NASA says it has selected finalists in an engineering competition to design an "inflatable loft", reminiscent of the extending roofs often fitted to camper vans, but in this case intended to deploy from the roof of a "hard-shell prototype habitat" for use by astronauts on the Moon or Mars. Prototype hardshell habitat module for …
It'll need a VW badge too.
...some Martian chavs nick the badge...
Ah, the early designs...
Like the first atempt at the Lunar Module, all boiler plate and rivets.
If this habitat ever gets off the ground (!) you can bet that it will look more like it was designed in Lothlorien than Vladivostok.
That tourist railing will be the first to go...
Isnt this just a lightweight gasometer?
Plenty going spare around the UK if they're looking, particularly as we're too dim to keep a decent stock (of gas that is) in reserve.
Mars AD 2116
Trailer parks everywhere.
Puncture repair kits at a premium.
Holidays on Phobos from £99.
Re: Holidays on Phobos.
Don't bother. I went once and found it lacked atmosphere.....
But SpaceX, Bigelow or Armadillo might get people on the moon before 2020. SpaceX has I think said they are interested in Mars.
NO profit, so no Mars
But with what money? Maybe if there were several billionaires that want to spend their fortune on spaceflight, but otherwise unlikely. There is no payoff, at least not on a time scale that a private company can work on.
Surely an "interface ring" and a "bummer shield" are mutually exclusive?
the bummer shield is containment, rather than defence.
Use the new & improved 2-layer Lunar MM/SE...
....because having a micrometeorite come through your skull is a real bummer.
No British manned spaceflight?
Then what do you call Virgin Galactic?
P.S. All you NASA groupies should know by now that spending $5-20bn. per person per year is not the way to get mankind into space.
Richard Branson == UKGov?
Last I checked, Virgin Galactic was a privately funded venture, flying out of locations in the USA. The article was obviously referring to manned spaceflight on a national level - like, I dunno, say, NASA.
There was even some news story over a Brit astronaut not being able to fly as a Brit, technically, because the gov said we didn't do manned flight - whether he got adopted by another country's space agency or our gov decided not to be twats , I don't know.
"Barrel Interface Ring"
Better known in the licensed trade as the inside of a pint pot.
Threats and opportunities
For long term survival, we must be able to live and work in space. But of the things that would have us dead, asteroids and comets are the most credible threats, being able to strike at any time. The Sun will age and kill us, but that will take billions of years. Neighboring stars could wipe us out. Stars being what they are, the threats come from big ones, which means the ripe ones we know about will blow within some millions of years.
Travelling within our solar system will not save us from our Sun, nor is it likely to save us from a gamma ray burst or other ugliness from a neighbor - if Earth gets fried, so does Mars. So, what are we doing futsing around with Mars landing plans when we have no credible defense against an asteroid with our number on it?
Also, please keep in mind that Mars has next to no atmosphere because it has very little magnetic field. It is a wonderful place to send robots; it is unlikely to terraform into a place where you would want to live.
Back to the old method of NASA running odds and sods project in the vain hope that they might "one day" be useful.
Of course said projects are always about how to live on other bodies, while our knowledge of how to *get* to other bodies with a manned mission actually fades. I doubt many if any people at NASA these days have actual experience in engineering a craft to go further than the ISS with a crew on board.
"least successful of the dinosaurs"?
Wasn't that a leathery egg that got eaten by something small and furry, minutes after being laid?
Sorry, Arthur, I know what you meant, but although dinosaurs as a group are still incredibly successful (I'm thinking of the feathery ones with wings), many dinosaur species, and countless dinosaur individuals, were utter failures.
Given the strength of the gravity well out of which we are working,
if there is to be a future for H sapiens sapiens off this planet, it will have to be a joint effort of all interested and capable nations, including, not least, the - in this particular context, the United States' favourite bête noir - Chinese. No more keeping the Chinese off the ISS, no more legal restrictions on trade and other forms of cooperation ; instead we are going to have to keep our eyes on the essential ball : establishing working human colonies on other bodies in our system. Otherwise, we might as well stop playing around and restrict our efforts to robot investigations of these bodies and more and better telescopes in better Earth orbits than the current LEOs....
Henri, Nice try, but we could suck up to China all we want, and we would still be lucky to reliably get humans to Mars. That would do us about as much good as going to Venus; at least there, death would be nearly instantaneous vs. the potentially lengthy horror that would occur on Mars with its minimal magnetic field and resulting lack of protection from solar wind. Traveling to the planets is just a down payment on the real survival trick, which is hunting down other solar systems to colonize.
What we need is some really good understanding of physics, along with some luck that there are serious loopholes that allow very rapid travel. Either way, the place to start is to learn how to deflect asteroids and comets, otherwise we might not survive long enough to figure out said physics and put it into practice.
When the free world works out how to deflect said threats, you can try sending a bill to China and others for their fair share of the cost. Let us know how that works out.