57

There are many reasons. They include money, intellectual property, regulations, and Elon Musk. Money. Building open source software is relatively inexpensive, sometimes ridiculously inexpensive. No equipment is needed as most programmers have their own computers. There are many open source software projects where the developers do their work for free. ...


9

Kilopower is designed for at most 10 kW of power. I asked Patrick McClure, who is the engineer in charge of the Kilopower project at Los Alamos (2019 Humans to Mars summit) if they could scale it up to 100 kW, they suggested that an entirely new design would be preferred if one was going to scale up to that much power. So it seems highly unlikely that ...


8

This partial answer is not about the technical possibilities, but about Starlink's hypothetical relationship to 5G. SpaceX's plans with Starlink are unclear at the moment. On the one hand, one should not expect it to be available in urban areas because it will serve [the] least served. This is obviously reasonable because big cities have the most advanced (...


8

In Robert Heinlein's 1950 Novella "The Man Who Sold the Moon", the central character raises the possibility of using the moon as a billboard. He does not actually propose to do it, but he gets support from one company by suggesting that a competitor (with a simpler logo) might put its logo on the moon. Even in the fictional world of the story, this ...


6

According to Wikipedia's Xenon the gas occurs at 87 ppb (parts per billion) by volume in Earth's atmosphere. Earth's atmosphere weighs 5.15x1018 kg. Dividing this by the density of air (at sea level) gives us 4.20x1018 m^3 of air if it were all concentrated at sea level. Multiplying this by the concentration of Xenon leaves us with 3.65x1011 m^3 of xenon gas....


6

Private companies have been trying to get into the launch business since the 80s (ORTRAG in Germany since the 70s), usually turning into a financial disaster for the investors. Several things have changed since then which makes for a more favorable business climate. New design and manufacturing tools, plus other rocket builders' experience to look back on, ...


5

There was a lot of work with sounding rockets after World War II. Those are rockets that go up and come back down--they are not intended to enter orbit, which is actually a much more difficult problem then just getting into space. For instance, Bristol Aerospace of Canada has a line of Black Brant rockets, like the Black Brant IV which can reach an altitude ...


4

This applies to the HLS elements as well, but NASA has recently been requiring Firm Fixed Price Contracts (To avoid ballooning costs, like on SLS) alongside the result of the contract being NASA purchasing a ~service~. They are essentially buying a ticket to the moon, or a ticket to a certain amount of power around the moon, but not buying the plane. They ...


4

They are not yet a thing, but are still being worked on. The system will launch on the Electron rocket. The cost isn't known, but it will be launched on an Electron rocket, costing \$6 million, and likely at least the same for the spacecraft. Let's just call it \$20 million total. One big question is how many shows can it generate per satellite. Let's go ...


3

The Mars one scheme/scam and the history of the colonization era (also rich in schemes and scams) indicate there are plenty of people willing to make a one way trip. With mars the question is where the money would come from. There are more than two thousand billionaires, and somewhere around 40 million millionaires. If we take the two seriously wealthy ...


3

There is a GPS Module in Dishy, and they know where you are (Also if you have been good or bad, so be good for goodness sake). In a Reddit AMA they were asked that, and more implied that the location may not work due to coverage issues, vs they will block it. But it is very early. This will almost certainly change as they deploy more and more customers. I ...


3

I have never heard of a patented maneuver before. There are maneuver strategies that operators will perform but there are many common ones like a Hohmann Transfer and a pure inclination change. I would suspect that maneuver strategy are just a closely guarded company secret, not patented. I worked with many operators who said directly how they maneuver and ...


3

"Design concept" sounds like it's Technology Readiness Level 2: "technology concept and/or application formulated". In short, what UNSC-Tech has delivered is a paper design for a rocket engine. For comparison, NERVA reached TRL 6, firing a prototype engine into a near-vacuum.


3

Frankly, until 3d printing gets significantly better (as in print circuit boards and complex electronics better than printers print thermoplastics today), "open source hardware" doesn't really make sense because it doesn't have the key advantages that open source software does: Accessibility: Anyone with an internet-capable device can download an ...


