Spaceflight

  • A recent NASA-funded study has found dormant viruses can reactivate in the human body during spaceflight, presenting yet another physiological problem for scientists to solve before we journey out into deep space.
  • ​How the space environment impacts the human body is the source of much intrigue for scientists at NASA and beyond. A fascinating new study has sought to provide answers, uncovering some thought-provoking changes in the brains of astronauts before and after missions into space.
  • When it comes to space travel, and space in genera​l, 2018 has been a busy year. It was one marked by remarkable technological firsts, dramatic incidents, and new milestones set. Oh, and space champagne. So, let's look back on the highlights of the year in space, 2018.
  • For over a century people have floated the idea of a space elevator – which is exactly what it sounds like – but the logistics of that just aren’t possible yet. Now Japan has launched a pair of satellites to test out some technologies that might help make a space elevator a reality in future.
  • Several experiments have shown that the EMDrive can generate thrust from basically nothing – in apparent violation of Newton’s Laws of Motion. Unfortunately, a German team has now built and tested their own EMDrive, and found that environmental factors may have been responsible for false positives.
  • A big challenge humanity faces in venturing off Earth and into deep space is how to tackle the dangers of cosmic radiation.​ A team has now discovered a drug treatment that could not only prevent cognitive deficits caused by this radiation, but actually repair damage in the brain after exposure.
  • ​On this day 60 years ago, America became the second country to send a human-made object into low-Earth orbit, with the successful launch of its first satellite – Explorer 1.
  • How to feed astronauts on long space voyages is a major logistical problem, so researchers at Penn State are studying how to convert solid and liquid human waste into food. That may sound gross, but microbial reactors can break down the waste and convert it into an edible form.
  • Today at a White House ceremony, President Donald J. Trump signed White House Space Policy Directive 1, which directs NASA to work with commercial and international partners to send American astronauts to our satellite as the first step to going to Mars and beyond.
  • Humanity’s first “space nation”, Asgardia, is a step closer to getting off the ground after its first satellite was launched last week. The end goal is for millions of people to live on satellites, but don’t pack your bags just yet: Asgardia-1 is just a CubeSat carrying 500 GB of pictures and text.
  • ​After years of development the latest Dream Chaser spaceplane has completed its first captive carry flight test. Hoisted up by a Chinook helicopter, the Dream Chaser will undertake one more captive carry flight test in the near future before embarking upon its first free flight later this year.
  • ​Last year, some 200,000 people decided they don’t want to live on this planet anymore, and registered to be citizens of the first “space nation,” Asgardia. Now the self-appointed Head of Nation has outlined plans to launch the first of the nation's satellites.