Carnival of Space 326

The Carnival of Space 326 is up at Photos to Space.

Astronomers confirm first Earth-sized rocky exoplanet

Universe Today – This eclipse is of the rare hybrid variety— that is, it will be an annular eclipse along the very first 15 seconds of its track before transitioning to a total as the Moon’s shadow sweeps just close enough to the Earth to cover the disk of the Sun along the remainder of its track.

A partially eclipsed setting Sun as seen from Dallas, Texas on May 20th, 2012. This weekend’s eclipse will offer U.S. East Coast residents a similar sunrise view. (Credit: Jason Major/Lights in the Dark).

There is a design for a new new space launch system that would leverage an inflatable tower design. Fisher Space Systems LLC has created the design for an inflated tower combined with a rotating system that will fling a reusable launch vehicle to space. It will only need a reusable upper stage. It could also be combined with a rotovator for the upper stage. Electricity can power the elevator ride up and power the rotating system.

The Space Track Launch System (STLS) is a two stage system. The first stage is a tall tower 100-150 km high. An electrically driven rotating truss at the top of the tower is attached to two sets of ribbons made of high strength fiber composites. Counterweights (CW) are attached to the end of each ribbon. The second stage is a reusable liquid fueled launch vehicle (LV) designed to launch form the STLS.

The system is unique for several reasons. First, the first stage is all electric and can be used up to three times a day. The electric motors restore rotational kinetic energy to the ribbons in approximately 8 hours. Second, the launch vehicle launches from a point along the ribbon as opposed to being released from the end of the ribbon. For a 30 ton launch vehicle, launching from the end of the ribbon produces a compressive shock wave that will destroy the ribbon and damage the tower.

There are many SkyScreamer rides in Six Flag parks. The tallest are about 120 meters tall

Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company, will advance its mission to mine resource-rich near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) by launching the first in its Arkyd Series of spacecraft – the A3 – into low-Earth orbit as early as April 2014. The A3 is the Arkyd 100’s technology demonstrator, and the mission will provide for early testing and serve to validate the spacecraft’s core technology and software in the development of the program.

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