Carnival of Space #57 – This One’s for the Ladies!


Howdy everyone! Welcome to this week’s spectacular Carnival of Space!

I’m your host Ken, the Lunar Librarian here at Out of the Cradle.

We don’t have to go far this week to find space. This last weekend in Washington, D.C., the National Space Society held their 27th annual International Space Development Conference. As the largest citizen space conference in the world it is open to all, even internet bloggers. And blog they did, extensively, over the three day period. The conference was even on C-SPAN! I’ve rounded up most of the links for the Lunar Library, which can be found here:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

The Space Cynics want you to be sure to get a dash of cold-water reality in the face, because, well, that’s their job. Several of them were at the conference and they did some recruiting in A Gathering of Cynics, which led to a very interesting discussion and an upcoming radio show on The Space Show.


Everyone’s favorite Babe…in the Universe was there for the Space Investment Summit as well as the main conference. She’s put up a number of blog posts on the event, starting with “ISDC”. Her latest post, Convergence, has her in slightly more traditional garb. As she summarized the event:

Aloha Carnival!

Thursday saw Elon Musk and announcement of the first Space Solar Power demonstration. At Friday’s dinner, a lifetime award was given to Burt Rutan. Saturday an enthusiastic crowd saw a documentary on Apollo and live coverage of Discovery’s launch to ISS. We end at the Air and Space Museum, seeing humanity converge on a future in Space.

Thank you for hosting this week’s Carnival.


Well you’re certainly welcome Ms. Riofrio, we’re always happy to see you here at the Carnival of Space.

One of the bloggers noted in the round-up, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame, and who also happens to be the co-author of the space law book “Outer Space: Problems of Law and Policy”, noted the increasing balance between the genders at these space conferences, something that I’ve noticed myself. In light of that fact, this week’s Carnival of Space is dedicated to:

The Women of Our Space Future


Proceeding forthwith (sort of) into space, our first stop is cislunar space. The Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy defines cislunar as “Between the Earth and the Moon.” While the deep space stuff gets most of the headlines, cislunar space is where the space economy is to be found, from satellites to space stations. The first step is getting there, a task proving problematic here in the U.S. The private sector is slowly putting the pieces together to do so (some more investment capital would be a nice way to help speed things up). Over the next two years we should see some very exciting developments as some longer-term projects near fruition. nextbigfuture looks at two very contrasting ways of tackling the space transport problem in “Propellantless propulsion experiment explodes, latest SpaceX Falcon 9 does not”. He summarizes:

“Under simulated orbit conditions a lorentz force propulsion device had explosive arcing. It is a setback but researchers hope to solve the issues. SpaceX Falcon had a five engine test firing and is on track for launching Falcon 9 in the first quarter of 2009 and to start earning a billion dollar NASA contract from 2010-2012.”

Clark Lindsey over at provides us with a video of the Falcon 9 five-engine test. Tests of a full array of 9 engines are expected a few months from now.


One of the reasons we’re moving out into space is so that we can get some better instrumentation in place to keep an eye out for Big Rocks from Space. Along these lines, Music of the Spheres muses on research that may help solve some of the mysteries of the 1908 Tunguska Event in Tunguska Possibilities. I do want to note that Music of the Spheres also provided last year’s ISDC round-up for Carnival of Space #6

The Inner Solar System

Beyond the nearest-Earth space lies the inner Solar System. Typically delineated from the outer Gas Giants by the Asteroid Belt, this is the domain of the rocky planets, and the heart of our existence, the Sun.


Mars is top of the news this week. The lovely Ms. Lakdawalla over at the Planetary Society blog gives us the inside scoop with ‘Report on Phoenix Sol 9 activities: Ready to get samples; but Odyssey is in safe mode’. She notes:

“Again this week I’ve been almost totally focused on the daily operations of Phoenix. Here’s the latest news: Phoenix is ready to dig, but it’ll be at least two days before the first sample is tasted by the chemical analysis instruments because Mars Odyssey burped and didn’t deliver Phoenix’ instructions today.”

She’s been providing thorough coverage since the landing, so be sure to visit the main blog page after you’re done with the story.

Cumbrian Sky looks back on what’s happened so far and wonders why space enthusiasts and the public alike are so entranced by the newest arrival at Mars in “Phoenix: The Roxie Hart of Mars”, while The Martian Chronicles takes a look at the landscape around the landing site in Phoenix’s Neighborhood (Part I): The Basin.

The fraud conspiracists have too much time on their hands and have now discovered Phoenix. Phil over at Bad Astronomy has to waste his time debunking them, so he takes them out to the woodshed for a good lashing in The Real Phoenix in Black & White.


Altair VI reflects further back in time, with a piece about Clyde Tombaugh and our understanding of Mars way back when in “Mars – a world for exploration (1959).

The Outer Solar System

Here there be Giants!

Woo-Hoo! Movie Break! Space Feeds brings us “a film 35 years ahead of its time”, one that explores a link between environmentalism and space in a dystopian corporatist future, a film that your host also recommends, Silent Running.

In other media news, Bad Astronomy is asking if any one has seen a movie entitled ‘Star Party’, in Star Party… OF DOOM!

