Space Not the Final Frontier
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Space Not the Final Frontier
Off World a Chance to Begin Again in a Golden Land of Opportunity - Propulsion, Navigation, Exploration
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In Between The Tweets – The JUNO Tweetup Remembered

In Between The Tweets – The JUNO Tweetup Remembered | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it

In Between The Tweets – The JUNO Tweetup Remembered - My modest contribution to regenerating interest in space exploration. By Donald Schwartz

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Cassini Finds Saturn Moon Has 'Sea Level' Like Earth

Cassini Finds Saturn Moon Has 'Sea Level' Like Earth | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
Saturn's moon Titan may be nearly a billion miles away from Earth, but a recent paper from NASA's Cassini mission reveals a new way this world and our own are eerily similar.
Donald Schwartz's insight:

The rules of topographical design remain the same. 

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NASA proposes a magnetic shield to protect Mars' atmosphere

NASA proposes a magnetic shield to protect Mars' atmosphere | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
NASA proposes a magnetic shield to protect Mars' atmosphere
Donald Schwartz's insight:

Is this something we really want to do, of course, we might need it sometime in the future. 

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The Space Review: Back to back to the Moon

The Space Review: Back to back to the Moon | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
Donald Schwartz's insight:

Poor NASA is truly lost in space and hemorrhaging dollars on vehicle, the SLS, that appears to have very little purpose.

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The Space Review: SpaceX prepares to eat its young

The Space Review: SpaceX prepares to eat its young | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
Donald Schwartz's insight:

I have no idea whether Musk's BFR, all-in-one concept, will fly anytime soon, but I'm confident that NASA's SLS will be toast sooner than later. NASA's future is so enmeshed in political considerations that I'm surprised--but glad of it-- that their deep space exploration remains so successful. 

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NASA unveiled new plans for getting humans to Mars, and hardly anyone noticed

NASA unveiled new plans for getting humans to Mars, and hardly anyone noticed | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
NASA revealed its most concrete plan yet for sending humans back into deep space, centered around a small lunar space station and a reusable transport ship to carry astronauts to Mars and back.
Donald Schwartz's insight:

Finally, a road map that you can hang your hat on, albeit, precariously. 

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NASA: Saturn moon Titan has chemical that could form bio-like ‘membranes’

NASA: Saturn moon Titan has chemical that could form bio-like ‘membranes’ | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it

Molecules of vinyl cyanide reside in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, says NASA.

 

Recent simulations have indicated that vinyl cyanide is the best candidate molecule for the formation of cell membranes/vesicle structures in Titan’s hydrocarbon-rich lakes and seas. Although the existence of vinyl cyanide (C2H3CN) on Titan was previously inferred using Cassini mass spectrometry, a definitive detection has been lacking until now. A team of scientists now report the first spectroscopic detection of vinyl cyanide in Titan’s atmosphere, obtained using archival data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), collected from February to May 2014. They detect the three strongest rotational lines of C2H3CN in the frequency range of 230 to 232 GHz, each with >4σ confidence. Radiative transfer modeling suggests that most of the C2H3CN emission originates at altitudes of ≳200 km, in agreement with recent photochemical models. The vertical column densities implied by our best-fitting models lie in the range of 3.7 × 10^13 to 1.4 × 10^14 cm−2. The corresponding production rate of vinyl cyanide and its saturation mole fraction imply the availability of sufficient dissolved material to form ~10^7 cell membranes/cm^3 in Titan’s sea Ligeia Mare.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Donald Schwartz's insight:

A bit of a slog to get through, so take away what you can.

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NASA Technologist proposes Acceleration Mechanics for New Propellant-less Space Drives | NextBigFuture.com

NASA Technologist proposes Acceleration Mechanics for New Propellant-less Space Drives | NextBigFuture.com | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
NASA Technologist proposes Acceleration Mechanics for New Propellant-less Space Drives
Donald Schwartz's insight:

This requires some translation for the lay audience: "By applying entanglement to the thin-shell mechanism, one can allow the thin-shell to be the observer between an object’s density and its surrounding environment density in order to conserve both entanglement and energy between the two densities."

