It's time for the weekly roving collection of astronomy-themed links from around the web, Carnival of Space! We're hosting this week, so here's the list:

Next Big Future has articles on NASA NIAC, which has funded new technology to improve mass and power savings by two orders of magnitude, and another solar electric space sail, this one called the Heliopause Electrostatic Rapid Transit System (HERTS)

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Universe Today indulges in some astronomical eye candy with this Hubble image of starbirth in the center of the galaxy, and takes a look at new technology from Boeing, a mockup of the CST-100 commercial "space taxi."

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Brown SpaceMan takes a look back at history to reflect on the Mir space station.

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The Meridiani Journal contemplated the atmospheres of Pluton and Charon, and and explored the habitability of the very old exoplanet Kapteyn b.

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Finally, here on io9's Space subsite, I found the International Space Station at night to be downright creepy, and this visualization of all of Kepler's exoplanets to be undeniably cool.

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