Saturday, August 11, 2007

Carnival Of The Space Geeks (15 Minuets Of Fame) Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas

Thursdays Carnival of Space was hosted by Dr. Pamela Gay over at Star Stryder, which had various posts ranging from Earth to Mars (and back again).

Some interesting posts included:

  • Louise Riofrio (aka A Babe in the Universe) has a post (with video) on how NewSpace can potentially save NASA over 90 billion dollars on their lunar quest.

  • Brian Wang of Advanced Nanotechnology informs everyone on how a ram accelerator (as well as a magnetic launch ring) could reduce the cost of space by $500/kg.

  • Bigelow Aerospace celebrates the fact that they are displaying ads alongside their orbital stations which potentially could be a great source of revenue for Bigelow.

  • Paul Gilster of Centauri Dreams discusses why anti-matter will be the fuel of the future and how it can open up the outer solar system (if not beyond).

  • Stuart of Cumbrian Sky sums up why everything we do in space (and on Earth) is really about humanities search for new life.

  • Fraser of Universe Today gives an encouraging update regarding the Martian rovers.

But the best post thus far was by Phil (from Phil for Humanity) who may have discovered a solution for removing space junk from among the heavens.

(Phil for Humanity) Since it is not economically feasible for a spacecraft to pick up all the pieces of space junk, then I recommend a laser that could vaporize or redirect space debris back to Earth. This laser would probably be most easily installed on the International Space Station, since it will need a huge supply of power that I think the space station could be upgraded to provide. Since only large objects can be detected and redirected by the laser, this solution would be limited.

Create massive blobs of aerogel or lightweight surfaces with huge surface areas so that space debris would impact and be stuck to. Since these objects would be in a slow decaying orbit, this would in affect be a large vacuum cleaner removing potential dangerous materials from space. Furthermore, aerogel would be most cost effective to launch into orbit and burn up completely in Earth's atmosphere.

Instead of tossing trash away in space, like what was recently done onboard the International Space Station, use waste to create huge orbit junkyards surrounding the space station for additional shielding. These junkyards would additionally be storage locations for resources that future space missions could use if needed.

Note: Emphasis is from the author, Phil.

Although NASA (and the general space community) may not enjoy the idea of using additional space junk as a shield, using a laser to vaporize and/or redirect the orbits of these solar fragments may be much more appealing.

Coupled with a strong "sticky net" humanity may be able to clear the skies of these dangerous objects (of our own creation), lest we find ourselves unhappily stranded here on planet Earth.

(Image: Satellite destroying space junk. Credit: Space for Peace)

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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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