Boeing, Air Peace Announce Order for 10 737 MAX Airplanes - Sep 13, 2018

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Scientists sketch out the foundations of a colony on Mars

Press release


07.09.18 - EPFL scientists have mapped out the steps required to build a self-sustaining research base on Mars that would be habitable for the long term. Their work can help researchers set priorities for space programs exploring Mars as well as the solar system as a whole.

If there was ever life on Mars, its traces are most likely to be found at the planet's poles. Or more specifically, in its polar layered deposits, which are layers of ice and dust that have built up over thousands of years. So, according to a team of EPFL scientists, the poles would be the most logical place to set up a research base and, potentially, colonies. This team has mapped out a step-by-step strategy along with the required technology to build a research base on Mars that would be self-sustaining and that could accommodate a long-term manned presence. The results of their work will soon be published in Acta Astronautica and is being presented today at the Entretiens Internationaux du Tourisme du Futur conference in Vixouze, France.

"The poles may pose more challenges in the beginning, but they are the best location for the long term since they harbor natural resources that we may be able to use," says Anne-Marlene Rüede, lead author of the study and a student minoring in Space Technology at EPFL's Space Engineering Center (eSpace). And even though the scientists are thinking well into the future – colonies that would be developed over several generations – they still went into great detail in their design. "We wanted to develop a strategy based on technologies that have been selected accordingly and outline a test scenario so that 20 years from now, astronauts will be able to carry out this kind of space mission," she adds.

First the base, then the crew

The EPFL scientists' strategy involves sending a six-person crew to Mars' north pole during the polar summer, to take advantage of the 288 days of continuous light, and then return them safely to Earth. The first novel element of their strategy is that it would take place in two phases. First, robots would be sent up to build a minimal living space for the crew and to test the natural resources available on site. Then the crew would be brought in. This approach would minimize the payload that space shuttles would have to carry and make the mission as safe as possible for the crew members. However, engineers have yet to develop rockets that can handle 110 metric tons of equipment.

So that the research base can sustain a manned presence for nine months – and eventually even longer – the plan is to make maximum use of the natural resources found on Mars, first and foremost water. The discovery of ice at the poles means the base could theoretically produce water, oxygen and nitrogen – compounds essential for human life. Other chemicals in Mars' air (especially CO2) and soil (like silicon, iron, aluminum and sulfur) could potentially be used to make materials such as bricks, glass and plastic, or even fuels like hydrogen and methanol. All that would make the research base self-sustaining for the long haul.

But initially, vital resources like food and energy will have to be shuttled up from Earth. These might include freeze-dried food, a thorium reactor and batteries.

A 3-meter-thick igloo

The research base would consist of three modules: a central core, capsules and a dome. The central core would be 12.5 meters high and 5 meters in diameter, and would house the minimal living space as well as everything the crew needed to live. The three capsules would be built around the minimal living space and serve as airlocks between that space and the exterior. Robots would set up these structures during the first phase of the mission. The dome would cover the entire base and would be made of polyethylene fiber covered with a three-meter thick layer of ice – creating a kind of igloo. The dome would also represent an additional living space, provide a second barrier to protect the crew against radiation and micrometeoroids, and help keep the pressure constant inside the base.

An orbit crane system

Another innovation in the scientists' plan is to create a crane system that would orbit around Mars and be launched during the second mission. This system would serve as a transfer point between space shuttles coming up from Earth and the research base on Mars. A special crane vehicle designed by the scientists would offload equipment from space shuttles onto Mars' surface. "The crane vehicle could be reused several times and would be powered by fuel produced on Mars. It would reduce the payload that space shuttles would have to carry up to the research base," says Claudio Leonardi, another scientist involved in the study. "The vehicle's docking system would be similar to that used on the International Space Station: once a shuttle was docked, the vehicle would unload the cargo and crew and set them down on Mars." What makes their vehicle design unique is that the engines are located above the vehicle's center of gravity and that the vehicle can be used for six missions. The fuel for the ascent would be made in situ and that for the descent would come from Earth.

"We would need to conduct an initial mission to try everything out for the first time. And the better that initial mission is thought out, the faster we will be able to get things going and move on to colonization," says Anne-Marlene Rüede. In reality, the scientists have not taken a stance on the prospect of colonizing Mars. But one of the key benefits of this research is that the systems it envisions could be used for robotic missions in general, whether Martian, lunar, terrestrial or otherwise.

