Tag Archives: astronauts

Self-sufficient space station proposed

Artist's impression of a lunar habitat module Yet another classic science fiction trope that real-world science is reaching towards: a team of scientists have come up with a design for a space station named "Luna Gaia" that works on similar principles to a biosphere – a "closed-loop" ecology where almost all waste products are recycled by the system. [Image credited to NASA]

The ISS runs on a type of closed-loop system already, but the recycling processes are largely based on chemical reactions; the biosphere design would use plants and algae instead, as far as is practically possible, and should be theoretically capable of sustaining twelve astronauts for three years. The diet sounds a bit dull, though …

[tags]space station, biosphere, astronauts[/tags]

Virgin astronauts to undergo centrifuge training

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwoSpace tourism tickets are pretty pricey – partly because you’re not just paying for the flight itself, but a whole bunch of extras too. Wired reports that the first hundred people scheduled to head into sub-orbital space on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo are heading to Philadelphia for preliminary training sessions in centrifuges to get them accustomed to the G-forces of launch and reentry. I am insanely jealous.

Brits to re-enter space race?

Well, it’s high time – a special committee of MPs has recommended that the UK government reverse its ban on manned spaceflight, lest we fall so far behind everyone else that we can’t catch up. So we’ll be needing some sexy-looking space suits … either Louise
Riofrio’s design
, or this oh-so-retro space leisure-wear from MIT perhaps. While we’re at it, we could probably find any number of uses for rocket engines with a variable throttle. But then again, maybe we should go the other way, and abandon subtlety in favour of an
updated version of the Orion Project – space vehicles propelled by dropping nuclear bombs beneath themselves
.