Posts Tagged ‘space’

#Aliens abound as Americans report record #UFO sightings 70 years after Roswell – an annotated infographic

March 14, 2017

The 1947 Roswell UFO incident took place 70 years ago this year.

Initially reported as a crashed weather balloon, it was later confirmed as a military surveillance balloon, but conspiracy theories of alien spacecraft persist and reports of UFO sightings have soared in recent years – peaking in 2014 with 8,621 reports.

The truth is still out there.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


Earth-like planet #ProximaB found orbiting #ProximaCentauri – an annotated infographic

September 1, 2016

Scientists have found clear evidence of an Earth-like planet around Proxima Centauri – the nearest star to our sun. The rocky world, named Proxima b, lies within its star’s habitable zone, meaning liquid water could exist on its surface, and it may also be the closest possible abode for life outside the solar system.

E&T news reported the full details of the Proxima b discovery earlier this week.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.


FAST telescope to hunt for extraterrestrial life – an annotated infographic

July 8, 2016

The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope – aka FAST – is the world’s largest radio telescope.

Hewn out of a mountain in China at a cost of $180 million, it will explore space and hunt for extraterrestrial life.

E&T news reported the story about China’s hunt for alien life in full detail earlier this week.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

FAST forward

FAST forward

#Nasa probes Jupiter with Juno spacecraft in July – an annotated infographic

June 22, 2016

Nasa’s Juno spacecraft is bound for a Fourth of July encounter with the planet Jupiter, in the latest quest to study how the largest planet in the solar system formed and evolved.

The billion-dollar solar-powered probe, launched from Earth nearly five years ago, will spend 20 months in polar orbit around the gas giant.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Juno what I mean?

Juno what I mean?

New book blog: How #rovers will lead the way to #Mars and beyond

May 24, 2016

640_Mars-roverRecent news from the European Space Agency and its Russian counterpart Roscomos that their ExoMars Martian rover is facing a two-year delay, which may see it beaten to the Red Planet by a similar Chinese project was unfortunately timed. It came just a few days after a prototype was navigated through a simulated Martian landscape at the Stevenage premises of manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space by UK astronaut Tim Peake, steering from the International Space Station.

The experiment, in which Peake had to use the rover to find several objects inside a cave, demonstrated the sort of situation where vehicles like ExoMars will play a key part in future space exploration. Although they can move autonomously, there are situations where it’s easier for a human to assume control.

The launch now scheduled for 2020 is the second stage of the ExoMars mission. An experimental lander and an orbiter that will study the Martian atmosphere took off earlier this year for Europe’s first shot at landing an object on the surface of Mars since the Beagle 2 mission.

Planetary Rovers coverAnyone wanting a thorough technical account of the crucial part rovers will play in future space interplanetary exploration would do well to turn to the recently published ‘Planetary Rovers: Robotic Exploration of the Solar System’ by Professor Alex Ellery (Springer, £117, ISBN 3642032583), an IET Fellow who is a Canada Research Chair in Space Robotics & Space Technology in the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department at Carleton University, Ottawa.

Weighing in at over 700 pages and with the inside story on both ExoMars and the US’s successful Mars Exploration Rover programme, ‘Planetary Rovers’ provides a comprehensive review of the new range of technologies being introduced to spacecraft design, from vehicle engineering and mechatronics to robotics and artificial intelligence.

Planetary missions have to be designed with a very different approach to that adopted for Earth-orbiting missions. There are great uncertainties about the operational environment to account for, not to mention new technologies including locomotion, autonomous navigation, rover avionics, mission communications’ architecture and power generation and thermal control.

Starting with an introduction to the use of robotic rovers for planetary exploration and their relationship to other terrestrial applications, including oceanography, Ellery explains how terrain in particular is a major design driver. There’s also a look at the future of robotic astrobiology missions using biomimetic robots and the part that nanotechnology could play in planetary exploration.

Add the technical details of traction and control systems, plus robotic vision for both navigation and scientific investigation and a host of other topics, and the result is a comprehensive overview of this rapidly evolving area of technology.

Astronaut vs sailor – who’s better connected? – an annotated infographic

May 20, 2016


A nice Friday afternoon infographic supplied by our friends at Media works and Global Navigation Solutions, illustrating the connectivity woes of sailors at sea. All you land-lovers should feel thankful you are never far from a reliable WiFi signal, some people aren’t so lucky.

Using findings from the 2015 Crew Connectivity Survey and information from NASA and The Atlantic, the piece details just how well connected sailors are – the answer being a resounding ‘not very’.

Sea Life vs. Space Life FULL (2) (3)

.@ESA Ariane 6 rocket starts development – an annotated infographic

February 2, 2016

Airbus Safran Launchers – a joint venture between the aerospace giant Airbus and the aero and rocket manufacturer Safran – has finalised the architecture for its Ariane 6 launch vehicle.

Ariane 6 will be a modular rocket that can be tailored to launch one or two large satellites at a time into low-altitude perches and geostationary orbits favoured by commercial telecoms spacecraft.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Ariane 6 rocket

Ariane 6 rocket

Not all @SpaceX #Falcon9 rockets fall over and set fire to themselves – an annotated infographic

January 20, 2016

In light of Space X’s Falcon 9 rocket falling over and setting fire to itself recently, we thought it was a good time – and only fair – to share this more uplifting infographic about the fledgling space company’s successful launch and upright landing of an unmanned rocket in December 2015.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Ground control to Major E-lon

Ground control to Major E-lon


BAE Systems invests £20m in Reaction to propel the company into space – an annotated infographic

November 3, 2015
With a bit of spare cash in its back pockets, BAE Systems has bought a 20 per cent stake in Reaction Engines, a company developing a radical engine that could propel aircraft into space.
The Sabre (Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine) hybrid rocket/jet engine is designed to launch satellites at a fraction of current costs. BAE will invest £20.6m to acquire 20 per cent of Reactions’s share capital to accelerate the company’s development of Sabre.
E&T covered this BAE news in full yesterday.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Sabre rattling

Sabre rattling

Norway aerospace company plans test flight of hybrid rocket propulsion system – an annotated infographic

September 18, 2015

Norway-based aerospace company Nammo plans to conduct the first test flight in 2016 of a hybrid rocket propulsion system aimed at powering a low-cost, next-generation orbital launch system.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Norway satellite launcher

Norway satellite launcher