Thursday, January 12, 2017

State of the Art of Small Spacecraft Technology

State of the Art of Small Spacecraft Technology
Nasa, 12 January 2017

This website provides an overview of the current state of the art of small spacecraft technology. It was first commissioned by NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program (SSTP) in mid-2013 in response to the rapid growth in interest in using small spacecraft for many types of missions in Earth orbit and beyond, and further revised in mid-2015. In 2016 the decision was taken to migrate from a written report to an online website.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Making space rocket fuel from water could drive a power revolution on Earth

Making space rocket fuel from water could drive a power revolution on Earth
Phys.Org, 28 September 2016

Researchers led by NASA's former chief technologist are hoping to launch a satellite carrying water as the source of its fuel. The team from Cornell University, guided by Mason Peck, want their device to become the first shoebox-sized "CubeSat" to orbit the moon, while demonstrating the potential of water as a source of spacecraft fuel. It's a safe, stable substance that's relatively common even in space, but could also find greater use here on Earth as we search for alternatives to fossil fuels.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Small Turbopump Research: Satellite Propellant Pump Research

Satellite Propellant Pump Research
NASA NTRS, Nov 01, 2005

NASA Glenn initiated a satellite propellant pump technology demonstration program. The goal was to demonstrate the technologies for a 60 percent efficient pump at 1 gpm flow rate and 500 psia pressure rise. The pump design and analysis used the in-house developed computer codes named PUMPA and HPUMP3D. The requirements lead to a 4-stage impeller type pump design with a tip diameter of 0.54 inches and a rotational speed of 57,000 rpm. Analyses indicated that flow cavitation was not a problem in the design. Since the flow was incompressible, the stages were identical. Only the 2-stage pump was designed, fabricated, assembled, and tested for demonstration. Water was selected as the surrogate fluid for hydrazine in this program. Complete mechanical design including stress and dynamic analyses were conducted. The pump was driven by an electric motor directly coupled to the impellers. Runs up to 57,000 rpm were conducted, where a pressure rise of 200 psia at a flow rate of 0.8 gpm was measured to validate the design effort.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Race to Build a Smaller Rocket

The Race to Build a Smaller Rocket
Science Friday, 19 August 2016

There’s a new space race afoot. You may not have heard of it because the competition is so much smaller than the one that took place between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s. And this time around, NASA isn’t even a contestant. Today’s space race is playing out among private companies competing to build tiny rockets.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Small Innovative Launcher for Europe

Small Innovative Launcher for Europe, 5 August 2016

The objectives of the SMILE project are to design a concept for an innovative, cost-effective European launcher for small satellites up to 50 kg and a Europe-based launch facility at And√łya, Norway. SMILE targets both the market for education and in-orbit demonstration, and commercial, scientific and governmental missions. It is Europe’s ambition to gain independent access to space for small satellites.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Video: James Logan, MD - Living on Mars

James Logan, MD - Living on Mars
YouTube, Jan 26, 2016

Titled: Living on Mars: Medical Realities of the Red Planet (or any other virtually airless celestial body with no magnetosphere). This fascinating video highlights problems humans will face in living long term in space.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

In fact: After reuse trial, long flight ahead

In fact: After reuse trial, long flight ahead
Indian Express, 27 May 2016

The excitement over the success of the RLV is deserved, but ISRO has done this twice before. The cost benefits of a reusable launch vehicle remain uncertain, and the challenges before ISRO huge.