Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Potpouri of Space News

Between the end of my summer college semester and the 4th of July holiday, I have been somewhat out of touch with respect to this blog. Sorry. Sometimes real life can grab you by the happy sacks and easily divert your attention. So, here's a makeup post. :)

1. COLD!!! ESA has parked the coldest object in space right at the L2 point (Lagrange Point 2). The Planck spacecraft has an operational temperature of -459.49 degrees F, that -273.05 C, about 0.1 C above absolute zero!!! The objective is to study the Cosmic Background Radiation in an effort to better understand the Big Bang Theory, Galaxy Formation and a host of other question marks. I look forward to seeing the results of the data.

2. Mars Phoenix speaks again, sort of. At least some of the data has been analyzed and the results of which were printed in the July 3rd issue of the journal Science. Yup, there was water ice, odd amounts of perchlorates and a host of other findings. Time to send people now, please. :)

3. New Moon pics. New Moon for New Space. NASA's LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) has snapped some pics that were released last Thursday, July 2nd. The shots are pretty good, and will only get better as the craft settles in it's official orbit and starts taking the really good pics. :)

4. ISS Traffic Jam. Well, let's park Soyuz over here (done July 2nd), so when Progress 33 comes back from loitering around the station (July 12th), it has a spot. And make sure to leave that spot open over there for Endeavour, which should be arriving Monday (July 13th). And what do we do when Progress 34 arrives (July 27th)? Dunno, jettison something? lol. This is great, the ISS is becoming more like DS9 every month. Okay, not exactly, but still logistically interesting.

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