4. Centauri Dreams takes a look in two posts at the National Research Council report on NASA’s Institute for Advanced Concepts. Is a new NIAC in the cards? Possibly, but what will it tell us about NASA’s overall direction?
5. Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, reports that the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, currently orbiting the Moon just 50 km off the surface, has taken more shots of the Apollo 17 landing site… and has seen the actual U.S. flag! A couple of photos like this cropped version below.
6. The Planetary Society blog shows HiRISE view of Phoenix in the Martian spring The article has 5 photos.
These Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE images of the defunct Phoenix lander in the early dawn light of northern spring have been out for some time, but no one had accomplished the difficult task of locating the Phoenix hardware in them until this week.
So both items 5 and 6 are because we have multiple space missions and scopes able to spot areas on the moon and Mars where previous space missions have been.
Researcher Wolfgang Fink got a lot of ink this past week with the idea that: Instead of sending a paltry robot or two to distant planets, scientists should send multiple expendable robots. Send an Armada of robots. Below is representation of many blimp robots, rovers and satellites at Mars.
8. Spacewriter ramblings provides the first of her two “Wow!” entries this week… about the Wow Factor in astronomy. She has a zoomable picture of the N44 superbubble complex as seen by the Gemini Telescope (courtesy Gemini Observatory and T.A. Rector).
There is a Jewel Box in Crux. This beautiful open cluster is also known as Kappa Crucis Cluster or NGC4755. It got its Jewel Box nickname from an English astronomer John Herschel in the 1830s because the striking colour contrasts of its pale blue and orange stars seen through a telescope reminded Herschel of a piece of exotic jewellery.
Recently we have added the field of view outlines for all approximately 10,000 Chandra observations. Shortly users will see markers for each of the roughly 100,000 sources in the Chandra Source Catalog CSC with direct access to the same science data professional astronomers use. The process that creates the multi-resolution images will be upgraded to provide full resolution across the entire image (not just the center of the image). And we hope to provide full mosaics of parts of the sky where we have observed with Chandra multiple times. Users may even start to see Tours of observations referenced in professional journal articles. There are many exciting possibilities
15. Colony Worlds has the article Moon: Oxygen, Oxygen Everywhere, But We’ll Need Hydrogen To Drink
Even though revelations of Luna’s “wet” surface inspired dreams of space settlement, it may be wise to ship tanks of hydrogen upon its surface–if we want humanity to thrive.
19. “Cumbrian Sky” delights in the latest stunning image of an Apollo landing site taken by the LRO probe, and wonders what it will take to convince stupid Moon Landing Hoax Believers that the greatest event in the history of Mankind actually happened…”
As the host of this weeks carnival I will feature my four articles on space.
20. The interview of Richard Varvill of Reaction Engines and the Skylon Spaceplane by Sander Olson There are pictures and video of the Skylon Spaceplan and the proposed orbital base.
The heart of the Emdrive is a resonant, tapered cavity filled with microwaves. According to Shawyer, a relativistic effect generates a net thrust, an effect confirmed by various Emdrives he has built as demonstrations. Critics say that any thrust from the drive must come from another source. Shawyer is adamant that the measured thrust is not caused by other factors.
Shawyer asserts that work is also being carried out in France, Russia and in the United States by a major aerospace company. Work is also being done in China. Shawyer continues his work in the UK.
The design of the [flying car] vehicle results from iterating a mass, power and thrust analysis with inputs from four mission analyses. The mass, dimensions and performance of the jet engines are scaled from the data available for the AMT Titan UAV engine. The power generator is based on an uprated ROTAX 503 aero engine driving a high speed 36 kW alternator.
The flight envelope was investigated by running 4 numerical mission analyses. These gave a maximum rate of vertical ascent of 52m/s (170ft/s) and a maximum speed of 118m/s (230 knots) at a maximum altitude of 12.6km (41,300ft). If the altitude is restricted to 1.34km (4,400 ft) then a full liquid hydrogen fuel load will give a maximum range of 97km (60 miles).