Category: Space

Indian start-up eyes Moon Rover mission in the Google Lunar XPrize competition

Google Lunar XPrize Team Indus India

Google Lunar XPrize Team Indus rover

India’s small startup Team Indus, founded by IIT Delhi students headed by Rahul Narayan has won the major chunk of Google Lunar XPrize, a global competition aiming to land robotic spacecraft on the surface of Moon by December 31, 2016. Competing against other established groups who have vast experience in the field of robotics and space exploration, the India’s team won $1 million for the lander category, which apparently is the most complex piece of the rover destined for Moon. The Bangalore-based team has also been short-listed for imaging system and the prize was handed to Narayan and his team at an event in the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
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Space footage shot with smartphone from Earth’s stratosphere

Colin Furze footage of space from earth stratosphere

Colin Furze never seizes to surprise us with his out of the box inventions that are definitely geeky. Right from the jet powered bike to the weaponized tuk tuk. Colin keeps coming up with unique ways to surprise his followers, and believe you me, we just love his creations. After spilling his madness on planet Earth, now Colin has gone beyond the horizon to shoot the first ever video of space from stratosphere, the second layer of atmosphere.
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Lunar Mission One looking to drill moon’s surface to reveal new secrets

Lunar Mission One robotic moon lander

Lunar Mission One robotic moon lander

Those of you who are interested in astronomy and fascinated by the Apollo Moon landing mission, here is your one-off chance to make history. A project is up on Kickstarter that goes by the name Lunar Mission One which plans to send an unmanned robotic landing module to the South Pole of the Moon. After successfully landing on the uninhibited moon surface the probe will attempt to drill the surface to the depth of at-least 20m and to a maximum of 100m. This will give the chance to discover geological composition of the Moon and understand the evolution of solar system in greater detail.
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First ever 3D Printed rocket-powered aircraft is ready for a space ride

world’s first 3D printed rocket by LOHAN team

With NASA already investing in 3D printed metal rocket parts for their space ventures, technology magazine The Register along with bunch of enthusiasts are itself preparing to launch the world’s first 3D printed rocket into the space. Built by 30 committed volunteers of the company including aeronautical engineers and with the help of interested readers around the globe, it took four years to build the rocket. The project is sponsored by Exasol AG, a German data analytics firm and is titled “Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator,” or for short LOHAN.
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Astronauts won’t look bloated thanks to the Shrink-wrapping spacesuits

MIT shrink wrapping spacesuits

Surviving in outer space is not that easy as the astronauts have to cope up with changing atmospheric pressures and gravity level. To handle atmospheric pressure levels astronauts wear spacesuits with mechanical pressure produced by gas. But that could be soon changing as researchers at MIT headed by Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems have come up with the Shrink-wrapping spacesuits that will eliminate the need to wear bulky spacesuits. These spacesuits behave like second skin as it is a compression garment made-up of small spring-like coils and passive elastics that contract when exposed to heat.
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DIY: Stargaze with the cheap yet powerful Pikon 3D printed telescope

3D printed telescope by University of Sheffiled

Those of you who are interested in astronomy, and the mystery of this galaxy never seizes to amaze you, just by looking at the seamless sea of stars up above, telescope is the best tool to have. Those who can afford to buy expensive telescopes get lucky enough to have a closer view of the celestial bodies and take some pictures. But those who can’t afford expensive telescopes can just hope to buy them some day. That is about to change as researchers at the University of Sheffiled, UK have managed to 3D print a telescope called Pikon using cheap, basic material that is accessible to anyone.
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NASA engineer is building 3D printed space cameras

3D printed space camera

NASA and its engineers have made good use of the 3D printing technology in the past. Moving further ahead, now an engineer from NASA is working on world’s first 3D printed space cameras. All set to be complete by the end of September, it is the first attempt by anyone to build an entire instrument with 3D printing according to the NASA aerospace engineer Jason Budinoff. Funded by Goddard’s Internal Research and Development (IRAD) program, the project by Budinoff involves construction of two 3D printed devices: 50-millimeter (2-inch) camera and a 350-millimeter (14-inch) dual-channel telescope.
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NASA teams up with Google for smart space robots

NASA and Google's Project Tango

NASA has collaborated with Google to increase the efficiency of its space robots. Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA’s Ames Research Center is sending Google smartphones with next-generation 3D-sensing technology to outer space for increasing the capabilities of flying SPHERE robots. The smartphones powered by Google’s Project Tango are fixed onto the ball-shaped hovering robots to increase their functionality. The volleyball-sized free-flying robots, known as SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental satellites) are designed to act as mobile assistant for the astronauts at the International Space Station.
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Japan’s Beverage Company to put world’s first billboard ad on Moon

pocari sweat on moon

With a vision to do a world’s first, Japanese beverage maker Otsuka is set to become the first company ever to have a commercial product delivered to the moon for marketing purpose. Otsuka is slated to send a titanium can packed with Pocari Sweat powder. The specially designed can weighing 2.2 pounds will function as a small billboard for the company on the earth’s closest celestial neighbor. The can will be filled with powdered sports drink, which becomes a non-carbonated, citrus flavored energy drink on being mixed with liquid.  

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Japanese Astronaut creates spectacular spiral light paintings aboard ISS

Spiral Top spiral light painting on Internatianal Space Station

If you are an astronaut, and on a mission that requires you to be up in some station for days or even months, there can be times when you don’t do much. There is nothing much to pass your time when you are not amidst a task on-board the station and it can get boring at times. But creativity knocks your head even in zero gravity as one astronaut proved it. Astronaut Koichi Wakata decided to get his creative hat on a-board the International Space Station and made light paintings that you or I cannot make on Earth. Free from any gravity pulling things down, Koichi used a Spiral Top device created by Takuro Osaka which has a tendency to spin around in zero gravity to come up with random patterns. So take a jump and have look at the mesmerizing spiral light paintings created by Koichi Wakata on International Space Station.
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