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Space Junk: Finding a Feasible Solution to Space Debris Removal (Including Recycling and Chemical Processes)

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Orbiting space debris is an active issue that affects the capability of space launch for future satellites, probes, and space shuttles, and it will become a nearly insurmountable problem without action. Debris of varying sizes and speeds orbit the Earth

Orbiting space debris is an active issue that affects the capability of space launch for future satellites, probes, and space shuttles, and it will become a nearly insurmountable problem without action. Debris of varying sizes and speeds orbit the Earth at a range of heights above the atmosphere and need to be removed to avoid damage to crucial equipment of active orbiting satellites including the International Space Station. Finding a feasible solution to space debris removal requires that several facets be covered to become a reality; these include being aware of the problem in magnitude and source. This literature assessment covers the magnitude of space debris in low-earth and geosynchronous orbit as well as collision events which have increased the amount of space debris. There have been efforts made by several space agencies to control the amount of space debris added to orbit by current and future launches over the last decade \u2014 serving as a temporary fix before removal can be executed. This paper explores known removal efforts through mitigation, projects conceived and tested by DARPA, related space policies and laws, CubeSat technology, and the cataloguing of known space debris. To make space debris removal a reality, roadblocks need to be removed to acquire permission from states or countries for space missions. For example, these restrictions are in place to protect the assets of several countries and organizations. Guidelines set to curb the growth of space debris fail to prevent the growth due to the restrictions for ownership rights making them not as effective. This paper covers space policy and laws, the economy, satellite ownership, international conflict, status of space debris, and the overall feasibility of space debris removal. It will then discuss currently proposed solutions for the removal of space debris. Finally, this paper attempts to weight the advantages and disadvantages of the idea that space debris removal should include the opportunity to recycle materials. For example, defunct satellites and other discarded space crafts could be used for future launches. It will conclude with a personal exploration of what materials can be recycled, what chemical processes can be used to break down materials, and how to combine recycling and chemical processes for space-based recycling stations between Earth and the moon. The overall question that drives the search for making space debris removal a reality is whether it is feasible in multiple areas including technologically, legally, monetarily, and physically.

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2017-05

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The Past, Present, and Future of NASA Research into Microbes in Space

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Space microbiology, or the study of microorganisms in space, has significant applications for both human spaceflight and Earth-based medicine. This thesis traces the evolution of the field of space microbiology since its creation in 1935. Beginning with simple studies to

Space microbiology, or the study of microorganisms in space, has significant applications for both human spaceflight and Earth-based medicine. This thesis traces the evolution of the field of space microbiology since its creation in 1935. Beginning with simple studies to determine if terrestrial life could survive spaceflight, the field of space microbiology has grown to encompass a substantial body of work that is now recognized as an essential component of NASA' research endeavors. Part one provides an overview of the early period of space microbiology, from high-altitude balloon and rocket studies to work conducted during the Apollo program. Part two summarizes the current state of the field, with a specific focus on the revolutionary contributions made by the Nickerson lab at the Biodesign Institute at ASU using the NASA-designed Rotating Wall Vessel (RWV) Bioreactor. Finally, part three highlights the research I've conducted in the Nickerson lab, as well as continuing studies within the field of space microbiology.

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2016-05

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Branching Worlds: Quantum Mechanics and Hugh Everett's Many-Worlds Interpretation

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This thesis attempts to explain Everettian quantum mechanics from the ground up, such that those with little to no experience in quantum physics can understand it. First, we introduce the history of quantum theory, and some concepts that make u

This thesis attempts to explain Everettian quantum mechanics from the ground up, such that those with little to no experience in quantum physics can understand it. First, we introduce the history of quantum theory, and some concepts that make up the framework of quantum physics. Through these concepts, we reveal why interpretations are necessary to map the quantum world onto our classical world. We then introduce the Copenhagen interpretation, and how many-worlds differs from it. From there, we dive into the concepts of entanglement and decoherence, explaining how worlds branch in an Everettian universe, and how an Everettian universe can appear as our classical observed world. From there, we attempt to answer common questions about many-worlds and discuss whether there are philosophical ramifications to believing such a theory. Finally, we look at whether the many-worlds interpretation can be proven, and why one might choose to believe it.

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2021-05

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Entanglement, Locality, and Hidden Variables

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The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of entanglement and the particular problems it poses for some physicists. In addition to looking at the history of entanglement and non-locality, this paper will use the Bell Test as

The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of entanglement and the particular problems it poses for some physicists. In addition to looking at the history of entanglement and non-locality, this paper will use the Bell Test as a means for demonstrating how entanglement works, which measures the behavior of electrons whose combined internal angular momentum is zero. This paper will go over Dr. Bell's famous inequality, which shows why the process of entanglement cannot be explained by traditional means of local processes. Entanglement will be viewed initially through the Copenhagen Interpretation, but this paper will also look at two particular models of quantum mechanics, de-Broglie Bohm theory and Everett's Many-Worlds Interpretation, and observe how they explain the behavior of spin and entangled particles compared to the Copenhagen Interpretation.

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2021-05