10 Most Interesting Aeronautics And Aerospace Technology News 2023


After the list of military technology news we published yesterday and today it's the turn of the roundup of the most interesting aeronautics and aerospace technology 2023 This list is filled with various firsts in human history such as the transmission of the farthest laser message, the largest modern airship and the truth about unknown aerial phenomena (Steam).

1. Two SpaceX Starship Launches Ended With Explosions

Super Heavy and Starship before launch

SpaceX launched the prototype Starship spacecraft twice this year. The first time in April and the second time in early November with both ending in failure. In the first mission not all 33 Super Heavy rocket engines were working because they were damaged during launch before it and the Starship suddenly exploded.

In the second mission, he successfully underwent the separation process of the first stage. The Super Heavy then suddenly exploded on its way back down to the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. The Starship then continued its journey to the target altitude but then lost contact with the Starbase and it also exploded.

Despite not making it back to Earth, SpaceX says the data collected is useful enough for four more tests it wants to do. Starships are required for the Artemis and Dear Moon Missions. Failure to do so would result in the Artemis Mission being delayed from its original date of 2025.

2. NASA Successfully Sends Laser Communication Signals 16 Million KM away

DSOC (cylinder with gold cap) on the side of the Psyche spacecraft

To communicate with space probes such as Voyager, radio communication technology is used. But with humans wanting to travel further, faster communication systems that can accommodate high data are needed. To realize this dream, NASA has started experiments for a laser-based Deep Space Optical Communication (DSOC) communication system.

DSOC was placed on the Psyche spacecraft which was launched on October 13. On November 14, a laser signal from Psyche was sent to Earth, which at the time was 16 million kilometers away. This signal was successfully received and made it the farthest laser communication signal ever made, equivalent to 40 times the distance between the earth and the moon.

The current radio communication system has a data transmission speed of only 5.2 Mbps which is too slow for future communication needs between Earth and Mars colonies. DSOC wants to increase the data transmission rate between 10-100 times to enable real-time video communication and faster transmission of big data.

3. Voyager 2 Spacecraft Updated To Operate Until 2026

Above we touched on the space probe Voyager 2 which is the farthest human-made object that has traveled in space. Since its launch in 1977, it has now passed through deep space and is estimated to be 20 billion km from Earth. But through a software update done by NASA in April, Voyager 2 is predicted to be operational until 2026.

The backup power on the probe used to prevent power surges is fed to the science instruments being used. This allows proba to continue collecting scientific data for a longer period. Voyager 2 has been in operation for almost 45 years and with this update it was originally expected to cease operation in 2024. Then a few months ago communication with it was temporarily lost due to the wrong antenna orientation before being successfully contacted again after a few weeks last August.

4. The World's Largest Air Plane Pathfinder-1 Shown

The era of Graf Zeppelin-like aircraft returned with the introduction of Pathfinder-1 which is 124 meters long and 20 meters in diameter last November, making it the largest in the world at this time.

Pathfinder-1 was developed by LTA Research which received funding from Google founder Sergey Brin. It is an aircraft designed to carry cargo and provide relief in times of disaster. Because it does not require a long runway to land or fly, Pathfinder-1 can go to any location it is needed as long as there is enough space to land.

The frame is made of titanium and carbon fiber tubing which is not only durable but lighter than the aluminum on the Hindenburg. There are 13 helium gas airbags made of tear resistant nylon. The LiDAR system is used to detect leaks in real time. As many as 12 electric motors are used not only as a propulsion system but to help it land and fly. Pathfinder-1 has received FAA clearance to begin flight testing. It is a major step before the 180 meter long Pathfinder-3 is produced for commercial operation.

5. NASA Recycles 98% of ISS Astronauts' Sweat And Urine

Brine Processor Assembly (BPA)

Recycling is good for earth but in space it is even more necessary to keep astronauts alive. NASA has successfully recycled the urine and sweat of astronauts into drinkable water last June. Up to 98% of ISS astronauts' urine and sweat can be processed by this new system compared to up to 94% using the previous system. The Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) recycles water vapor from astronaut sweat and breathing.

