This is the Carnival of Space 626. Here is an archive of all of the past weekly Carnivals of Space. This where space-related blog joined together for weekly summaries of articles from all of the space blogs. Just email an entry to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the next host will link to it.
1. At Universe Today they report on the Exomars failing a second parachute test. Next year, the European Space Agency (ESA) will be sending the ExoMars 2020 mission to the Red Planet. This mission consists of an ESA-built rover (Rosalind Franklin) and a Russian-led surface science platform (Kazachok) that will study the Martian environment in order to characterize its surface, atmosphere, and determine whether or not life could have once existed on the planet.
2. Universe Today – NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope captured images of the Moon’s gamma rays. In this part of the electromagnetic spectrum, the Moon is actually brighter than the Sun. That’s because the Sun produces most of its energy in other parts of the spectrum, though it does emit some gamma rays, especially during solar flares.
3. Orbital refueling will massively boost our capabilities in space. According to SpaceX, one, two and even five of these tanker Starships could launch to orbit to completely refill a Starship’s fuel tanks with more methane and oxygen. With one tankers’s worth of fuel, a Starship could travel to the Moon, land on the surface, and then return to Earth. Completely filled propellant tanks with 5 orbital refills, and you could carry hundreds of tonnes of people, equipment and supplies to Mars, not to mention enormous interplanetary robotic spacecraft that could seriously explore other worlds.
Gateway Foundation has plans to build a circular space station that can hold 400 people. This will be called the Von Braun station. It will have twenty-four modules that are each 12 meters in diameter by 20 meters in length. There will be a ferris wheel like frame and a center hub and elevators. Each module will have about 8000 cubic meters in volume. There will be connecting docking areas for 24 Dream Chasers as lifeboats to enable full evacuation of the structure. The entire Von Bruan structure will have about 300,000 cubic meters of volume. This will be about 300 times more than the International Space Station.
They believe that in the first few years of a SpaceX Super Heavy Starship will bring launch costs will be about $40 million per launch for 100 ton launches. Despite high levels of full reusability the costs will stay higher due to the refurbishment needed for the launch pad. The Falcon Heavy and Super Heavy will degrade the launch facility substantially. The maintenance of the launch pads will eventually be reduced with further upgrades.
Each of the modules could be sold as facilities for countries or major corporations.
It will take about 30-40 launches of a Super Heavy Starship to launch the Von Braun Station. This would be fewer launches than the International Space Station. The costs will be far less because Gateway will try to use $40 million Super Heavy launches instead of $1 billion or more for Space Shuttle launches.
The Von Bruan Station could be occupied and begin operation with as few as 4-6 launches. They would create the hub and the ferris wheel frame, elevators and place the first two modules and Dream Chasers onto the station. Even with two modules the Von Braun would have about twenty times the volume of the International Space Station.
There is a plan to add large amounts of solar power. This could be 4 megawatts or more. This is thirty to fifty times more than the International Space Station.
To build the Von Bruan Station Gateway they will first construct an automated space drone robots called GSAL.
This is the critical year for the Gateway Foundation. They have thousands of members but they will start selling stock and fundraising. The next step is to create the first triangular version of the GSAL construction robotic drone.
Construction capabilities in space will be the initial business and a critical path capability for the Von Bruan Station.
There will be many developments and announcements from Gateway Foundation this year and hopefully many more in the coming years. They will be starting their business and raising funds and releasing many new plans and progress reports.
SOURCES- Universe Today, NASA, SpaceX, Gateway Foundation interview
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com