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August 18, 2013

Carnival of Space 315

1. Chandra Space Telescope Blog - Observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have revealed a massive cloud of multimillion-degree gas in a galaxy about 60 million light years from Earth. The hot gas cloud is likely caused by a collision between a dwarf galaxy and a much larger galaxy called NGC 1232.





2. Armagh Planet - Our Solar System is old. Our best estimates from radiometric dating of meteorites suggest the Sun and its planets were forming some 4.6 billion years ago. The Universe itself appears to be some 13.8 billion years old based on its observed rate of expansion. That means, perhaps surprisingly, that the Earth has been here for a third of the lifetime the Universe has existed. That is an impressive fraction to be sure, but let us look at a star which is much, much older. A star so old, it seemed to have been born before the Universe itself!

3. Weird Warp - Space tourism is actually happening now! But it is only for the wealthy. What will space tourism will like in the future? I believe it will be for everyone to almost everywhere in the solar system and possibly elsewhere in the far future.


4. Urban Astronomer - The Hubble Space Telescope recently discovered a planet 176 light years away that, at least according to current theories, shouldn't exist



5. The Meridiani Journal - Astronomers discover giant colourful exoplanet

6. Nextbigfuture - Joseph Mueller of Princeton Satellite systems presented to the NASA Future in Space Operations (FISO) on Direct Fusion Drive for Fast Mars Missions


7. Nextbigfuture - Spacex fully succeeds then launch costs to orbit could drop to $10 per pound from $4000-20000 per pound. This could open up space to colonization and industry and enable the economy of civilization to expand by trillions of dollars in decades and enable large scale expansion into the solar system much the way nationwide highway and rail allowed the US to fill out from coast to coast.

United Launch has been trying to use political and regulatory means to block competition with Spacex. They also try to get media stories to focus any concerns about Spacex safety and use its nontraditional approach as an argument against it.


Tens of billions may still be spent on the shuttle derived Space launch system which would have costs of about $8500 per pound and would not have launch capacity beyond a Spacex Falcon Heavy into the 2030s. If Spacex continues to improve engine power beyond the Merlin 1D and makes other launch refinements then the next version of the Spacex Falcon Heavy could achieve 70 to 150 ton launches without an expensive development effort.

United Launch has been trying to use political and regulatory means to block competition with Spacex. They also try to get media stories to focus any concerns about Spacex safety and use its nontraditional approach as an argument against it.


8. Spacex reusable rocket flies sideways for 100 meters.



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