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Scientists sketch out the foundations of a colony on Mars

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Typhoon Mangkhut: Millions in path of 'monster' storm

Super Typhoon Mangkhut has gathered strength as it barrels towards the Philippines, weather officials say. The storm is now packing winds of 255 km/h (160 mph) and officials say more than five million people are directly in its path. Last-minute preparations are under way before it makes landfall...

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Enviado a través de Flipboard

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Silicon Valley Takes a (Careful) Step Toward Autonomous Flying - The New York Times

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HP launches Metal Jet 3D printing technology for mass production



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HP launches Metal Jet 3D printing technology for mass production // Gizmag Emerging Technology Magazine
https://newatlas.com/hp-metal-jet-3d-printing-production/56315/

Desktop Metal might have set the ball rolling back in 2017, but it seems HP is getting very serious about 3D metal printing at industrial volumes and automotive-grade production quality. The technology is called HP Metal Jet, it's 50 times faster and significantly cheaper than existing methods, and pilot programs are already underway.

.. Continue Reading HP launches Metal Jet 3D printing technology for mass production

Category: 3D Printing

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3D Printers

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NORAD Released A Photo Of A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Shadowing A Russian Tu-95MS Bear Bomber During Intercept Off Alaska



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NORAD Released A Photo Of A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Shadowing A Russian Tu-95MS Bear Bomber During Intercept Off Alaska // The Aviationist
https://theaviationist.com/2018/09/13/norad-released-a-photo-of-a-u-s-air-force-f-22-raptor-shadowing-a-russian-tu-95ms-bear-bomber-during-intercept-off-alaska/

This time the Bear bombers were escorted by Su-35 jets. On Sept. 11, at approximately 10 PM EDT, two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter jets "positively identified and intercepted two Russian Tu-95MS A"Bear-H" bombers west of Alaska. Nothing special then, considered that a similar intercept had occurred on Sept. 1. However, this time the Russian […]
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Chinese FTC-2000G Combat-Trainer Jet Aircraft Enters Production

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Vertical Aerospace - Full scale eVTOL aircraft - 2018 - YouTube

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0igN2C6Si5s

Vertical Aerospace is building technology to revolutionise how people fly, with the ultimate aim of making intercity air travel personal, on-demand and carbon free. The Bristol-based startup has built and flown the UK's first full scale fully electric vertical take off and landing aircraft. Its unmanned technology demonstrator aircraft weighs 750kg and flew across Cotswold Airport in Kemble, Gloucestershire in June 2018 as part of the company's flight test programme.

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Interjet in talks with Sukhoi to sell SSJ100 fleet



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Interjet in talks with Sukhoi to sell SSJ100 fleet // Flight Global HEADLINES
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/interjet-in-talks-with-sukhoi-to-sell-ssj100-fleet-451843/

Mexico's Interjet is in talks with Sukhoi to sell its Superjet 100 fleet, following a series of maintenance issues over the aircraft's five years of service at the airline.
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ANALYSIS: US Air Force eyes adoption of ‘Loyal Wingman’ UAVs



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ANALYSIS: US Air Force eyes adoption of 'Loyal Wingman' UAVs // Flight Global HEADLINES
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/analysis-us-air-force-eyes-adoption-of-loyal-wingm-451383/

Stretched thin by operations across the globe and new threats from adversaries such as China and Russia, the US Air Force is experimenting with an idea to fill the gaps in America s fighter squadrons. The so-called Loyal Wingman concept to deploy semi-autonomous unmanned air vehicles may radically change the way the service fights.
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Crashed Drone Recovered Out Of The Atlantic Ocean



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Crashed Drone Recovered Out Of The Atlantic Ocean // Aero-News Network
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=5c199eee-7adb-4bf4-9441-e0bdeb1e2dda

RQ-4 Global Hawk Went Down Off The Coast Of Spain In Late June A U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk that went down off the coast of Spain in June has been recovered from the Atlantic Ocean. The announcement by the U.S. military follows two months of silence from officials concerning the accident.
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Airbus UTM Blueprint: The roadmap for the safe integration of autonomous aircraft.

domingo, 9 de septiembre de 2018

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