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Why NASA Is Sending a Spacecraft to a Metal Asteroid Called ‘Psyche’
An ambitious mission to a “world made of metal” will help scientists better understand how Earth and other rocky planets evolved, according to a new video from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The Psyche mission will depart Earth in 2022. The original plan called for a launch in 2023, but NASA moved up the timeline to save on cost and arrive at the asteroid sooner. Under the new plan, the spacecraft will pick up speed with a Mars flyby and arrive at the asteroid, also called Psyche, in early 2026.
An optimal shielding configuration has been realized during the phase I study, and it is referred to as a Magnetospheric Dipolar Torus (MDT). This configuration has the singular ability to deflect the vast majority of the GCR including HZE ions. In addition, the MDT shields both habitat and magnets eliminating the secondary particle irradiation hazard, which can dominate over the primary GCR for the closed magnetic topologies that have been investigated in the past. MDT shielding also reduces structural, mass and power requirements. For phase II a low cost method for testing shielding on Earth had been devised using cosmic GeV muons as a surrogate for the GCR encountered in space.
A veteran explorer is leisurely orbiting the only dwarf planet in the inner solar system. Measuring space radiation high over Ceres, Dawn revolves once every 30 days in its gravitational master’s firm grip. Dawn is well-known for its patience, and the pace of its activities has been decidedly relaxed in this orbit. That is about to change. There is now only one revolution to go before the spacecraft begins the final campaign of its long and rewarding deep-space adventure.
Siemens announced massive cuts last week that would eliminate 2 percent of the industrial giant’s workforce. Nearly all of the layoffs will come from its Power and Gas division, reducing labor on its power plant turbine business. “Renewables are putting other forms of power generation under increasing pressure,” Siemens management board member Lisa Davis told Reuters. In a call to reporters, Janina Kugel, another board member, put it in starker terms: “The market is burning to the ground.”. Haha.
Spectacular falls in the cost of wind, solar and battery technology mean that clean energy is increasingly pushing coal and gas out of the world’s electricity generation mix in a “chilling” development for the future of fossil fuel power generation. Research group Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has released its latest report on the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) and it suggests that President Donald Trump’s attempts to revive the U.S. coal industry is doomed to failure. That’s because the price of battery storage has tumbled by 79% since 2010, from $1,000/kWh to $209/kWh while both wind and solar power have fallen by 18% in just a year.
Today, as the Trump administration continues to bolster the fossil fuel industry — loosening regulations and giving large tax breaks to fossil fuel companies — environmentalist Bill McKibben says that it would be wise to follow the dollar to see where the future of energy is headed, globally. “Right now, of course, politics is making it difficult to deal with climate change in DC, but it’s not stopping cold all the work that’s going on,” says McKibben, co-founder of 350.org.
Being an English teacher is undeniably a noble profession, but it’s probably not quite as cool as being a space miner. At least that’s what US man Hunter Williams thought. Mr Williams used to be an English teacher but decided he wanted to trade in the classroom for the Moon, according to Wired. It all started when he was reading a 1966 sci-fi novel called The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. The book is about a futuristic revolt on a lunar colony in which people lived, and consequently, mined on the Moon, reports News.com.au.
Yes, renewable energy technologies exist. But solar power, the one with arguably the most promise for significant, scalable deployment, is intermittent. Although the sun provides more energy in one hour than humans consume in a year, we can only tap into this power when the sun is shining. At least, that’s been the predominant school of thought.
For years critics have claimed grid costs and stability will spiral out of control before we hit 20 percent renewable energy. Texas is proving them wrong…
* The Chinese province of Anhui built a massive floating solar farm on top of an abandoned coal mine. An even larger floating solar plant will come online by May 2018.
* Due to rising concerns surrounding air pollution-related deaths, China is trying to invest more heavily in renewable energy projects.
* A new study indicates that, on average, Chinese cities have cut deadly air pollution particles by 32% over the past four years.
* The new solar farms are part of the global shift away from energy generated from fossil fuels.
TransAstra Corporation recently completed an in-depth study of how to use resources from near Earth objects to facilitate space exploration and settlement. The 82-page report, “Stepping Stones: Economic Analysis of Space Transportation Supplied From NEO Resources,” was funded with a $100,000 grant from NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program.
Want faster data and a cleaner planet? Start mining asteroids – Philip
Metzger | Aeon Ideas
Mining asteroids might seem like the stuff of science fiction, but there are companies and a few governments already working hard to make it real. This should not be surprising: compared with the breathtaking bridges that engineers build on Earth, asteroid-mining is a simple, small-scale operation requiring only modest technological advances. If anything is lacking, it is the imagination to see how plausible it has become. I am afraid only that it might not arrive soon enough to address the urgent resource challenges that the world is facing right now.
It was a typical November day in New York City. The year: 1959. Robert Dunlop, 50 years old and photographed later as clean-shaven, hair carefully parted, his earnest face donning horn-rimmed glasses, passed under the Ionian columns of Columbia University’s iconic Low Library. He was a guest of honor for a grand occasion: the centennial of the American oil industry.
It looks like I will be closing down this scoop.it and transferring all links to here in the coming months. Fossil Fuels are of the past, Space Solar is the future. I don’t think Scoop.it is a reliable long term depository for links. They are suddenly changing the operating rules – that means I am headed for the exit.