Carnival of Space 285

The Carnival of Space 285 is up at Pam Hoffman’s site

Boeing has proposed a multi-step humans-to-Mars program that would feature a reusable solar electric-propelled Mars Transfer Vehicle to be deployed by the heavy lift Space Launch System.

Curiosity finds more evidence for watery past and prepares to drill first rock

Nextbigfuture – The largest known structure in the universe has been discovered by an international team of astronomers. The large quasar group is 4 billion light years cross. Quasars are the nuclei of galaxies from the early days of the universe that undergo brief periods of extremely high brightness that make them visible across huge distances. These periods are ‘brief’ in astrophysics terms but actually last 10-100 million years. Since 1982 it has been known that quasars tend to group together in clumps or ‘structures’ of surprisingly large sizes, forming large quasar groups or LQGs. The LQG also challenges the Cosmological Principle, the assumption that the universe, when viewed at a sufficiently large scale, looks the same no matter where you are observing it from.

Nextbigfuture – NASA has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to provide a new addition to the International Space Station. The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module will demonstrate the benefits of this space habitat technology for future exploration and commercial space endeavors.

Brown dwarfs often get a bad rap for being “failed stars” or “sub-stellar objects,” but in light of new research they may finally be known as “over-achieving planets.” Scientists have used a radio antenna array in Europe to detect evidence that some brown dwarfs may glow with
powerful aurorae.

Universe Today – While we’re still a very long way off from instantly transporting from ship to planet à la Star Trek, scientists are still relentlessly working on the type of quantum technologies that could one day make this sci-fi staple a possibility. Just recently, researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK have reported ways to simplify the instantaneous transmission of quantum information using less “entanglement,” thereby making the process more efficient — as well as less error-prone.”

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