Gateway to the Galaxy


Even further out from Earth is the mysterious domain of the Kuiper Belt (KB) and the Oort Cloud (OC) beyond, our gateway to interstellar space and our first steps into the Milky Way Galaxy. These KB/OC objects are generally considered to be the source for the comets, those mysterious harbingers of Really Bad Things (sometimes). There has always been the question of what has sent those comets in towards the Sun. A popular suggestion is that there may be some dim body out there somewhere, orbiting the Sun and occasionally knocking stuff loose. Astroblogger looks at one comet that didn’t survive its encounter with the Sun in Kamikaze Kreutz Comet.

Another explanation for the errant objects has been that of galactic bodies, perhaps dim stars too faint to be resolved by our feeble Earthbound instruments, passing nearby in their passage around the galactic core. Centauri Dreams provides some speculation on Brown Dwarf stars in “The Brown Dwarf Incentive”

“This one looks at an unusual Sun-like star that is itself orbited by a binary system of brown dwarfs. The recent finding of a ‘super-Earth’ around a brown dwarf suggest that Earth-sized planets may not be uncommon around such stars. In the post, I speculate that the presence of nearby brown dwarfs would be an incentive to any local civilizations to push into nearby interstellar space to give these tempting targets a look.”


Scout David Gamey of the 433rd Toronto Scouts, Canada, wants to know about everybodies favorite asterism. Given the theme of this week’s Carnival, I’m going to have to go with the Seven Sisters for my choice. Quite striking, both at a distance and up close.

astroENGINE peers deep into the cosmos to ponder the consequences of “Collapsing Wolf-Rayet Stars and Inverse Compton Scattering of Stellar Photons”. Luckily, I don’t think there are any Wolf-Rayet stars nearby.

Orbiting Frog surfs the question of how gravity propagates through the Universe. LIGO is a space probe looking for perturbations in these waves, and Orbiting Frog tells us about ‘My Beef with Gravity Waves’, a response to the false-alarm-discovery of gravity waves this week.

Hold up, we have a late entry. Dynamics of Cats has finally herded a story into the inbox, with a note on a low mass planet discovered through microlensing.


Why does everything seem to spin in space? Stars, planets, asteroids, black holes, galaxies, ice skaters… Starts with a Bang takes us on a spin around the question of “What Spins the Fastest in Space?” My vote’s on the ice skater.


Paying our respects to the past, the Discovery Channel’s high-def TV series, ‘When We Left Earth’, has had blogger Irene Klotz interviewing NASA folks about the agency turning 50. This week, she catches up with Ed Weiler and why he feels the agency’s best days are still ahead.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, brings us to the end of this week’s phenomenal Carnival of Space!. If you’ve enjoyed the Carnival, please be sure to stop by the Carnival of Space Logbook over at Universe Today to visit past Carnivals. There’s a universe of treasure to be found therein. If you have a blog post about space that you want to share, send the details to Hosting a Carnival of Space is a lot of fun, too! You can tell by the smiles on all their faces that the women are having fun in space. If you’d like to join the fun and host a Carnival send an email to Fraser at

Be sure to also visit the Rocket Gyrls Reading Club for science fiction geared to the sophisticated female audience.

Thanks for stopping by. See y’all next week…


Image Credits

In order:

Vitruvian Woman – graphic from “Living in Space” by Giovanni Caprara

Ms. Louise Riofrio, A Babe in the Universe, from “ISDC”

Conference Coordinator Cassie flirting with Pixel at the 2007 ISDC, found here

Barbie is copyright and trademark by Mattell, Inc., and don’t you forget it. The image is from the book “Barbie: Shooting for the Stars” by Karen Stillman & Victoria Saxon

“The Ultimate Sandbox” by Michael Wheelan, one of my favorite Moon images

Emily Lakdawalla, her blogger photo

Extract from the cover of the March 1955 edition of “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction”

“Unknown Planet” by Peter Kovalev and Olga Kovaleva, from the book “In the Stream of Stars: The Soviet/American Space Art Book”, edited by William K. Hartmann et al.

A color-composite image of the Pleiades from the Digitized Sky Survey. Credit: NASA/ESA/AURA/Caltech.

You’ll have to ask Starts with a Bang about the ice skater Momentum image

Irene Klotz, her blogger photo

I apologize about the last one, which I’ve entitled “Seeds of Earth”. I could not find any artistic credits in NASA SP-413 – Space Settlements: A Design Study. It’s found on the page facing the Recommendations and Conclusions. Dr. Astropixie made me do some research, and it looks like Rick Guidice is the artist and ‘View to the Future’ is the title.

15 thoughts on “Carnival of Space #57 – This One’s for the Ladies!

  1. This is a great Carnival of Space this week! You did a wonderful job, Ken; kudos to you!


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  9. Howdy everyone! Thanks for all of the great comments, here and at referring websites.

    In trying to build a broader audience for the Carnival, I’ve contacted some more mainstream websites to see if I could get some coverage, such as Cosmic Log,The Write Stuff, Instapundit and Broadsheet.

    The response so far has been, shall we say, massively underwhelming.

    Do any readers have suggestions on other folks to contact to try to get more mention of the article across the internet?

  10. Great job, thanks! I will try to contact Glenn at Instapundit.

  11. Alright! Alan Boyle over at Cosmic Log came through with a link. Thanks, Alan!

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  13. I want to give a special shout-out to visiting International Space University and NASA Academy alumni. Thanks for stopping by!

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  15. I really like your writing style, wonderful info , thanks for putting up : D.

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