Hello everyone and welcome to the 34th Carnival of Space. Usually, I write about spaceflight and mostly about the space shuttle, ISS and Constellation programs. For the carnival, of course, I'll broaden my reach. I think Fraser for trusting me with this weeks carnival, much appreciated.
The end of the year is approaching (too fast, as always) and, of course, this calls for a number of "best of the year" things. And, of course, there are now twelve Astronomy Pictures of the Year for 2007. One is more breathtaking than the other. And of course, the bad astronomer has his own stunning ten favorites.
And the bad astronomer also tells us why we should enjoy life now - look at the death ray from 3C321! Steinn Sigurdsson also writes about 3C321 and also has a link to a nice animation. And Centauri Dreams speculates about "Gamma Rays and Civilizations" or, better said, the extinction of the later.
It is also xmas time - and FlyingSinger is giving away a Mars picture book ... where he documents his simulated mission to Mars. A well-done and very inspiring work. And Colony Worlds has just right in time posted a solution to maintain human body strength on other celestial bodies. They use Gravity Suits for Off-World Children.
Back on earth and with real hardware, Ian remembers the first Australian satellite, which just happened to have its 40th anniversary. Coming closer to the present, I have followed NASA's Tuesday space shuttle tanking test. I hope it captures some of the excellence with which engineers over there work.
The Babe in the Universe fills the gap between now and then: she looks at the moon and NASA's activities about it. So, among others, she noticed that NASA Associate Administrator Alan Stern announced selection of the GRAIL mission to the moon. Here it fits well that Advanced Nanotechnology talks about scramjet technology, which may also provide an alternative to regular rockets.
The Space Cynic proves that anyone can get quoted in the newspaper these days, as his decidedly pragmatic views on the recently concluded Space Investment Summit are carried by the Los Angeles Times. And, judging from the comments on the blog post, some space tragics are decidedly unhappy about this.
And, finally, there is the ultimate post for this time of the year - at least I think so: a recent "Astronomy Picture of The Day" left Stuart Atkinson wondering about our place in the universe, and what exactly we are looking at when we look at an image of the starry sky... Get inspired - and think a bit about our own importance!
What a perfect ending for this week's Carnival of Space. If you would like to enter next week's Carnival, be sure to email your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org; also feel free to visit Universe Today for the Carnival archives. In the mean time, I wish you happy holidays!
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