Tag Archives: engineering

“Space beer,” one giant leap for mankind

The science of space beer.

“For example, many metals burn more easily in reduced gravity, liquids behave differently, both of which have important implications for safety and the way machinery and equipment operate in spacecraft and space stations. The beer experiments assisted in determining the correct level of carbonation, so that it can in the future be appropriately enjoyed by humans in reduced gravity,”

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Flute duet on Earth and in Space

An evening pause: Though this took place last week, on the fiftieth anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight, I can’t let it go by, especially because it is so nicely done. Trust me, for two flute players to play a duet with one several hundred miles up in space and traveling more than 17,500 miles per hour while the other is safely on Earth is not easy.

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Medicine in space does not have the right stuff

Medicine in space does not have the right stuff.

After 28 months, the medication stored in space generally had a lower potency and degraded faster than those stored on the ground. Six medications on the space station underwent physical changes, such as discoloration and liquefaction, while such changes only occurred in two medications stored on the ground.

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Battery powered Chevy Volt produces more CO2 than an ordinary gasoline engine

The electric-powered Chevy Volt actually produces more CO2 than an ordinary gasoline engine!

I don’t know if the analysis in the above article is completely accurate, but it sure suggests that switching to electric cars over gasoline is not all that it’s cracked up to be, and is probably not a good idea.

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SpaceX Unveils Plan for World’s Most Powerful Private Rocket

SpaceX unveils its plan for the Falcon 9 Heavy, what would be the world’s most powerful private rocket.

The new rocket will be able to carry about 117,000 pounds (53,000 kilograms) of cargo to orbit – about twice the payload-carrying capability of the space shuttle. The Falcon Heavy would launch more than twice as much weight as the Delta 4 heavy, currently the most powerful rocket in operation. Only NASA’s Saturn 5 moon rocket, which last launched in 1973, could carry more cargo to orbit, SpaceX officials said.

Musk said the rocket should lower the launch cost of cargo to about $1,000 per pound, about one-tenth the cost per pound on NASA shuttle launches.

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For Some Entrepreneurs, Moon Is Money

Software engineers to the Moon!

Crazy? Absolutely! Impossible? Probably not! There are a growing number of people who believe that with federal funding for our space program getting scarce, the future lies in private-public partnerships. Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s third job (after leading electric car company Tesla and acting as the Chairman of solar installer SolarCity) is heading up SpaceX, which was the first private company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a rocketship. Virgin’s Richard Branson has a similar private space venture.

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NASA Endeavour Shuttle Launch Delayed

The Daily Beast reports today that the last flight of the shuttle Endeavour has been delayed due to a schedule conflict with a Russian Progress freighter.

Note that this has not yet been confirmed by NASA.

Update from spaceref: NASA has rescheduled Endeavour’s launch for April 29.

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