Header image: Artist’s impression of a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft docking with the International Space Station (image source: NASA/SpaceX.) “We have a violent left roll here at the present time and we can’t turn the RCS off…” NASA ASTRONAUT NEIL ARMSTRONG,… Read More »Rocket Physics, the Hard Way: Spacecraft Maneuvering and Control
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Header image: Artist’s impression of an Apollo capsule re-entry (image source: NASA.) “That was a real fireball, boy. I had great chunks of that retropack breaking off all the way through…” NASA astronaut John Glenn, reporting to mission control shortly… Read More »Rocket Physics, the Hard Way: Re-entry and Hypersonic Flight
Header image: Artist’s impression of Perseverance in powered descent under its skycrane (image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech.) Perseverance, if all goes well, will land on Mars on Thursday! Previous installments of Rocket Physics, the Hard Way have discussed the rocket equation and… Read More »Rocket Physics Special: The Physics of Perseverance
Header image: NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor harvests kale and lettuce from the Veggie (Vegetable Production System) experiment on the International Space Station (ESA/Alexander Gerst) Follow us on social media! “‘They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially colonized it.… Read More »ISRU Part IV: How to Grow Food on Mars
Access to energy is arguably the most important indicator of a civilization’s development. On Mars, having access to energy can mean the difference between life and death – not only is it necessary to power life support systems, but it… Read More »ISRU Part III: How to Generate Energy on Mars
In Part I, we discussed making the essentials for life on Mars: fuel, oxygen, and water. After the initial exploration phase, the construction of permanent settlements and structures will begin to become a priority. When humanity settles Mars, Martian architects… Read More »ISRU Part II: How to Make Construction Materials on Mars
Of the plethora of acronyms in Mars exploration circles, one in particular forms the cornerstone of many Mars and Moon exploration plans: In-Situ Resource Utilization, or ISRU. It is key to establishing a permanent human presence beyond Earth, and both… Read More »ISRU Part I: How to Make Fuel, Oxygen, and Water on Mars