Applied Technotopia

We scan the digital environment to examine the leading trends in emerging technology today to know more about future.

We have added a few indices around the site. Though we look to the future, we need to keep an eye on the present as well:

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Posts tagged "space exploration"

Rosetta stirs!



After a journey of 10 years, of which 31 month spend in hibernation, ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta has officially woken up. The radio signal transmitted from the ‘comet chaser’ was received by ESOC, Germany tonight at 7:18PM GMT. 

Rosetta is designed to land on an actual flying comet, the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, to gather information on how comets behave and possibly find clues to the formation of the Solar System.

Rosetta is now about 673 million kilometers away from the Sun, and radio signals take up to 50 minutes to arrive. The spacecraft operates in a similar way as the Mars lander, Curiosity. Once Rosetta’s lander, Philae, has been successfully put on the comets surface in November, it will send the same HD pictures as those taken from Mars’ surface (but they will not be 3D).

Yay! Congrats to everyone involved! :)

(via placeofpluto)

The Phobos-Grunt mission - take 2!

Russia is set to launch a probe to the Martian moon Phobos by 2022, the head of the Russian Space Research Institute has revealed. The renewal of the ambitious program, which includes taking samples of the moon’s soil, comes despite previous failure. (via Phobos-Grunt-2: Russia to probe Martian moon by 2022)

A look at India`s first Mars mission which was scheduled for 28 October (But currently delayed with no confirmed launch date).

Infographic: How India's Mars Orbiter works.
Source All about our solar system, outer space and exploration.

Russia`s plans for a post ISS era.


Russia may build its own space station after 2020 

Russian space officials say Russia may build its own orbital space station after 2020. The project will be given the go-ahead in the event Russia’s partners on the International Space Station fail to agree to extend the useful life of the ISS.

A new orbital station of Russia is under consideration. Apart from doing research, it will assemble interplanetary expedition complexes for missions to the Moon, Mars and Lagrangian points.

The Multirole Laboratory Module (MLM) is supposed to be connected to the ISS in 2014 although the project has been experiencing certain problems. The MLM, two research and power modules, the node and, possibly, the ISS service module will make up a national orbital station to operate during the period from 2020 until 2040.

 In 1986, the Soviet Union became the first country to build a permanent space station. Russia’s space station, the Mir, ended its life in 2001, when it was sent to its watery grave in the Central Pacific.

Image Credit: NASA

A quick look at how astronauts suits work. [Hopefully we are back on track again after a hiatus - Lee]

Infographic: How space suits keep astronauts alive.
Source All about our solar system, outer space and exploration.

A great look at 3d printing for lunar operations. [Greetings! I have returned from vacation in Chile and our regular program of posts will resume of the next few days - Lee]


Printing the Moon - 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) holds amazing promise in reducing what it takes to create … anything. That is especially true in environments without established industrial infrastructure. The ability to transport a minimal self-contained set of tools to a remote location, combine it with a power source, and then transform local raw material into useable technology, may be the most powerful application of 3D printing ever envisioned. And few other locations are as remote as the surface of another celestial body like our planet’s moon.

Industrial partners including renowned architects Foster + Partners have joined with ESA to test the feasibility of 3D printing using lunar soil. Foster + Partners devised a weight-bearing ‘catenary’ dome design with a cellular structured wall to shield against micrometeoroids and space radiation, incorporating a pressurised inflatable to shelter astronauts. A hollow closed-cell structure – reminiscent of bird bones – provides a good combination of strength and weight.

The base’s design was guided in turn by the properties of 3D-printed lunar soil, with a 1.5 tonne building block produced as a demonstration. The UK’s Monolite supplied the D-Shape printer, with a mobile printing array of nozzles on a 6 meter frame to spray a binding solution onto a sand-like building material. “First, we needed to mix the simulated lunar material with magnesium oxide. This turns it into ‘paper’ we can print with,” explained Monolite founder Enrico Dini. “Then for our structural ‘ink’ we apply a binding salt which converts material to a stone-like solid.

An interesting launch.


Japan's Rocket Launch Was Totally On The Cheap

Yesterday the Japanese space agency Jaxa successfully launched the Epsilon rocket, which is carrying a telescope, Sprint-A, for planetary observation. Jaxa was able to complete the launch for about $37 million, half the cost of previous Jaxa rockets and cheap compared to an average $450 million NASA launch.via Gizmodo