Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists funded to design concepts for NASA microgravity experiments

18.09.2008
Two University of Leicester scientists have recently been awarded $10,000 to design concepts for scientific experiments which would fly on the upcoming new generation of manned suborbital spacecraft, such as Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo.

Suborbital spacecraft are launched into space, but do not have enough speed to achieve orbit. They experience several minutes of microgravity ("free fall") and exposure to the environment of space before falling back to Earth.

Dr Duncan Law-Green and Mr David Boyce of the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Leicester have each been awarded $5,000 by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) to design microgravity experiments for submission to NASA. They are currently working with the Space Research Centre (SRC) at Leicester on the development of their proposals.

The NASA programme was originally conceived by Dr. Alan Stern, former head of NASA's Science Mission Directorate. A successful submission may lead to a pilot programme of suborbital research flights sometime around 2011-2012.

The proposed Leicester experiments deal with the physical and chemical properties of regolith, or the powdery material found on the surface of the Moon and other rocky bodies in the solar system. Improved knowledge of the properties and potential uses of this material will be very important for when humans return to the Moon in around 2020.

Dr. Law-Green commented "Leicester has a long history of research with suborbital rockets. A Leicester experiment will shortly be flying on a Black Brant rocket from White Sands, New Mexico. The advantage of the new commercial suborbital spaceplanes like SpaceShipTwo, is that they will provide scientists with cheaper and more frequent access to space, as well as the ability to have a researcher in place to monitor an experiment in real-time. If we want to fly an experiment again the following day, we will be able to do that more easily with a spaceplane than with a conventional sounding rocket. The research potential of this new generation of commercial manned spacecraft is very exciting."

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht On Mars, sands shift to a different drum
24.05.2019 | University of Arizona

nachricht New Boost for ToCoTronics
23.05.2019 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New studies increase confidence in NASA's measure of Earth's temperature

A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.

The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...

Im Focus: The geometry of an electron determined for the first time

Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.

The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

On Mars, sands shift to a different drum

24.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Piedmont Atlanta first in Georgia to offer new minimally invasive treatment for emphysema

24.05.2019 | Medical Engineering

Chemical juggling with three particles

24.05.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>