Carnival of Space 204

Carnival of Space 204 is up at Astroswanny.

Vintage Space considers Robert Zubrin’s declaration that we are now more prepared to go to Mars than we were to go to the Moon in 1961 when Kennedy pledged the nation to a landing on its surface.

Meridiani Journal – The Cassini spacecraft has found the best evidence yet that a salty ocean lies beneath the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

Urban Astronomer – Two new moons, designated S/2010 J1 and S/2010 J2, have been discovered around Jupiter. They are 2km and 1km across respectively. There are now 65 moons around Jupiter.

Nextbigfuture provided Keith Henson’s interview with Sander Olson. Henson describes using skylon rocket planes to release payloads at high altitudes. Concentrated lasers would then heat hydrogen in the payload, providing thrust and propelling the payload into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). Henson believes that this scheme could reduce launch costs to $100 per kilogram, and could make space-based solar power cost effective and feasible.

Nextbigfuture has John Chapman’s aneutronic fusion reactor scheme He proposes using a commercially available benchtop laser starts the reaction. A beam with energy on the order of 2 x 10^18 watts per square centimeter, pulse frequencies up to 75 megahertz, and wavelengths between 1 and 10 micrometers is aimed at a two-layer, 20-centimeter-diameter target

Nextbigfuture covers a talk from Moon Express CTO Barney Pell about mining the moon.
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