Carnival of Space #454

What time is it? It’s Carnival of Space time! Gather ’round for some of the best space bloggers on the planet! They are passionate and they share their love of that big black sky out there with all of us!

Care to join us? We have options like adding your article to Carnivals and Hosting Carnivals! Learn more by clicking here!

Hazy Sunset
Gadi Eidelheit | The Venus Transit

A large sunspot appears on the sun. Haze is useful if you want to photograph it.

New from NASA
Lunar and Planetary Institute

Added another 10 NASA images to the Lunar and Planetary Institute’s Flickr page. Images of Mars, Pluto, Titan, and #Ceres

Prelude to Transit: Catching Mercury Under Dusk Skies
David Dickinson | Universe Today

Have you ever seen Mercury? The diminutive innermost world takes the center stage next month, as it transits the Sun as seen from our early perspective on May 9th. This week, we’d like to turn your attention to bashful Mercury’s dusk apparition, which sets up the clockwork celestial gears for…

SpaceX Falcon 9 Recovered 1st Stage Arrives Back in Port After Historic Upright Landing at Sea
Ken Kremer | Universe Today

The SpaceX Falcon 9 that triumphantly accomplished history’s first upright landing of the spent first stage of a rocket on a barge at sea – after launching a critical cargo payload to orbit for NASA – sailed back into port at Cape Canaveral overnight in the wee hours of this morning, April 12, standing tall.

The recovered 15 story tall Falcon 9 booster arrived back into Port Canaveral, Florida at about 130 a.m. early today, towed atop the ocean going platform that SpaceX dubs…

NASA NIAC Project to Place 3D Printers on Near Earth Asteroids
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Project RAMA, Reconstituting Asteroids into Mechanical Automata, has been designed to leverage the advancing trends of additive manufacturing (AM) and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) to enable asteroid rendezvous missions in which a set of technically simple robotic processes convert asteroid elements into very basic versions of spacecraft subsystems (GNC, Propulsion, Avionics). Upon completion, the asteroid will be a programmed mechanical automata carrying out a given mission objective; such as relocation to an Earth-Moon libration point for human rendezvous.

Billionaire Yuri Milner is Spending $100 Million to Prove Out Laser Pushed Nanosails that Would Reach 5% of Lightspeed
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Billionaire Yuri Milner is spending $100 million on a probe that could travel to Alpha Centauri within a generation—and he’s recruited Mark Zuckerberg and Stephen Hawking to help. The project is to remove all of the technical uncertainties and roadblocks for 5% of lightspeed beam propulsion

NASA Funds Direct Drive Fusion Propulsion
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

The Direct Fusion Drive (DFD) concept provides game-changing propulsion and power capabilities that would revolutionize interplanetary travel. DFD is based on the Princeton Field-Reversed Configuration (PFRC) fusion reactor under development at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. The mission context we are proposing is delivery of a Pluto orbiter with a lander. The key objective of the proposal is to determine the feasibility of the proposed Pluto spacecraft using improved engine models. DFD provides high thrust to allow for reasonable transit times to Pluto while delivering substantial mass to orbit: 1000 kg delivered in 4 to 6 years

Structure of Planet 9 Calculated
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Astrophysicists at the University of Bern have modeled the evolution of the proposed planet 9 in the outer solar system. They estimate that the object has a present-day radius equal to 3.7 Earth radii and a temperature of minus 226 degrees Celsius.

Two Bigelow BA 330 Modules Planned by 2020 Which Combined Would Have 72% of the Volume of the ISS
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Spacex and NASA just launched the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.
It is a precursor to larger space habitat systems, Bigelow said BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activity Module) could “change the entire dynamic for human habitation” in space. He hopes to have a pair of private space BA330 stations ready for launch by 2020.

SpaceX Reusable Stages, Drone Ship Technology and the SpaceX Heavy
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Initially SpaceX plans to reduce the cost of a Falcon 9 rocket with a reused booster to $43 million per flight, a savings of 30 percent.

SpaceX will try to return the booster that was just landed on the drone ship back to Cape Canaveral, in Florida, by Sunday. After running a series of tests on the Falcon, the company plans to fire its engines 10 times in a row on the ground. “If things look good it will be qualified for reuse,” Musk said. “We’re hoping to relaunch it on an orbital mission, let’s say by June.”

Cassini Data May Help Locate ‘Planet Nine’ and Reveals Methane Fog on Titan
Paul Scott Anderson | Planetaria

The Cassini spacecraft has been orbiting Saturn for many years now, studying the massive planet and its moons in unprecedented detail. Now, Cassini might be able to help shed light on another Solar System mystery: the possible existence of a ninth planet in the outer Solar System far past Pluto, or “Planet Nine” as it has been dubbed. There is also a new report, based on old data, that the Huygens lander observed methane ground fog as it descended to the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan in 2005.

Tycho Brahe: The Wildest Astronomer
Megan Ray Nichols | Urban Astronomer

Tycho Brahe was one of the founders of modern astronomy, despite being a geocentrist who cast horoscopes for a living. He is well known for having introduced scientific rigour to the measurements of the heavens, but he had a full and colourful life outside of the observatory as well.

Thanks to member bloggers for another great Carnival! Stay tuned for CoS #455!

This entry was posted in Carnival of Space and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.