Style in spacesuits tends to advance at a slow pace. The spacesuit that is being currently worn by astronauts has been in use since 1982. But NASA has designed the Z-series suit that is designed for walking on Mars, not just floating around in space as astronauts have in the past. And NASA wants you to help pick the final look. (pics)
What would you do with a 350,000-square-foot hangar built to house helium airships for the U.S. Navy if you were Google, Inc.? Would you use the cavernous interior for building and testing new robots, planetary rovers and other space or aviation technology?
Below the surface there exist deposits of water, rare minerals, and other substances not so common here on Earth.
Instead of NASA resupplying the International Space Station, private corporations have taken on that job. Mars One has just as good a chance as NASA does at establishing a permanent colony on Mars. Even the Moon, which has for so long been NASA’s claim to fame, is now being offered up on a silver NASA-backed platter.
NASA is taking steps that could lead to colonization of other planets.
NASA is working on plans to make water, oxygen, and hydrogen on the surface of the Moon and Mars. It is vital that we find a way of extracting these vital gases and liquids from moons and planets if we ever want to colonize other planets, rather than transporting them from Earth (which is prohibitively expensive, due to Earth’s gravity). The current plan is to land a rover on the Moon in 2018 that will try to extract hydrogen, water, and oxygen — and then hopefully, Curiosity’s successor will try to convert the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into oxygen in 2020 when it lands on Mars.
Google launched the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab last May, with hardware from the Canadian quantum computing company D-Wave and technical expertise from NASA. It was an ambitious open research project aimed at exploring both the capabilities of quantum computer architecture and the mysteries of space exploration — but in the months since, they’ve stayed quiet about exactly what kind of work they’ve been doing there.
NASA is organizing the Vegetable Production System (VEGGIE) program that will send packs of seed material to the ISS.
When humans begin colonizing space there is one challenge we’ll be facing, how to get food to those colonies. The idea of farming in space is hardly a new one. Astronaut Don Pettit successfully grew a zucchini, broccoli, and sunflower on the ISS, but NASA is now researching how vegetables may be grown in space for consumption.
In February, a meteor exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. Pieces of the bus-sized space rock hit the ground while its detonation shattered windows, set off car alarms and injured more than 1,000 people.