Connect with us

Space

This new nuclear fusion rocket will help us escape the solar system in our lifetime

Published

on

Nuclear fusion rockets developed by one company could allow humanity to leave the solar system in the near future.

Rockets powered by nuclear fusion could be closer than you think.

According to a press release, British rocket manufacturer Pulsar Fusion has received funding from the UK Space Agency to develop “integrated nuclear fission-based power systems for electric propulsion”.

They will be working with the Universities of Cambridge and Southampton and the Nuclear AMRC to bring their concept of green rocket technology in the form of fusion propulsion to fruition.

The aim of Pulsar Fusion is to one day use nuclear fusion to create hypersonic rocket technology. The sun and stars have been generating enormous amounts of energy through nuclear fusion for eons.

According to Pulsar Fusion’s press release, “While nuclear fusion may be the solution to the energy dilemma, it is also the solution to in-orbit satellite management and deep space exploration. According to [Pulsar], fusion propulsion is the only means by which humans will ever be able to leave the solar system in our lifetime.

The goal of scientists everywhere is to use nuclear fusion to produce energy on Earth, but this goal has not yet been achieved. Before achieving its ultimate goal, Pulsar Fusion may have to wait for improvements in this technology, but it could also increase efforts to develop commercially viable nuclear fusion technologies.

The company also produces a variety of rocket engines. These include the largest and most powerful electric spacecraft engine ever tested in Europe, conducted independently by researchers at the University of Southampton as part of a government-funded project in 2021.

Pulsar Fusion’s “green” hybrid rocket engine burns high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fuel, oxygen and nitrous oxide (N2O). The liquid, which is oxidized under controlled pressure, is injected into the combustion chamber through a control valve.

In early November 2021, the company successfully tested its engine at the Cranfield Ordnance Test and Evaluation Centre (COTEC), a military facility operated by the UK Ministry of Defence in Salisbury, Wilts. This follows the successful completion of a global demonstration for aerospace customers in Switzerland.

“Pulsar has built and tested the most powerful electric propulsion engines in Europe,” said Dr. James Lambert, Head of Operations at Pulsar.

“Combining this part of our propulsion portfolio with nuclear fission reactor technology is a perfect fit for the company’s capabilities and I am delighted that this has been recognized by the UKSA. 

The project will help us build relationships and gather important data that will contribute to our longer-term ambitions for nuclear fusion propulsion.”

In addition, Pulsar Fusion received funding from the UK government in September last year to support the development of its Mach-7 Hall Effect Thruster (HET) plasma satellite engines, which have particle exhaust velocities of 20 km/s. The company hopes to test its engines in space in the near future.

A nuclear fusion rocket prototype is something the British rocket company has previously said it hopes to create by 2025. 

According to its latest press release, the company is confident that it can create the “fusion-based infrastructure and propulsion technologies” needed to enable nuclear fusion rockets “in less than four years”.

If it succeeds, the technology could be brought to Earth, changing both the way we travel through space and the way we generate energy on Earth.

Source

Continue Reading

Space

There’s one last place Planet Nine could be hiding

Published

on

By

A study recently submitted to The Astronomical Journal
continues to search for the elusive Planet Nine (also called Planet X),
which is a hypothetical planet that potentially orbits in the outer
reaches of the solar system and well beyond the orbit of the dwarf
planet, Pluto.

The goal of this study, which is available on the pre-print server arXiv,
was to narrow down the possible locations of Planet Nine and holds the
potential to help researchers better understand the makeup of our solar
system, along with its formation and evolutionary processes. So, what
was the motivation behind this study regarding narrowing down the
location of a potential Planet 9?

Dr. Mike Brown, who is a Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of
Astronomy at Caltech and lead author of the study, tells Universe Today,
“We are continuing to try to systematically cover all of the regions of
the sky where we predict Planet Nine to be. Using data from Pan-STARRS
allowed us to cover the largest region to date.”

Pan-STARRS, which stands for Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid
Response System, is a collaborative astronomical observation system
located at Haleakala Observatory and operated by the University of
Hawai’i Institute of Astronomy. For the study, the researchers used data
from Data Release 2 (DR2) with the goal of narrowing down the possible
location of Planet Nine based on findings from past studies.

