August 22, 2019

The Future of NASA

“Much of the science performed at NASA borders on fiction. Their job is to bring it into reality. One team intimately familiar with this task at the space agency is called COMPASS. Since 2006, their job has been to take the most preliminary ideas for space exploration and mold them into real, executable plans. A few of those plans have come to fruition, some are currently being worked on, and many more have been abandoned. All, however, are bold visions of future NASA missions – simultaneously fascinating and inspiring.

Here are five of COMPASS’ coolest designs:

1. Mars Ascent Vehicle. You may have heard of the Mars Ascent Vehicle, or MAV, from Andy Weir’s book The Martian, but the idea was originally born from a COMPASS design in 2010. The basic plan is for a launch platform upon which rests a lightweight rocket. This rocket transports Mars samples from the planet’s surface into orbit, where they can be picked up by a waiting ship and returned to Earth. Subsequent considerations involve making a MAV that can be used to ferry astronauts from the planet’s surface. Some form of the MAV will undoubtedly be used should humans ever make it to the Red Planet.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"The United States and Russia are entering a new arms race, and the costs aren’t just monetary. On August 8, Russian civilians around the remote village of Nyonoksa found themselves downwind of a military nuclear propulsion experiment gone wrong..."

"I don't know about you, but for me "Having more people run for president and effectively doubling the number of primary contests" is not up there with "Michigan beating Notre Dame in the playoffs" and "A new deluxe edition of Barbara Bush's..."

"A growing body of research suggests that, rather than posing a threat to individual wellbeing, adopting a more sustainable lifestyle represents a pathway to a more satisfied life. Numerous studies have found that people who purchase green..."

"What should a parent do when a 2-year-old shrieks inconsolably because her string cheese wrapper tore “the wrong way”? Increasingly, the answer is “snap a photo, add a snarky caption and upload it to Instagram.” Publicly laughing at your..."

"The yield curve’s inverted! The yield curve’s inverted! That was the news I awoke to last Wednesday on CNBC as the 10 year Treasury note yield dipped below the 2 year yield for the first time since 2007. That’s the sign everyone has been waiting..."

"Even a casual observer of the entertainment industry knows that Hollywood is hooked on established intellectual property at the expense of original ideas and awash in more money than it knows how to sensibly spend. But three stories about the..."

"One of the formative texts of the Safed myth, which first portrayed the town as a unique place and which was responsible for spreading word of it all around the Jewish world, is the four letters that Rabbi Solomon Shlumil of Dreznitz sent, in..."

"There are lots of reasons to patent something. The most obvious one is that you’ve come up with a brilliant invention, and you want to protect your idea so that nobody can steal it from you. But that’s just the tip of the patent strategy iceberg..."