Skip to Content

Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.

Map of the world

Space travel to get boost from solar power

space travelThe reality of manned space travel has scientists on limited budgets looking at every angle that might make it happen efficiently. Recently, five aerospace companies contracted with NASA to study the idea of a new propulsion system, designed to turn the sun's rays into electricity for space travel.

NASA hopes the end result is a new propulsion system that will power a reusable "space tugboat" capable of ferrying satellites from low-Earth orbit to the higher geosynchronous Earth orbit.

The idea is popular because a solar powered vehicle would save money on fuel and eliminate the need for the secondary rocket booster normally required to send a satellite into high orbit.

Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Aerospace Systems sector and Boeing's Phantom Works unit are two of the companies involved, each winning a four-month $600,000 NASA contract to conduct early-stage studies for a high-power solar propulsion system.

"The study has no hardware, so the `work' is all design work, and will be done here in Redondo Beach mostly," Northrop spokeswoman Mary Blake said in the Daily Breeze.

Just one piece of the space travel puzzle, the new solar-powered propulsion system would have other uses too, including cargo transportation for human exploration and cargo transportation to the moon.

Flickr photo by y gr33n3gg

50th Anniversary of Space Travel: What's Next?

Filed under: North America, United States, Transportation

Find Your Hotel

City name or airport
POWERED BY
City name or airport
City name or airport
POWERED BY
City name or airport
City name or airport
POWERED BY
City name or airport code
If different
POWERED BY
POWERED BY

Search Travel Deals

Gadling Features


Most Popular

Categories

Become our Fan on Facebook!

Featured Galleries (view all)

Berlin's Abandoned Tempelhof Airport
The Junk Cars of Cleveland, New Mexico
United Airlines 787 Inaugural Flight
Ghosts of War: France
New Mexico's International Symposium Of Electronic Arts
Valley of Roses, Morocco
The Southern Road
United Dreamliner Interior
United Dreamliner Exterior

Our Writers

Don George

Features Editor

RSS Feed

View more Writers

Weird News

DailyFinance

FOXNews Travel

Engadget

Sherman's Travel

Lonely Planet

New York Times Travel

Joystiq