Carnival of Space 417

1. Kirk, Spock and Sulu Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before — Charon!

The names of Uhura, Spock, Kirk and Sulu are on the latest map of Pluto’s jumbo moon Charon. The monikers are still only informal, but new maps of Charon and Pluto submitted to the IAU for approval feature some of our favorite real life and sci-fi characters. Come on — Vader Crater? How cool is that?

Four naming themes were selected for Charon’s features, three of which are based on fiction — Fictional Explorers and Travelers, Fictional Origins and Destinations, Fictional Vessels — and one on Exploration Authors, Artists and Directors.

This image contains the initial, informal names being used by the New Horizons team for the features on Pluto’s largest moon, Charon. Names were selected based on the input the team received from the Our Pluto naming campaign. Names have not yet been approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

2. Nextbigfuture – Star Trek: Renegades, is a professionally produced pilot intended for presentation to CBS as a possible online series.

This film was funded by the generous donations of fans from around the world. All monies went directly to the costs of making this high quality broadcast pilot. It is our hope that CBS finds “Star Trek: Renegades” to be a worthy endeavor and will continue the Star Trek franchise and legacy as an online episodic series (or on their own broadcast or cable network).

The official premier took place today at the Crest Theater (Saturday August 1, 2015 at 4:30 pm)
Renegades is also to be screened in Las Vegas on Friday, August 7th. The screening will be at 9:00pm at the AMC TOWN SQUARE 18, 6587 Las Vegas Blvd South.

You can still support the production. A $50 donation will get you a DVD or $60 for a Bluray copy of the pilot. This will be delivered in a month or so. There are other donation levels to get phaser and tricorder props.

3. Universe Today – Curiosity Drills Deep into First High Silica Martian Rock on Third Touchdown Anniversary

4. Planetaria – Haze detected above mystery bright spots on Ceres

The brightest of the bright spots on Ceres, in Occator crater. Haze detected above them may help scientists determine if they are made of ice, salts or something else. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDAM

5. Planetaria – NASA awards grants to Ozark IC to create circuits for proposed Venus rover

6. Vega00 -The Official Association of Spanish Geologists (ICOG) organizes an online course about Mars geology and astrobiology. The course starts next November. The article is written in Spanish

7. Space Cynic – A poorly written article in Scientific American gets a much needed critique.

8. Nextbigfuture – A small Colorado [Escape Dynamics] company has successfully tested a new type of propulsion technology that it believes could eventually enable low-cost, single-stage-to-orbit launch vehicles.

Broomfield, Colorado-based Escape Dynamics announced July 17 it carried out a small-scale test in the laboratory of its beamed microwave thruster. In that test, the company beamed microwave energy to a thruster, heating helium propellant and generating a small amount of thrust.

Escape Dynamics designed and built a 100kW-class high power microwave system operating in a continuous wave (CW) mode at 92.3GHz. The system incorporates a gyrotron, a power conditioning unit designed to supply highly stable current and voltage and a modular power supply unit. The gyrotron and the power conditioning unit, which provides power to the gyrotron, are designed and built in-house by Escape Dynamics’ team and conform to the highest levels of performance and efficiency.