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DARPA moving forward with DRACO nuclear thermal engine

Early last month, DARPA issued an RFP for the next phase of their Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) nuclear thermal engine program. This follows on their selection, one year ago, of an early engine design by General Atomics and two spacecraft concepts from Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin. Now they’re moving on toContinue reading “DARPA moving forward with DRACO nuclear thermal engine”

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Four Years On, New Experiment Sees No Sign of ‘Cosmic Dawn’

When astronomers tried to confirm a signal from the birth of the first stars after the Big Bang, they saw nothing. In 2018, astronomers operating an antenna called EDGES in the Australian outback reported that radio waves of a particular frequency were significantly dimmer than other waves coming from the night sky. The finding, publishedContinue reading “Four Years On, New Experiment Sees No Sign of ‘Cosmic Dawn’”

Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are already merging

The image above shows how the neighboring Andromeda galaxy occupies about the width of six moon-diameters on our sky’s dome. But, of course, the galaxy isn’t nearly this bright. You need a dark sky to see it, and, even then, it’s a barely visible fuzzy patch of light. In order to appear as bright asContinue reading “Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are already merging”

Space anemia is tied to being in the void and can stick around awhile

Space isn’t easy on humans. Some aspects are avoidable—the vacuum, of course, and the cold, as well as some of the radiation. Astronauts can also lose bone density, thanks to a lack of gravity. NASA has even created a fun acronym for the issues: RIDGE, which stands for space radiation, isolation and confinement, distance fromContinue reading “Space anemia is tied to being in the void and can stick around awhile”