Carnival of Space 587

1. Universe Today – Not all the Earth’s Water Came From Comets

A new model suggests that the inevitable formation of water would likely occur on any sufficiently large rocky exoplanets in extrasolar systems.

Previously, we thought that the only planets that could have life on them would have to be in a solar system rich with water-bearing asteroids and comets. But that may not be the case. In other solar systems, not all Earth-like planets have access to asteroids loaded with water. The new study suggests any habitable exoplanets might have gotten water from the solar nebula in their system. Earth hides most of its water in its interior. Earth has roughly two ocean in its mantle, and 4 or 5 in its core. Exoplanets may be similar.

2. Universe Today – SpaceX is going to build a mini-BFR to launch on a Falcon 9

Elon Musk hopes to conduct the first orbital flight of this mini-BFS as early as June 2019. Based on this optimistic timeline, Ralph surmises that the test will not involve an actual scale model of the Big Falcon Spacecraft, but a close facsimile:

“[I]t seems likely that the miniature spaceship will essentially just be a strengthened Falcon 9 upper stage with fins and a heat shield attached versus a more extreme departure, where the stage would literally be a mini-BFS.”

3. >Universe Today – Ancient Star Found that’s Only Slightly Younger than the Universe Itself

4. >Universe Today – Mars InSight Lands on November 26th. Here’s where it’s going to touch down

5. >Universe Today – That Rectangular Iceberg Took a Long, Hazardous Journey

6. Chandra X-ray Space Telescope Blog – Skeletons and Spacecraft: An X-ray Halloween

7. Chandra X-ray Space Telescope Blog – Playing it Safe: Chandra’s Return to Science Observations

8. Chandra X-ray Space Telescope Blog – Happy 40th Birthday, Einstein Observatory

9. Nextbigfuture – A space mission to chase down the Oumuamua object would be worth the $2 to 4 billion or so cost.

Oumuamua is worth looking at for scientific value even it is only an anomalous interstellar object.

Harvard researchers have calculated that unusual speedup and movement of Oumuamua indicate that it could be solar sail. It might weigh only 100 to 300 kilograms instead of a solid comet-like material. If it was comet material it would weigh one million to ten million tons. If it is a solar sail it would be evidence of a civilization of technologically capable aliens that sent out a solar sail probe millions of years ago. We have only just had a few smaller solar sail probes. Two SpaceX Falcon Super-heavy might also work. This would involve having four boosters on the Falcon Heavy instead of only two. Two SpaceX Falcon Super-heavy might be flown by 2020.

Two SpaceX Falcon Super-heavies might only cost a total of $500 million.

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