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This is an archive collection of entries from  my main personal blog, My Mundane Mid-Life.

This collection of entries is from the Category "Space".

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Impact

Well, the military launched that missile and destroyed the spy satellite that I talked about last week. So, gee.. don't have to worry about that deadly hyrdazine anymore...

posted at 09:41 AM | Link | Space | Care to comment? | § |

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Rusty Moon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_eclipse
Was at the Chicago Wolves game tonight (more on that later) but I HAD to step outside the building to take a look at something - a lunar eclipse, the last one until December 2010 (there is a possibility of a lunar eclipse happening every six months, though it may not be visible from you location, but there's something about the plane of the orbits being off so it won't happen for a while)

Additional cool thing - to the left of the moon was Saturn and sort of above was the star Regulus (a second magnitude star also known as Alpha Leonis approximately 77.5 light years away in the constellation Leo, if you must know).

I caught it just after it was the peak ( I had forgotten about it during the game). The eclipse started at 7:45 pm local, ended at 11:09 local with the peak at 9:01 local.

posted at 09:42 PM | Link | Space | Care to comment? | § |

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shot through the heart

It's Valentine's Day... meh.

But I thought it was interesting to hear about what I would think would be another "shot through the heart" that is being planned, though not from cupid... or Bon Jovi for that matter.

There's this Spy Satellite (identified only as USA 193) that was launched on December 14th, 2006 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on a Delta II rocket. Shortly after reaching obit, ground controllers lost the ability to control the satellite, and have never regained it.

So, this thing is in this decaying orbit. Since there was never any contact, 1,000 pounds of the maneuvering fuel (hydrazine) is still onboard. So, the United States is concerned that this huge thing is not going to burn-up completely when it finally dives into the atmosphere. The hydrazine is deadly, so the United States is going to shoot down the satellite first. With an anti-ballistic missile. To make sure the tank gets ruptured and the hydrazine gets dissipated.

Let's look at a few things. this satellite is about 5,000 pounds. The government is worried about the debris. Larger things have re-entered with little damage, like Mir (clocking in at about 274,000 lbs). Even Skylab, that had major pieces survive didn't do that much damage (about 169,000 pounds).

I'd like to believe the government is worried about the hydrazine, but... come on... truthfully... don't you think it's because they're worried key technology components may survive reentry and be recovered by other unnamed countries? I mean... hello!... Spy satellite!

Still... kinda cool if they could actually hit the thing.

posted at 01:11 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | § |

Thursday, October 04, 2007

50 years ago today the world changed

It was 50 years ago today that life on this planet changed. The Soviet Union launched the first satellite to orbit the earth - Sputnik 1 (or "Спутник-1") On October 4, 1957 at 19:28:34 UTC. It was 22.8 inches in diameter, 183.9 pounds, orbiting on an elliptical orbit that took about 98 minutes. It took until January 31, 1958 for the U.S. to even fight back in what has always been described as a "Space Race" by launching Explorer 1 (ummm.. after Vanguard TV-3 explodes on launch pad on December 6, 1957). NASA was created on October 1, 1958 from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) by the congress's National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (commonly called the "Space Act") Public Law #85-568, 72 Stat., 426. Signed by the President on July 29, 1958. Sputnik-1 orbited 1,440 times and lasted about 3 months. The transmitter batteries ran out after 22 days.

It all REALLY started 50 years ago today, 9 months to the day after I was born.

posted at 12:20 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | § |

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The standard 12-hour "bottle-to-throttle" rule ???

OK... first we had crazy astronauts...

...now we have DRUNK astronauts... on the shuttle... before launch

From a magazine I subscribe to:

Aviation Week & Space Technology... said that the committee found that on at least two occasions, astronauts were allowed to fly after flight surgeons and other astronauts warned they were so intoxicated that they posed a flight-safety risk.
posted at 03:41 PM | Link | Space | Care to comment? | § |

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

You're fired...

No, not me...

Astronaut Lisa Nowak gets fired.

