Carnival of Space 585

1. Universe Today – An Extremely Large Hole has Been Dug for the Extremely Large Telescope

European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is a next-generation ground telescope. It will have a primary mirror measuring 39 meters (128 feet) in diameter. The ELT will collect roughly 200 times as much as light as the Hubble Space Telescope, making it the most powerful telescope in the optical and infrared spectrum.

Construction of the ELT began in May of 2017 and is currently scheduled to be finished by 2024.

2. The Hill – How NASA became an election issue for Rep. John Culberson

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope became the subject of an attack ad. It was claimed Culberson voted to allocate $680 million for the telescope while voting against spending to fix dams and prepare FEMA for floods. Politifact rated the ad as mostly false. Culberson actually voted to add $71 million to the project for the 2019 fiscal year in order to accelerate the telescope’s development. The $680 million has already been approved by Congress. The telescope is designed to survey the entire night sky every three days, thus detecting any changes and movements of celestial objects.

The dam and FEMA bill the ad referred to a 2007 measure that would have rehabilitated some dams that are not federally owned. The money would not have affected the Addicks or Barker dams, which figured in the Harvey devastation, because they are federally owned. The money for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope could not be transferred easily for flood control because they are in two separate appropriations accounts. The same could be said for the Europa Clipper.

3. Universe Today – It’s Over For Kepler. The Most Successful Planet Hunter Ever Built is Finally out of Fuel and Has Just Been Shut Down.

After nine years of service, NASA has officially announced that the Kepler Space Telescope will be retiring. With no fuel remaining to conduct its science observations, NASA has decided to leave the telescope in its current safe orbit. Kepler discovered 2,600 confirmed planets and almost 4000 candidates.

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

The new commander of AMC (Air Mobility Command), Gen. Maryanne Miller, said they have talked to SpaceX about transporting global cargo.

The Air Force had spoken to SpaceX about moving cargo in space. They would want to use SpaceX’s next-generation reusable BFR rocket.

5. Nextbigfuture – The World in one hour – 3000 SpaceX BFRs by 2045.

If the US chose to spend about $1 trillion on SpaceX BFRs over the next couple of decades about 3000 BFRs could be bought.

This would be like going from ten blimps to 3,000 jumbo jets.