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Oxford Scientists Suggest That Aliens Aren't Extinct, Just Hibernating

Oxford Scientists Suggest That Aliens Aren't Extinct, Just Hibernating | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
The latest solution to Fermi's Paradox argues that aliens could be hibernating in order to maximize their computational capabilities.
Donald Schwartz's insight:

The Fermi Paradox explained the way you like it--really.

 

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NASA thinks there's a way to get to Mars in three days

NASA thinks there's a way to get to Mars in three days | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
We've achieved amazing things by using chemical rockets to place satellites in orbit, land people on the moon, and place rovers on the surface of Mars. We've even used ion drives to reach destinations further afield in our solar system. But reaching other stars, or reducing our travel time to Mars or other planets, will require another method of travel. One that can approach relativistic speeds.

Via Allen Taylor, Nancy Kay Novak
Donald Schwartz's insight:

We're talking commuting distance here. But there will be problems, i.e. space travel lag.

 

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Allen Taylor's curator insight, March 26, 2017 11:21 PM
Photonic propulsion is being developed that will greatly speed up space travel.
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NASA's Next Trip to Saturn Will Be to Search for Alien Life

NASA's Next Trip to Saturn Will Be to Search for Alien Life | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it

As the Cassini spacecraft executes its final daredevil maneuvers, scientists on both sides of the Atlantic are already thinking about the next mission to Saturn. But this time around, nobody’s talking about studying the gas giant itself. They’re talking about hunting for life in Saturn’s rings.

 
Two Saturnian moons—Titan, a world of frigid methane seas, and Enceladus, a cratered ball of ice wrapped around a liquid water ocean—are on the shortlist of places in our solar system where alien life might exist. And scientists are determined to find out if it does. That much was clear at last week’s American Geophysical Union conference, where American and European researchers presented proposals for two future spacecraft that would determine if Saturn’s strangest moons are habitable.
 
On the American side, there’s the Enceladus Life Finder (ELF), a proposed NASA New Frontiers-class spacecraft whose mission is in its name. ELF’s flight plan is simple: ten low-altitude (30 mile/50 km) passes over Enceladus’ south pole, where cracks in the moon’s icy crust spew frozen ocean water into space.
 
Diving through Enceladus’ south polar geysers, ELF would sample the moon’s ocean water like Cassini has already done, but with fancier instruments. Two state-of-the-art mass spectrometers would search for key indicators of habitability, including hydrogen gas (an energy source). The spacecraft would also hunt for life directly by profiling amino acids and carbon isotopes, which occur in specific patterns when microorganisms are present.
 

“The biggest hope for ELF is to fully characterize the habitability of Enceladus’ ocean,” Cassini project scientist and ELF co-proposer Linda Spilker said. “I would like to know if the Enceladus ocean can support life, and better yet, to find evidence for that life.”

 

Enceladus’ subsurface ocean is one of the most Earth-like environments we know of out there. But it’s also possible that a different form of biology—a far stranger onecould have sprung up in Titan’s methane seas. A hypothetical model allows for methane-based cellular organism living in Titan’s oceans. So, why only search for life-as-we-know-it when we can visit both moons on the same trip?


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Donald Schwartz's insight:

Fly-by may not be enough, but maybe the Europeans pitch once again for the lander.

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China's EMDrive research lead confident EMDrive will work in satellites and the race to prove EMDrive and Cannae drives in space and then commercialize

China's EMDrive research lead confident EMDrive will work in satellites and the race to prove EMDrive and Cannae drives in space and then commercialize | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
China's space agency has officially confirmed that it has been funding research into the controversial space propulsion technolog
Donald Schwartz's insight:

Watch the embedded video slide show to gain an understanding of "how" this propulsion system actually works. 

