fbpx
Connect with us

Science

NASA, DARPA Will Test Nuclear Engine for Future Mars Missions

Published

on

Artist concept of Demonstration for Rocket to Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) spacecraft, which will demonstrate a nuclear thermal rocket engine. Nuclear thermal propulsion technology could be used for future NASA crewed missions to Mars.
Credits: DARPA

NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced Tuesday a collaboration to demonstrate a nuclear thermal rocket engine in space, an enabling capability for NASA crewed missions to Mars.

NASA and DARPA will partner on the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations, or DRACO, program. The non-reimbursable agreement designed to benefit both agencies, outlines roles, responsibilities, and processes aimed at speeding up development efforts. 

“NASA will work with our long-term partner, DARPA, to develop and demonstrate advanced nuclear thermal propulsion technology as soon as 2027. With the help of this new technology, astronauts could journey to and from deep space faster than ever – a major capability to prepare for crewed missions to Mars,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Congratulations to both NASA and DARPA on this exciting investment, as we ignite the future, together.”

Using a nuclear thermal rocket allows for faster transit time, reducing risk for astronauts. Reducing transit time is a key component human missions to Mars, as longer trips require more supplies and more robust systems. Maturing faster, more efficient transportation technology will help NASA meet its Moon to Mars Objectives.

Other benefits to space travel include increased science payload capacity and higher power for instrumentation and communication. In a nuclear thermal rocket engine, a fission reactor is used to generate extremely high temperatures. The engine transfers the heat produced by the reactor to a liquid propellant, which is expanded and exhausted through a nozzle to propel the spacecraft. Nuclear thermal rockets can be three or more times more efficient than conventional chemical propulsion.

“NASA has a long history of collaborating with DARPA on projects that enable our respective missions, such as in-space servicing,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. “Expanding our partnership to nuclear propulsion will help drive forward NASA’s goal to send humans to Mars.”

Under the agreement, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) will lead technical development of the nuclear thermal engine to be integrated with DARPA’s experimental spacecraft. DARPA is acting as the contracting authority for the development of the entire stage and the engine, which includes the reactor. DARPA will lead the overall program including rocket systems integration and procurement, approvals, scheduling, and security, cover safety and liability, and ensure overall assembly and integration of the engine with the spacecraft. Over the course of the development, NASA and DARPA will collaborate on assembly of the engine before the in-space demonstration as early as 2027. 

“DARPA and NASA have a long history of fruitful collaboration in advancing technologies for our respective goals, from the Saturn V rocket that took humans to the Moon for the first time to robotic servicing and refueling of satellites,” said Dr. Stefanie Tompkins, director, DARPA. “The space domain is critical to modern commerce, scientific discovery, and national security. The ability to accomplish leap-ahead advances in space technology through the DRACO nuclear thermal rocket program will be essential for more efficiently and quickly transporting material to the Moon and eventually, people to Mars.”

The last nuclear thermal rocket engine tests conducted by the United States occurred more than 50 years ago under NASA’s Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application and Rover projects.

“With this collaboration, we will leverage our expertise gained from many previous space nuclear power and propulsion projects,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for STMD. “Recent aerospace materials and engineering advancements are enabling a new era for space nuclear technology, and this flight demonstration will be a major achievement toward establishing a space transportation capability for an Earth-Moon economy.”

NASA, the Department of Energy (DOE), and industry are also developing advanced space nuclear technologies for multiple initiatives to harness power for space exploration. Through NASA’s Fission Surface Power project, DOE awarded three commercial design efforts to develop nuclear power plant concepts that could be used on the surface of the Moon and, later, Mars.

NASA and DOE are working another commercial design effort to advance higher temperature fission fuels and reactor designs as part of a nuclear thermal propulsion engine. These design efforts are still under development to support a longer-range goal for increased engine performance and will not be used for the DRACO engine. 

To learn more about STMD, please visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/spacetech

https://q5i.09c.myftpupload.com/category/science/

Author


Discover more from Daily News

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Science

NASA’s 5th Biennial Asteroid Threat Exercise: Safeguarding the Planet

NASA’s 5th Biennial Asteroid Threat Exercise simulated responses to a hypothetical asteroid impact threat. Findings and recommendations will be discussed in a virtual media briefing. Protecting our planet is NASA’s mission! #PlanetaryDefense #AsteroidThreatExercise

Published

on

NASA's 5th Biennial Asteroid Threat Exercise - Safeguarding the Planet" virtual media briefing.
Representatives from NASA, FEMA, and the planetary defense community participate in the fifth Planetary Defense Interagency Tabletop Exercise on April 2 and 3, 2024, to discuss the nation’s ability to respond effectively to the threat of a potentially hazardous asteroid or comet. Credits: NASA/JHU-APL/Ed Whitman


NASA, the renowned space agency, recently hosted the fifth biennial Planetary Defense Interagency Tabletop Exercise. This exercise aimed to simulate national and international responses to a hypothetical asteroid impact threat. The outcomes of this event, which took place at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), on April 2 and 3, 2024, will be discussed in a virtual media briefing.

