Space News #3 -Space Travel in Sci-Fi, Entrepreneurs in Space, Robot Repair Satellite and Space Habitat Ideas Sought

A few more items I have come across in the past few weeks. Seems like more interesting articles in the news than I can cover.

A History of Sci-Fi Space Travel

Well, this isn’t science, but it is interesting how Science Fiction has addressed space travel over the years. The article “Reaching for the stars: a brief history of sci-fi space travel” I think does a good overview. I think that it is good to mix a little fiction – what we are dreaming of doing – with fact – what we can do today. We just need to be clear which is which.

The next target for entrepreneurs: Space

We have seen several space related companies being formed over the past few years = SpaceX, Firefly Space Systems, Virgin Galactic are just a few. These companies plan to provide launch services and possible space tourism opportunities.

In particular there is a growing market for launching small satellites. The article “The Next Frontier For Ambitious Entrepreneurs: Space” discussed the growth of the space industry as well as some of the investors willing to back these entrepreneurs.

Navy robot repair Satellite

The US Navy is partnering with DARPA and is proposing to build, launch and operate a satellite that can repair or upgrade other satellites. The program is called the Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program.

With RSGS Robotic Service Vehicles (RSV) in orbit and waiting instructions, satellites that are damaged by space debris, have failed components, or which need an upgrade can be serviced under ground control. The RSV missions could include:

  • ultra-close inspection
  • anomaly resolution
  • orbit modification
  • external upgrades

A more detailed description of what RSGS and the RSVs may be able to do is contained in “How the Navy’s orbiting robots will refurbish civilian satellites” and “Program Aims to Facilitate Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites“.

Still in the proposal stage, it will be years before these can be launched.

NASA is seeking ideas for deep space habitats

NASA has announced long range plans for a mission to Mars. They have now announced that they are seeking proposals for the habitat that can carry astronauts on the journey to Mars or other locations in the solar System. Companies and universities now have until June 15th to submit their ideas.

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