Seeing space from a balloon

March 23, 2009

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4 students and their teacher proved that you don’t need Google’s billions or the BBC weather centre’s resources to get to the stratosphere.

Building the electronic sensor components from scratch they managed to send their heavy duty £43 latex balloon to the edge of space and take photos and readings of its ascent.

They took some pretty cool pictures that you can see here.

I found this first here, but you can get some more information here.


Urine recycling equipment passes tests

November 27, 2008

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After five days of ill-fated attempts, International Space Station (ISS) astronauts today ran two successful tests of equipment on board designed to turn urine, sweat and moisture from the air into drinking water.

NASA now must decide whether the contraption, deemed essential for hydration of future astronauts traveling farther out into space.

you can read more here, but honestly would you dare to be the one that drinks first?


Spaceship "force field" could protect astronauts on trip to Mars

November 6, 2008

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A few researchers focusing on making the trip to Mars a bit more bearable (and survivable) for us humans, and a group from a consortium of different institutions now say they’ve made some real progress on that front.

Their idea is to use a portable "mini-magnetosphere," which would protect a spacecraft from harmful solar storms and cosmic rays in much the same way the Earth’s magnetosphere naturally protects the planet. That is actually an idea that has been around for decades, and was shown last year to be at least theoretically possible, but it has only now been taken beyond the realm of computer simulations.

That was apparently possible thanks to the use of an unspecified "apparatus originally built to work on fusion," which allowed researchers to recreate "a tiny piece of the Solar Wind" and confirm that a small "hole" in the wind would indeed be all that would d be necessary to keep astronauts safe.

I can’t wait – but of course the leap from the lab to an actual spacecraft is still a bit off.

You can read more here.


Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display creates haptic 3D objects you can poke

September 5, 2008

the University of Tokyo have come up with a way to use focused ultrasound to create manipulable virtual objects in space. Using multiple transducers, the “Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display” creates an acoustic radiation pressure field. Holding your hand in the field allows you to “feel” the object, manipulate it, and feel response.

 

Right now, the system only creates a vertical field, but you had better bet that Iwamoto is working on that.


Finally, the future is here!!

June 26, 2008

Mission Impossible: Astronauts will launch a paper plane from the International Space Station.

Finally, the Japanese have revealed plans to launch a heat-resistant version from the international space station and track its descent at up to 15,200mph.
All i can say is – about freakin’ time!!

Read the rest here.