Category Archives: space

Israel’s Moon Lander Crashed, and That’s OK

Some bittersweet news today as we get word that Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft unfortunately crashed shortly before touchdown on the Moon. According to telemetry received from the spacecraft right up until the final moments, the main engine failed to start during a critical braking burn which would have slowed the craft …read more

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Posted in Beresheet, commercial space, crash, Israel, lunar lander, moon, news, space | Leave a comment

Eavesdropping On Cosmonauts With An SDR

Usually when we hear about someone making contact with astronauts in orbit, it’s an intentional contact between a ham on the ground and one of the licensed radio amateurs on the ISS. We don’t often see someone lucky enough to snag a conversation between ground controllers and a spacecraft en …read more

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Posted in Airspy, astronaut, cosmonaut, international space station, iss, QFH, quadrifilar helical antenna, sdr, Soyuz, space, wireless hacks | Leave a comment

Extraterrestrial Excavation: Digging Holes on Other Worlds

We humans are good at a lot of things, but making holes in the ground has to be among our greatest achievements. We’ve gone from grubbing roots with a stick to feeding billions with immense plows pulled by powerful tractors, and from carving simple roads across the land to drilling …read more

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Posted in Asteroids, digging, drilling, excavation, Featured, Interest, lander, mars, moon, Original Art, regolith, sample, sample return, space, space probe | Leave a comment

Es’hail-2: Hams Get Their First Geosynchronous Repeater

In the radio business, getting the high ground is key to covering as much territory from as few installations as possible. Anything that has a high profile, from a big municipal water tank to a roadside billboard to a remote hilltop, will likely be bristling with antennas, and different services …read more

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Posted in amateur radio, AMSAT, DATV, Engineering, geosynchronous, Hackaday Columns, ham, Hams in Space, OSCAR, Qatar, QO-100, repeater, satellite, space, transponder, wireless hacks | Leave a comment

Proposed NASA Budget Signals Changes To Space Launch System

The White House’s proposed budget for 2020 is out, and with it comes cuts to NASA. The most important item of note in the proposed budget is a delay of the Space Launch System, the SLS, a super-heavy lifting launch vehicle designed for single use. The proposed delay would defer …read more

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Posted in Current Events, Hackaday Columns, ICPS, Lunar Gateway, nasa, news, sls, SLS Block 1B, space, Space Launch System | Leave a comment

When New Space Loses Out to NASA Pragmatism

You’ve got to admit, things have been going exceptionally well for SpaceX. In the sixteen years they’ve been in operation, they’ve managed to tick off enough space “firsts” to make even established aerospace players blush. They’re the first privately owned company to not only design and launch their own orbital-class …read more

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Posted in atlas, boeing, Current Events, Falcon 9, Hackaday Columns, lockheed, Lucy, nasa, space, SpaceX, ULA | Leave a comment

CNC Tellurion Lets You See the Earth and Moon Dance

Kids – they’re such a treasure. One minute you’re having a nice chat, the next minutes they’re testing your knowledge of the natural world with a question like, “Why can we see the Moon during the day?” And before you know it, you’re building a CNC Earth-Moon orbital model.

We’ve got to applaud [sniderj]’s commitment to answering his grandson’s innocent question. What could perhaps have been demonstrated adequately with a couple of balls and a flashlight instead became an intricate tellurion that can be easily driven to show the relative position of the Earth and Moon at any date; kudos …read more

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Posted in celestial, cnc, cnc hacks, g-code, orbital, orrery, precession, space, tellurion, Tilt | Leave a comment

The “Impossible” Tech Behind SpaceX’s New Engine

Followers of the Church of Elon will no doubt already be aware of SpaceX’s latest technical triumph: the test firing of the first full-scale Raptor engine. Of course, it was hardly a secret. As he often does, Elon has been “leaking” behind the scenes information, pictures, and even video of the event on his Twitter account. Combined with the relative transparency of SpaceX to begin with, this gives us an exceptionally clear look at how literal rocket science is performed at the Hawthorne, California based company.

This openness has been a key part of SpaceX’s popularity on the Internet (that, …read more

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Posted in Current Events, Engine Hacks, Featured, full-flow staged combustion, gas generator, preburner, space, SpaceX, starship, turbine | Leave a comment

Make Your Lego Fly

We probably all used to make our Lego fly by throwing it across the room, but Flite Test have come up with a slightly more elegant solution: they converted a Lego quadcopter to fly. They did it by adding a  miniature flight controller, battery and motors/rotors to replace the Lego ones in the Lego City Arctic Air Transport kit. This combination flies surprisingly well, thanks to a thoughtful design that balances the heavier components inside the case.

Lego purists may be horrified to hear that the conversion does use a small amount of glue: the builder didn’t think that the …read more

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Posted in drone, lego, multirotor, quadcopter, space, toy hacks | Leave a comment

The Deep Space Energy Crisis Could Soon Be Over

On the face of it, powering most spacecraft would appear to be a straightforward engineering problem. After all, with no clouds to obscure the sun, adorning a satellite with enough solar panels to supply its electrical needs seems like a no-brainer. Finding a way to support photovoltaic (PV) arrays of the proper size and making sure they’re properly oriented to maximize the amount of power harvested can be tricky, but having essentially unlimited energy streaming out from the sun greatly simplifies the overall problem.

Unfortunately, this really only holds for spacecraft operating relatively close to the sun. The tyranny of …read more

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Posted in Cassini, Featured, New Horizons, news, Original Art, peltier, Pioneer, Plutonium, radioisotope, RTG, seebeck, space, spacecraft, voyager | Leave a comment