May 30, 2014

Carnival of Space 355

The Carnival of Space 355 is up at io9.

"The meridiani journal - Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Is shrinking – now the smallest ever seen

In this new image from the Hubble Space Telescope, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is seen at its smallest size ever recorded. Credit: NASA / ESA / A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center)

BrownSpaceman - Have you ever heard of Neptune's moon called Triton? Well here are 10 reasons why Triton is one of the coolest moons ever!

Nextbigfuture - Scientists at LPP Fusion, led by Chief Scientist Eric Lerner, are just one step away from technically proving out dense plasma focus fusion and you a few thousand other people can help for the final push. They are already
25%40% of the way to the $200,000 they needed for a few key experiments. Success would be better than doubling NASA's budget and 100,000 times cheaper than one year of double NASA budget. Success would have more impact than efforts to double NASA's space budget to 1% of all US tax dollars [increase from $18 billion per year to $36 billion].

Nextbigfuture - Elon Musk appears to have taken to his official Twitter account to accuse a former Air Force official of having "likely" accepted a bribe to grant the exclusive black sat launch contract to United Launch Alliance. The National Legal and Policy Centre (NLPC) article reported on Roger Correll's time as a procurement official for the Air Force, where he was in charge of getting launch services from private companies. Just before his retirement in January this year, he oversaw the deal that gave ULA, a Boeing and Lockheed joint venture, the contract for 36 future blastoffs. The NLPC article also reported Correll's appointment had now been given the job of veep for government acquisition and policy at Aerojet Rocketdyne, which supplies rocket engines to ULA.

Nextbigfuture - DARPA doesn’t have an explicit program to replace GPS, but the DARPA-funded chip-scale combinatorial atomic navigation, or C-SCAN, and Quantum Assisted Sensing, or QuASAR, initiatives explore a field of research with big relevance here: the use of atomic physics for much better sensing. If you can measure or understand how the Earth’s magnetic field acceleration and position is effecting individual atoms (reduced in temperature), you can navigate without a satellite. In fact, you can achieve geo-location awareness that could be 1,000 times more accurate than any system currently in existence.

Rapid Launch: Experimental Space Plane (XS-1) and Airborne Launch Assisted Space Access(ALASA)

Imagine a world in which getting a satellite into orbit can be as quick and reliable as an aircraft takeoff. Our new Experimental Spaceplane is designed to take a 3,000-to 5,000-pound payload into orbit using an expendable upper stage, all for under $5 million; that is one-tenth the cost of a comparable launch today. Our ALASA program focuses on 100-pound payloads for less than $1 million. Even more striking is our goal of providing satellite launch es for these payloads with just 24 hours’ notice.

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