Carnival of Space #250

It’s time for another Carnival of Space! From scrubbed launches to skywriting with galaxies, there are some neat things happening in space now and in the future. (Today’s fun vintage space image is a great shot of the Gemini 9 launch. The Titan launched commander Tom Stafford and pilot Gene Cernan on June 3, 1966. Photo Credit: NASA)

This weekend’s SpaceX’s COTS 2/3 launch was aborted at the last second. Next Big Future gives us the details on the mission, which is currently set to launch on Tuesday May 22.

Looking to future ventures in space, Next Big Future tells us that Zero Hedge doesn’t understand why Planetary Resources would go for space minerals when there are plenty of minerals here on Earth and gives us some answers.

And speaking of Planetary Resources, some of the most-asked questions about this enticing but complex asteroid mining endeavor include what asteroids do we mine? Universe Today tells us about a new website called Asterank, that uses available data from multiple scientific sources on asteroid mass and composition to try and compute which asteroids would be the best targets for mining operations.

Going further than asteroids, Centauri Dreams tells us about the launch (pun intended) of the 100 Year Starship organization.

If we’re going to build starships, we’ll need a faster way to travel through space. Arxiv has unveiled an improved analysis of an antimatter propulsion system that can achieve 69% of light speed instead of 31%. Better yet, it’s buildable with today’s technology, and Next Big Future has the details.

We may be thinking about leaving the planet, but for the time being we’re all (mostly) Earthbound. While we don’t feel it, we live on a wobbly planet. Astrowow tells us all about it with the astronomy word-of-the-week: “obliquity.”

In a little over two weeks, we’ll all be looking at Venus as it transits the Sun for only the 7th time since the invention of the telescope. In the meantime, have you ever wondered how Earth might look from Venus? Supernova Condensate gives us a stunning picture.

Moving to further planets, Cassini is getting ready for its flyby over Titan on May 22. The Venus Transit takes the opportunity to share some stunning images the spacecraft has taken since launch.

Thanks to Galaxy Zoo we can all write in starlight using the biggest alphabet in the Universe. We Are All in the Gutter tells us how, and gives a great demonstration!

Speaking of galaxies, Starry Critters takes us into the edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 891 in this new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

Rounding out this week’s carnival is one of the big questions. Next Big Future asks “Why go to space?” The developed world wants to catch up to the US in space and the US wants to get richer, and fulfilling this will mean increasing the economy and energy that we need. The alternative is poverty, death and conflict.

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