(My blog entry about this is here)

Because Nowak is a naval officer on assignment to NASA, rather than a NASA civil servant, she is not subject to administrative action by NASA
Nowak's firing marked the first time NASA has publicly dismissed an astronaut, said space historian Roger Launius of the Smithsonian Institution. She is also the first active astronaut to be charged with a felony, he said.


posted at 03:10 PM | Link | Space | § |

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Crazy Astronauts - how to restrain them

I have this feeling that the recent... umm... crazy astronaut events, had the press digging through NASA documents and making FOI (Freedom Of Information) requests to fins out what are the procedures if an astronaut goes a little "nutty" during a mission? - NASA plan for unstable astronauts: Duct tape, tranquilizers

posted at 03:03 PM | Link | Space | § |

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Craziness in the astronaut corps

I woke-up, put on the Today show... and was shocked at the breaking story overnight that led the cast...

So bizarre... so... foreign... what causes someone to do something like this? Especially, a shuttle astronaut????

CNN Stories (Updated)
Astronaut to face attempted murder charge
Astronaut's star appeared to be on rise at NASA
Astronaut flies back to troubled Houston home
NASA wants to know if there are 'lessons to be learned'
No attempted murder charge for astronaut Nowak
NASA chief: We didn't recognize Nowak was troubled
Sexy e-mails shed light on astronaut's bizarre behavior
NASA fires astronaut Nowak

Orlando Sentinel Story - Astronaut charged with attempted murder

I heard that.. and immediately thought about some guy going nuts, 'cause after all... the astronaut corps is mainly men... but, no... not a guy... a woman... Navy Capt. Lisa Marie Nowak - a Mission Specialist on STS-121 (July 4-17, 2006)... you know, a flight that was a return-to-flight test mission and assembly flight to the International Space Station, responsible for operating the remote arm during scheduled EVAs. She's married, with three children

You know... somebody driven, intelligent, skilled... under significant scrutiny to make sure she is physically and mentally fit for spaceflight.

Oh, such a strange tale... more bizarre the more I hear of it...

read more of this entry »


posted at 08:17 AM | Link | Mundane | § |

Monday, October 09, 2006

Rovers from Space

Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity at the edge of Victoria Crater from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
Those little Mars Rovers - the Energizer Bunnies of outer space - are still going and going and going. And now... in what is SOOOOoooo cool, the brand new Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (it just got there in March), just started shooting pictures recently (like, a week or two ago). It flew over Victoria Crater and took a picture of the Opportunity Rover perched on the crater.. it's so good, you can see the shadow of the Camera Mast.. so damn cool...

posted at 01:05 PM | Link | Space | § |

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It keeps going and going and going..

In 2004, two little robot "carts" landed on Mars almost three years ago. The somehow managed to survive landing.. .and then they were supposed to last 30 to 90 days. That's all the project was funded for, that's all that the engineers thought the little guys would last out there.

Almost three years later, on Sol 951 (a Martian Day is called a Sol), the rover "Opportunity" has reached Victoria Crater.

Truly amazing.

"And to show how genuinely surprised scientists are at the long duration of the rovers, scientists recently had to solve a problem similar to the "Y2K" crisis of 1999-2000. In the latest revision of software sent to the rovers, programmers had to add a fourth digit to the assignment of tasks for each Mars day. When the rovers were designed, no one could imagine they would still be thriving more than 999 sols, or Mars days."

posted at 12:31 PM | Link | Space | § |

Thursday, August 24, 2006

9... oops... 8 planets

Good bye, Pluto... nice to know you as a planet...

Pluto gets the boot

read more of this entry »


posted at 09:09 AM | Link | Space | § |

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

This Day In Space

It was 25 years ago today that the first Space Shuttle launched for real (not a drop test, like Enterprise) - it was known as STS-1 and it was Columbia, now gone. (Know what STS stands for? Space Transportation System.) The brown external tank used to be painted white in those days, but NASA soon realized that all that white paint actually weighed a bit, so they stopped painting the tanks. It was also the only flight to have ejection seats (actually, the next flight may have as well - I don't remember). It was manned by a two-man crew - commander John Young and pilot Robert Crippen, both former Navy Test Pilots (there was a time - and I don't know if it's still the case - that if you asked someone a trivia question about NASA's Manned Spaceflight program, the answer almost all the time was "John Young").

Now, if the first shuttle flight was 25 years ago today, today is rich is space history.

