Nuclear Rockets for Mars and Beyond

Nuclear Rockets for Mars and Beyond

paulshillito Rockets, space 0 Comments

On the 6th Feb 2018 SpaceX’s first test launch of the Falcon 9 heavy, the most powerful rocket since the Saturn V, successfully launched the payload of Elon Musks own Cherry Red Telsa roadster, complete with the Starman mannequin, first into orbit and then on to what was meant to be Mars but now looks to be on  an elliptical orbit extending out to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Whilst the Falcon 9 heavy proved that it could launch a payload in to deep space, Starman and the roadsters journey itself is going to be a pretty leisurely …

Buran-Energia : The Soviet Space Shuttle 2.0 on a Moon Rocket

paulshillito Rockets, space 0 Comments

To many the Soviet Space shuttle or Buran was just a copy of the NASA one, it looks surprisingly similar and was meant to do similar things but beyond the looks the two are really quite different, not only in the shuttle vehicles themselves but also the way it got into space, in many ways the Buran could be seen as the Space Shuttle 2.0. To build big things in space, you have to have an affordable way to get off the ground. As spectacular as the Apollo era rockets were on-camera, they were hardly efficient: the Titan IIIC cost …

How do spacecraft navigate in space ?

How do spacecraft navigate in space ?

paulshillito Rockets, Science, space 0 Comments

How does a space probe like Voyager 2, which was launched in 1977, visit the 4 outer planets and travel over 17 billion kilometres over 40 years with almost next to nothing in the way of fuel. By the time Voyager 2 had reached Neptune, it had swung by Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, travelled 7 billion kilometres and was still within 100km of it’s target and all with mid 1970’s technology. In the movies space craft just seem to fly to where ever they want and get there in no time at all but in our version of reality its …

Evel Knievel and The Reusable X-3 Volksrocket

Evel Knievel and The Reusable X-3 Volksrocket

Admin people, Rockets, space 1 Comment

In the last year or so, its become almost commonplace to see SpaceX & Blue origin bringing rockets back after a launch for refurbishment and reuse. This has been the goal for billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos backed with NASA knowledge for well over a decade now. But over 40 years ago another man had the same dream of a low-cost reusable rocket that very nearly came to fruition from the unlikely source of a two-car garage in an ordinary Californian suburb and could have made the world famous daredevil Evel Knievel the worlds first private astronaut. That man …

Sputnik - 60 years on from the Start of the Space Race

Sputnik – 60 years on from the Start of the Space Race

Admin Rockets, space, Technology 0 Comments

That simple little beep, beep, beep was the sound that started the Space Race. It was heard for the first time 60 years ago, when, on October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 into a low Earth orbit. It was only a metal ball, 22 inches or about 56 centimetres in diameter, with four antennae sticking out of it – but it had an impact far greater than its size. In fact, it changed the course of human history. The idea of a satellite was first raised in an engineering memo written by Mikhail Tikhonravov in 1954 whilst …