Carnival of Space #265

The “New Nine.” From upper right, in clockwise order: Frank Borman, John Young, Tom Stafford, Pete Conrad, Jim McDivitt, Jim Lovell, Elliot See, Ed White, Neil Armstrong. Credit: NASA via Retro Space Images

It’s time for another Carnival of Space! The biggest news this past week is of course Neil Armstrong’s death. It’s a loss for the world and the space community in particular. In this week’s carnival we have a number of articles paying tribute to the man synonymous with Apollo, news from the planets, and a reminder about neat technologies on the horizon. For this week’s fun vintage image, it’s one of my new favourites of the “New Nine” surrounding a Gemini capsule, the program they were recruited to fly. Top left is Armstrong, already looking skyward.

Centauri Dreams looks at the life and accomplishments of Neil Armstrong, and notes that landing on the Sea of Tranquility is far from the only reason for space-minded people to take pride in the man.

The Spacewriter offers a eulogy of Armstrong this week. Dr Paul Spudis reflects on Armstrong’s death, noting that his passing marks the Passing of an Era.

Weird Warp takes a different spin on Armstrong’s death, suggesting that there’s actually a very important silver lining: Armstrong’s death seems to have brought up the fact that our attempts to continue space exploration are just pathetic at the moment. Maybe people will be inspired to change that!

And speaking of changing our future in space, Tranquility Base Blog answers the interesting questions of where you should go to college if you want to travel to the moon with five lessons from the Apollo astronauts’ college choices.

To get into space, there are some interesting technologies on the horizon. The Next Big Future brings us some really neat news of the launch systems front. A Lunar Space Elevator Kickstarter has reached over five times its initial funding goal and is still getting sponsors. This is pretty important since the level of funding the project gets is directly related to how high high and far these structures – flexible structures connecting the lunar surface with counterweights located beyond the L1 or L2 Lagrangian points – can go.

Earth-based space elevators are also on a possible horizon. The cost varies according to the design, and the Next Big Future has some details on the various possibilities.

Discussions about leaving Earth often draw questions about why we should explore space when there are so many problems that need solving on our planet? Riding With Robots give us one possible answer to the question.

Off of Earth and on to Mars, Paul Scott Anderson at the Meridiani Journal brings us a beautiful new high-resolution images of Mount Sharp taken by the Curiosity rover that shows beautiful layered mesas in the foothills.

And speaking of Curiosity, did you know it has a laser!? Weird Warp has the details about this awesome instrument that’s not for self defence but for analysing rocks. It has fired nearly 500 shots so far and it has produced strong clear data about the Mars surface.

Curiosity is the latest mission in our nearly 50 year exploration of the planets. Dr. Paul Schenk bring us a look at Venus & Mars at 50.

From inner planets to outer planets, the Venus Transit brings us a look at the past thirty-five years of Voyager. It’s the first in a series about this mission that we have to remember is still ongoing.

And finally from planets to stars, we have a new Chandra image showing a superbubble in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Next Big Future rounds out this carnival with a look at NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission that has led to a bonanza of newfound supermassive black holes and extreme galaxies.

That’s all for this week!

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