It's the 45th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight to space in 1961 - the first manned orbital mission. The first time man was in space.

And today, both a Russian Cosmonaut (Pavel Vinogradov) and an American Astronaut (Jeff Williams) celebrate this moment together in the international Space Station.

This is all so cool.

posted at 12:46 PM | Link | Space | § |

Saturday, January 28, 2006

"Go at throttle-up" still echoes...

20 years have past. 20 years. I still feel myself reach unconsciously toward the TV every time I see it, as if I could grasp them, hold them, and stop what was happening.

I still have in my bookcase the mutli-volume report from the Presidential Commission.

It was 20 years ago today that the United States lost a Space Shuttle and it's crew in a fireball of an explosion.

And who would have thought that it wouldn't be the last time.

posted at 08:17 AM | Link | Space § |

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Home Safe

Discovery made it home just fine this morning - though they landed at Edwards instead on Florida. All-in-all, a very uneventful entry and landing.

Wonder how long it will be until we see another shuttle launch?

FIX IT. GET IT RIGHT. GET US BACK INTO SPACE.

posted at 07:27 AM | Link | Space § |

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Google Moon!

Wanna check out the lunar surface (maybe, specifically, the Apollo landing sites)?

Google it!

Yes, it's the Google Maps tool - for the moon!

(Just don't zoom-in too close!)

You what today is? It was 36 years ago to that Apollo 11 landed on the moon!

posted at 09:46 AM | Link | Space § |

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Not bad for a 90-day waranty

Do you belive that the Spirit rover is still up and about, driving around Mars after one year? (I guess NASA is even going to have a rover birthday cake today... HEY! MAYBE I CAN SHARE!) And just to show you how well these little guys are doing - their original mission was for ONLY 90 DAYS.

posted at 12:38 PM | Link | Space § |

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Lunar eclipse

The Total Lunar Eclipse comes to an end
Just spent a good 25 minutes outside watching the eclipse and trying my damnest to get any kind of picture of it. I really wasn't as successful as I wanted. I almost forgot about the eclipse - in fact I had my robe on and almost ready to go to bed when I remembered, got dressed, and walked around the dewy grass in my socks.

posted at 10:53 PM | Link | Space § |

Monday, October 04, 2004

XPrize Won!

On October 4, 1957, Sputnik, the first satellite, was launched by the Soviet Union.

Flash forward 47 years.

The second-qualifying flight by SpaceShipOne was successful, as the craft made it -according to an Edwards Air Force Base radar track - to 368,000 377,591 feet, well over the 328,000 feet required as the defined threshold of space, beating the X-15's top altitude of 354,200 feet (67 miles) set on August 22, 1963.

The pilot this time was Brian Binnie, and there was absolutely no indication of the 29 rolls that Mike Melvill experienced last week.

posted at 09:16 AM | Link | Space § |

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

X Prize - Part 1 - complete

It looks like SpaceShipOne may have passed its first qualifying flight to win the Ansari X Prize . They had a demonstration flight back in June that showed that the whole system worked. Today was the first official flight for qualification. It was pretty scary to watch this time, though. They had a live video feed from the back of the craft, so you can see the engine exhaust, wings, earth and space. Well, during the powered ascent, the spacecraft started to roll and just kept spinning-up. The pilot (Michael Melvill, again) was instructed to shut down the engine, but he intentionally kept it burning long enough to get the minimum altitude (320,000 feet). It still had 11 seconds left to burn. Unofficially, even without the 11 seconds, radar on the ground measured the height at 358,000 feet. (Update: 337, 569 feet (64 miles)) If SpaceShipOne's altitude is confirmed, it will also have beaten the X-15's top altitude of 354,200 feet (67 miles) set on August 22, 1963. Wonder how far it can go?

Now, to actually win the Ansari X Prize, the team has to fly a second flight with 14 days of the time of touchdown of the first successful flight. The team has scheduled that next flight for Sunday Monday, October 4.

