August 2004

Hubble and the Solar Wind

August 13, 2004

The Hubble Space Telescope has given us no end of gorgeous astronomical photographs. This one is of an enormous cavity of gas carved out by the stellar wind from the nebula N44f; the image comes from the ESA/Hubble Information Centre. You’re looking at what happens when a cloud of gas is inflated by fast-moving particles […]

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Interplanetary Networking Takes Another Step

August 12, 2004

Although using older protocols, NASA and ESA demonstrated how interplanetary networking will change space exploration by linking one of the Mars rovers (Opportunity) to ESA’s Mars Express orbiter. Both spacecraft were using the Proximity-1 protocol developed by the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems, which has worked for years on standardizing methods of transmitting data […]

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Antimatter Research at Marshall Space Flight Center

August 12, 2004

On my visit to MSFC in Huntsville last summer, I was able to tour the Propulsion Research Center, where antimatter research is continuing, with the focus on HiPat (High Performance AntiProton Trap), an antimatter containment device capable of holding a trillion antiprotons. This article on Space.com (I hope you’re using a popup blocker) gives an […]

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Why Dream of Centauri?

August 4, 2004

Tracking Research into Deep Space Exploration Alpha Centauri and other nearby stars seem impossible destinations not just for manned missions but even for robotic probes like Cassini or Galileo. Nonetheless, serious work on propulsion, communications, long-life electronics and spacecraft autonomy continues at NASA, ESA and many other venues, some in academia, some in private industry. […]

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