2022 Should See Start of Technology Demos Leading to High Resolution Exoplanet Imaging

A NASA NIAC Phase III is developing and plans to fly a 2022 TDM (Technology Demonstration Mission) to prove the SGLF’s (Solar Gravitational Lens Focus) mission architecture. They will then prepare a near-term (by 2024), low-cost (less than $40M) mission to fly through the solar system faster than any spacecraft ever ~7 AU/year, capable of …

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Spinning Membrane Space Telescopes Would Be Big, Cheap and Easy

Robert Zubrin has proposed using rotating membranes to create Enormous Space Telescopes (ESTs) that can scale to over 1000 meter diameter or match current space telescopes for thousands of time lower cost. They would also not require the construction of large structures. A demonstration cubesat EST could have an aperture larger than the Webb Space …

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Video of the 900 Ton Arecibo Telescope Observatory Breaking and Falling

U.S. National Science Foundation provided video of the collapse of the Arecibo Observatory. Credit: Courtesy of the Arecibo Observatory. This video was taken from the vantage point of the Arecibo operations building. At the center of the video is the telescope platform, including the Gregorian dome. The catwalk, used to walk from the ground up …

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ESA Ariel Space Telescope Will Survey Atmospheres of 1000 Exoplanets Starting in 2029

ESA’s exoplanet mission Ariel, scheduled for launch in 2029, has moved from study to implementation phase, following which an industrial contractor will be selected to build the spacecraft. Ariel, the Atmospheric remote-sensing infrared exoplanet large-survey mission, addresses one of the key themes of ESA’s Cosmic Vision programme: What are the conditions for planet formation and …

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NASA NIAC Funds Giant Lunar Crater Telescope

An ultra-long-wavelength radio telescope on the far-side of the Moon has tremendous advantages compared to Earth-based and Earth-orbiting telescopes. Above – Notional view of LCRT on the far-side of the Moon. Credits: Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay Concept of operations for building LCRT. Credits: Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay Benefits will include: (i) Such a telescope can observe the universe at …

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Carnival of Space 639 – 75 Temporary Moons Should Be Detected Over the Next Ten Years

The Carnival of Space 639 is up at Urban Astronomer. Universe Today – The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Could Find More of Earth’s Transient Moons. Earth also has a population of what are known as “transient Moons”. These are a subset of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) that are temporarily scooped up by Earth’s gravity and assume …

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