Alan Stern: “What If We Return to Pluto?”

– Hello, good evening. It’s great to see everybody here. It’s a delight for me to introduce tonight’s Ideas Festival speaker to you. I’m Steven Collicott, I’m a Professor in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics in the College of Engineering here at Purdue. And I am also the Associate Head for Engagement in the […]

Why graphene hasn’t taken over the world…yet

– [Cory] It may not look like it, but I’m creating one of the strongest and most versatile materials on Earth, graphene. You’ve probably heard buzz about it. Graphene made big waves back in 2004, and it’s knocked around science news ever since. – A global race for graphene. – You know, it’s not just […]

NASA’s WFIRST Space Telescope Will Offer an Unprecedented Look at the Universe

You may have heard that it’s not smart to look directly at the Sun, and that’s for good reason—it’s pretty bad for you. But it turns out that stars can be problematic in a similar way when we’re looking out into space: their glare can stop us from seeing the stuff we want to see. […]

Orion Solar Array Wing Passes First Test

[ Music ] The solar array wing we tested here today was the qualification model wing provided by Airbus Defence and Space, Netherlands. For this test, we just have one functional wing and it’s the qualification model wing that went through more full qualification testing in Europe, and so this is the only functional wing […]

Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP)

First generation Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, or “NTP,” could enable both faster transit between the earth and Mars, and a series of advanced space missions. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion is powered by nuclear fission, which has been used on earth for more than seventy years. How it works is conceptually simple – energy from fission is used […]

Solar Orbiter

Protected from contamination in a cleanroom this is one of the last views of Solar Orbiter in Europe After a year of tests here at IABG in Munich the ESA spacecraft is ready to be packed-up and flown to Florida for launch Built by Airbus in the UK engineers had the challenging task of designing […]

Why Launch Solar Panels When You Can Print Them Directly In Space? Printing Perovskite Panels

solar energy is the ideal way to power a spacecraft there’s no weather there’s no pesky atmosphere just pure photons streaming from the Sun to harvest for whatever you need well as long as you’re within the inner solar system but solar panels are complicated and fragile made of sensitive electronics and glass and not […]

Kilopower: A Gateway to Abundant Power for Exploration

NASA is advancing an existing technology to enable future space exploration of the solar system with plans to expand human missions to Mars and science exploration of the outer planets the need for reliable power becomes essential space qualified nuclear reactors are one technology that can provide for safe and reliable power for many of […]