3

Two options: Become an investor in SpaceX. \$10M is not enough to start your own rocket company (it takes at least \$1000M), but it would be enough to be taken seriously as an investor in another company that has a record of success, yet still needs cash. Become a subcontractor. Build something that a larger company doesn't do themselves, but might be ...


3

Yes, No, Maybe. All of those, depending on where they want to buy it. When buying property in a country, you generally have to do it under the jurisdiction of the country where the property is located. That means which flavor of contract law is involved varies wildly. In general, though, contracts can be offered & accepted both verbally (oral) or in ...


3

@Greg has a good answer, but he's missing my favorite: OTRAG. Orbital Transport und Raketen Aktiengesellschaft was the very first private company to launch their own rockets to orbit. They were founded in West Germany in 1975, and were advised by Wernher von Braun and Kurt Debus, both former V-2 and NASA officials. The rocket design was unique and clever. ...


3

New Space Hub is an invite only social network that keeps track of things like this. https://newspacehub.co/ They allow you to search their database though, even if you are not a member. So hopefully you can find what you are looking for there. It is very well updated because most of their members are very active in the startup community.


3

WiFi from a satellite is actually impossible, due to a number of issues. Regulation wise WiFi only works because of the ability to have low power unlicensed devices, for it to work in space it would require a much more powerful system. The limit is 4 W EIRP. Furthermore, the movement of the satellite will create Doppler shift of the frequency, which will ...


3

There are no such regulations, so I can't think of any reason why SpaceX couldn't refuse to launch a competitor's satellites. The relevant regulator here is the FAA, and specifically AST. AST regulates the launch and reentry of space objects from the United States. AST's authority to regulate these activities is set out in U.S. law. That authority is focused ...


3

Let's look at the company's webpage for the Blue Moon mission. At the very bottom, they clearly state: For interest in flying on Mission One or future lunar transport services, please email (redacted) So they are trying to sell space for people or payloads who want to go to the moon. The same page has sections "Large Lunar Landing Payload Capability" ...


2

Launching resources to build space stations is expensive. This is because gravity on Earth makes it require a lot of energy to get off the ground and into space. The moon has certain resources that are very useful for building, including iron, silicon, water and mercury. There are several reasons why getting these resources from the Moon are better than ...


2

The Aireon Hosted Payload is a 1090ES ADS-B receiver that is attached to Iridium NEXT as a "Hosted Payload". The paper "Iridium NEXT SensorPODs: Global access for your scientific payloads" by Dr. Om P. Gupta of Iridium Communications Inc. describes in general how Iridium Next payloads communicate with the ground: Mission data and ...


2

I see the two key issues are: proving ones identity having witnesses to the signing of documents I hesitated about answering this question. I think the question only stands as a "Space Exploration" question to the extent that these two issues can or cannot be solved in a way that is unique to being in space as opposed to simply being physically removed ...


2

Why would being in space be any different from being in another country, or even at home during lock down (covid 19)? Every local government has different rules. With cash, transfer is just changing ownership. You don't need a contract to trade money for real estate. Getting a loan to finance a land purchase might be difficult. But if you are paying ...


2

This is quite hard to be definitive about. One only has to look at images of Dawn (2007) and Mars Express (2003) to see the same choice of symmetrical solar arrays usually associated with geostationary communications satellites. In each case there are numerous differences to regular communications satellites made for payload accommodation and also ...


2

A short summary: The HLS needs to be able to support human life. The overarching goal is to land humans on the Moon and safely return them to the Earth. The HLS needs to be able to land on and later launch from the surface of the Moon. This is the second half of that overarching goal. The HLS needs to be able to dock with the Gateway / Orion. The base ...


2

They have a press release here. It contains the selections (listed below), and the grant amounts. "Tactical" means grants up to \$100k and "Strategic" grants up to \$250k. Directed Energy for Revolutionary Space Propulsion and Power Projection (STRATEGIC): Modular and scalable directed energy approach with propulsion applications ranging ...


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