Nasa updating technology for space travel
When Alan Shephard showed up for space training in 1959, he was driving a 1957 Corvette.
Today, there are space technology projects in development across all the NASA centers, academia, and industry.
At 38 meters per side, the space solar sail being developed is seven times larger than any other sail flown in space, four times larger than what can be tested in ground-based facilities, and has the possibility to enable many kinds of new space missions, including those relevant to solar flare activity, orbital debris removal, or propellant-less deep space missions.
NASA's space technology pipeline is already taking the ideas of our nation’s innovators from concept to flight.
But astronauts are people like every one of us, subject to idiosyncrasies, pettiness, and insecurities.
Perhaps most notable was the case of NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak, who attempted to kidnap and murder the girlfriend of fellow astronaut William Oefelein, with whom he was having an affair.
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As he mentioned during his Twitter town hall, President Obama understands how important these efforts are for NASA: “What we need is that next technological breakthrough. so what we’ve said is, rather than keep on doing the same thing, let’s invest in basic research around new technologies that can get us places faster, allow human space flight to last longer....