organizations proposing to launch a vehicle with a space nuclear system. That guidance would explain the licensing and review process for such systems.

    However, there’s been little commercial interest in space nuclear power, given not just the regulatory challenges but also technical and cost issues. One startup, Denver-based Atomos Space, has proposed developing nuclear-powered space tugs for in-space transportation, although the company plans to start with solar electric systems and hasn’t specified when it will attempt to fly nuclear-powered systems.

    There’s also been few applications of space nuclear power systems on government missions, at least in the unclassified realm. NASA does use RTGs on some missions, but infrequently due to both the cost and limited supplies of plutonium-238, the isotope used in RTGs. The only upcoming NASA missions formally approved for development that will use RTGs are the Mars 2020 rover mission and the recently selected Dragonfly mission to Saturn’s moon Titan.

    That could change in the next several years. NASA has been working with the Department of Energy on a small nuclear fission reactor called Kilopower that could be used on future moon and Mars missions. Congress has also increased funding for nuclear thermal propulsion work at NASA, including a provision in the report accompanying the fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill calling for a flight demonstration of a nuclear propulsion system by 2024.

    During a panel discussion at the council meeting, Rex Geveden, president and chief executive of BWX Technologies and a former NASA associate administrator, backed the development of more ambitious space nuclear power systems, citing his company’s decades of experience with nuclear power systems, including NASA-funded nuclear thermal propulsion work.

    “America has the nuclear technological capabilities right now to push the boundaries of human exploration at the moon and further on to Mars,” he said. “If we to fulfill the objectives of President Trump’s first space policy directive to establish a long-term presence on the moon and send the first crewed mission to Mars, nuclear power is arguably the most important technology to enable these bold national goals.”

    NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine endorsed greater use of nuclear power and propulsion technologies. “That is absolutely a game-changer,” he said of nuclear thermal propulsion. “That gives us the opportunity to, really, protect life” by limiting the cosmic radiation exposure astronauts would receive on long-duration flights, like transits to and from Mars.

    Geveden told Bridenstine during a brief discussion at the meeting that space nuclear power could also be used in “a variety of national security applications,” such for remote bases or for directed energy weapons.

    “That directed energy weapon, could that be used, for example, to protect the Earth from an asteroid?” Bridenstine asked.

    “I think you could envision that,” Geveden responded, adding that such systems could also be used to remove orbital debris.

    “I think, Mr. Vice President,” Bridenstine said to Vice President Mike Pence, “there’s an amazing opportunity here that the United States of America should take advantage of.”
    This is an awesome move in the right direction for developing better space travel and making human presence on other planets and the moon more easily persistent.
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  2. #122
    Paper Hunter Ripper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irving View Post
    What's a "Gemen-ee?"
    Gemini was a 2 man space capsule, came after mercury and before Apollo.
    EBR - Embrace the Darkness!

  3. #123
    Machine Gunner Justin's Avatar
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    https://spacenews.com/commercial-lun...mission-plans/

    Commercial lunar lander companies update mission plans
    by Jeff Foust — August 22, 2019

    WASHINGTON — Days after Astrobotic announced its selection of United Launch Alliance to launch its first lunar lander, Japanese lunar lander company ispace says it is modifying its schedule for commercial lunar lander missions.

    Tokyo-based ispace said Aug. 22 that it is dropping plans to do an initial orbital mission, which was to launch in 2020 as a secondary payload on a SpaceX Falcon 9. Instead, its first mission will be the Hakuto-R lander, scheduled to launch in 2021, with a second lander mission, equipped with a rover, to follow in 2023. Both lander missions will launch as Falcon 9 secondary payloads.

    In a statement, ispace said that “dramatic market acceleration and increasing demand for lunar exploration around the world” led it to push ahead directly to a lander mission, noting that the earlier orbiter mission was solely intended to be a technology demonstration, with no commercial payloads.

    Another factor, the company says, is its role in NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program, where ispace is a subcontractor to Draper. That opportunity came after the company announced its plans for a 2020 orbiter. “To increase its competitiveness and guarantee its ability to support NASA’s needs, as well as to meet the several other market demands developing worldwide, ispace decided to shift its resources to realize a successful landing mission in 2021,” the company stated.
    The moon is so hot right now.
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  4. #124
    Machine Gunner Justin's Avatar
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    Also, SpaceX is planning to do a 200m test flight with the Star Hopper test article down in Boca Chica, hopefully on Monday. Evidently the FAA has taken their sweet time getting the SpaceX permit applications approved.
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  5. #125
    Machine Gunner DenverGP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irving View Post
    What's a "Gemen-ee?"
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/17/movies/first-man-gemini-nasa.html

    In this newspaper, a seemingly authoritative 1965 article tried to resolve the “running debate” with a statement from NASA that the proper pronunciation is “‘Jiminy,’ as in ‘Jiminy Cricket.’”
    Last edited by DenverGP; 08-23-2019 at 08:24.
    'Unless a law-abiding individual has a firearm for his or her own defense, the police typically arrive after it is too late. With rigor mortis setting in, they mark and bag the evidence, interview bystanders, and draw a chalk outline on the ground' - Judge Benitez , 2019, Duncan v. Becerra.

    'One of the ordinary modes by which Tyrants accomplish their purpose without resistance is by disarming the people and making it an offense to keep arms.' Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, 1840.

  6. #126
    Zombie Slayer Aloha_Shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin View Post
    The moon is so hot right now.
    Approximately 260 F on the sunny side and -280 F on the dark side.

  7. #127
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    lol, Aloha Shooter... when the Moon wakes me up at night because it is so bright, I can now establish a temperature.

    260F is pretty hot.
    -280f is pretty cold.

    This is due to the lack of an atmosphere?

    I wouldn't want to live there.

    -John

  8. #128
    I'm the OPie of this thread Irving's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iego View Post

    260F is pretty hot.
    -280f is pretty cold.

    This is due to the lack of an atmosphere?


    -John
    Yes. Same thing happens on roofs, 60F on the shaded side, and 120+F on the sunny side, in December. I'd say to imagine what that'd be like without an atmosphere, but we don't have to because we know the real numbers.
    Minimize, minimize, minimize.

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irving View Post
    Yes. Same thing happens on roofs, 60F on the shaded side, and 120+F on the sunny side, in December. I'd say to imagine what that'd be like without an atmosphere, but we don't have to because we know the real numbers.
    I wouldn't want to live there.

    -John

  10. #130
    Machine Gunner Justin's Avatar
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    It looks like the 150-200 meter test for the SpaceX Star Hopper down in Boca Chica is slated to happen today.

    If you want to see a water tower fly, this is basically your opportunity. Everyday Astronaut is going to do a live stream on YouTube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fblo3vzsOo4
    RATATATATATATATATATATABLAM

    If there's nothing wrong with having to show an ID to buy a gun, there's nothing wrong with having to show an ID to vote.

    For legal reasons, that's a joke.

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