NASA’s Commitment to Planetary Defense:
In collaboration with FEMA and the U.S. Department of State Office of Space Affairs, NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office organized this exercise. The primary objective was to assess our ability as a nation to respond effectively to potential asteroid or comet hazards. This exercise aligns with NASA’s planetary defense strategy, which focuses on protecting our planet and leveraging innovation for the betterment of humanity.

What to Expect at the Virtual Briefing:
Diving into the details of the tabletop exercise, a virtual media briefing will take place on Thursday, June 20, at 3:30 p.m. EDT. The briefing will be led by key participants, each bringing unique perspectives to the topic. Lindley Johnson, NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer Emeritus, Leviticus “L.A.” Lewis, FEMA detailee to NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, and Terik Daly, planetary defense section supervisor at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, will share their insights.

Streaming and Registration Details:
For those interested in witnessing this informative event, the briefing will be streamed live on NASA TV and NASA’s YouTube channel. Media representatives planning to attend the briefing should RSVP to Alise Fisher at alise.m.fisher@nasa.gov no later than two hours before the event. Media accreditation policy can be found on NASA’s website.

The Significance of Simulated Exercises:
While there are no known significant asteroid impact threats in the foreseeable future, these hypothetical exercises play a crucial role in preparing our response capabilities. By conducting these simulations every two years, the United States gains valuable insights into how to effectively respond to a potential asteroid impact threat. This proactive approach ensures that we are adequately equipped in the event of such a crisis.

Notable Inclusions in this Year’s Exercise:
This year’s tabletop exercise was particularly significant as it saw the participation of NASA’s international collaborators in planetary defense. By engaging global partners, NASA aims to enhance and strengthen cooperative efforts to protect our planet. Additionally, the exercise benefited from real data obtained from NASA’s successful DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission. DART is the world’s first space technology demonstration focused on defending Earth against potential asteroid impacts.


Since its establishment in 2016, NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has diligently worked towards managing the agency’s efforts in protecting our planet from asteroid hazards. The outcome of the fifth biennial Planetary Defense Interagency Tabletop Exercise will provide valuable insights and recommendations for future preparedness. Together, with collaborative international efforts and continuous innovation, we can confidently safeguard our planet.

To learn more about planetary defense at NASA, visit: 

https://science.nasa.gov/planetary-defense

Source: NASA

To read more science related articles, visit our Science Section, where you can dive into an array of fascinating topics, discover the latest breakthroughs, and keep up with innovative research. From cutting-edge technology to the awe-inspiring wonders of the natural world, our Science Section has something for every curious mind. Whether you are a seasoned expert or just starting your journey into the realm of science, you’ll find content that piques your interest and expands your knowledge.

Discover in-depth articles, expert interviews, and detailed analyses that delve into the fundamental questions of our universe and beyond. Our writers are dedicated to bringing you the most accurate and up-to-date information, ensuring that your thirst for scientific knowledge is thoroughly quenched.

https://stmdailynews.com/category/science

Authors

  • Rod Washington

    Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

    View all posts
  • Daily News Staff

Want more stories 👋
"Your morning jolt of Inspiring & Interesting Stories!"

Sign up to receive awesome articles directly to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


Discover more from Daily News

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Continue Reading

Space and Tech

NASA Selects Raytheon Company for Landsat Next Mission: Advancing Earth Observing Technologies

Explore NASA’s Landsat Next mission with Raytheon Company, advancing Earth observing technologies for a sustainable future.

Published

on

Image: Landsat Next mission logo - Advancing Earth observing technologies with NASA and Raytheon Company.
a satellite in orbit (3d rendering,this image elements furnished by NASA)

In a recent press release, NASA announced its partnership with the Raytheon Company to provide three instruments and related services for the Landsat Next mission based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The contract, valued at $506.7 million, includes the option for an additional instrument and covers design, engineering analyses, fabrication, testing, delivery, and support for the Landsat Next Instruments.

The Landsat Next mission is a significant component of NASA’s Earth science portfolio, aimed at advancing Earth observing technologies, science, and applications. This next-generation program will build upon the success of previous Landsat missions by continuing the space-based record of Earth’s land surface while significantly enhancing the resolution and quality of data available to the public, government agencies, industry, and academia.

One of the key advancements of the Landsat Next mission is the transition from a single spacecraft to a constellation of three smaller satellites. This new constellation will offer improved temporal, spatial, and spectral resolution, providing researchers and stakeholders with a more comprehensive and detailed understanding of Earth’s land surface dynamics.

The 26-band super-spectral Landsat Next constellation promises to revolutionize existing Landsat applications and unlock new possibilities in various fields. From monitoring water quality and crop production to managing forests and studying climate dynamics, the enhanced capabilities of Landsat Next will support a wide range of applications critical for sustainable land management and environmental conservation.