Richard Branson also announced that he is forming Virgin Galactic, using the Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites technologies (the SpaceShipOne technologies), to create the first commercial space tourist flights by the end of the decade.

posted at 11:43 AM | Link | Space § |

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Genesis

Glued to NASA TV watching the the failure of the return of Genesis.

read more of this entry »


posted at 11:38 AM | Link | Space § |

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Frances at Kennedy

The Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), shows about 820 panels were torn off during the storm. The Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), shows about 820 panels were torn off during the storm. The VIP Viewing stand no longer has a roof. Damage to the VAB can be seen in the distance. The Thermal Protection System Facility, where Space Shuttle tile and blankets are manufactured, suffered significant damage.
Looks like the Kennedy Space Center didn't get by unscathed from Hurricane Frances. It could impact the Shuttle Return To Flight tasks.

read more of this entry »


posted at 09:09 PM | Link | Space § |

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Ring Plane

Cassini just crossed Saturn's Ring Plane... I have a feeling I'm not going to be awake to actually see what happens tonight... and it's my first mission that I get to watch on NASA TV on DirecTV.

posted at 09:14 PM | Link | Space § |

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Cassini-Huygens

After nearly seven years of space travel, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft will arrive at Saturn on June 30. In a maneuver called orbit insertion, Cassini will slow itself down to enter into orbit around the ringed planet. NASA TV will cover JPL mission control as it communicates with the spacecraft during this critical phase of the mission.
The Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its moon Titan arrives tomorrow after being launched October 15, 1997 and traveling 2.2 billion miles. It's going to make 76 orbits during a 4-year mission, and will execute 52 close encounters with seven of Saturn's 31 known moons. How cool.

posted at 12:29 PM | Link | Space § |

Monday, June 21, 2004

A civilian in space

The first privately financed rocket ship to enter space returned to Earth in California. This was pretty cool to watch on CNN. They didn't know if they made it or not because the engine shut off by itself instead of being shutdown by the pilot. Then on the way down, the pilot (Michael Melvill) heard a big bang. There was a large dent in the engine faring, so they'll have to figure that out. I guess later in the day the FAA awarded their first civilian astronaut wings to Melvill. Apparently this flight had nothing to do with X-Prize - they didn't have any ballast for passenger weight or any actual passengers, so I guess this was just a real test to see if they could hit altitude, which was radar verified.

read more of this entry »


posted at 10:58 AM | Link | Space § |

Friday, June 18, 2004

SpaceShipOne

Monday is going to be soooo interesting...

Investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and aviation legend Burt Rutan's company Scaled Composites have produced and succesfully tested their Tier One - Private Manned Space Program.

Yes, they have built a spaceship, SpaceShipOne, that will be lauched into space on Monday from the Mojave Airport as the first commercial manned spacecraft in history. (Info on the Mojave Aitport Special Operations webpage). Oh, and the Mojave Airport (HMV) (known for it's aircraft "graveyard" (aka storage) is now known as "America's First Inland Spaceport " (Launch Site Operator License # LSO 04 009) as of yesterday.

Here's how their system works:

read more of this entry »


posted at 10:28 AM | Link | Space § |

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Venus Transit

The top image shows Venus on the eastern limb of the Sun. The faint ring around the planet comes from the scattering of its atmosphere, which allows some sunlight to show around the edge of the otherwise dark planetary disk. The faint glow on the disk is an effect of the TRACE telescope. The bottom left image is in the ultraviolet, and the bottom right image is in the extreme ultraviolet.
Couldn't see it. Wanted to see it, but, jeez that's just a bit dificult to see live. But maybe I'll figure it out by June 6 2012 - the next time this happens. If I miss it, the next one is December 11, 2117 and I'm guessing I'm not going to be around for that one...

posted at 07:03 AM | Link | Space § |

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Mars had water!!!!!!

