Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Belated: Carnival Of The Space Geeks (11th Session) Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas

Editor's note: Last week's carnival of space was hosted by Brian Dunbar on Space For Commerce.

Some interesting posts include:

  • Brian Wang of Advanced Nanotechnology gives his opinion about the sobering cost (and progress) of getting into space.

  • Amanda Bauer of Astropixie discusses about placing a liquid lunar telescope on the moon.

  • Ed Minchau of Robot Guy provides a humbling video on just how big our universe really is.

But the most interesting post at the Carnival of the Space Geeks goes to the mysterious author of Space Files who writes about Mars Society of Germany thinking about sending a "hot air gas balloon" to observe the red planet from above.

(Space Files) A camera, provided by DLR (the German space agency), which will be based on the ROLIS camera on the lander of the Rosetta space probe. It will be able to achieve a resolution of up to 20 cm per pixel at a 7 km distance from the surface. While this resolution in is not really stunning - HiRISE on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter almost reaches this at its highest resolution -, it will be able to take images from an oblique, 45 degree perspective.

A magnetometer, provided by the Technical University of Braunschweig. Measurements of Mars residual crustal magnetic field were last made by the Mars Global Surveyor space craft during the aerobreaking phase of the mission, in an altitude range between 100 km and 200 km. Archimedes would be able to make more local measurements. The combination of a high resolution camera and a magnetometer makes it possible to correlate magnetism and geological features. It would also be the first magnetic measurement below the ionosphere. It could also be compared to magnetic field measurements at the same time on board the orbiter.

Despite the fact that Mars lacks a global magnetic field, it does posses pockets of protection throughout its surface.

Accurately mapping this field could help future colonists establish "safety zones" in which they can build colonies upon, as well as retreat towards in order to escape the Sun's wrath.

Note: Tomorrow's Carnival of the Space Geeks will be hosted by Music of the Spheres. Users interested in submitting articles towards the carnival can see this post for details.

Update (7/25): Adjusted phrase from "hot air" to "gas" as it was more precise (thanks Space Files!).

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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