In the end, the team narrowed down possible locations of Planet Nine
by eliminating approximately 78% of possible locations that were
calculated from previous studies. Additionally, the researchers also
provided new estimates for the approximate semimajor axis (measured in
astronomical units, AU) and Earth-mass size of Planet Nine at 500 and
6.6, respectively. So, what are the most significant results from this
study, and what follow-up studies are currently being conducted or
planned?

“While I would love to say that the most significant result
was finding Planet Nine, we didn’t,” Dr. Brown tells Universe Today. “So
instead, it means that we have significantly narrowed the search area.
We’ve now surveyed approximately 80% of the regions where we think
Planet Nine might be.”

In terms of follow-up studies, Dr.
Brown tells Universe Today, “I think that the LSST is the most likely
survey to find Planet Nine. When it comes online in a year or two it
will quickly cover much of the search space and, if Planet Nine is
there, find it.”

LSST stands for Legacy Survey of Space and Time, and is an
astronomical survey currently scheduled as a 10-year program to study
the southern sky and take place at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in
Chile, which is presently under construction.

Objectives for LSST include studying identifying near-Earth asteroids
(NEAs) and small planetary bodies within our solar system, but also
include deep space studies, as well. These include investigating the
properties of dark matter and dark energy and the evolution of the Milky
Way galaxy. But what is the importance of finding Planet Nine?

Dr. Brown tells Universe Today, “This would be the 5th
largest planet of our solar system and the only one with a mass between
Earth and Uranus. Such planets are common around other stars, and we
would suddenly have a chance to study one in our own solar system.”

Scientists began hypothesizing the existence of Planet Nine shortly
after the discovery of Neptune in 1846, including an 1880 memoir
authored by D. Kirkwood and later a 1946 paper authored by American
astronomer, Clyde Tombaugh, who was responsible for discovering Pluto in
1930.

More recent studies include studies from 2016 and 2017 presenting
evidence for the existence of Planet Nine, the former of which was
co-authored by Dr. Brown.

This most recent study marks the
most complete investigation of narrowing down the location of Planet
Nine, which Dr. Brown has long-believed exists, telling Universe Today,
“There are too many separate signs that Planet Nine is there. The solar
system is very difficult to understand without Planet Nine.”

He continues by telling Universe Today that “…Planet Nine explains
many things about orbits of objects in the outer solar system that would
be otherwise unexplainable and would each need some sort of separate
explanation.”

“The cluster of the directions of the orbits is the best know, but
there is also the large perihelion distances of many objects, existence
of highly inclined and even retrograde objects, and the high abundance
of very eccentric orbits which cross inside the orbit of Neptune. None
of these should happen in the solar system, but all are easily
explainable as an effect of Planet Nine.”

More information:
Michael E. Brown et al, A Pan-STARRS1 Search for Planet Nine, arXiv (2024). DOI: 10.48550/arxiv.2401.17977

Continue Reading

Space

‘October Surprise’: Russia To Launch Nukes in Space

Published

on

By


The ‘national security threat’ announced on Wednesday is
about Russia planning to launch nuclear weapons in space, causing some
to speculate whether it’s really an election year ploy.

The panic began when House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner
(R-Ohio) asked President Biden to declassify information about a
“serious national security threat”.

Modernity.news reports: The weapon would reportedly be designed to be used to take out satellites.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) responded by telling reporters he wanted “to assure the American people, there is no need for public alarm.”

The big, scary threat is serious business and involves a space-based nuke controlled by evil dictator Putin, but it’s also “not an immediate crisis,” according to what three members of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee have told Politico.

Okay, then. Just for election season, is it?

Zero Hedge reports: “So, the question is – was this:

a) a distraction from Biden’s broken brain, or

2) a last desperate attempt to get more funding for anything-but-the-US-border, or

iii) a path to pitching Putin as the uber-bad-guy again after his interview with Tucker Carlson.”

Just by coincidence, Mike Turner recently returned from Ukraine having lobbied for billions more in weapons and aid for Zelensky’s government.

Some questioned the timing, suggesting it might all be a deep state plot to keep American voters afraid when they hit the ballot box.

Speculation will now rage as to whether this is “the event,” real or imagined, that billionaires and elitists the world over have been building underground survival bunkers in preparation for.

Continue Reading

Trending

Generated by Feedzy