The Carnival of Space 584

The Carnival of Space 584 is up at the Chandra Xray Space Telescope Blog.

Universe Today – How Science Journalism Helped Me Become a Better Sci-Fi Writer

Matt Williams writing for Universe Today helped make him a better hard science fiction writer. Hard sci-fi refers to stories where scientific accuracy is emphasized. This essentially means that the technology in the story conforms to established science and/or what is believed to be feasible in the future.

Matt went with the idea that the main drivers behind off-world settlement will Climate Change and the accelerating pace of change brought about by the Technological Singularity (both of which are expected to culminate around the middle of this century). I also wanted to explore the long-term idea of terraforming,

Universe Today – Blue Origin will be Landing its Rockets on a Used Cargo Ship. It’ll Get Converted in Time for First Flights in 2021

In order to ensure they remain competitive, Blue Origin indicated that it would be following SpaceX’s lead by recovering its first-stage rocket boosters at sea. To this end, the company has acquired a used Danish vessel known as Stena Freighter, which recently arrived in Florida. Much like SpaceX’s Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ships (ASDS), this vessel will be used to retrieve spent rockets after they deliver their cargo to space.

Nextbigfuture – If SpaceX gets lucky the BFR development costs could come in at the $2 billion low-end estimate. Elon Musk had estimated that it would cost $2 billion to 10 billion to develop. A few more critical successes over the next year will enable SpaceX to solidify the finances and funding for the BFR. The needed critical successes are the NASA crewed launch certification in mid-2019 and successful Falcon Heavy launches in 2019.

SpaceX has pre-sold a moon orbit tourist flight to a Japanese billionaire. This was likely for $500 to $800 million.

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy already has up to seven launches lined up. Commercial and government launch buyers are seeing the value in using the larger rocket to directly place satellites in geosynchronous orbit. Continued launch success in 2019 could bring the Falcon Heavy to five or six launches per year.

Nextbigfuture – US Air Force Talks SpaceX BFR for going anywhere on earth in under an hour

Nextbigfuture – Icarus Interstellar Spaceship designer Adam Crowl has provided more analysis of the potential of the 80 Gigapascal carbon nanotube bundle material.

Nextbigfuture wrote this material which has been made in a chinese lab. The material is 20 times stronger than Kevlar.

The material would enable flywheel energy storage with jet engine or rocket like energy density.