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Inside the Breakthrough Starshot Mission to Alpha Centauri

Inside the Breakthrough Starshot Mission to Alpha Centauri | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
A billionaire-funded plan aims to send a probe to another star. But can it be done?
Donald Schwartz's insight:

The Plan in Brief: "Starshot’s only really expensive element was the laser; the sails and chips would be low cost and expendable. The latter would be bundled into a launcher, sent above the atmosphere and released like flying fish, one after another—hundreds or thousands of them—so many that like the reptilian reproduction strategy, losing a few would not matter. Each one would get hit by the laser and accelerated to 20 percent the speed of light in a few minutes. Next the laser would cut off, and the chip and sail would just fly.  DS: "Go the distance."

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World-first Firing of Air-breathing Electric Thruster – Parabolic Arc

World-first Firing of Air-breathing Electric Thruster – Parabolic Arc | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
PARIS (ESA PR) — In a world-first, an ESA-led team has built and fired an electric thruster to ingest scarce air molecules from the

Via Allen Taylor
Donald Schwartz's insight:

We're getting closer to making the electric thruster a viable propulsion option.

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Allen Taylor's curator insight, March 7, 12:32 PM
Proof of concept, but will it work in orbit?
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Op-Ed | A house divided, or in this case, a rocket - SpaceNews.com

Op-Ed | A house divided, or in this case, a rocket - SpaceNews.com | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
Advocates of alternatives to the Apollo model must recognize that SLS indecision feeds directly into the national angst that led to the job-protecting presidential campaigns of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
Donald Schwartz's insight:

Why we can't get rid of the SLS and why we should. 

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The Biggest Rocket ever Designed? - The Sea Dragon

In the history of space, one rocket stands out as an icon of not only the space race but of the mighty power it symbolised. Patreon
Donald Schwartz's insight:

Now, if like BIG I give the Titanic of rockets--put this in you pipe Elton and smoke it.

 

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Astronaut Scott Kelly on the devastating effects of a year in space

Astronaut Scott Kelly on the devastating effects of a year in space | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly spent a year in space. His recollections of this unprecedented test of human endurance, and the physical toll it took, raise questions about the likelihood of future travel to Mars.
Donald Schwartz's insight:

I just don't see "how" we are going to do it without some form of artificial gravity for deep space travel or even a six month trip to Mars. If you're not up to performing when you get to where you are going, what's the point?

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Are we being watched? Many alien worlds could spot the Earth

Are we being watched? Many alien worlds could spot the Earth | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it

A group of scientists from Queen's University Belfast and the Max Planck Institute for solar system Research in Germany have turned exoplanet-hunting on its head, in a study that instead looks at how an alien observer might be able to detect Earth using our own methods. They find that at least nine exoplanets are ideally placed to observe transits of Earth, in a new work published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

 

 

Thanks to facilities and missions such as SuperWASP and Kepler, we have now discovered thousands of planets orbiting stars other than our sun, worlds known as 'exoplanets'. The vast majority of these are found when the planets cross in front of their host stars in what are known as 'transits', which allow astronomers to see light from the host star dim slightly at regular intervals every time the planet passes between us and the distant star.

 

In the new study, the authors reverse this concept and ask, "How would an alien observer see the solar system?" They identified parts of the distant sky from where various planets in our solar system could be seen to pass in front of the sun – so-called 'transit zones'—concluding that the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) are actually much more likely to be spotted than the more distant 'Jovian' planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune), despite their much larger size.

 

"Larger planets would naturally block out more light as they pass in front of their star", commented lead author Robert Wells, a PhD student at Queen's University Belfast. "However the more important factor is actually how close the planet is to its parent star – since the terrestrial planets are much closer to the sun than the gas giants, they'll be more likely to be seen in transit."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Donald Schwartz's insight:

Here's looking right back at you kid.

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, September 11, 2017 8:11 AM
Are we being watched? Many alien worlds could spot the Earth
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A leaked NASA paper points to a working EmDrive

A leaked NASA paper points to a working EmDrive | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
Despite the fact that they're still unsure of how it works, NASA scientists have finally confirmed that the seemingly-impossible EmDrive is legit.
Donald Schwartz's insight:

This propulsion system has created tremendous controversy: there are those who believe it's not even plausible. But then again someone's either a great salesperson, or NASA is being hood-winked. 

