Carnival of Space 630

Brian Wang |
September 23, 2019 |

1. Universe Today – Nothing Says Springtime on Mars Like Explosions of Sand.

CaSSIS is a high-resolution camera and in May 2019 it captured an image of the melting CO2 at Mars northern polar region. The ESA/RosCosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter arrived at Mars in October 2016 and has been studying the planet since then. Part of its instrument payload is the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) that, among other things, creates detailed digital elevation models of the surface of Mars.

The image shows different types of dunes that form on the planet. While the left side of the image looks like dunes as most people might picture them, the right side doesn’t. Those are called barchan dunes, or crescent dunes. Those dunes can grow larger and join with each other to from barchanoid ridges. Barchan dunes tell us which way the prevailing wind blows: the curved tips point downwind.

2a. Universe Today – Real Artificial Gravity for SpaceX’s Starship.

Youtuber smallstars has proposed a concept that he calls the Gravity Link Starship (GLS), a variation of SpaceX’s Starship that will be able to provide its own artificial gravity.

2b. Nextbigfuture – Three SpaceX Starships for a Space Station With Simulated Gravity

3. Universe Today – Images are Starting to Come in of the New Interstellar Comet

4. Universe Today – Oumuamua 2.0? It Looks Like There’s a New Interstellar Object Passing Through the Solar System

5. Universe Today – Here’s Hubble’s Newest Image of Saturn

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6. The Hill – When you fail to soft-land on the moon, try, try again.

7. Urban Astronomer – Saturn’s rings might not be young after all

8. Nextbigfuture – SpaceX Starship Mk1 Will Be Fully Stacked By Elon’s Saturday Presentation

The SpaceX Starship Mk1 in Boca Chica will be fully stacked when Elon Musk presents on Saturday. The STarship Mk1 has two rear moving fins. This is a new design.

Elon Musk has also tweeted a picture of the bottom half of Starship at night. Top half with forward fins & header tanks probably stacks on Wednesday. Three Raptor engines have already been installed.

9. Nextbigfuture – Over $30 Billion and 33 Years to Turn Space Shuttle Components into a Super Heavy Lift Rocket

In August, 2019, SLS (Space Launch System) managers for Boeing and Northrop Grumman gave that timeline at an aerospace industry forum. Boeing is in charge of assembling the rocket’s core stage, and Northrop Grumman is building the big solid-rocket boosters that will provide most of SLS’s lift off the launch pad.

The SLS is a Space Shuttle rocket stack without the orbiter. It will have taken over $30 billion and 33 years to make an expendable Space Shuttle rocket stack without an orbiter.

We will spend another $6 to 8 billion over the next two to three years to get to the first unmanned test flight. This mission could be done with less than $1 billion and two SpaceX Heavy launches. The SpaceX Heavy has already flown three times.

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Two SpaceX Falcon Heavies could launch the Orion capsule in 2020 and complete the mission for $5 billion lower cost and probably one year sooner.

Robert Zubrin described his work on the Ares team in 1988 that made the design for what became the SLS (Space Launch System). The thinking was that the Ares would be flying by 1994 as it was only the Space Shuttle stack without the orbiter.

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