One of the many technologies being considered for future space flight programs are **ion thrusters**, which come from a subset of propulsion known as electric propulsion.

They’re particularly popular for their **high efficiency and long accelerating times**. Unlike chemical propulsion systems, which only have enough fuel to launch the rocket out of orbit, ion thrusters have fuel that can last many years. By inertia, constantly excreting this fuel allows them to accelerate bodies to extremely high speeds over time.

In short, they **operate by ionizing propellant **(usually xenon)** and producing plasma, which can be manipulated by electric and magnetic fields…**

One of the fundamental rules of calculus is the product rule, which is used in calculating the derivative of the product of two functions. For the general function *f(x)=g(x)*h(x)*, it is denoted as the following:

To help us visualize this concept, we need two functions. Let’s use *sin(x)* and *x²*.

By multiplying those two functions together, we get *f(x) = sin(x)*x²*. This function can also be imagined as the area of a rectangle, where *sin(x)* is the length of one side and *x² *is the length of the other.

For the past 12 days, I spent my time in Houston, Texas, at the **Rice Aerospace and Aviation Academy**. It’s a program aimed at high schoolers with a keen interest in **aerospace, aviation, and engineering**.

Ironically, the program wasn’t actually located at Rice University due to COVID-19. Instead, it was hosted in a hotel in downtown Houston. The hotel was decent, despite not providing room service to camp attendees and serving some of the worst eggs I’ve ever had. However, it took a lot away from the overall “college” experience, since most of the time we were just traveling between…

One of the most important derivatives in calculus is the derivative of the sine of *x*. It’s pretty simple to do with a proof — it’s mainly just using some trig identities and a few theorems.

For solving the derivative of sin(*x*):

We can start by using the angle sum formula to substitute *sin(x+Δx)*.

Angle sum formula:sin(a+b) = sin(a)cos(b) + sin(b)cos(a)

As the rate of advancements in the field of space begins to increase once again, we’re nearing another age of lunar exploration. Most notably, NASA is aiming to establish a human presence on the Moon within the next ten years through the Artemis Missions. Both unmanned and manned spacecraft will be sent to the Moon, with humans on lunar soil by 2024.

These missions will bring about a new age of space exploration, allowing us to fully study and possibly colonize the Moon. …

Chemical rocket propulsion is not an efficient method of long-term space travel due to its requirements for large amounts of fuel for a small payload. Hall thruster systems are a subset of electric propulsion systems that may serve as an efficient alternative to chemical propulsion systems. Hall thrusters operate by bombarding neutral atoms with electrons to form ions and ejecting those ions at high velocities. They can operate for extended periods of time, allowing their rocket bodies to accelerate to speeds much higher than that of a chemical rocket. …

*I highly recommend reading **my article** on space debris before reading this. It has key prerequisites that help build the context of this article.*

Humans are heavily reliant on satellites. About **3,000** operating satellites help warn you of natural disasters, monitor the climate, provide GPS, maintain the atomic clock, provide government intelligence, and help us study space, just to name a few.

Most of these satellites are in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which is between 160 km and 1000 km above the Earth’s surface. However, space debris heavily litters this zone. In fact, there are over an estimated **100,000,000+** pieces…

Light sails rely only on photons to reach up to 20% of the speed of light. Maybe they can even help us reach another star system.

One of the most challenging issues space exploration faces is efficient propulsion and reaching far distances. For the most part, we rely on **chemical propulsion systems** to get out of Earth’s orbit and to our destination.

Chemical propulsion systems use **liquid or solid fuel** to push a rocket out of Earth’s orbit. Then the rocket sheds off parts of itself, which we call dead weight. This way, the rocket is lighter and can travel…

And the space technology up there might be destroyed from it.

When most people imagine space above the Earth, they probably imagine a pristine landscape with some satellites, rockets, and other space modules. What they don’t imagine is a danger zone full of space debris, ranging from the size of paint flecks to large satellites, whizzing around at bullet-like speeds with the capability to disable and destroy the space applications that almost everyone relies on.

Scientists have actually been aware of the dangers of space debris for decades. In 1978, astrophysicist and NASA scientist Donald J. Kessler proposed a hypothetical…

Skyhooks may be the first step to interplanetary travel.

Humans have been stuck on Earth for about 7,000,000 years. It wasn’t until the last century that humans have finally felt the true touch of space, sending probes, rovers, and even humans off the Earth’s surface. We are still in our primitive space days, however. To really explore space, we need to cross one major barrier — becoming an interplanetary species. Of course, this is a far stretch, as we’re still yet to put humans on another terrestrial body other than the moon. …

14 y/o that loves space, science, tech, and philosophy.