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
Spintronics: Researchers show how to make non-magnetic materials magnetic
06.08.2020 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Manifestation of quantum distance in flat band materials
05.08.2020 | Institute for Basic Science
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.
Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.
Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...
Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences
06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.08.2020 | Life Sciences