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March 22, 2010

Carnival of Space 146

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Carnival of Space 146 is up at simostronomy

This site provided three articles to the carnival of space:

Coverage of Lasermotive (winner of the 2009 level One space elevator challenge, is setting up for another run at level Two in May 2010 The 2010 space elevator games are scheduled for May 2010 and will provide another series of tries to achieve level 2 (5 meters per second) up a one kilometer tether. Lasermotive is working to reduce the weight and perform some other changes to meet the challenge. Kansas City space pirates and the University of Saskatchewan teams are also strong contenders.

Part 2 of older designs for large payload rockets


Technical details of the Dusty Plasma fission fragment rocket design which could achieve 3-5% of light speed

Discover New Space summarizes all of the lunar water ice research

"600 million metric tons" doesn't mean very much, we can convert that into less R-rated units: approximately 158 billion US gallons. Even better: enough water to fulfill all of Seattle's water needs for three years.

If you converted those craters' water into rocket fuel, you'd have enough fuel to launch the equivalent of one space shuttle per day for more than 2000 years," said Paul Spudis of the Lunar and Planetary Institute, who obviously tried really hard to think up a suitable analogy



Centauri Dreams talks about close encounters that our solar system will have with other stars

The star GL 710 has not only a high probability of penetrating into the Oort cloud, P1 = 0.86, but also a nonzero probability, P2 = 1 × 10−4, of penetrating into the region where the influence of the passing star on Kuiper Belt objects is significant.

One revised study shows the frequency of encounters closer than one parsec to be roughly 11.7 events per million years (plus or minus 1.3).

A star closing to these distances is potentially in range for a civilization able to make a 10,000 AU journey (roughly the distance between Proxima Centauri and Centauri A and B)

Searching for Stars Closely Encountering with the Solar System (11 page pdf)

Based on a new version of the Hipparcos catalog and currently available radial velocity data, we have searched for stars that either have encountered or will encounter the solar neighborhood within less than 3 pc in the time interval from −2 Myr to +2 Myr. Nine new candidates within 30 pc of the Sun have been found. To construct the stellar orbits relative to the solar orbit, we have used the epicyclic approximation. We show that, given the errors in the observational data, the probability that the well-known star HIP 89 825 (GL 710) encountering with the Sun most closely falls into the Oort cloud is 0.86 in the time interval 1.45 ± 0.06 Myr. This star also has a nonzero probability, 1 × 10^−4, of falling into the region d < 1000 AU, where its influence on Kuiper Belt objects becomes possible.



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