Carnival of Space Week 84

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 ?

2. Tomorrow is Here asks the related question: “Does Obama want the Moon?

3. Music of the Spheres/FlyingSinger has been following and contributing to public discussions about several space-related policy proposals at, 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

Mars and Venus and other Planets and Moons
4. Supernova Condensate looks at a supercriticial ocean on Venus.

4. The Universe Today has first part of an 3-part interview with Mars Rover Driver Scott Maxwell.

5. Bad Astronomy has the top ten astronomy pictures of 2008

Here is one the top ten, an avalanche on Mars.

6. Astrodownunder has many more Mars images in his piece on “Mars as a real place

7. Orbital Hub looks at the just completed phase of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) science mission.

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.

8. 21st Century Waves looks at the Mars vs the Moon from a different angle

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

10. Meridian Journal also has planetary updates galore from the American Geophysical (AGU) meeting.

Mysteries of Astronomy and Extraterrestrial Life
11. Starts with a bang looks at the feasibility of Warp drive.

12. Crowlspace looks at the theory of the ooon originating from the Earth in “Did Gaia birth Selene?”

13. Alice’s astro info says “Aliens yes but UFOs no”. .

14. Simostronomy looks at a mystery star that fades for a year every five years.

15. Space Disco looks at the mystery of dark energy

16. The Chandra Observatory is revealing some of the secrets of dark energy

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

18. One Astronomer’s Noise looks at geomagnetic reversal and the ancient prediction of doomsday in 2012.

History, Education and More
19. Altair VI has an article about the fortieth anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission.

20. Kentucky Space has ideas for projects to engage children with space science.

21. Astroblogger looks at Comet Christensen in Celestia AND Making SSC files in Celestia

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.

22. Planetary Society covers Ralph Harvey who’s in the field with a team searching for meteorites in Antarctica

23. The Planetary Society also provides an update on the Kaguya mission to the moon.

24. A Babe in the Universe covers a new film imagines the thrill of freefalling from the edge of Space.

“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.

25. This site looked at studies of non-electric uses for nuclear fusion. Nuclear fusion for space travel is actually a lot easier than nuclear power for electricity.

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