Miscellaneous Stuff

Howdy Everyone!

Lots of stuff going on in space these days, including the ongoing saga of the Carnival of Space as it traverses the interwebs to bring space to the people who may one day go there. If we can get our act together. Maybe.

The current quasquicentennial edition of the Carnival of Space can be found at Orbiting Frog, containing a potpourri of blog posts from Gallileoscopes to IBEX’s strange findings at the edge of the heliosphere. As always, you’ve got to see it with your own eyes.

Last week the 124th Carnival of Space ended up where we all are – in the gutter (looking at the stars).

For this week’s Carnival of the Moon, we of course lead off with the NASA Centennial Regolith Excavation Challenge. Unwon in prior years, this year saw three competitors take home winnings with the entire $750,000 purse disbursed to Paul’s Robotics, Terra Engineering, and Team Braundo. Here with some background is the lovely and talented Cariann at SpaceVidCast



As with the Lunar Lander Challenge, successes are accruing to new generations of space explorers.

The Wall Street Journal (which is regular reading at my day job), has not only published an editorial by a group of astronauts promoting an increased role for the commercial sector in space endeavours, but they also had an article over the weekend on “Five Technologies That Could Change Everything” that included mention of Space-Based Solar Power.

Aviation week provided an update on China’s Lunar ambitions as presented at this year’s International Astronautical Congress (IAC).

SpaceCadetGirl brings us a review of the movie “Moon”, which didn’t see wide release in theatres despite generally favorable reviews. Your next opportunity to show support for this fine science fiction movie will be the end of December when it comes out on DVD (after the holidays, of course).

A couple of weeks ago I essayed a blog post on why it’s futile to try to come up with a “compelling reason” to go to the Moon, which is really just a buzz-word meme like “killer app” that ultimately isn’t productive. I made mention of some recent “rants”, which could perhaps have been better described as agitated point making, over at The Space Show, and Dr. Livingston was kind enough to stop by for some dialogue. He decided to further explore the idea on his show with an open phone lines edition on the topic. Some folks did come by to proffer some suggestions, but Dr. Livingston wasn’t buying them. Having listened to the show, I do think I’ve gained a better sense of a metric of what Dr. Livingston would consider a “compelling reason” for returning to our Moon. I do thank him for the nice comments he made about Out of the Cradle.

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If you’re in the D/FW metroplex this Saturday you should stop by UT Arlington to visit their Planetarium, as they’re hosting an Astronomy Day event from 2-10pm. Yours truly is going to be setting up a Moon display in conjunction with NSS of North Texas (now on Facebook!).

Speaking of public outreach and education, your friendly Lunar Librarian is perched on tenterhooks, anxiously awaiting word on whether he’ll get a speaking slot at the next ISU Spring Symposium, this year on “The Public Face of Space“. I submitted an abstract to speak on the first day, which is all about exactly the stuff that I do in my space advocacy, both online and in person. Notices are supposed to go out by the 28th of this month, so I’m waiting with bated breath.

For those waiting with bated breath to hear if there was in fact a plume as a result of the LCROSS impact, NASA has released some preliminary data from the mission, showing pretty convincing evidence of an impact plume.

And that wraps things up, as I’ve got to get back to work on the next Moon book review.

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