Centauri Dreams sends “Lightcraft: A Laser Push to Orbit” It is about a laser-powered launch technology that could drastically change the economics of getting to LEO (low earth orbit). Experiments continuing.
Among the new equipment and technologies demonstrated by PROBA-2 are new models of star trackers, GPS receivers, and reaction wheels, a new type of lithium-ion battery, an advanced data and power management system, composite carbon-fibre and aluminum structural panels, and magnetometers. PROBA-2 also hosts a digital Sun-sensor, an experimental solar panel, and a xenon gas propulsion system.
Japan announced their spectacular new $ 21 B space-based solar power initiative. According to Japan’s Institute of Energy Economics, the Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and IHI Corp. will lead a 15-company team that will build the first major solar power plant in space. Via microwaves, it will eventually beam enough energy back to Japan for nearly 300,000 houses.
Black Holes, Nova’s and Stars
7. The Chandra X-ray observatory images a black hole that is emitting jets of of radio emission enhanced with iron
11. An article covers a paper which discusses spectroscopic observation of Jupiter’s moon Io acquired using NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) in Hawaii during five eclipse reappearances in April, May, and June 2004.
Our moon and Apollo Related
12. Cheap astronomy podcast on the Celestial Sphere
14. Collect Space tracks down Apollo moon rocks:
Where Today Are The Apollo 11 Lunar Sample Displays?
Astronomy for Newcomers and Amateurs
17. Many people enjoyed seeing the space shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station flying across the sky together recently, and it seems that “ISS spotting” is becoming something of a spectator sport for experienced and new skywatchers alike.
CUMBRIAN SKY has a new “Beginner’s Guide” to ISS spotting, complete with recommendations for which websites to go to for pass predictions, and tips and hints about how to see the ISS, and other spacecraft, from where you live.
Canada Related Space
20. Commercial Space has a collection of canadian focused space news.
Propulsion Based on Exploiting Mach’s Effect
22. A second article with answers to various questions in comments on mach effect propulsion.
Mach Effect investigation could be a path to the unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics. Here is links to abot 20 hours of Stanford lectures on General relativity and another 20 on quantum mechanics plus a short video from one of the investigators of mach’s effect for potentially revolutionary propulsion.
If Mach’s effect can be used for propulsion as envisioned then what has been envisioned in terms of space travel in capabilities in Star Trek and even possibly wormholes for Faster than light travel and communication becomes possible. The work is based on solid General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics and understanding of inertia and the experiments are being carefully conducted. Success development would be a candidate for one of the greatest accomplishments of humanity.
23. The Skinny on Solar System Sizes from Music of the Spheres
Music of the Spheres reports on some graphics and tools that make it easier to grasp the relative sizes of planets, moons, and other objects in our solar system.