When the first satellites began launching a half century ago, they were quite small. Sputnik at just 58cm/23in in diameter, had a single purpose: to send a radio signal that proved it existed. Over the decades that followed the demands placed on satellites increased, which led them to grow in size. As they got bigger the
I’ve launched a new app called Particle Planets, a fun n-body simulation of gravitational forces between planets and stars. I wanted to create it because my Exoplanet and Solar System apps are basically on rails. The user can only view what’s already there. I thought it be interesting to let them people something unique. Download Particle Planets from
After months of nearly non-stop Russian space-achievement-propaganda, the Russian space industry has now experienced a string of temporary setbacks. Last week, a Soyuz carrying a Progress delivery run to the International Space Station failed when the launch vehicle suffered a fuel leak in its third stage. Engineers were able to make brief contact with the Progress, but were unable
On the 29th of April, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin completed the first test flight of New Shepard. This sub-orbital launch included an unmanned capsule and booster stage. The full version of the vehicle will have two stages and be capable of reaching orbit. Like Space X, Blue Origin is focused on cutting costs by re-using components that
There has been talk over the past few months about a controversial propulsion system known as the EM drive. The device is a sealed cone shaped chamber with a microwave reflector at the narrow end. Emitting microwaves into the chamber produces a tiny, but measurable amount of thrust. The problem with this idea? Conservation of momentum.