Carnival of Space #33

I’m not only the Carnival of Space organizer, but I’m also a host.

This week, we’ve got the following stories of interest.

First up, Nancy Houser at A Mars Odyssey discusses the discovery of the Van Allen Belts.

The space shuttle’s day is nearly over, but Orion won’t get going until 2015. Mark Whittington talks about how NASA will close up that gap.

astropixie Amanda Bauer reminds us all about the upcoming Geminid meteor shower, peaking on Friday.

advancednano talks about what it might take to launch to magnetic sail spacecraft from the Earth.

MSNBC’s Cosmic Logs has this article about the upcoming shuttle launch of the European Columbus science laboratory.

Astroblog considers the discovery that two of Saturn’s moons look like flying saucers, and considers the implications for science literacy.

Steinn Sigurdsson is whispering rumours about discoveries from the Corot mission.

With the shuttle reaching the end of its life, Stuart Atkinson wonders why so many space advocates have turned against the shuttle. Admit it, you’re going to miss Atlantis and the shuttles when there’s only Orion.

Be careful with your predictions for the future of space tourism, warns the Space Cynics.

Astronomy Picture of the Day has this anelemma; that’s the figure-8 shape you get when you take a picture of the Sun every day throughout the year.

Pamela Gay reminds you that the Geminids are coming… the Geminids are coming!

Remember the Genesis Mission? Emily at the Planetary Society Blog gives an update on the scientific discoveries made so far.

Centauri Dreams reviews the thinking about solar sail technologies that could take advantage of the particles streaming off the Sun.

Hobbyspace has two articles about one topic: Commercial Orbital Transportation Services. There’s this one about Spacehab’s proposal, and another about Loral and Constellation Systems.

A Babe in the Universe continues her tour through the American Museum of Natural History. This week, it’s the Hall of Meteorites.

Will the Lagrange Points help future travelers explore the Solar System, and act as depots for trade and commerce? Colony Worlds has the story.

And finally, from here on Universe Today, may I suggest this interesting story about Europa’s oceans. Are they thick or thin?