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May 03, 2010

Carnival of Space 152

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Carnival of Space 152 is up at Martian Chronicles.

Nextbigfuture contributions the 152nd carnival:
1. Earth based and space based hypertelescope proposals are reviewed. Includes calculations of the optical baselines and light gathering specifications for heroic imaging of planets in other solar systems

2. Dyson Swarms and dyson spheres
3. Dyson Bubbles, statites, molecular nanotechnology and current solar panels for the Mercury Messenger and the design of the Solar Probe Plus.

Centauri Dreams has details of the Ikaros hybrid solar sail mission.


The Ikaros solar sail works conventionally, using the momentum of photons from the Sun to accelerate the craft. But the JAXA designers have added thin film solar cells on the sail membrane. These produce the electricity that could be used in future (and larger) iterations to drive an ion engine. The IKAROS sail is a square membrane with a diagonal distance of 20 meters, made of polyimide some 7.5 micrometers thick, with the solar cells, steering devices and dust-counter sensors fitted directly to the membrane.


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