This artist’s impression shows the dust and gas around the double star system GG Tauri-A. Researchers using ALMA have detected gas in the region between two discs in this binary system. This may allow planets to form in the gravitationally perturbed environment of the binary. Half of Sun-like stars are born in binary systems, meaning that these findings will have major consequences for the hunt for exoplanets.
Nextbigfuture – SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said his company will make a first attempt to land the booster stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating platform during the upcoming ISS resupply mission. If the attempt is successful, the company plans to refurbish and reuse the booster stage, making spaceflight history and paving the way for a significant reduction in the cost of access to space.
Propellant only makes up a tiny percentage (in the case of a Falcon 9 rocket, about 0.3 percent) of the cost of the craft, so being able to reuse all the hardware for multiple flights could potentially slash the cost of spaceflight by a factor of 10 or more.
Nextbigfuture – Spiderfab can reduce costs by ten times or more and enable vastly larger structure in space. Larger structures such multi-kilometer solar sails, antennas or mirrors can transform space capabilities.
In March, 2014, NASA awarded Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) a $750,000 contract to continue development of its “Trusselator” technology. The Trusselator is a device for in-space additive manufacture of high-performance truss structures for systems such as large solar arrays and antennas.
Tethers Unlimited is developing a set of technologies called SpiderFab™ to enable on-orbit fabrication of spacecraft components.
Spacex is developing the Falcon Heavy and the Raptor engine which will be able to drive costs down towards $500 per pound to low earth orbit. Reusable rockets is also making progress and this could lower costs by ten times more.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.