Carnival of Space #560
Hi everybody, thanks for visiting! This is the 560th Carnival of Space, where we collect the best and most interesting news on space science and astronomy for your reading pleasure. It’s a good harvest this week, with contributions from many different publishers, so dig in and learn something new!
- Astronomers See a Pileup of 14 Separate Galaxies in the Early Universe
- Jeff Bezos Says The New Shepard Will Soar Next on Sunday. Here’s How to Watch It Live.
- Dream About the Future of Big Telescopes; Monster Space Telescopes That Could Fly by the 2030s
- Thanks to a Massive Release from Gaia, we now Know Where 1.7 BILLION Stars are in the Milky Way
- It is time for NASA’s Jim Bridenstine to restore the Lunar Resource Prospector
- NASA clarifies the Lunar Resource Prospector situation
- Congressman Culberson offers a warning about the Space Launch System
Chandra X-ray Observatory
Next Big Coins
- Planetary Resources may use blockchain for space mining rights and funding
A delay in funding from February 2018 forced Planetary Resources to lay off some of its 70 employees.Planetary Resources had planned on using several small spacecraft, launched as secondary payloads in 2020, fly to near-Earth asteroids to measure their water content. The funding issue will delay that mission.
Next Big Future
- Researchers at Delft University of Technology are designing a multi-generation interstellar asteroid starship.Next month the DSTART team will present the first version of their starship-scale MELiSSA computer simulation at the AgroSpace-MELiSSA workshop in Rome. The simulation allows the team to test the robustness of the MELiSSA system as it travels through deep space across extended periods of time.DSTART, the TU Delft Starship Team, is bringing together a wide variety of disciplines to perform advanced concepts research for a resilient interstellar space vehicle, to be constructed from a hollowed-out asteroid. The aim is not just to focus on the necessary technology, but also to consider the biological and social factors involved in making such a gargantuan voyage feasible.
- SpaceX will make a massive network of literally thousands of low earth orbit satellites to provide high-bandwidth, low-cost internet connection to every square foot of planet earth. (This is at 9:38 to 10:37 in the TED talk video)Gwynne Shotwell: We actually don’t chat very much about this particular project, not because we’re hiding anything, but this is probably one of the most challenging if not the most challenging project we’ve undertaken. No one has been successful deploying a huge constellation for internet broadband, or basically for satellite internet, and I don’t think physics is the difficulty here. I think we can come up with the right technology solution, but we need to make a business out of it, and it’ll cost the company about 10 billion dollars or more to deploy this system. And so we’re marching steadily along but we’re certainly not claiming victory yet. The first BFR is going to have roughly a hundred passengers. And let’s talk a little bit about the business. Everyone thinks rockets are really expensive, and to a large degree they are, and how could we possibly compete with airline tickets here? But if you think about it, if I can do this trip in half an hour to an hour, I can do dozens of these a day, right? And yet, a long-haul aircraft can only make one of those flights a day. So even if my rocket was slightly more expensive and the fuel is a little bit more expensive, I can run 10x at least what they’re running in a day, and really make the revenue that I need to out of that system.So within 10 years, an economy price ticket, or, like, a couple thousand dollars per person to fly New York to Shanghai.
And that’s the end of this Carnival of Space. For next week’s installment, check out Next Big Coins. If you want to learn more about astronomy and the experience of being an astronomer, why not subscribe to the Urban Astronomer Podcast?