Carnival of Space 260

The Carnival of Space 260 is up at Supernova Condensate

NASA reports that a test of an inflatable heat shield was successfully conducted on July 23, Monday morning. The test was the latest in a series of technology demonstrators conducted by the space agency.

ZMEScience – Researchers at MIT, the University of California at Santa Cruz and other institutions have come across the first exoplanetary system, whose planets exhibit a regularly aligned orbit, after analyzing data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope. So far, other discovered exoplanetary systems had planets, particularly hot-Jupiters, which presented far more eccentric orbits.

Another debate has broken out concerning the Chinese space program, the moon, and space as the military high ground. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., was on one side. On the other side is Stephen Smith, a political consultant and space blogger,

Centauri Dreams responds to a New York Times op-ed that takes a pessimistic look at interstellar flight. Paul cites the growth of interstellar flight research since the 1950s and calls for a long-term, visionary look at humanity’s role in the cosmos.

The Meridiani Journal – The Habitable Exoplanets Catalog has been updated again, with the top five potentially habitable exoplanets, including the controversial Gliese 581 g.

Nextbigfuture- VASIMR plasma rocket improves performance by 10% during most recent testing compared to 2 years ago. Th plasma rocket has 200 kilowatts of power, 5 newtons of thrust and up to 5000 ISP. It has 15-200 times more thrust than current ion engines and 10-20 times more fuel efficiency than a chemical rocket.

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