Carnival of Space #625 & #626 – Citizen Science & NextBigFuture

The Citizen Science blog hosts the Carnival of Space #625. And hosts the Carnival of Space #626.

The Moon as seen by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. “This image sequence shows how longer exposure, ranging from two to 128 months (10.7 years), improved the view.” Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration via Universe Today and the Carnival of Space.


Brief Answers to the Big Questions – Stephen Hawking

Videos: “Space to Ground” ISS report – Aug.30.2019

Here is the latest Space to Ground report from NASA on activities related to the International Space Station:

** Researching Regolith on the International Space Station

** Views of Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station – August 29, 2019

** SpaceX Dragon undocking – August 27, 2019

** NASA in Silicon Valley Live: Space Robots

Robots + astronauts = a match made in space exploration 🤖👩‍🚀! Join us at 7 p.m. EDT for a new episode of NASA in Silicon Valley Live to hear our experts explain how we design & build robots to work with humans in space


Outpost in Orbit:
A Pictorial & Verbal History of the Space Station

Space policy roundup – Aug.30.2019

A sampling of links to recent space policy, politics, and government (US and international) related space news and resource items that I found of interest (find previous space policy roundups here):


** The Space Show – Tue, 08/27/2019Dr. Jeff Foust talked about “Multiple timely and current events in the private, commercial and public space sectors. Our discussion topics reflected the excitement in today’s growing space industry”.

** The Space Show – Sun, 08/25/2019John Bucknell discussed “Nuclear thermal propulsion, chemical propulsion, space solar power (SSP), the commercial case for SSP and more”.

** Do we need a Global Space Agency?  – TMRO

We chat to Kathy Laurini, Chair of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, about how space agencies can work together to help humanity explore space, and how collaboration leads to better ideas and better missions.



Safe Is Not an Option

A (spacey) music break

A selection of music videos having nothing whatsoever to do with spaceflight but they do use spacey words in the titles and if nothing else I like the music:

** Planets – Joseph

** The Secret Kissing of the Sun and Moon – Hang Massive

** Bright Stars Burning – Hey Marseilles

** Clair de Lune – Debussy

** Dance On The Moon – Aurora

** Rising for the Moon – Sandy Denny

** Age Of The Fifth Sun – God Is An Astronaut


Shoot for the Moon:
The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11

NASA opens contest to name next Mars rover

NASA has opened Name the Rover Contest for the Mars 2020 mission, which is set to launch in July of next year.  Here is the announcement from NASA:

NASA Invites Students to Name Next Mars Rover

Red rover, red rover, send a name for Mars 2020 right over! NASA is recruiting help from students nationwide to find a name for its next Mars rover mission.

Starting Tuesday, K-12 students in U.S. public, private and home schools can enter the Mars 2020 Name the Rover essay contest. One grand prize winner will name the rover and be invited to see the spacecraft launch in July 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The Name the Rover contest is part of NASA’s efforts to engage students in the STEM enterprise behind Mars exploration and inspire interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“This naming contest is a wonderful opportunity for our nation’s youth to get involved with NASA’s Moon to Mars missions,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “It is an exciting way to engage with a rover that will likely serve as the first leg of a Mars Sample return campaign, collecting and caching core samples from the Martian surface for scientists here on Earth to study for the first time.”

The Mars 2020 rover is a 2,300-pound robotic scientist that will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet’s climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.

“Our Mars 2020 rover has fully taken shape over the past several months, as the project team installed various components onto the chassis: the computer brain and electronics; wheels and mobility system; robotic arm; remote sensing mast; the seven science instruments; and finally, the sample caching system,” said George Tahu, Mars 2020 program executive. “All that’s missing is a great name!”

To enter the contest, students must submit by Nov. 1 their proposed rover name and a short essay, no more than 150 words, explaining why their proposed name should be chosen. The essays will be divided into three groups, by grade level – K-4, 5-8, and 9-12 – and judged on the appropriateness, significance and originality of their proposed name, and the originality and quality of their essay, and/or finalist interview presentation.

Fifty-two semifinalists will be selected per group, each representing their respective state or U.S. territory. Three finalists then will be selected from each group to advance to the final round.

As part of the final selection process, the public will have an opportunity to vote online on the nine finalists in January 2020. NASA plans to announce the selected name on Feb. 18, 2020 – exactly one year before the rover will land on the surface of Mars.

For complete contest and prize details, visit:

The naming contest partnership is part of a Space Act Agreement between NASA, Battelle of Columbus, Ohio, and Future Engineers of Burbank, California, in educational and public outreach efforts.

Name the Rover Contest

Register to be a Judge

NASA is seeking volunteers to help judge the thousands of contest entries anticipated to pour in from around the country. U.S. residents over 18 years old who are interested in offering approximately five hours of their time to review submissions should register to be a judge at:

Rover Update

With all major elements onboard and initial functional checks complete, Mars 2020’s Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations team is preparing the rover and its sky crane descent stage for the next big test: simulating the vibration dynamics of launch and the thermal environment the rover will experience on the surface of Mars.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, manages rover development for the agency. The Launch Services Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is responsible for launch management.

For more about NASA’s Moon to Mars plans, visit:


The Case for Space:
How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up
a Future of Limitless Possibility