Carnival of Space #460

carnival-of-space-2Welcome to the Carnival of Space #460!

This time, Allen Versfeld and I are offering you ‘twofer’ the price of one.

Once you are done here, pop on by to read more at Allen’s Urban Astronomer for Carnival of Space #459! You’ll be glad you did!

And now, as we say, On With the Show!

New Horizons Obtains New Images and Science Data of Post-Pluto Kuiper Belt Object
Paul Scott Anderson | Planetaria

The New Horizons mission to Pluto has been nothing less than incredible, giving us our first close-up views of this enigmatic dwarf planet and its moons. But the show isn’t over yet, as the New Horizons team is now planning for its next encounter with another Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) in 2019. But even before then, the spacecraft has been busy observing other smaller objects, and has now collected the first…

Venus in the Pleiades
Gadi Eidelheit | The Venus Transit

Although it happened 4 years ago and will happen again in another 4 years, if you don’t believe that Venus is a planet here is proof.

Published on May 19, 2016
Venus visits the Pleiades (M45) once in 8 years and it is a great chance to see its daily movement and to take interesting photos. Next time will be in April 2020
See more here:

Starshot Breakthrough Initiative for Laser Pushed Interstellar Nanocraft
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Breakthrough Starshot aims to demonstrate proof of concept for ultra-fast light-driven nanocrafts, and lay the foundations for a first launch to Alpha Centauri within the next generation. Along the way, the project could generate important supplementary benefits to astronomy, including solar system exploration and detection of Earth-crossing asteroids.

Breakthrough Starshot is a $100 million research and engineering program aiming to demonstrate proof of concept for light-propelled nanocrafts. These could fly at 20 percent of light speed and capture images of possible planets and other scientific data in our nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, just over 20 years after their launch. The nanocraft concept, combining light beamer, lightsail and StarChip, is by far the most plausible system for launching a realistic mission to Alpha Centauri within a generation. The key elements of the proposed system design are…

Advancing Torpor Inducing Transfer Habitats for Human Stasis to Mars
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

NASA is provided $500,000 in a two year project to SpaceWorks to advance research into human stasis to Mars. Spacework proposes the development of an advanced habitat system for transporting crews between the Earth and Mars. This new and innovative habitat design is capable of cycling the crew through inactive, non-cryonic torpor sleep states for the duration of the inspace mission segments.

Magnetoshell Aerocapture for Manned Missions and Planetary Deep Space Orbiters
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

The Magnetoshell deploys a simple dipole magnetic field containing a magnetized plasma. It is interaction of the atmosphere with this magnetized plasma that supplies a significant impediment to atmospheric flow past the spacecraft, and thereby producing the desired drag for braking. Frictional heating would no longer be of concern as the energy dissipation required to slow the spacecraft would be deposited into the plasma ions helping to maintain the Magnetoshell plasma while at the same time shielding the spacecraft itself from frictional heating.

With the aeroshell now being composed of massless magnetic field, the transverse scale of the magnetic barrier can be as large as 100 meters while requiring no more than a gram of plasma. With the ability to rapidly and precisely modify the drag in varying atmospheric conditions, much larger forces can now be achieved at low risk, enabling very aggressive aerocapture maneuvers. By providing power in a pulsed manner, the thermal and power processing requirements can be kept…

Keith Henson on Space Based Power Satellites that Can Replace Coal for Electricity and Oil at $40 per Barrel
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Space based solar power satellites could replace fossil fuels. This would require both lower cost and higher volume than SpaceX could deliver. The cost to GEO can’t go to over $200 per kilogram and the required traffic level is 15 million tons per year to LEO. (12 million to GEO.)

The main advantage of orbital space based solar is you get 5 times as much sun as the best deserts and 15 times for places like Japan and the UK.

Henson’s space based solar plans solve energy concerns without subsidies and make a lot of money. Low energy cost makes everyone better off.

Initial target cost is 3 cents per kWh to undercut…

Space Beamed Energy Bootstrapping Video
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Video animation was created for SunSat Design Competition, held by National Space Society.
Concept: Keith Henson

Evan Gough | Universe Today

A team of astronomers suggests that an exoplanet named 62f could be habitable. Kepler data suggests that 62f is likely a rocky planet, and could have oceans. The exoplanet is 40% larger than Earth and is 1200 light years away.

62f is part of a planetary system discovered by the Kepler mission in 2013. There are 5 planets in the system, and they orbit a star that is both HOLD ON TO YOUR JAW. PLUTO EXTREME CLOSE UP BEST YET

Matt Williams | Universe Today

The New Horizons mission, which its conducted its historic flyby on July 14th, 2015, has yielded a wealth of scientific data about Pluto. This has included discoveries about Pluto’s size, its mountainous regions, its floating ice hills, and (more recently) how the dwarf planet interacts with solar wind – a discovery which showed that Pluto is actually more planet-like than previously thought.

But beyond revelations about the planet’s size, geography and surface features, it has also provided the most breathtaking, clear, and inspiring images of Pluto and its moons to date. And with this latest release of images taken by the New Horizon‘s Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), people here on Earth are being treated to be…

Stay tuned for Carnival of Space #461 coming to a blog near you!

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