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Copernical Team

Copernical Team

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Impatient? A spacecraft could get to Titan in only 2 years using a direct fusion drive
Artist conception of the Direct Fusion Drive. Credit: Princeton Satellite Systems

Fusion power is the technology that is 30 years away, and always will be, according to skeptics, at least. Despite its difficult transition into a reliable power source, the nuclear reactions that power the sun have a wide variety of uses in other fields. The most obvious is in weapons; hydrogen bombs are to this day the most powerful weapons we have ever produced. But there's another use case that is much less destructive and could prove much more interesting—space drives.

The concept fusion drive, called a direct fusion drive (or DFD), is in development at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). Scientists and Engineers there, led by Dr. Samuel Cohen, are currently working on the second iteration of it, known as the Princeton field reversed configuration-2 (PFRC-2). Eventually, the system's developers hope to launch it into space to test, and eventually become the primary drive system of spacecraft traveling throughout the solar system.

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Copernicus Sentinel-6 over the Maldives

With less than a month to go before a SpaceX Falcon 9 takes Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich into orbit to chart sea-level rise, preparations are forging ahead at the launch site.

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Ozone hole 2020

Measurements from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite show that this year’s ozone hole over the Antarctic is one of the largest and deepest in recent years. A detailed analyses from the German Aerospace Center indicates that the hole has now reached its maximum size.

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Touch-and-go: US spacecraft sampling asteroid for return
This undated image made available by NASA shows the asteroid Bennu from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. After almost two years circling the ancient asteroid, OSIRIS-REx will attempt to descend to the treacherous, boulder-packed surface and snatch a handful of rubble on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/CSA/York/MDA via AP)

After almost two years circling an ancient asteroid hundreds of millions of miles away, a NASA spacecraft this week will attempt to descend to the treacherous, boulder-packed surface and snatch a handful of rubble.

The drama unfolds Tuesday as the U.S.

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Perth, Australia (SPX) Oct 16, 2020
An optical communications station capable of receiving high-speed data transmissions from space is set to be built in Western Australia and will be installed by The University of Western Australia. The advanced communications ground station will be able to receive data from spacecraft anywhere between low-Earth orbit and the surface of the Moon. It has the potential to support ground
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New Delhi (Sputnik) Oct 14, 2020
With over 600 million internet users, India ranks second in the world in terms of bandwidth consumption On 15 August 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his national address from the iconic Red Fort in Delhi, announced the extension of internet connectivity to every village in the country within the next "thousand days". In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of providing ev
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Seattle WA (SPX) Oct 13, 2020
RBC Signals, the leading provider of flexible and cost-effective space communication services, has announced the company has been engaged by Swarm Technologies, the California-based global satellite connectivity provider, to host antennas for the company. The antennas will support Swarm's next wave of satellites, which are part of the 150-unit constellation being deployed in groups and exp
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London, UK (SPX) Oct 15, 2020
UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Rachel Maclean MP released 13 October 2020 a statement on the draft insurance, liabilities and charging requirements to implement the Space Industry Act 2018. This consultation seeks views on the operability and effectiveness of the proposed liabilities, insurance and charging requirements to implement the Space Industry Act 2018, including the us
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Olsztyn, Poland (SPX) Oct 15, 2020
Zortrax with the support of the European Space Agency (ESA) is working to develop a technology that enables 3D printing high-performance composite parts out of two blends of PEEK filament in dual extrusion on Zortrax Endureal industrial 3D printer. After nearly a year of research and development efforts, we have reached a major milestone. The first prototype composite parts made out of sta
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