Meanwhile, the Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) system recycles urine and other waste materials using a vacuum filtration system. After filtering, there is still some residual brine which is then processed using the Brine Processor Assembly (BPA) which extracts more water to be recycled.

The water is then monitored to ensure its quality. If not it goes through the filtering process again. According to NASA the water cleanliness standards on the ISS are stricter than those used by various municipalities in America.

6. A-SEANSAT-PG1 Satellite By Angkasa-X Successfully Launched

America has SpaceX, Malaysia has Space-X! This local space technology company successfully launched the A-SEANSAT-PG1 satellite from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia last June. It was launched using a Soyuz-2.1b rocket. Also launched with A-SEANSAT-PG1 are Meteor-M 2-3 meteorological satellites and 41 other CubeSats from various other companies.

A-SEANSAT-PG1 is a type of nano satellite that will be part of the 500 satellites planned to be launched by Angkasa-X. Four more satellites will be launched in another four years. In addition to offering Internet services using satellites, Angkasa-X also wants to offer ship tracking services to improve maritime security in the Southeast Asian region. Imaging and monitoring services through internet-of-things technology will also be offered.

7. India Becomes the Fourth Country to Land on the Moon

Late August this year, India joined the list of elite countries for successfully landing on the surface of the moon through the Chandrayaan-3 mission. Vikram's lander landed safely near the South Pole of the moon. India also became the first country to successfully land a spacecraft on the South Pole of the moon. This area is seen as the most suitable for a future settlement for the first human colony on the moon due to the presence of water detected by the Chandrayaan-1 mission.

Immediately after landing, Vikram launched the Pragyaan six-wheeled rover weighing 26 kg which has the ability to analyze lunar soil samples. Just a few days earlier the Russians tried to do the Luna-25 mission to also land on the South Pole of the moon but it crashed. Japan will try to become the fifth country to land on the moon through the SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) mission on January 19.

8. Scientists Want To Use Barnacles To Find Where MH370 Crashed


The disappearance of flight MH370 in March 2014 is still one of the unsolved mysteries comparable to the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. Scientists from the University of South Florida (USF) now say the final location of MH370 may be traced using barnacles. A year after the plane disappeared, some debris such as flaperons and window frames were found on Reunion Island. Dozens of sea urchins were found on its surface which confirmed that the plane had crashed into the sea.

UFS scientists say barnacles produce a new layer on the shell every day that contains different ratios of oxygen isotopes. In theory if the layer on the largest barnacle that makes it the oldest on the surface of the wreckage is studied, scientists can find the area where it started to grow. Using water, temperature and current movement data from 2014 scientists were able to narrow down the search area for the crashed plane.

9. OSIRIS-REx Mission Asteroid Samples Return Safely to Earth

The OSIRIS-REx mission was launched in 2016 with the aim of taking samples from asteroid 101955 Bennu. It is the first attempt to analyze the composition of an asteroid while it is still in space. After seven years of launch, the asteroid sample taken returned to earth on September 25.

The sample was collected on October 20 last year and the capsule containing sample 101955 Bennu has been traveling back to Earth since then. A total of 250 grams of samples are believed to have been successfully collected by this mission. Since it was taken it was stored in a chamber filled with nitrogen to ensure no contamination of the sample. When the container was opened in mid-October, the sample was found to contain carbon and the clay contained water.

10. Congress Was Told United States Stored UFOs And Alien Bodies

Last July, the United States Congress was told that the existence of Unknown Aerial Phenomena (UAP) had been kept secret by the government through several agencies since the 1930s. Maj. (B) David Grusch, formerly of the United States Air Force (USAF), gave a sworn statement to a congressional subcommittee that the U.S. also kept the wreckage of a crashed UAP with the remains of aliens inside.

More surprisingly, the United States is said to have used reverse engineering to obtain technology from UAP wreckage that has been collected. In the effort, death is also said to occur. Interest in the UAP increased again in the U.S. after the incident of the Chinese balloon being shot down by the USAF for alleged espionage activities.

The Pentagon has already released a statement denying Grusch's claims. NASA began a study of the existence of UAP last year with a final report to be published in the near future. In the initial report issued by committee members, many witnesses refused to give sworn statements because they were worried about the negative stigma they would receive.

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