This mission represents a collaborative effort between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey under the Sustainable Land Imaging Program. By harnessing cutting-edge technology and scientific expertise, Landsat Next aims to more effectively map, monitor, and manage America’s land, water, and coastal resources for the benefit of society and the environment.

In conclusion, the selection of Raytheon Company for the Landsat Next mission marks a significant step forward in advancing Earth observing technologies and expanding our knowledge of the planet. With its innovative approach and advanced capabilities, Landsat Next is poised to build upon the legacy of the Landsat program and contribute to a better understanding of Earth’s complex systems for the benefit of current and future generations.

For information about NASA and other agency programs, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov

Read the NASA press release for more information. https://www.nasa.gov/news-release/nasa-selects-raytheon-company-to-build-landsat-next-instruments/

Source: NASA

https://stmdailynews.com/category/science

Author

  • Rod Washington

    Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

    View all posts

Discover more from Daily News

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Continue Reading

Tech

The Weather Network launches its first advertising campaign using an AI-assisted Avatar

Published

on

OAKVILLE, ON, June 11, 2024 /CNW/ – The Weather Network has launched a first-of-kind ad campaign using an AI-Assisted Avatar of their own Content Creator and Presenter, Rachel Schoutsen. The Weather Network partnered with Home Hardware Stores Limited to showcase storefront and local store callouts where Rachel’s AI-Assisted Avatar covers an Ontario summer forecast, plus a summer sale call to action, designed to drive traffic to Home Hardware locations across Ontario.

Watch this video to see Rachel Schoutsen’s avatar in action

Rachel Schoutsen’s avatar in action.

By leveraging advanced AI technologies, The Weather Network is now able to deliver hyper-local forecasts on a larger scale, providing communities and local economies with opportunities to prepare for and respond to weather-related events. The Weather Network’s mission is to keep its users safe and informed with accurate and localized weather information.

“This partnership puts Home Hardware front and centre when Canadians are engaging with weather content and planning for the summer ahead,” said Simon Jennings, CRO, The Weather Network. “Canadians want to know what to expect as they plan their busiest social days and holidays and can purchase the right products for the weather forecast in their area.”

“Home Hardware is a business built on serving small communities across the country and we are proud to support The Weather Network’s innovative efforts to do the same through AI technology,” said Laura Baker, Chief Marketing Officer, Home Hardware Stores Limited. “Our more than 1,000 stores and the Dealers who operate them make it their mission to provide comprehensive support for all our customers’ home improvement needs within their communities. That means helping Canadians complete and enjoy their outdoor home improvement and yard maintenance projects while also preparing for any inclement weather events.”

With a focus on helping users and businesses make informed decisions using cutting-edge technology, The Weather Network is committed to ensuring the use of avatars in its promotional materials aligns with the highest ethical standards. All promotional materials have a clear disclaimer to ensure its viewers are well informed of AI-created content. In addition, employee avatars are used with their consent and an agreement to participate.

“We are excited about this latest innovation and the opportunities it will provide to our consumers and businesses,” said Maureen Rogers, Managing Director Editorial & Public Alerting, The Weather Network. “As with any new product we launch, we value their input and will use it to continuously improve the product to meet their needs and deliver products that exceed their expectations. We are delighted to have partnered with Home Hardware on piloting this new product with us.”

The Weather Network recently launched Your Weather Assistant, a generative AI tool to transform the way people consume weather information. The introduction of its newly developed AI-Assisted Avatar demonstrates Pelmorex Corp.’s, owner of The Weather Network, commitment to innovation as it evolves into an AI-frontiered weather and climate organization.

About Pelmorex Corp.
Pelmorex Corp., founded in 1989, is an international weather information and data management company. Pelmorex owns and operates the weather brands The Weather Network, MétéoMédia, Eltiempo.es, Clima, and Otempo.pt. It also operates Canada’s National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System, part of Alert Ready. Through constant innovation and entrepreneurship, Pelmorex has grown to reach consumers around the globe, has become one of the largest weather information providers and has broken new ground in providing data solutions and insights to businesses. Through harnessing the value of weather, Pelmorex is driven to make the world smarter and safer for consumers and businesses. 

To learn more, visit pelmorex.com and follow us on X (platform formerly known as Twitter), Instagram and LinkedIn.

About Home Hardware Stores Limited

Founded 60 years ago in St. Jacobs, Ontario, Home Hardware Stores Limited is proudly Canadian and the country’s largest Dealer-owned and operated home improvement retailer with more than 1,000 stores operating under the Home Hardware, Home Building Centre, Home Hardware Building Centre and Home Furniture banners. The Home Hardware Dealer network improves life at home by providing superior home improvement retail experiences through helpful advice and a deep understanding of the communities they serve. Home Hardware Stores Limited is designated as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies and recognized as one of Canada’s Best Employers. More information about the company is available at homehardware.ca.

SOURCE Pelmorex Corp.

https://stmdailynews.com/category/tech

Author


Discover more from Daily News

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Continue Reading

Trending