October 07, 2012

Carnival of Space 270

1. The Meridiani Journal - Boating on Titan: new mission proposal for exploring an alien lake

The Lake on Saturn's moon Titan

2. Nextbigfuture - Europe is proposing a space boat to explore Saturn's moon Titan. The new plans, called the Titan Lake In-situ Sampling Propelled Explorer, proposes a boat-probe, propelled by wheels, paddles or screws. The probe would land in the middle of Ligeia Mare (the biggest lake, near Titan’s north pole), then set sail for the coast, taking scientific measurements along the way. The mission would last around six months to a year.

"The main innovation in TALISE is the propulsion system," says Igone Urdampilleta (SENER) of the TALISE team. "This allows the probe to move, under control, from the landing site in the lake, to the closest shore.

This rendering of the proposed TALISE probe shows one possible means of propulsion: paddle wheels on either side of the probe.

3. Air Space Magazine - In Hit-and-Run Science Dr. Paul Spudis considers the origin of the Moon

4, Chandra Blog - Answering Two Popular Questions About That Hot Gas

5. The Venus Transit has the third article in the voyager series we will discuss what Voyager is doing in its current mission

6. Starry Critters - Explore the hot clouds of glow­ing gas as well as ten­drils of cold dust in this stel­lar nurs­ery also known as Sharp­less 2–292, the Seagull Nebula in this new image from the ESO.

7. Aartscope - The "King of the Mountain" is actually at Siding Spring this weekend...unlike V8 Super car fans who think its in Bathurst. Its Siding Spring Observatory Open day!

8. At Links Through Space, our Astronomy Club members caught Ganymede shot through camera could be interpreted as an exoplanet. Read more and see the picture HERE

9. Supernova Condensate - World class telescope for sale! Supernova Condensate talks about the UK Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) and the latest development in it's fight for survival amid funding cuts.

10. Nextbigfuture - . Keith Lofstrom wants to put huge number of miniature, solar powered servers (called thinsats) in orbit. This concept, known as "server sky", would be facilitated by a low-cost launch system referred to as "Launch Loop". This loop could put many thousands of tons into space at a small fraction of the cost of using rockets. In an interview with Sander Olson for Next Big Future, Lofstrom describes how the server-sky concept could greatly reduce the need for ground-based data centers, and how Launch Loop might be the best solution to opening up space.

11. Nextbigfuture - The Z-Pinch dense plasma focus method is a Magneto-Inertial Fusion (MIF) approach that may potentially lead to a small, low cost fusion reactor/engine assembly 1. Recent advancements in experimental and theoretical understanding of this concept suggest favorable scaling of fusion power output yield 2. The magnetic field resulting from the large current compresses the plasma to fusion conditions, and this process can be pulsed over short timescales (micro-second). This type of plasma formation is widely used in the field of Nuclear Weapons Effects testing in the defense industry, as well as in fusion energy research. A Decade Module 2 (DM2), ~500 KJ pulsed-power is coming to the RSA Aerophysics Lab managed by UAHuntsville in January, 2012.

The analysis of the Z-Pinch MIF propulsion system concludes that a 40-fold increase of Isp over chemical propulsion is predicted. An Isp of 19,400 sec and thrust of 3800 N-sec/pulse, along with nearly doubling the predicted payload mass fraction, warrants further development of enabling technologies.

12. Nextbigfuture - A video of a proposed mission to Mars that would utilize the Skylon Spaceplane. The Spaceplane is under development in the UK.

13. Nextbigfuture has excerpts from Warp Field Mechanics 101. This is a 33 page document on the NASA servers with a paper and presentation.

Almost all of the information in this post is from the Harold White paper "Warp Field Mechanics 101" and a presentation he made on September, 2011 at the 100 Year Starship Symposium which were all posted at the NASA server. The original Alcubierre space warp theories
required massive amounts of energy and exotic matter. If Harold White is correct with his ideas for a higher dimension manifold and thicker shell, then the amount of energies needed will come down to a feasible level. Experiments at NASA over the next few months with a moderate sized laser could show that a detectable space warp is formed with 1 ten millionth the level of warping than would be needed for actual propulsion.

The video is an interview of Eric Davis on "Attack of the Show" from G4 TV.

14. Nextbigfuture - Plasma magnetoshell aerobraking is a NASA NIAC phase 1 study project . Any breaking drag forces on the Magnetoshell will be three orders of magnitude larger than the aerodynamic forces on the spacecraft. Magnetoshell should be one thousand times better than aerobraking. The recent Mars Curiosity rover mission required a skylift rocket landing system because the one ton rover was too big for aerobraking on Mars. Plasma magnetoshell aerobraking could enable far less mass for stopping and landing on planet and other missions.
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