This is sooooooo damn cool... That rock outcrop that the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is sitting in is turning out to be a gold mine... OK, that's just a metaphor, because they didn't find gold. Scientists have concluded the part of Mars that NASA's Opportunity rover is exploring was soaking wet in the past.

posted at 04:56 PM | Link | Space § |

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Columbia diary found

I guess part of a diary that Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon wrote while on Columbia's final mission were found.

posted at 07:03 PM | Link | Space § |

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Mars Bedrock

This 360-degree panorama is one of the first images beamed back to Earth from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shortly after it touched down at Meridiani Planum, Mars. The image was captured by the rover's navigation camera.
Opportunity already sent back it's first pictures, and it looks like it found a rock ledge or even bedrock in the small crater that it landed in. Really cool photos.

posted at 11:20 AM | Link | Space § |

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Opportunity on Mars

I watched the landing of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the Internet (and CNN - I prefered the NASA Select feed, as I always do, for the lack of commentary, even though I like CNN's Miles O'Brien). It's still absolutely effin'™ amazing that we have landed two rovers on Mars this month (OK, one's not exactly working right now, but I just can't believe that they're just going to lose Spirit). I'm just trying to figure out why Al Gore and Arnold Schwarzenegger are doing in the mission control room...

posted at 11:47 PM | Link | Space § |

Friday, January 23, 2004

Photos of Spirit landing site

The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit Landing Site. The white spot at the bottom is Spirit. The white spot in the upper left is its parachute. The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit Landing Site
Oh, how cool is this?!?!?!?!!! JPL released photos from the Mars Global Surveyor satellite that actually shows where Spirit is on the Martian surface from 248 miles up! Not only can you see where it is, but they found the parachute and heat shields and - get this - they even show where Spirit bounced when it landed! Very cool.

posted at 08:29 PM | Link | Space § |

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Spirit goes quiet

Nuts. Looks like JPL lost the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover. They thought it was a thunderstorm in Australia at the main antenna causing a comm problem, but that's not it. Damn. They went from this glorious, flawless landing and startup, getting everything working and actually rolling off the landing vehicle for about 10 feet and up to the rock "Adirondack" - and then nothing. Damn Martians.

posted at 02:53 PM | Link | Space § |

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Spirit first images

Spirit snaps a 360° mosaic of istelf and the surrounding landscape Spirit's 360° mosaic of istelf is unfolded into a panoramic image
So far, the mission is going very well. Data from Spirit is being relayed through Mars Observer just like it's supposed to. The first images are interesting. The landing area seems smoother than Pathfinder's was. This is going to be cool to follow.

posted at 08:16 AM | Link | Space § |

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Spirit Alive on Mars

Artist rendering of Spirit bouncing across Martian surface inside inflated airbags
I was watching the TV feed from JPL. I'm not sure if Europe's Beagle 2 had this kind of a setup, but Spirit broadcasted a series of tones throughout the entire entry and decent phase, each signal told of a specific event - atmosphere entry, G's force accelerations, parachute deployment, heat shield separation, radar lock and retro-rocket firing. It was really cool hearing everything tick off. Then a short signal saying that the craft started bouncing on the surface (if you know anything about the mission or the prior Pathfinder mission, you know that this is normal, bouncing across the Martian landscape surrounded by airbags).

Everyone knew that it survived the entry. Now it was just a matter of waiting for a signal after it was all settled.

Then it came - the signal that the craft actually made it. The place went nuts. I can't wait to see the first pictures!!!

posted at 10:47 PM | Link | Space § |

Friday, January 02, 2004

Stardust

The nucleus of Comet Wild 2 taken by the Stardust navigation camera within a distance of 500 kilometers
Well, so far, the NASA exploratory missions are going well.

This afternoon Stardust flew within 240 kilometers and flew through the particle and gas-laden coma around comet Wild 2, The really cool thing is that this is actually a sample return mission (it picked-up material when flying through the comet's "tail"), and the craft will land at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range on January 15, 2006 (or in 744 days! - It was launched February 7, 1999.)

Now, let's see how the Mars landers do...

posted at 07:11 PM | Link | Space § |

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Oops... I dropped it...

