Carnival of Space week 29

Carnival of Space 29 is up.

I contributed my article on the latest in rail guns which can be used as better big gun for navy ships or eventually for space launches.

Hobbyspace reports on improvements to the Spacex rocket.

Merlin 1C in its Falcon 9 first stage configuration has a thrust at sea level of 95,000 lbs, a vacuum thrust of over 108,000 pounds, vacuum specific impulse of 304 seconds and sea level thrust to weight ratio of 92. In generating this thrust, Merlin consumes 350 lbs/second of propellant and the chamber and nozzle, cooled by 100 lbs/sec of kerosene, are capable of absorbing 10 MW of heat energy. In 2008, SpaceX targets the manufacture of approximately 50 booster engines, a number that exceeds the output of any country except Russia. New cooling for the Merlin 1C allows for higher performance without significantly increasing engine mass compared to the Merlin 1A.

A planned turbopump upgrade in 2009 will improve the thrust by over 20% and the thrust to weight ratio by approximately 25%.

There is an article about actual plans for a giant radio telescope on the lunar farside.

Colony Worlds discusses the space based solar power plans. He suggests placing the earth based collection systems over the ocean. I believe that using lasers to transmit the power from space would be better and then the system would not need large collection rectennas.