IN MEMORIUM: Jay Lake 1964 – 2014. Jay will be missed. His willingness to share his experience of living with cancer was extraordinary and his presence enriched all of us. Amazing Stories’ condolences to his family and friends. (More)
PRESS RELEASES and NEWSLETTERS (Full Text At the End)
Spacex Thruster Qualified
Spacex Unveils Dragon 2 Crew Ship
Astronomy Magazine News
Prometheus Award Finalists Announced
Jemisin’s Wiscon GoH Speech “I am by no means the only woman or person of color who’s been targeted by threats, slurs, and the intentional effort to create a hostile environment in our most public spaces.” (Praise, Commentary, more, more, more: Older leading up to this
Stop Telling Us To Shut Up About Diverse Books
Faith In SF & Fantasy
How To Create A Diverse Book Collection
Damien Walters SF’s Real War of the Worlds…Commentary From File 770
Atheism On the Rise
Neil Gaiman is Cool
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NYT Recommended Summer Reading – Jemisin
Edge Of Tomorrow Clips (Read the graphic story from Haikasoru instead)
Independence Day Sequels
New Transformers Posters
Bleeding Cool SF Magazine Issue On Sale
The Blueness Never Stops: Avatar As Cirque de Soleil Live Show
Planuts (Peanuts & SF Mashup)
It May Not Be Talking Squids In Space – But It’s Very Cool
Tadao Tomomatsu – makes flat appearance at ConQuest 45
Tim Bolgeo Out As Archon 38 Fan GoH
Walker-Stalker Con – In Two Weeks!
Prometheus Award Winners Announced (See Newsletters)
People Of Color In European Art History
Stories For Chip (Delany) Anthology
Future of the Book
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Quantum Teleportation Achieved
DARPA Funding Brain Implant Research
PRESS RELEASES and NEWSLETTERS
SpaceX Completes Qualification Testing of SuperDraco Thruster
Thruster to Power Revolutionary Launch Escape System on Dragon Spacecraft
HAWTHORNE, Calif. – Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) announced today that it has completed qualification testing for the SuperDraco thruster, an engine that will power the Dragon spacecraft’s launch escape system and enable the vehicle to land propulsively on Earth or another planet with pinpoint accuracy.
The qualification testing program took place over the last month at SpaceX’s Rocket Development Facility in McGregor, Texas. The program included testing across a variety of conditions including multiple starts, extended firing durations and extreme off-nominal propellant flow and temperatures.
The SuperDraco is an advanced version of the Draco engines currently used by SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft to maneuver in orbit and during re-entry. SuperDracos will be used on the crew version of the Dragon spacecraft as part of the vehicle’s launch escape system; they will also enable propulsive landing on land. Each SuperDraco produces 16,000 pounds of thrust and can be restarted multiple times if necessary. In addition, the engines have the ability to deep throttle, providing astronauts with precise control and enormous power.
The SuperDraco engine chamber is manufactured using state-of-the-art direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), otherwise known as 3D printing. The chamber is regeneratively cooled and printed in Inconel, a high-performance superalloy that offers both high strength and toughness for increased reliability.
“Through 3D printing, robust and high-performing engine parts can be created at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional manufacturing methods,” said Elon Musk, Chief Designer and CEO. “SpaceX is pushing the boundaries of what additive manufacturing can do in the 21st century, ultimately making our vehicles more efficient, reliable and robust than ever before.”
Unlike previous launch escape systems that were jettisoned after the first few minutes of launch, SpaceX’s launch system is integrated into the Dragon spacecraft. Eight SuperDraco engines built into the side walls of the Dragon spacecraft will produce up to 120,000 pounds of axial thrust to carry astronauts to safety should an emergency occur during launch.
As a result, Dragon will be able to provide astronauts with the unprecedented ability to escape from danger at any point during the ascent trajectory, not just in the first few minutes. In addition, the eight SuperDracos provide redundancy, so that even if one engine fails an escape can still be carried out successfully.
The first flight demonstration of the SuperDraco will be part of the upcoming pad abort test under NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capabilities (CCiCap) initiative. The pad abort will be the first test of SpaceX’s new launch escape system and is currently expected to take place later this year.
Dragon V2 Unveil Today at 7:00 PM PT
Join us for the unveiling of the new Dragon V2–SpaceX’s next generation spacecraft designed to carry astronauts into space. SpaceX will webcast the event directly from their state-of-the-art design and manufacturing facility in Hawthorne, California.
Watch LIVE at http://www.spacex.com/webcast