Suppose you want to launch your payload into orbit on the cheap, with less environmental impact than those big rockets dominating the space industry? Have I got the answer for you (well, not me, exactly, but a California company.) Here comes another revolution in spaceflight.
I can imagine all sorts of problems getting the timing right – you don’t want to clip the edge of the centrifuge – but those are merely engineering details.
SpinLaunch expects to perform the first suborbital tests of a prototype of its centrifugal system for launching small satellites later this year from New Mexico. SpaceNews
They’re set up in (practically) my backyard: Spaceport America. That announcement comes from last January, so they better get their tails in gear to launch in 2021. There’s no date on their list of job openings, but maybe you can nab one: SpinLaunch
As a confirmed introvert, I’ve been practicing for the coronavirus all my life, even if I do miss hanging out in my favorite coffee houses. But I have gotten a lot of writing done this year. The conclusion to my trilogy of a cult colonizing Saturn’s moon, Titan is planned for release in August, but you can snag an early review copy now.
Fynn thinks he escaped his family’s cult until he’s kidnapped to Titan. Kin should be his greatest ally, but instead they’re his greatest threat, as Fynn and his sister clash over the colony’s survival.
Click the book cover below to find your copy on Story Origin. If you don’t use this great source for free and discounted ebook bundles (all genres) you’re in for a treat. Create your account (or log in if you’re a member) and choose your favorite format for Titan Martyrs. Limited time offer, through July 2020, so hurry.
Combining light from the Unit Telescopes as shown in this diagram makes the VLT the largest optical telescope in existence in terms of collecting area.
It could be raining molten iron.
The Very Large Telescope in Chile has detected more about a distant planet than I ever expected was possible.
Wasp-76b orbits it’s star at 3% of the distance that Earth orbits from the Sun, which accounts for a temperature to vaporize iron. At this distance, a planet, even the gas giant this seems to be, would be tidally locked, with one face always exposed to its star’s radiation.
The extreme temperature difference between the day and night sides produces ferocious winds that carry the iron vapour to the cooler night side, where temperatures decrease to about 1,500C and the iron condenses and falls as rain that constantly peppers the planet’s gas surface and vanishes beneath it. The Guardian reporting on a study published in Nature
Using the Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observations, astronomers watch for a dip in starlight that can indicate a planet is crossing in front of the star. Okay, that’s become a standard, accepted method.
Scientists have now moved on to more refined observations that look not only at the dip in intensity but how the spectrum of the light is shifted, which can reveal what gases are present in the planet’s atmosphere.
BTW, it probably isn’t exactly raining iron. It’s unlikely that large droplets form, since temperatures could be higher in the lower atmosphere, even on the planet’s night side. Maybe…iron fog.
On Saturn’s deadly moon, kin should be your greatest ally, not your greatest threat.
The only colony on Titan shatters into factions, and Fynn becomes a reluctant rebel leader. His sister seized control of the cult that brought them to the frozen moon, but her tyrannical rule drives them farther apart.
Only Fynn and his friends see the frozen moon’s dangers and wonders. Only they can keep the dome’s erratic life support running. Enduring the cult’s oppression may be the only way to survive. Can Fynn save them when they’re pushed too far?
I’m scrubbing out the last typos and grammos. At least, I hope they’re the last. A few always sneak in from an alternate reality. But I plan to release the new story the first weekend of December 2019, so subscribe to receive an email alert or watch this blog.