The Carnival of Space #600

Welcome to the Everyday Spacer Blog, now hosting the Carnival of Space #600! At the rate of one per week, that’s over 11 1/2 years! And space exploration is more exciting than ever, as described by these great spacers in their articles.  Some of them have been at this for many years now. If you are called to join us, get the scoop here; then one with the show!

British Satellite Tests its Space Junk Harpoon
Matt Williams | Universe Today

Last summer, a new type of debris-hunting satellite was released from the International Space Station (ISS). It’s known as the RemoveDebris spacecraft, a technology-demonstrator developed by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and the Surrey Space Center. The purpose of this satellite is to…

Land Heavier Payloads on Mars. Aim for the Ground and Then Pull up at the Last Moment
Matt Williams | Universe Today

In the coming decades, a number of missions are planned for Mars, which include proposals to send astronauts there for the first time. This presents numerous logistical and technical challenges, ranging from the sheer distance to the need for increased protection against radiation. At the same time, there is also the difficulty of…

We Hate Long Goodbyes, But Opportunity has Earned One
Evan Gough | Universe Today

NASA’s Opportunity rover has reached the end of its life. Initially designed to last 90 days, and to travel only 1000 meters (1100 yards), the rover spent almost 15 years exploring the surface of Mars. During that time, it traveled more than 45 kilometers (28 miles.)

The last signal from Opportunity was on June 10th, 2018, when a severe global dust storm enveloped Mars. Since then, NASA has spent…

Mars One, the Plan to Make a Reality Show on Mars, is Bankrupt
Matt Williams | Universe Today

In 2012, Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp launched the world’s first private and crowdsourced-effort to create a permanent outpost on Mars. Known as Mars One, this organization was the focus of a lot of press since it’s inception, some of it good, most of it bad. While there were many who called the organization’s plan a “suicide mission” or a “scam”, others…

InSight has Placed its Heat Probe on the Martian Surface. The Next Step is to Jackhammer Down 5 Meters and Hope it Doesn’t Encounter a Large Rock
Evan Gough | Universe Today

NASA’s InSight lander has finally placed its heat probe on the surface of Mars. The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) was deployed on February 12th, about one meter away from SEIS, the landers seismometer. Soon it’ll start hammering its way into the Martian soil.

If you’re starting to get used to feats like this, keep a few things in mind.

The lander is on Mars, a planet that’s over 50 million kilometers away, and takes about 6 months to travel to. Once there, the lander had to go through a perilous landing process just to arrive on the surface intact. It’s landing site was carefully chosen, and in order for this stationary lander to…

First the Moon, Now China Plans to Launch Space-Based Solar Power Satellite
Mark R. Whittington | The Hill

For anyone who wonders why the Chinese are so anxious to explore the moon, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that China intends to start developing space-based solar power satellites. The Chinese are building the first prototypes now. They plan to deploy small and medium models in the stratosphere between 2021 and 2025. A megawatt-level satellite would be launched in 2030.

Space-based solar power satellites were first proposed by Peter Glaser in the late 1960s. The satellites would be deployed in orbit and would collect sunlight with huge solar arrays. The solar energy would be converted to microwaves that would be beamed back to Earth at receiving stations where it would then be converted to electricity and…

If We Master Building in Space Then the Solar System Will Be Wide Open
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Marc G. Millis, Jeff Greason, Rhonda Stevenson of the Tau Zero Foundation provided a 69-page review to NASA of the Interstellar Flight Challenges and Prospects.

A lot of the focus is on the massive speed, distance, and power challenges.

We Are Crippled Because We Cannot Really Build in Space

The most technically feasible ways to start making much faster progress to making travel around the solar system routine and fast and then to build…

Elon Musk Expects At Least 20 to 30 Launches from Each Falcon 9 Block 5
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

Elon Musk expects at least 20 or 30 missions from each Falcon 9 block 5 booster rockets. Currently, the booster rockets have been reused 3 times with some recovered for their fourth launch.

Thirty reuses of a first stage Falcon 9 block 5 could reduce the cost of the booster from $30 million to $1 million plus maintenance, recover and operational costs. The total Falcon 9 rocket also has an $8 million second stage and $6 million payload fairing. Payload fairings have been recovered but have not been reused yet. A Falcon 9 with 30 reuse first stage and ten reuse fairings would get close to…

SpaceX Falcon Successful Launch of Israeli Moon Mission and Indonesia Satellite
Brian Wang | Next Big Future

The SpaceX Falcon 9 has launched. All conditions are good. Second stage engine has fired. The rocket fairing has deployed. It looks like another good launch.

First stage has successfully landed.
Stage 2 is in good orbit.

They will need to relight the second stage for deployment of the various satellites.

The SpaceX Webcast has started. Less than…

Peering Into a Pre-Stellar Core
ptsouth97 | steemit

Under the influence of gravity, stars are born from collapsing clouds of gas and dust. These dense regions form a pre-stellar (i.e., before star) core. Although much is known about this process, it is difficult for astronomers to peer through the dust to see exactly what is going on with these cores inside the dusty clouds. Within the core, there could be…

Survey Confirms 81 New Variable Stars
ptsouth97 | steemit

As a member of the AAVSO, variable star astronomy is near and dear to my heart. Astronomers at the Moletai Astronomical Observatory (MAO) in Lithuania recently submitted their results on the photometric variability analysis of 3,598 stars in the northern sky that revealed 81 new variable candidates. The authors state that the mission of MAO is…

Backyard Amateur Helps Make a Big Astronomical Discovery
ptsouth97 | steemit

Astronomy is one of the few fields where amateurs can have a meaningful impact. I’ve never heard of an amateur nuclear physicist, but amateur astronomers regularly make significant contributions with their observations and analysis. In a recent submission to the Astrophysical Journal Letters, a team of astronomers reported their findings on the detection of a dusty disk surrounding a white dwarf. This discovery was made possible by the amateur Melina Thevenot, a member of…

Historical Solar Observations
ptsouth97 | steemit

We live in an era where both massive ground and space-based telescopes are capable of generating massive amounts of information nightly. This data can be stored, parsed, and analyzed using all of the most modern technology at our fingertips. However, there is a wealth of information that was collected in earlier times before the world was digitized and fully connected. Unearthing this data is a crucial endeavor because it may contain treasure troves of knowledge on objects whose objects are…

The Puzzle of Polaris
ptsouth97 | steemit

As our compass to the north, Polaris is one of the most famous stars in the night sky. However, in a recently accepted article to Astronomy and Astrophysics, astronomer Richard Anderson explains that Polaris still holds many mysteries. Polaris also happens to be a type one Cepheid variable star. Cepheids are also famous due to the established relationship between their period (i.e., the time from cycle to cycle) and their brightness. This relationships allows astronomers to calculate the approximate distance to the Cepheid variable. For this reason, Cepheids are known as “standard candles” and are an important part of…

And there you have it, Carnival of Space #600. Watch for the next one over on the Universe Today site. See you soon!

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