NOAA-N Prime POES Weather satellite on the floor NOAA-N Prime POES Weather satellite on the floor
How do you tell somebody that you dropped and broke their satellite? Guess that happened a few days ago at Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, California. the NOAA-N Prime satellite was on a "turn over cart" and was being moved from vertical to horizontal when it, um, fell over. Why did it fall over? Techs from another project came over two days earlier and removed 24 bolts to be used on their "turn over cart" and didn't document it, and then the project techs didn't check to make sure the bolts were actually there since the last time they used it.

posted at 02:20 PM | Link | Space § |

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Mars

Mars is close!
We're just a few hours away from closest approach of Mars to Earth - 34,646,418 million miles at 5:51 a.m. ET (normally it's at 50,000,000 miles). It's pretty cool seeing Mars out there - hard to miss, actually. It's brighter than everything else in the night sky (Venus doesn't count) because it's also closest to the sun in its eliptical orbit. It hasn't been this close to us in 60,000 years, but it's supposed to be closer in 2287. My guess is that I won't be around to see that...

posted at 10:48 PM | Link | Space § |
Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report

Mission logo of STS-107
The Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report was released today. If you're looking for a PDF copy, I happen to have one here.

posted at 03:11 PM | Link | Space § |

Thursday, May 01, 2003

The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out...

I've gone through the STS-107 Press Kit, but I haven't been able to find out any detail of this experiment, but...

Technicians going over the Columbia wreckage finally opened-up a middeck locker of an experiment and found hundreds of live worms in it. The worms only have a life span of about 10 days, so these worms were 4 or 5 generations away from the original worms on the flight and were part of an experiment testing a new synthetic nutrient solution. They were supposed to have been examined and unloaded from Columbia within hours of landing, so there's probably no scientific value to these worms, just more of a curiosity.

posted at 01:12 PM | Link | Space § |

Friday, March 28, 2003

The size of a Volkswagen bug?

So I guess the flash of light I saw was from a meteorite "the size of a Volkswagen bug". OK, it was that big when it started to enter the atmosphere. The largest piece they've seen was about 7½ pounds, mostly gravel-sized to softball-sized. One 5-pounder crashed into a house. There were a handful of homes hit by pieces - no one hurt. It is rare - very rare - for a meteorite to hit a populated area.

posted at 12:34 PM | Link | Odd § |

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Flash of light

I was sitting on the couch last night before midnight, surfing the channels, when I saw this flash of light outside. It didn't strike me as too odd - it had been raining earlier, and I just thought it was lightning. There wasn't any sound of thunder afterward, which isn't too unusual, so I didn't pay too much attention to it. That is, until this morning when I heard on the news that I wasn't the only one that saw it - people from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and (allegedly) Ohio saw it, too. This was in today's Chicago Tribune:

In a suburb south of Chicago several homes were struck by what appear to be chunks of meteorite. The falling objects pierced the roofs of two homes and the Park Forest fire station, but no one was injured, said Park Forest Police Capt. Francis DioGuardi.
Weird.

posted at 06:44 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Friday, February 28, 2003

Columbia errata

Mission logo of STS-107

read more of this entry »


posted at 09:39 PM | Link | Space § |

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Long Live Pioneer 10

I got a press release from NASA today that says that Pioneer 10 may have gasped its last breath. Now, mind you, it was launched March 2, 1972, on a 21-month mission to study Jupiter. I don't know if you remember this, but it has a gold plaque on the side of it with a message and a map showing where earth is (if I remember correctly, astronomer Carl Sagan has a lot to do with the design of the message). So, it scooted out of the solar system some time ago. Considering that it was on a 21-month mission, the satellite just stopped sending good data telemetry back on April 27 last year. Not bad for a satellite that's over 30 years old. So basically, NASA just kept tuning-in to see if it could still hear it. The last time they heard a signal (very faint) was on January 23 when it was 10 was 7.6 billion miles from Earth, taking 11 hours and 20 minutes to arrive. It's the farthest human artifact from earth. What a trip.

posted at 09:02 PM | Link | Space | 1 comment § |

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Hail Columbia

Mission logo of STS-107 The crew of STS-107

The 113th Shuttle Mission.

88th Post-Challenger Mission.

28th Flight of Columbia (Serial Number: OV-102)

62nd Planned Kennedy Space Center landing

Commander Air Force Col. Rick Husband, 45
Pilot Navy Cmdr. William McCool, 41
Mission Specialist 1 Navy Capt. David Brown, 46
Mission Specialist 2/Flight Engineer Kalpana Chawla, Ph.D., 41
Mission Specialist 3 Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Anderson, 42
Mission Specialist 4 Laurel Clark, M.D., 41
Payload Specialist 1 Israeli Air Force Col. Ilan Ramon, 48

207,135 feet. Mach 18.3.

