All posts tagged: SpaceX

Human missions to Mars in doubt after astronaut kidney shrinkage revealed

Human missions to Mars in doubt after astronaut kidney shrinkage revealed

[ad_1] Human missions to Mars could be at risk after new research revealed that long-duration space travel can impact the structure of astronauts’ kidneys. Samples from more than 40 space missions involving humans and mice revealed that kidneys are remodelled by the conditions in space, with certain parts showing signs of shrinkage after less than a month in space. The findings could jeopardise plans by SpaceX and Nasa to send crewed missions to Mars in the coming decades, with SpaceX boss Elon Musk recently claiming that it could be possible within the next “10 to 20 years”. SpaceX created a five minute animation demonstrating what a crewed trip to Mars aboard a Starship rocket might look like (SpaceX) Scientists at University College London (UCL), who carried out the study, said that microgravity and galactic radiation from space flight caused serious health risks to emerge the longer a person is exposed to it. Future missions to Mars were not ruled out, though the scientists said that measures to protect the kidneys would need to be developed …

Boeing Starliner launches first crewed space flight on third try

Boeing Starliner launches first crewed space flight on third try

[ad_1] Boeing on Wednesday launched its very first astronauts bound for the International Space Station aboard a Starliner capsule, which joins a select club of spacecraft to carry humans beyond Earth. Issued on: 05/06/2024 – 03:37Modified: 05/06/2024 – 17:04 3 min The third time turned out to be the charm for the aerospace giant, after two previous bids to fly with crew were aborted late into the countdown, for technical reasons. Astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, both of whom have two previous spaceflights under their belts, blasted off at 10:52 am (1452 GMT) from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, for a roughly one-week stay at the station. “Suni and I are honored to share this dream of spaceflight with each and every one of you,” Wilmore, who is commander of the test flight, said just before liftoff. “Let’s put some fire in this rocket, and let’s push it to the heavens.” Read moreEngine cover falls off Boeing 737 in latest safety scare Starliner becomes just the sixth type of US-built spaceship …

Space Tourists Announce Plan to Climb Out of SpaceX Spacecraft and Ghostride the Whip

Space Tourists Announce Plan to Climb Out of SpaceX Spacecraft and Ghostride the Whip

[ad_1] Whoa. Ghostride the Whip SpaceX is planning to make history by enabling the first entirely commercial spacewalk. During this summer’s Polaris Dawn mission, a crew of four space tourists is planning to don SpaceX’s brand-new extravehicular activity (EVA) suit to venture outside of the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, giving them once-in-a-lifetime views of the Earth below. “It’s the first commercial EVA,” said commander Jared Isaacman during a discussion on X-formerly-Twitter. “It’s the first time you don’t have government astronauts undertaking such a mission.” “And that’s important because we are going to get to the moon or Mars someday,” he added. “We’re going to have to get out of our vehicles, out of the safety of a habitat and explore, and build and repair things.” Open the Pod Bay Doors Isaacman, a billionaire entrepreneur and trained fighter jet pilot, was the commander of the first all-civilian mission into space, which saw a crew of four circle the Earth inside a Crew Dragon spacecraft in September 2021. The Polaris program he’s funding is made up of three …

SpaceX Reveals Spacesuit With Heads-Up Display Inside Helmet

SpaceX Reveals Spacesuit With Heads-Up Display Inside Helmet

[ad_1] Now that’s what we’re talking about. Space Suit Riot SpaceX has shown off a futuristic-looking new extravehicular activity (EVA) spacesuit designed to allow space tourists to venture outside of the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft in orbit — and it’s decked out in the latest cutting-edge tech. The suit will make its first appearance during this summer’s Polaris Dawn mission, which will see a crew of four space tourists stepping out of the capsule to go for a spacewalk. The suit is astonishingly slim compared to the bulky suits we’ve become accustomed to that allow astronauts to venture outside spacecraft like the International Space Station. The EVA suit’s helmet is made of 3D-printed parts and a visor. It also features a new Heads-Up Display (HUD) and camera that allow astronauts to keep track of the suit’s pressure, temperature, and relative humidity without having to glance down at their wrists or take their gaze away from the Earth below. It can also show a mission clock to gauge the duration of various EVA tasks. In short, …

Head of NASA Says He Trusts SpaceX Because Someone Other Than Elon Musk Is Running It

Head of NASA Says He Trusts SpaceX Because Someone Other Than Elon Musk Is Running It

[ad_1] “I have no concerns.” Get Owned NASA has hedged many of its bets on SpaceX despite its controversial and majorly overworked owner — and as the agency’s director now suggests, that’s mainly because Elon Musk isn’t running it. In an interview with NPR, NASA director Bill Nelson gave a fascinating and telling answer when asked about Musk’s ownership of the spaceflight firm that enjoys tens of billions of dollars in government contracts. “Elon Musk’s decision-making has come under a lot of scrutiny in recent years when it comes to some of his other companies, Twitter and Tesla,” interviewer Scott Detrow asked. “Are you concerned that so much of this plan is in the hands of Elon Musk at this point in time?” “Elon Musk… one of the most important decisions he made, as a matter of fact, is he picked a president named Gwynne Shotwell,” Nelson demurred. “She runs SpaceX. She is excellent. And so I have no concerns.” Cause For Concern This isn’t the first time the NASA director and former Florida senator has …

