New Technology Could Change Our Approach to Space Exploration

by Megan Ray Nichols

NASA and other space agencies continue to work tirelessly on finding new technology to make deep space exploration a possibility. The Korean Institute of Science and Technology, or KAIST, as well as NASA are currently working on a new technology involving self-healing silicon chips for spacecraft that will make the interstellar trip in the near future.

NASA will present the technology at the International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco in December 2016. The largest hurdle scientists have faced in regards to sending deep space probes is the intense radiation from the other stars and planets. This new technology will allow the silicon chips to heal after radiation exposure using a transistor made from nanowire technology.

How Self-Healing Chip Technology Works

As a deep space probe travels, its exposure to large amounts of radiation causes degradation before the probe can reach the end of its journey. Although a space shuttle or probe may run into other challenges such as heating and cooling or fuel issues, scientists believe the destruction from radiation scenario is avoidable by using a gate to surround the nanowire transistors.

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How massive is Jupiter?

By Anupum Pant

If you combined the masses of all the planets in the solar system, that would still weigh almost less than half of Jupiter’s mass. That’s heavy. So heavy, that effectively when it tries to revolve around the sun, it also makes the sun revolve around it a little. That is to say, both these massive bodies revolve around a common point, called a barycenter. The barycenter for the sun and the Jupiter lies just outside of the sun! Almost on the surface. At about 1.068 times the radius of the sun.

“Jupiter’s mass is 2.5 times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined—this is so massive that its barycenter with the Sun lies above the Sun’s surface at 1.068 solar radii from the Sun’s center. Jupiter is much larger than Earth and considerably less dense: its volume is that of about 1,321 Earths, but it is only 318 times as massive.”


Telescope on the Moon

By Anupum Pant

When the Chinese unmanned lunar exploration mission Chang’e 3, landed its first lunar rover on the moon in 2013, not many people knew this. But it’s coming to light just now with a new report published that shows they’ve have had a UV telescope on the moon all along.

The telescope has recorded thousands of hours of observations. And has also been able to record an impressive UV image of a galaxy that is 21 million light years away – Pinwheel Galaxy.

The robotic telescope has worked for an impressive 2 years now and has captured some really good data which couldn’t have been possible from any telescope on the earth. That’s mostly because of two reasons.

1. Earth’s atmosphere is too thick to allow detectable UV light from distant celestial objects.

2. Moon spins 27 times slower than the earth so it is possible to make the telescope focus at a single object and collect light for a lot more time than it can do on earth.