Achtergrond Category

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Yesterday, SpaceX wrote history by sending six satellites into space, and then landing the same rocket upright so it can be used again. Quite an amazing feat, but let’s look at why exactly SpaceX’ rocket landing is so revolutionary. And what will this mean for the future of spaceflight? What actually happened The company launched the heaviest version of its self-produced and designed rocket, the Falcon 9 v1.1, on a mission that carried 11 ORBCOMM communication satellites to Low Earth Orbit. That was always the primary target of the mission,Read More
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Being an astronaut is still a pretty dangerous profession, with a fatality rate of no less than 4% despite everyone’s intense efforts to prevent serious accidents. But what would happen though, if one of the astronauts in the ISS died now? What happens if you die in space? Turns out, there’s not really a protocol for that… Let’s start with The only deaths that (probably) occurred in space are those of the crew members of Soyuz 11, (Georgiy Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev), who had died during their descentRead More
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Where SpaceX has been trying to land its Falcon 9-rocket for years now, suddenly there’s a company that claims to have pulled that off. But that comparison is wrong. Blue Origin has not pulled off what SpaceX has been doing. Here’s why. To determine that difference, we have take a quick look at both companies and what they’re trying to do. SpaceX (founded by Tesla-owner Elon Musk) is a company that offers launches aboard their trusted Falcon 9-rocket. These launches are offered to both private companies like telecom-providers to launchRead More
Space Launch System
Until a few years ago, NASA was the undisputed ruler of space. With only three countries that have independent (manned) access to space, America was the only country that ever went to the moon and had the world’s most advanced machine ever with the Space Shuttle. But now, much of that glory has been lost as NASA has no manned spaceflight program anymore. A controversial and astronomically priced rocket called the Space Launch System is supposed to change that – but is NASA on the right path with SLS? ItRead More
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Exactly one year ago, ESA did something that had never been done before: It landed a small probe on a comet. The landing didn’t go exactly as planned, but hey, who cares? Philae taught us many things about comets, and about 67P/Churyumov/Geramisenko in general. What have we learned in those 12 months since that nail biting moment? 1. Landing on a comet is way harder than it looks Ok, maybe landing on a comet does look very hard, but Philae’s landing was far from ideal. The lander barely even madeRead More
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The International Space Station turns 15 today. That means that for every single second of every single day for the past 15 years, there has been a human being into space. There’s been much discussion about the benefits of the station. A turbulent history The history of how the ISS came into being hasn’t always been easy. First proposed in 1984 under then-president Ronald Reagan, a ‘permanently manned space station’ was to be operational within the decade – meaning 1994. But budget strains have been hard on NASA since theRead More
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The United States put men on the moon, Russia managed to put the first animal and first man in space, and even China’s working on its own space station. But alongside these 3 space superpowers, there are many other countries with space programs. Some aren’t as glamourous though, like these… Luxembourg The 15th smallest country in the world, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has a relatively large space program. Relatively, if you compare it to the roughly half million inhabitants of the country that’s landlocked between France, Germany and Belgium.Read More
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NASA has (again) found water on Mars. And (again) it is a unique discovery that (again) transforms what we know about the Red Planet. So what’s different now? Hasn’t water been found on Mars many times in the past? Let’s look at the history of water on Mars. In science fiction The first time people started speaking of water on Mars was way, way before NASA ever landed a probe on the planet. In fact, it happened decades before humanity even came close to getting into space or even offRead More
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Liquid water has been found on Mars, but what does that actually mean in practice? Let’s take a look at what has really been discovered, what that means for our understanding about Mars and water in the universe. Klik hier om dit artikel in het Nederlands te lezen. What exactly has been discovered now? Astronomers used the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to show that certain areas on Mars are briny (meaning salty) – and that is pretty odd. The brine can only appear when salt water evaporates. The salt minerals showRead More
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Er is stromend water gevonden op Mars, maar wat betekent dat nou in de praktijk? Laten we eens kijken naar wat er nu écht is ontdekt, en wat dat betekent voor ons begrip over Mars en water in het heelal. Wat is er nu precies ontdekt? Astronomen hebben door middel van de Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter aangetoond dat er stukken op Mars zijn die erg ziltig zijn – en dat is vreemd. Dat zilt (opgedroogde zoutmoleculen) kan namelijk alleen maar ontstaan als zout water verdampt. Die zoutmineralen duiden erop dat erRead More