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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”

Nasa’s new shortcut to fusion power

PHYSICISTS FIRST SUSPECTED more than a century ago that the fusing of hydrogen into helium powers the sun. It took researchers many years to unravel the secrets by which lighter elements are smashed together into heavier ones inside stars, releasing energy in the process. And scientists and engineers have continued to study the sun’s fusionContinue reading “Nasa’s new shortcut to fusion power”

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”