Carnival of Space 321

The Carnival of Space 321 is up at Linksthroughspace.

Chandra Xray Telescope Blog – The densest galaxy in the nearby part of the Universe may have been found. Packed with an extraordinary number of stars, this unusual galaxy is providing astronomers with clues to its intriguing past and how it fits into the galactic evolutionary chain.

Air and Space magazine – I believe that there is abundant value in making our near-term goal the creation of a flexible and permanent system that opens up space for many different and varied uses. Making the space program a Quest for Life Elsewhere is a prescription for failure and ultimately, termination.

Nextbigfuture – A ‘laser starway’ concept by Charles Quarra present is a natural evolution of the work of both Robert Forward and Geoffrey Landis in extending the reach of beamed power into deep interstellar space, by taming the beam divergence that is ever present in all laser wavefronts. Beamed power gives us the possibility of leaving the source of energy at home, avoiding the exponential blowout of energy requirements imposed by the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation. But beamed propulsion is far from devoid of issues: The pointing accuracy, the huge laser sources and sails tens or hundreds of kilometers wide demand engineering capabilities that are still far from our current horizon.

Conceptually, the starway tries to push the idea of multiple lenses for beam refocusing, analyzed by Landis in the 1990s, in the direction of making them reusable: Can we take a string of lenses, deploy them between two stars and keep them operational for long periods?

Nextbigfuture – Mode-locked Lasers can be applied to deflecting a near earth object on collision course with earth.

We consider synchronized trains of sub-picosecond pulses generated by mode-locked lasers applied to deflection of near Earth objects (NEO) on collision course with Earth. Our method is designed to avoid a predicted collision of the NEO with Earth by at least the diameter of Earth. We estimate deflecting a 10,000 MT NEO, such as the asteroid which struck Earth near Chelyabinsk, Russia to be feasible within several months using average power in the ten kilowatt range. We see this deflection method as scalable to larger NEO to a degree not possible using continuous laser systems.

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