Boeing’s Starliner Is Finally Ready to Launch a NASA Crew Into Space

Boeing’s Starliner Is Finally Ready to Launch a NASA Crew Into Space

[ad_1] “It fits in with the general narrative of Boeing having lost its way,” says McDowell. Starliner, like Crew Dragon, is a capsule-shaped spacecraft like the Apollo missions of old. Capable of carrying up to seven astronauts, the craft is largely autonomous, requiring major input only in the event of an emergency. During the test mission beginning tonight, Wilmore and Williams will test out this eventuality, purposefully pointing the spacecraft off course to ensure they can manually get it back on track, as well as assessing the spacecraft’s general life support and navigation systems. While docked to the space station, the vehicle will be put through further tests, including practicing using it as a lifeboat in case astronauts needed to evacuate the ISS. Starliner is reusable, with Boeing saying it can be flown on up to 10 missions. The spacecraft sports no toilet—unlike Crew Dragon—and has about the same livable volume as an SUV, making for a relatively cozy rise to and from orbit. It has physical hand controls and switches for the astronauts to …

SpaceX reveals new sleek spacesuits ahead of upcoming historic mission

SpaceX reveals new sleek spacesuits ahead of upcoming historic mission

[ad_1] SpaceX has revealed its new Extravehicular Activity (EVA) suits that could make their low-Earth orbital debut by summer’s end. The new uniform is described as an evolution of the spacesuits currently worn by astronauts aboard Dragon missions, which are designed solely for remaining within pressurized environments. In contrast, the EVA suits will allow astronauts to work both within and outside their capsule as needed thanks to a number of advancements in materials fabrication, joint design, enhanced redundancy safeguards, as well as the integration of a helmet visor heads up display (HUD). Announced over the weekend, the SpaceX EVA suits will be worn by the four crewmembers scheduled to comprise the Polaris Program’s first mission, Polaris Dawn. First launched in 2022, the Polaris Program is a joint venture through SpaceX intended to “rapidly advance human spaceflight capabilities,” according to its website. Targeted for no earlier than summer 2024, Polaris Dawn will mark the first commercial spacewalk, as well as the first spacewalk to simultaneously include four astronauts. While making history outside their Dragon capsule, the …

Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft to launch first crewed mission

Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft to launch first crewed mission

[ad_1] Boeing’s first crewed mission of its Starliner spacecraft is set to launch Monday night, a milestone for the aerospace manufacturer. The Starliner is scheduled to lift off at about 10:30 p.m. Monday, weather permitting, carrying two NASA astronauts. The Crew Flight Test will be the first time Boeing’s aerospace efforts carry people into space after a decade of development. Boeing hopes the Starliner can take the astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), and plans to rival commercial spacecraft offerings from SpaceX, which has dominated private spaceflight for years. NASA’s Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore will be on board for Monday’s launch, planning to spend a week at the ISS. The test flight will also see the astronauts take the craft through a series of careful maneuvers to push its capabilities. A successful mission would be a massive success for Boeing, which has consistently fallen behind SpaceX since both companies were selected for commercial space flights in 2014. SpaceX has operated nine crewed missions so far, while Boeing has only run two unmanned flights. …

Boeing prepares to launch its first crewed spacecraft as it chases after SpaceX

Boeing prepares to launch its first crewed spacecraft as it chases after SpaceX

[ad_1] Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is scheduled to make its first flight into space with astronauts on May 6, 2024. This flight and a few others will take place take under contract with Nasa, as part of a programme to transport astronauts from Earth to the International Space Station (ISS) and back. Following years of delays, a successful flight would provide the United States with a second operational spacecraft to carry astronauts to low-Earth orbit, after SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. Having two different spacecraft available provides a back-up option if something should go wrong with one of them. So it will secure access to space for astronauts from American soil. While Starliner will be flying to the ISS for now, it could eventually make trips to future commercial space stations, like that being built by Houston-based company Axiom Space. Getting to space has never been easy, however. In the case of Starliner, that is something of an understatement. The project began back in 2010 as part of Nasa’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) when Boeing, along with SpaceX, …

SpaceX Employees Getting Wounded at Incredible Rates

SpaceX Employees Getting Wounded at Incredible Rates

[ad_1] “NASA should be concerned.” Space Wrecks Working in manufacturing always comes with occupational hazards, but according to a new review, those who work at SpaceX’s facilities experience injuries at rates far higher than industry averages. Per a Reuters analysis, SpaceX’s launch-and-manufacturing facilities had between five and nine times as many injuries as would be typical last year. The news wire’s analysis came from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s 2023 newly released records from SpaceX, the most comprehensive yet from the Elon Musk-owned company that builds rockets for NASA. In 2022, Reuters notes, the company only gave injury reports from five facilities, and before that, it didn’t provide any records of the kind at all, which makes it hard to parse just how longstanding the issue is. At SpaceX’s facility in Brownsville, Texas, for instance, the company reported 5.9 injuries per 100 workers in 2023, up from 4.8 in 2022. A unit that retrieves its spent rocket boosters from the Pacific Ocean, meanwhile, had 7.6 injuries per 100 employees, which is more than nine …