The emerging space technology

bearnard19

New Member
The emerging space technology In the modern world, science and technology are fast-growing things, and as we can see a lot of new space technologies are about to be produced or invented. Which one do you expect the most and which one do you think might be the most useful for humans or for space exploration?
 

tonnyc

Active Member
The emerging space technology In the modern world, science and technology are fast-growing things, and as we can see a lot of new space technologies are about to be produced or invented. Which one do you expect the most and which one do you think might be the most useful for humans or for space exploration?
Micro-modular reactors and its larger brother Small Modular Reactors.

Space is huge. Most of it lacks convenient energy sources. If we limit ourselves to orbits near the sun, sure, solar power is readily available. But sunlight's intensity diminishes as we go further out. Mars is about the outer limit for convenient solar powered stuff and even then we have to start adding caveats. It's no coincidence that Perseverance and Curiosity are nuclear powered. It's the only option that can last years without maintenance. Solar power on satellites around Mars may work, but on Mars surface it will be really difficult for solar powered robots to stay functional after a few days of sand storm.

But Perseverance's radioisotope thermal generator is tiny. Sure it's sufficient for a river, but what if we want to send people to Mars? We'll need a bigger power source. And nuclear reactors in the ten kilowatt and a hundred kilowatt range are great for that. Eventually we may even go into the megawatt range with small modular reactors.

And that's just for Mars. Want to check out Europa? Sample Jupiter's atmosphere? Process asteroid rock? Alternatively, want to send a robot to Mercury? The bright side of Mercury is too hot and will destroy any solar panels we can make. The robot/rover will have to stay in the dark side and thus won't get any sunlight.

Nuclear energy is also useful for us on Earth, but I think you want to focus on the space aspect.

As for space exploration tech that will be useful for us on Earth, I'm thinking asteroid mining. Oh, forget about those quintillion dollar asteroid in the asteroid belt. That's just media hype. It's too far to be useful for this century. Asteroid mining will start with capturing near Earth asteroids and melting it down. Billion dollar stuff that can see return on investment in a year or two. I look forward to seeing the gold hoarders cry when gold price drops from overproduction.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
For me it has to be propulsion because chemical rocketry is very expensive and very limiting. There are two aspects to the problem. Lifting stuff into earth orbit and then achieving viable velocities for interplanetary travel, and later interstellar travel.

Of the two aspects of the problem, lifting mass from earth's surface into orbit is at present both difficult and expensive. The chemical rockets used have to carry their own fuel which makes up a considerable proportion of their mass, leaving little left for payload. Sometimes they have the inconsiderate habit of self destructing destroying the payload, which is highly inconvenient. Unfortunately until we figure out an alternative way of inserting material into orbit we are stuck with rocketry.

There have been differing suggestions over the years for inserting material into orbit with some being rather exotic, such as the space elevator. However I believe that there are significant physics problems to be addressed before this could be considered. The problems don't involve exotic particles, nuclear forces, or quantum physics, but basic Newtonian classic physics - gravity and rotational forces, such as the coriolis force, because the elevator would be firmly anchored to the earth's surface. Then there are the engineering problems.

The second aspect is drive packs. What form do they take? What can we look at technically achieving in the next 50 years? Do we need to start prospecting for dilithium crystals? :cool: Any drive packs that we use are going to have to be safe and have shielding for any hazardous emissions. However the last thing we need is having to hump tonnes of lead around space. It takes up room and has to be lifted into orbit.

So many questions to be asked and answered.
 

bearnard19

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Micro-modular reactors and its larger brother Small Modular Reactors.

Space is huge. Most of it lacks convenient energy sources. If we limit ourselves to orbits near the sun, sure, solar power is readily available. But sunlight's intensity diminishes as we go further out. Mars is about the outer limit for convenient solar powered stuff and even then we have to start adding caveats. It's no coincidence that Perseverance and Curiosity are nuclear powered. It's the only option that can last years without maintenance. Solar power on satellites around Mars may work, but on Mars surface it will be really difficult for solar powered robots to stay functional after a few days of sand storm.

But Perseverance's radioisotope thermal generator is tiny. Sure it's sufficient for a river, but what if we want to send people to Mars? We'll need a bigger power source. And nuclear reactors in the ten kilowatt and a hundred kilowatt range are great for that. Eventually we may even go into the megawatt range with small modular reactors.

And that's just for Mars. Want to check out Europa? Sample Jupiter's atmosphere? Process asteroid rock? Alternatively, want to send a robot to Mercury? The bright side of Mercury is too hot and will destroy any solar panels we can make. The robot/rover will have to stay in the dark side and thus won't get any sunlight.

Nuclear energy is also useful for us on Earth, but I think you want to focus on the space aspect.

As for space exploration tech that will be useful for us on Earth, I'm thinking asteroid mining. Oh, forget about those quintillion dollar asteroid in the asteroid belt. That's just media hype. It's too far to be useful for this century. Asteroid mining will start with capturing near Earth asteroids and melting it down. Billion dollar stuff that can see return on investment in a year or two. I look forward to seeing the gold hoarders cry when gold price drops from overproduction.
I assume that scientists a bit far from creatin micro modular reactor. But still, such an invention will allow us to do a lot of achievements we couldn`t make earlier.
 
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bearnard19

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Personaly, I liked the way how microsatellites are developing and how they partialy substitute ordinary sats. This is a cheaper and easier way for some missions ordinary sats used to do. Also, we may use microsats bigger number of fields that only emphasis their competence. Satellite technology take part in our everyday live, so we cannot imagine our precent world without sat technology. So looing farward to new things in sat technology will be discovered soon
 
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