China has released its plans for space exploration over the next five years, detailing ambitious goals that include strengthening its space infrastructure and developing a next-generation spacecraft for carrying people to space. The country is also researching how it could possibly land people on the Moon in the coming years. The roadmap, detailed in a new white paper released today , would continue China’s ambitious progress in the realm of aerospace. Over the last few decades, the country has placed significant emphasis on expanding its space capabilities, increasing the frequency and scope of its launches, and pushing into new areas such as the robotic exploration of Mars . China has also mounted a long-term campaign of lunar exploration that entails sending a series of landers and rovers to the lunar surface every few years. In 2019, the country became the first to land a rover on the far side of the Moon , and in 2020, China brought samples of the Moon back to Earth . … [Read more...] about China unveils five-year plan for space exploration that continues push into lunar space
Cratering and blowing soil by rocket engines during lunar landings
Welcome to Edition 4.30 of the Rocket Report! There is plenty to discuss this week with NASA significantly expanding its support for the development of commercial rockets and a spicy new rocket tax proposal in the Land of Enchantment. As always, we welcome reader submissions , and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar. NASA beefs up venture-class launch program . Back in October 2015 , NASA initiated what it called a "Venture Class Launch Services" program to foster the development of commercial launch services. The first contracts went to Firefly, Rocket Lab, and Virgin Galactic (later to become Virgin Orbit). Since then, all three companies have launched a rocket, and Rocket Lab and Virgin Orbit have operational orbital … [Read more...] about Rocket Report: NASA boosts commercial launch, another Chinese Falcon 9?
The Space Launch System rocket that NASA has been building for more than a decade now—and which may finally launch for the first time this spring or summer—is rather big. And big rockets need large, complicated ground systems to fuel them and support their launch. As one might imagine, for a rocket as expensive as the SLS booster—development so far has run in excess of $20 billion and counting—its associated ground systems are quite costly as well. Much has already been said and written about the first "mobile launch tower" built for the SLS rocket. The massive, rolling Mobile Launcher-1 supports the 108-meter-tall SLS rocket, provides access to the Orion spacecraft, and supplies power, communications, coolant, and fuel to the rocket. Over a decade, NASA spent about $1 billion to build , redesign, and then complete the structure under a cost-plus contract. Further Reading NASA spent a decade and nearly $1 billion for a single launch tower Now, as early as next … [Read more...] about Another launch tower built for the SLS rocket has “encountered some challenges”
Audio player loading… Scientists and engineers at the Lawrence Livermoore National Laboratory say they successfully created burning plasma in a laboratory that briefly sustained itself by the heat of its own nuclear fusion reactions – a key milestone on the road to harnessing functional fusion energy. The researchers used the world's most energetic laser at the lab's National Ignition Facility (NIF) to heat up a BB-sized hydrogen isotope to many times the temperature at the very core of the Sun. This created the pressure necessary to trigger the fusion process in the hydrogen, which then heated the material of its own accord by a significant fraction of a megajoule without the aid of other sources of heat. The researchers unveiled their work in an article in this week's Nature , penned by LLNL physicist Alex Zylstra and Omar Hurricane. "A burning plasma is one in which the fusion reactions heat the fuel more than the initial heating we did to get the burn … [Read more...] about Breakthrough at cutting-edge laser lab brings fusion energy closer than ever
On a cold winter day in December 2007, a bulldozer flattened nearly 40 acres (16 hectares) of Inner Mongolia's Tengger Desert. It was the start of a unique experiment: For the first time, scientists would watch Earth's winds give birth to dunes. Four years later, results from the giant Mongolian sandbox confirmed long-held models of sand dune formation, according to a study published today (Jan.12) in the journal Nature Geoscience. Under the influence of the desert's seasonally varying wind patterns, which blow from the southeast and the west, the dunes grew at an angle of about 50 degrees to the overall wind direction. The dunes' alignment initially shifted back and forth with the changing winds, eventually converging to an average between the two wind patterns, the researchers found. "It was very exciting when we realized that with the two wind directions we were getting a dune orientation that was oblique," said Clément Narteau, a study co-author and … [Read more...] about Super-Sized Sandbox Reveals How Dunes Grow
The best Switch headphones are essential if you're keeping up with Nintendo's plucky little hybrid handheld/home console. Maybe you're planning on picking up one of the more competitive games out there – something like Overwatch, Apex Legends, or Super Smash Bros. – and you're eager to listen for all those delicate little tells that will let you know whether or not you're liable to get ambushed, or whether your attack will be a counter. It's all well and good listening to the sounds and suites of music you hear in your games via the Switch's in-built speakers... but abusing your ears that way really isn't going to do justice to the audio that your favorite developers have spent so much time putting together. So, that's why you're here, right? You've come to this page to look for the best Nintendo Switch headphones – accessories that deliver on sound, comfort, style, or voice chat, all in one go. Our team of experts has been testing releases since the lucky little console … [Read more...] about Best Nintendo Switch headphones 2022: the top Switch gaming headsets