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Looking Ahead

Centauri Dreams posts will unfortunately be sporadic over the next couple of weeks as I attend to some unrelated matters. But I do have several excellent upcoming articles already in the pipeline, including Al Jackson on Apollo 8 at the end of this week. Al, you’ll recall, was involved in Apollo as astronaut trainer on the Lunar Module Simulator, so his thoughts on the program’s extraordinary successes are always a high point.

Image credit: Manchu.

Ashley Baldwin, who knows the ins and outs of space-based astronomy better than anyone I know, will be looking at the key issues involved, with specific reference not only to WFIRST and HabEX but also a mission called EXCEDE, not currently approved but very likely the progenitor of something like it to come.

In early January, Jim Benford will be talking about beamed propulsion in a two-part article that looks to resolve key particle beam issues, with methods worked out by himself and the ingenious Alan Mole. There are all kinds of advantages to particle beaming but doing it without serious beam divergence is a problem we’ve addressed before. A possible solution emerges.

And, of course, we do have Ultima Thule coming up for New Horizons, on New Year’s Eve, no less. Data return including imagery will take some time, so we’ll be talking about the results throughout January. Emily Lakdawalla’s breakdown of the likely schedule gives an overview of the process.

Let me wish you all the best for the holidays. Here’s hoping for spectacular success for New Horizons along the way. Champagne and a working mission in the Kuiper Belt. What a night!


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Daniel Suggs December 18, 2018, 15:22

    Thanks for all the excellent articles, Paul. They force me to put on my thinking cap.
    I hope you’re getting a well deserved break. Have a Very Merry Christmas and an exceptionally exciting New Year!

    • Paul Gilster December 18, 2018, 15:46

      And you as well, Daniel. All best for the holidays.

  • Neil S December 18, 2018, 17:10

    I concur. I always look forward to your articles.

    • Paul Gilster December 18, 2018, 21:43

      Much appreciated, Neil. Thanks for being here.

  • Etienne M December 18, 2018, 18:47

    Merci pour cette riche et brillante année d’articles captivants et excellentes fêtes de fin d’année à vous aussi !

    • Paul Gilster December 18, 2018, 21:42

      Et merci pour votre soutien continu, mon ami! Bonnes vacances à toi et à ta famille.

  • Adam Byrne December 18, 2018, 18:48

    I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Paul – all the way from rainy Ireland.

    Personally, I’m most looking forward to more results from TESS in 2019.

    As well as reading some more of your recommended books – I have been consuming some hard sci-fi from Robert Forward and Stephen Baxter in recent months.

    Keep up the great work!



    • Paul Gilster December 18, 2018, 21:41

      All best to you as well, Adam. Glad the recommended books have proven useful! Have a wonderful holiday.

  • Curious December 18, 2018, 22:46

    and of course the discovery of “Farout”! https://www.universetoday.com/140901/just-discovered-farout-the-farthest-object-ever-seen-in-the-solar-system/

    an early Christmas present to marvel at.

    • Paul Gilster December 19, 2018, 14:00

      Intriguing object indeed. A wonderful gift for the season.

  • Coacervate Droplet December 19, 2018, 2:13

    Best wishes Paul. CD is never far from my thoughts. Thank you for all you do.

    • Paul Gilster December 19, 2018, 13:59

      Much appreciated! The work is a privilege and I hope to keep it going.

  • Michael December 19, 2018, 4:41

    Have a wonderful feastive break Paul and a great New Year.

    Great articles and a great site,

    And to all The Dreamers out there have a great feastive break and NewYear.

    • Paul Gilster December 19, 2018, 13:59

      Happy holidays to you as well, Michael, and thanks for your many comments here over the years.

  • Left Outside December 19, 2018, 5:39

    Only discovered Centauri Dreams a couple of months ago but it is already a favourite blog. Thanks so much for the frequent updates. Have a great set of seasonal “unrelated matters.”

    • Paul Gilster December 19, 2018, 13:58

      Glad to have you with us! All best for the holidays.

  • James Franklin December 19, 2018, 11:06

    Paul, I hope you and your family have a great Christmas and a successful 2019. Take Care and all the best.

    • Paul Gilster December 19, 2018, 13:57

      Thank you, James, and all good wishes to you and yours as well.

  • Gary Wilson December 19, 2018, 21:00

    It was a wonderful year on Centauri Dreams Paul. Take a well deserved break but then get back to writing the articles we all look forward to so much. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Canada.

    • Paul Gilster December 19, 2018, 21:21

      Always glad for your comments here, Gary. All best for the holidays!

  • Michael C. Fidler December 20, 2018, 21:25

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years! Thank you for a most enjoyable year, it has been nice to chat with people of similar interest and looking forward to the next year. The articles just keep getting better and so many new and interesting subjects.

    • Paul Gilster December 20, 2018, 21:29

      Thank you, Michael, and all best for the holidays to you as well!

  • Harry R Ray March 21, 2019, 11:12

    I couldn’t find a posting after this one where this is not OT, but I think this is important enough to post it somewhere. The Stau Slepton WIMP particle is now almost a slam-dunk! ArXiv:1903.07638. “Has AMS 2 Observed Two-Component dark matter”. by Stefanu Profumo, Farinaldo Queliroz, Clarissa Sequera. Remember, Steinn Sigurdsson et al put out a paper last year that POSSIBLE staus were detected passing THROUGH THE EARTH by BOTH the ANITA AND the ICE CUBE detectors. This TOTALLY INDEPENDENT indirect detection, in my opinion, ICES(pun INTENDED)IT!