President Obama and new Space Policy and Direction
1. Astroengine looks at the “Space Exploration Crisis”.
NASA’s future is on a knife-edge and this could severely damage the US future in space. How can a short term five year case be made for long term benefits ?
3. Music of the Spheres/FlyingSinger has been following and contributing to public discussions about several space-related policy proposals at Change.gov, the Obama Transition web site. One of the most active is on Space Solar Power. If you care about space policy in the US, these are discussions that might actually make a difference. Post on additional space discussions at change.gov.
Mars and Venus and other Planets and Moons
4. Supernova Condensate looks at a supercriticial ocean on Venus.
5. Bad Astronomy has the top ten astronomy pictures of 2008
Here is one the top ten, an avalanche on Mars.
During this phase, the orbiter returned seventy-three terabits of science data to Earth, which is more than all earlier Mars missions combined. The next phase of the MRO mission will take two years. The list of scientific discoveries and observations made by MRO is stunning. We know now that Mars has a long history of climate change and that water was present in liquid form on its surface for hundreds of millions of years.
9. Martian Chronicles has coverage of the AGU Conference. The American Geophysical Union(AGU) is a scientific society with a membership of 50,000 researchers, teachers, and students focused on earth and space science.
Coverage on sessions on Titan
Coverage on sessions on Enceladus
Coverage on the Mars Phoenix space lander mission
Coverage on Venus conference sessions
Mysteries of Astronomy and Extraterrestrial Life
11. Starts with a bang looks at the feasibility of Warp drive.
17. Centauri Dreams sends “Giuseppe Cocconi, SETI Pioneer,” a story by Larry Klaes.
Cocconi’s contributions to physics in general and to SETI in particular were impressive, and the scientist, who recently died, was a major factor in firming up the young science involved in listening to the stars for possible extraterrestrial signals. Larry tells the whole story. If it weren’t for the efforts of Cocconi and Philip Morrison, the theorizing behind the Drake Equation and the development of SETI itself might have been slowed for years
History, Education and More
19. Altair VI has an article about the fortieth anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission.
Comet P/2003 K2 Christensen (P/2008 X4) was recently recovered by Australian Amateur Alan Watson using images from the STEREO spacecraft. This is the first time a comet has been recoverd in this way. This series of posts shows you how to use the popular 3D solar system simulation program Celestia to see comets from the point of view of the STEREO spacecraft (and match them to the stereo images), and to make you own Celestia files for newly discovered comets.
“Space Diving”: In 1960 Major Kittinger leaped from a balloon at 102,000 feet, a record whoch still stands. New spacesuit designs may make Space diving a reality.
There has been a flurry of nuclear fusion related news.
– Funding of the dense plasma focus fusion approach
– Positive verification from the IEC (Bussard) fusion project
– Completion of physical experiments and computer simulation of acoustic wave magnetized target fusion
– A proposal for hybrid fusion/fission power generation