Archive for the ‘Future Transport’ Category

New tests support previous result of faster than light neutrinos

November 18, 2011

The CERN results in September indicating faster than light neutrinos have stood up to one set of tests to check the result.

Reuters:

The new experiment at the Gran Sasso laboratory, using a neutrino beam from CERN in Switzerland, 720 km (450 miles) away, was held to check findings in September by a team of scientists which were greeted with some skepticism. Scientists at the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) said in a statement on Friday that their new tests aimed to exclude one potential systematic effect that may have affected the original measurement. ….

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Hope still alive for faster than light travel as Einsteinian physics is challenged (maybe)

September 23, 2011

The news is packed today with reports about the CERN measurements which apparently show that some neutrinos have travelled at faster than the speed of light. Since the conclusions are crucially dependent upon a time difference of 60 nanoseconds in a total travel time of 2.43 milliseconds the conclusion may well be found to be in error.

But I hope not.

Wired News: If it’s true, it will mark the biggest discovery in physics in the past half-century: Elusive, nearly massless subatomic particles called neutrinos appear to travel just faster than light, a team of physicists in Europe reports. If so, the observation would wreck Einstein’s theory of special relativity, which demands that nothing can travel faster than light. …. 

Over three years, OPERA researchers timed the roughly 16,000 neutrinos that started at CERN and registered a hit in the detector. They found that, on average, the neutrinos made the 730-kilometer, 2.43-millisecond trip roughly 60 nanoseconds faster than expected if they were traveling at light speed. “It’s a straightforward time-of-flight measurement,” says Antonio Ereditato, a physicist at the University of Bern and spokesperson for the 160-member OPERA collaboration. “We measure the distance and we measure the time, and we take the ratio to get the velocity, just as you learned to do in high school.” Ereditato says the uncertainty in the measurement is 10 nanoseconds. However, even Ereditato says it’s way too early to declare relativity wrong. “I would never say that,” he says. Rather, OPERA researchers are simply presenting a curious result that they cannot explain and asking the community to scrutinize it. “We are forced to say something,” he says. “We could not sweep it under the carpet because that would be dishonest.” The results will be presented at a seminar tomorrow at CERN.

The concept of light having a maximum speed is acceptable but that nothing can exceed this speed is somehow depressing and lacks elegance and it kills hope. It is even more confining and depressing if the universe is expanding. It “settles” science when science needs to be unsettled.

For the sake of wonder and discovery and challenge I hope that the measurements are correct and that some part of Einsteinian physics is turned on its head and that the dream of FTL travel remains alive.

“Make it so” – Star Trek

The Guardian: Faster than light particles found, claim scientists

Wall Street Journal: Roll over Einstein: Law of physics challenged

 

Spaceport America gets ready for first commercial passengers to space

November 18, 2010
Simplistic map of Sierra County, New Mexico, i...

Location of Spaceport America: image via Wikipedia

Reuters reports:

The New Mexico Spaceport Authority, which plans to start launching citizen astronauts on suborbital flights within 18 months, has begun soliciting contract bids from local businesses for day-to-day operations of the facility.

Construction of the world’s first commercial passenger space terminal, dubbed Spaceport America, is slated to be finished next year near the town of Truth or Consequences in southern New Mexico. The 2-mile-long main runway was completed in October.

Spaceport America Wednesday, 10 November 2010 04:09 :image spaceportamerica.com

Two other major structures nearing completion at the nearly $200 million facility are the air-fire rescue facility and a 110,000-square-foot hangar, authority spokesman David Wilson said.

To date, 380 wannabe space cowboys have each plunked down $200,000 each to reserve a seat aboard a Virgin Galactic six-passenger spacecraft for a 2-1/2-hour suborbital flight some 70 miles above the Earth, Wilson said.

Under a 20-year lease with the state, Richard Branson’s firm is Spaceport America’s anchor tenant and principal spaceliner, paying lease charges of up to $200 million, plus user fees to operate their own aircraft and to contract with other aerospace companies.

The site has been providing commercial launch services for the aerospace industry since 2006 and is expected to be fully operational by mid-2011. But Virgin Galactic expects to take another year to begin its private passenger service, once its test-flight program is complete.

The authority’s executive director, Rick Homans, this week issued a call for businesses to submit proposals for three major areas of operation of the spaceport.

They include general services, such as maintenance; protective services for site security, safety and environment health management; and technical services, including airfield and launch support, airspace management and flight safety engineering.

Artists impression of Virgin Galactic: image forums.finalgear.com

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Enterprise made its solo flight in October.

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Enterprise makes its solo flight

October 11, 2010

 

Drop test (Virgin Galactic)

The Enterprise spaceship is released from underneath the Eve carrier plane

 

Virgin Galactic conducted the first piloted gliding flight of its commercial suborbital spaceship, the VSS Enterprise, today, releasing the winged rocket plane from the WhiteKnightTwo mothership at an altitude of 45,000 feet above the Mojave Desert.

With Scaled Composites pilot Pete Siebold and copilot Mike Alsbury at the controls, the futuristic twin-tail spacecraft glided to a touchdown at the Mojave Air and Space Port 11 minutes after its release from WhiteKnightTwo, also known as Eve. The craft was not equipped with a rocket motor for the glide test.

“The VSS Enterprise was a real joy to fly, especially when one considers the fact that the vehicle has been designed not only to be a Mach 3.5 spaceship capable of going into space but also one of the world’s highest altitude gliders,” Siebold said in a Virgin Galactic press release.

Branson said he expects rocket-powered test flights to begin next year, followed by test flights into space “hopefully by the end of next year.”

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-19514_3-20019149-239.html#ixzz121kUYP79

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11511604

Ships of the future

October 8, 2010

Freely translated from Ny Teknik

The Finnish shipbuilder Wärtsilä has drawn up three possible scenarios for 2030 and made concept sketches for the ships of the future which would fit into the scenarios. They are now inviting comments from the public.
Wärtsilä’s “future investigators” have sketched three types of vessels that fit on each of the three different visions – Rough Seas, the Yellow River and the Open Oceans.

 

Rough Seas Water Carrier: Wärtsilä

 

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