GONE


Robert Mirelson
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1600

NOTE TO EDITORS: #03-030
NASA STATEMENT ON LOSS OF COMMUNICATIONS WITH COLUMBIA


A Space Shuttle contingency has been declared in Mission Control, Houston, as a result of the loss of communication with the Space Shuttle Columbia at approximately 9 a.m. EST Saturday as it descended toward a landing at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. It was scheduled to touchdown at 9:16 a.m. EST.


Communication and tracking of the shuttle was lost at 9 a.m. EST at an altitude of about 203,000 feet in the area above north central Texas. At the time communications were lost. The shuttle was traveling approximately 12,500 miles per hour (Mach 18). No communication and tracking information were received in Mission Control after that time.

Search and rescue teams in the Dallas-Fort Worth and in portions of East Texas have been alerted. Any debris that is located in the area that may be related to the Space Shuttle contingency should be avoided and may be hazardous as a result of toxic propellants used aboard the shuttle. The location of any possible debris should immediately be reported to local authorities.
Flight controllers in Mission Control have secured all information, notes and data pertinent to today's entry and landing by Space Shuttle Columbia and continue to methodically proceed through contingency plans.
More information will be released as it becomes available.


National Weather Service radar image of the Columbia Debris Field
A National Weather Service radar picked up the debris trail.


Personnel mentioned below: MCC-FLIGHT - Entry flight director - Leroy Cain, mission control center MCC-CAPCOM - Astronaut Charles Hobaugh MCC-FDO (Flight Dynamics Officer; pronounced "FIDO") - Richard Jones MCC-INCO (Instrumentation and Communications Officer) - Laura Hoppe MCC-MMACS (Maintenance, Mechanical, Arm and Crew Systems Officer) - Jeff Kling MCC-GNC (Guidance, Navigation and Control Officer) - Mike Sarafin MCC-GC (Ground Control Officer) - Bill Foster MCC-GPO (Guidance and Procedures Officer) - Doyle Hensley MCC-EECOM (Emergency, Environmental and Consumables Operation Manager) - Katie Rogers MCC-LSO (Landing and Support Officer) - Martin Linde MCC-MOD (Mission Operations Dirctorate Representative) - Phil Engelauf MCC-Commentator - James Hartsfield, NASA/JSC public affairs officer STS-A/G (Shuttle Commander, air-to-ground audio) - Shuttle commander Rick Husband, aboard Columbia STS-ICOM - Indicates cockpit intercom voice traffic captured on in-cabin video

read more of this entry »


posted at 08:38 AM | Link | Space § |

Friday, January 31, 2003

Does this mean I can PING Columbia?

OK Space Geeks out there - the current shuttle mission (STS-107) is running an experiment called OMNI (Operating Missions as a Node on the Internet). Yep, the shuttle has an IP address! It's on an an embedded PC that has a 233 MHz processor, 128 MB of RAM and a solid-state 144 MB hard drive running Red Hat Linux. Cool.

read more of this entry »


posted at 11:31 AM | Link | Space § |

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

I'm Goin' to Mars

My name (along with Carol's) is going to included on a DVD that's being flown to Mars next year on one of the Rover Missions! Each rover will photograph and return to Earth a picture of each DVD disk of names as they rest on the Martian surface. Cool!

posted at 11:16 PM | Link | Space | 1 comment § |

Monday, July 29, 2002

Missed me! Nya nya-nya nya nya!

Whew! That asteroid that I mentioned last week looks like will miss the Earth after all - but they're not sure about February 1, 2060 yet.

posted at 09:54 PM | Link | Space § |

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

I might have the house paid off by then

"Warning! Warning! Danger Will Robinson!" We have less than 17 years to live! Huh? There's an asteroid that may hit earth on February 1, 2019. It's 2km wide and can obliterate a continent. Party!

posted at 11:16 AM | Link | Space § |

 

That's it for the entries in this particular Archive of my blog. If you want, you can look through other entries by selecting the links in the right-hand column of this page under either Archives by Month or Archives by Category, or you can search the site for specific keywords by using the Search page.

This Blog was last updated Friday December 18, 2009 13:03:12 CDT (-06:00 GMT)
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