Decision time? Check out our latest product comparisons

Rocket

Artist's concept of a fusion-drive ship

Traveling through deep space is a hazardous undertaking and choosing the right engine can mean the difference between a fast, successful mission and a slow one with mounting dangers of radiation sickness, equipment failures and personal conflicts. A team of researchers from the University of Washington (UW) and Redmond, Washington-based MSNW are aiming to expand the options by developing a new fusion drive rocket engine that promises to make possible a manned spacecraft that could reach Mars and return to Earth in months rather than years.  Read More

Kevin Moore's successful drive with a rocket-assisted golf club head – notice the ball (th...

"FORE!! Three - Two - One - Fire!" called Doug Frost, inventor of Rocketry Golf and Manager of the Rocketry Golf Organization. Then he launched his ball (on the nosecone of a model rocket) from the tee of the par-five 433-yard first hole at the Ridge Golf Club in Auburn, California. Not fazed by the uphill approach shot to the green, he placed his tee shot...err...launch... only 23 feet from the hole. Unfortunately, Doug isn't much of a regular golfer, and two-putted in for a birdie. Frost's rocketry golf replaces your golf clubs with a selection of rockets and a putter. The rockets are used to launch the ball onto the green, where the traditional putter comes back into play.  Read More

The Lockheed Martin Miniature Hit-to-Kill interceptor roaring off the launcher (Photo: Loc...

The U.S. Army is funding Lockheed Martin to develop hardware and software for the Extended Area Protection and Survivability (EAPS) program. Under this program, Lockheed Martin has conducted the first guided test flight of the Miniature Hit-to-Kill (MHTK) interceptor rocket. The MHTK is designed to defeat incoming rocket, artillery, and mortar fire out to ranges of 3 - 4 km (1.9 - 2.5 miles).  Read More

The Merlin 1D engine, being tested at the SpaceX rocket development facility

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is now a crucial step closer to getting more efficient new engines. While the launch vehicle currently uses nine of the company’s Merlin engines, the next-generation Merlin 1D achieved flight certification earlier this week.  Read More

F-1 thrust chamber

Amazon.com founder and the man behind Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos, has recovered parts of the F-1 rocket engines used in the Apollo missions. Recovered by remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) from the multi-purpose offshore vessel Seabed Worker, they were brought up from a depth of over 14,000 feet (4,267 m) over a three week period. Bezos has been working on the project for over a year in hopes of recovering the engines used to launch Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969. However, the serial numbers for the recovered engines are missing or partly missing, so identifying which mission the rockets are from will be difficult.  Read More

The SpaceX Grasshopper reusable rocket in action

The latest test of the SpaceX reusable Grasshopper rocket has been presented by CEO Elon Musk at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. It shows the rocket, capable of both vertical takeoff and landing, reaching its greatest height yet.  Read More

An ion engine test for Deep Space One (Photo: NASA/JPL)

The phrase "engage the ion drive" still has the ring of a line from Star Wars, but these engines have been used in space missions for more than four decades and remain the subject of ongoing research. Ion engines have incredible fuel efficiency, but their low thrust requires very long operating times ... and therein lies the rub. To date, erosion within such an engine seriously limits its operational lifetime. Now a group of researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has developed a new design that largely eliminates this erosion, opening the gates for higher thrust and more efficient drives for manned and unmanned missions to the reaches of the Solar System.  Read More

A close look at the business end of Glenn Brittian's rocket motorcycle (Photo: Glenn Britt...

A state-of-the-art rocket-powered motorcycle that was recently advertised for sale on eBay has been sold to Gerd Habermann Racing. Engineered to hit speeds in excess of 400 mph (640 km/h) during the quarter-mile, the bike was designed and built by Glenn Brittian, one of the few drivers licensed by the National Hot Rod Association to drive a rocket dragster. The asking price was US$27,000, but the actual selling price has not been made public.  Read More

Artist's rendition of the Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (NCPS), a nuclear engine inte...

Nuclear-powered rocket engines are not new. In the 1960s, both the U.S. and the Soviet Union developed and tested thermal nuclear rockets fitted with flight-worthy components. However, Project Rover and NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Nuclear Rocket Application) programs were defunded in the early 1970s just before test flights were to start. Now, as part of the Advanced Exploration Systems program at NASA, the Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage team is tackling a three-year project to demonstrate the viability of and to evaluate materials for thermal nuclear propulsion systems for use in future deep space missions.  Read More

SpaceX's Grasshopper VTVL testbed ascending from its launch pad

The SpaceX Grasshopper vertical takeoff vertical landing (VTVL) testbed has successfully flown to a height of 40 meters (131 ft), hovered for a bit and subsequently landed in a picture perfect test on December 17, 2012. The Grasshopper had previously taken two hops less than 6 m (20 ft) in height, but the latest test was the first that saw it reach an altitude taller than the rocket itself, which is a modified Falcon 9 orbital launch vehicle. The flight lasted 29 seconds from launch to landing, and carried a 1.8 m (6 ft) cowboy dummy to give an indication of scale.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 29,004 articles