Carnival of Space 344

The Carnival of Space 344 is up at the Chandra X-Ray Space Telescope blog.

Universe Today – Hubble Telescope Watches Asteroid Disintegrate in Space

Asteroid P/2013 R3 appears to be crumbling apart in space, and astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope recently saw the asteroid breaking into as many as 10 smaller pieces. The best explanation for the break-up is the Yarkovsky–O’Keefe–Radzievskii–Paddack (YORP) effect, a subtle effect from sunlight that can change the asteroid’s rotation rate and basically cause a rubbly-type asteroid to spin apart.

“This is a really bizarre thing to observe — we’ve never seen anything like it before,” said co-author Jessica Agarwal of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany. “The break-up could have many different causes, but the Hubble observations are detailed enough that we can actually pinpoint the process responsible.”

Universe Today – BUDGET 2015: Flying SOFIA Telescope To Be Shelved For ‘Higher-Priority’ Programs Like Cassini

The Meridiani Journal – Exoplanet bonanza: Kepler confirms more than 700 new worlds

Nextbigfuture -By the end of 2019, Liftport has the goal establish an operational Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure using:

* Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) Technology
* “Sputnik-like Simplicity”
* A Single Launch Solution

LiftPort Group will make the Moon economically accessible for exploration, settlement, and extraction of natural resources by designing, constructing and operating a Lunar Space Elevator Infrastructure (LSEI).

Nextbigfuture – Space Shuttle Columbia rivisited with a theoretical NASA produced rescue plan which would have used the Shuttle Atlantis.

Previously NASA was looking at 20-30 years to get solar sails that are 250 meters by 250 meters or 400 meters by 400 meters. Spiderfab will use robots to assemble structures in space.

Spiderfab on orbit assembly can reduce the mass of space structures by 30 times. This could be developed in less than 10 years. This will enable solar power arrays with over 120 watts per kilogram. This is needed for fast solar electric interplanetary missions. Spiderfab can also enable solar sails that are over 1000 meters in diameter. It would be a 20-30 years leap ahead in space capabilities

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