A device for capturing asteroids, video shooting of galaxies birth, solar probes, colonization of the Moon, 3D printed houses on Mars - some of these innovations have been already implemented, while others remain under development.
Read the following article to find out how they are able to influence the process of exploring space.
NASA has provided funds to develop technologies that will help to protect the Earth from asteroids.
The device is equipped with a powerful spear, which will cling the space object and use the engine power to take it to a trajectory, which would be safe for Earth.
This will allow catching asteroids for the subsequent extraction of their resources. Captured objects will be directed to the orbit of the Moon or Mars where bases for minerals extraction will be constructed.
Lockheed Martin Corporation together with the University of Arizona are developing a super-sensitive near infrared camera - NIRCam. It will be able to capture the light of the stars and galaxies at their formation stage. Developers have equipped NIRCam with coronagraph, which makes the picture of the slightly visible objects that are located close to bright sources.
NIRCam will be sent to space on board the telescope carried by Ariane-5 rocket in 2018. Optical devices allow researchers to obtain data on the nature of light and the process of gas clouds forming.
NASA plans to send a probe to the Sun in 2018. Apparatus for studying the central body of the Solar System will head into its direction at the distance of 6 million kilometers. In these circumstances, the probe will be affected by powerful radiation energy. Not a single spacecraft has ever been exposed to such load. 12 cm thick carboxylic-composite heat shield will protect it from the radiation.
On its way to the celestial body, the apparatus will make seven year-long orbital flyovers around Venus.
Preparing for a mission to Mars, NASA representatives held an architectural contest. Its goal was to develop and fund 3D printing technologies that would help to build houses on the Red Planet. The American design companies Clouds Architecture Office and Team Space Exploration Architecture were announced the winners. Together they have created a concept called Ice House. Under the terms of the contest, the recourses for buildings construction had to be generally accessible, that is why developers have chosen ice as the foundation.
Buildings are planned to be constructed in the cold zones of the planet. Landers and robots will be sent there to gather construction resources.
NASA plans to bring people to the Moon in 2020. The design of the future colony has been already developed, as well as real spacecraft prototypes for exploring the surface of the Earth's satellite: space launch vehicles, explorative vehicles, residential and logistics modules, autonomous rovers, high-tech space suits, etc.
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