Airbus unveils Reusable Rocket Engine Program Adeline

European airspace firm Airbus has revealed their answer to reusable rockets. Most of the things humanity has shot in space has been expendable. Cost, reliability and complexity have kept us from reusing our space hardware. Airbus’s Adeline or Advanced Expendable Launcher with Innovative engine Economy aims to change that. Using built-in wings and propellers, the engine will detach on a ballistic trajectory and fly back to a runway.

Right now, the most well-known effort to get a reusable rocket is Space X’s Falcon 9. That rocket reserves an amount of fuel and has added complexity to give it the ability to land upright. Adeline on the other hand, should be relatively simpler as it’s more of powered glider and landing conventionally seems it will be much easier. By abandoning the fuel tank as well, the cost of returning the module in terms of fuel consumption should also be decreased. The space shuttle program for instance recovered the shuttle and the booster rockets but let the fuel tank, which is relatively cheaper, burn up in the atmosphere.

Airbus has been working on the project since 2010 and has already spent 15 million euros on the project. However, the priority is still the Ariane 6, pushing Adeline to between 2025 and 2030. As it appears that the Falcon 9 is at the cusp of being recoverable, Space X will be able to offer lower prices fist, cutting costs by over 50%. United Launch Alliance (Boeing-Lockheed) may also be pursuing reusability with their upcoming Vulcan rocket. The biggest challenge for the 3 will be convincing customers to let their expensive payloads be exploded into space by what is essentially second-hand hardware.

Artificial Intelligence Could Destroy Humanity Warns Stephen Hawking

Crush. Kill. Destroy. The singularity – the super-evolution of sentient machines – is coming, according to Professor Stephen Hawking, and we should all be afraid.

“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” Professor Hawking said to the BBC. “It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

“We cannot quite know what will happen if a machine exceeds our own intelligence, so we can’t know if we’ll be infinitely helped by it, or ignored by it and sidelined, or conceivably destroyed by it,” Hawking warns. This echoes the opinion of Elon Musk, Chief Executive of Space X. He voiced his fear during the Summer, calling advanced AI “more dangerous than nukes” and is “our biggest existential threat”.

Source: BBC

Mars One Applications Open For A One-Way Ticket To Mars

The privately funded Mars mission formally known as “Mars One” has recently opened up their application process for the required astronauts who will take a journey to the Red Planet about 10 years from now in the years 2022/2033, oh and this is no joke either, they’re very serious about sending people.

A team of four applicant will be assembled for the mission, consisting of two men and two women, then they will use tried and tested technology to grant them passage to our cosmic neighbor as the world watches on and history is made, at least in theory that is the missions intentions, but 10 years away is quite a long time for plans to change.

The team has a budget of £3.93 billion, not exactly loose change although the team have yet to disclose how this money has been divided up to the project and what development are still to be made, although it has been said that reality Tv deals and other sponsorships will play a big part, we just don’t know who, how and when those parts will fall into place.

Mars One CEO Bas Lansdort has remained optimistic despite the growing criticism, but this is a HUGE mission, with many questions to be answered and you can bet that every question will be asked, asked again and no doubt asked again before the mission takes place, but I’m sure Lansdort is more than aware of this. Either way this is a huge investment and one that could generate great returns for all involved via advertisements and sponsorship, but it’s already sounding more like an episode of Big Brother in Space rather than the military precision of NASA’s adventures.

“No new inventions are needed to land humans on Mars,” said Lansdorp during a press conference earlier this week, “There might be delays, there might be cost overruns, there might even be failures, but it can be done.” he continued.

The foundation intends to launch a robot demo mission in 2016, a rover to scout a settlement in 2018, a second rover in 2020 along with staged deliveries of settlement equipment. After this the rovers will essentially build the systems required to keep people alive on Mars, hopefully in time for the big arrival some time in 2023 as I’m sure 7 months in space will leave you wanting a nice little martian house to put your feet up in.

It sounds crazy I know, but given today’s technology vs that used in the 60’s to get a man on the moon, it’s really not that impossible to achieve. With the help of SpaceX and their Falcon Heavy Launcher, Dragon Cargo Spacecraft and the help of the ISS, a few rovers, a purpose built transit vehicle, special space suits, and four willing and talented astronauts and you’re practical there already.