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NASA Reignites Program for Nuclear Thermal Rockets - Universe Today

NASA Reignites Program for Nuclear Thermal Rockets - Universe Today | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
NASA recently announced a three-year partnership with BWXT to develop nuclear thermal rockets for future mission to Mars and beyond!
Donald Schwartz's insight:

It's going to happen as there may be no other way in the short term to get oomph we need to go anywhere of consequence.

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Elon Musk Puts a Cap on Ticket Price to Mars Colony. Here's How Much It Could Cost.

Elon Musk Puts a Cap on Ticket Price to Mars Colony. Here's How Much It Could Cost. | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
The CEO of SpaceX focuses on the affordability of tickets to Mars as a key factor in its successful colonization.
Donald Schwartz's insight:

Elton puts the numbers on trip to Mars. Hyperlink to article http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/space.2017.29009.emu.

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Hibernation for Deep-Space Exploration Could Happen Sooner Than You Imagined

Hibernation for Deep-Space Exploration Could Happen Sooner Than You Imagined | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
The aerospace engineering company SpaceWorks Enterprises thinks that the first human missions to Mars could employ a hibernation system for astronauts as soon as the early or mid-2030s.
Donald Schwartz's insight:

The ultimate chill-out may get us to where want to go.

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China's "Propellantless" Future & Five Year Space Plan

China's "Propellantless" Future & Five Year Space Plan | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it

Over the holiday period, China made two major announcements that signal the increasing ambitions of its space program. These announcements include explorations that will equal those of Western and Russian space programs plus an aggressive pursuit of technology that could place China ahead of both...

Donald Schwartz's insight:

Can you feel Space Race The Sequel on the horizon???

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Science of 'Arrival': If aliens call, does humanity have a plan?

Science of 'Arrival': If aliens call, does humanity have a plan? | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
The science fiction movie "Arrival," poses tantalizing questions about how humans might make contact — and eventually communicate — with intelligent aliens.
Donald Schwartz's insight:

Whenever I think of Aliens(space-based), I recall the Twilight Zone Episode, "To Serve Man." In case you don't recall, the book they inadvertently left behind was filled with recipes how to make us appetizing.

 

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A Survey of Space Settlement Designs

A Survey of Space Settlement Designs | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it

The paper “A Survey of Space Settlement Designs” by Thomas Marotta has been just been published in the NSS Space Settlement Journal.

 

The author compiled every known orbital space settlement design into a database. Grouped into chronological ‘eras,’ the database describes basic information for each design: population capacity, dimensions, gravity level, energy source, etc. 

 

Using this information one can conclude that interest in space settlement is increasing, 1g is the preferred gravity level, solar power is the preferred energy source, and a torus is the preferred geometry. As for location, Earth-Moon Lagrange points dominate but there is a budding movement to place settlements in low Earth orbits. 

 

The database is accessible at www.nss.org/settlement/journal/Space-Settlement-Designs-Database-12.19.16.pdf.

Donald Schwartz's insight:

Whole lot of dreamers out there; what we need is Captain Picard to make it so.

 

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Will the New Space Systems Loral $127Mln NASA Space Robotic Servicing Contract Help Canada?

Will the New Space Systems Loral $127Mln NASA Space Robotic Servicing Contract Help Canada? | Space Not the Final Frontier | Scoop.it
Using technology derived from the iconic Canadian developed Canadarm, Palo Alto, CA based Space Systems Loral (SSL) has received a $127Mln USD ($167Mln CDN) contract to supply the chassis, hardware and various other services for the NASA Restore-L space robotic servicing mission.

The new contract could help nudge SSL, as the present US reseller of this technology, into developing its own satellite servicing business. But whether Canada stands to benefit is another question entirely...
Donald Schwartz's insight:

Right on time too with James Webb next telescope going up. 

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