RISAT-1 Launch

TV Coverage
Live Coverage of the Launch of the Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT-1)
Image Credit: NDTV

The launch time is 0017 UTC, or 5:17 PM Phoenix time, Wednesday.

The on board computer has taken over the countdown.

T-minus 10 minutes.

Successful Launch.

Second stage has begun its burn.

All systems are nominal.

Third stage has ignited around 5 minutes into the flight.

At 9 minutes into the flight, the fourth stage has ignited.

18 minutes into the flight, separation of the satellite has been completed.

Congratulations to India.

TV Coverage
Live Coverage: T-Minus 5 Minutes
Image Credit: NDTV

TV Coverage
Image Credit: Doordarshan News

TV Coverage
Live Coverage: Ascent
Image Credit: Doordarshan News

TV Coverage
4th Stage Burn
Image Credit: Doordarshan News


Nevada – California Fireball Photographed

Image Near Reno of the Minivan Sized Bolide that Exploded over California
Image Credit: Lisa Warren

Estimated to have released the energy equivalent to a 5 kiloton nuclear bomb when it exploded over the Central Valley of California, a minivan sized meteor was photographed (above) as it passed East to West over the Sierra Nevada mountains near Reno Nevada, around 8:00 AM Phoenix time last Sunday (1500 UTC).

The bolide, or extremely bright meteor, weighed around 70 tons, according to Bill Cooke of the Meteoroid Environments Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

NASA TV Schedule for Dragon Mission to the International Space Station

Falcon 9
Falcon 9 and Dragon on their Transport Vehicle
Image Credit: NASA / Cory Huston

The following is the tentative Schedule for NASA TV coverage of the Dragon Mission:

  • May 6, Sunday
  • 1:00 p.m. – SpaceX/Falcon 9 Dragon Pre-Launch Briefing – KSC (All Channels)
  • May 7, Monday
  • 8 a.m. – SpaceX/Falcon 9 Dragon Launch Coverage Begins – KSC (Launch scheduled at 9:38 a.m. EDT; All Channels)
  • 11 a.m. – SpaceX/Falcon 9 Dragon Post-Launch Briefing – KSC (All Channels)
  • May 8, Tuesday
  • 11 a.m. – ISS Update – JSC (All Channels)
  • May 9, Wednesday
  • 11 a.m. – ISS Update – JSC (All Channels)
  • May 10, Thursday
  • 2:30 a.m. – SpaceX/Dragon ISS Fly-Under Demonstration Test Coverage – JSC (All Channels)
  • 10 a.m. – SpaceX/Dragon Mission Status Briefing – JSC and Hawthorne, CA (All Channels; time subject to change)
  • 11 a.m. – ISS Update – JSC (All Channels)
  • May 11, Friday
  • 2 a.m. – SpaceX/Dragon ISS Grapple and Berthing Coverage – JSC (All Channels; grapple scheduled at 8:30 a.m. EDT, berthing no earlier than 12 p.m. EDT; times subject to change)
  • 1 p.m. – SpaceX/Dragon Mission Status Briefing – JSC and Hawthorne, CA (All Channels; time subject to change)
  • May 12, Saturday
  • TBD – ISS Expedition 31 Crew SpaceX/Dragon Hatch Opening and Ceremony – JSC (All Channels)
  • May 14, Monday
  • TBD – ISS Expedition 31 SpaceX/Dragon In-Flight Event – JSC (All Channels)

Dawn Will Spend More Time at Vesta

Artist Impression of the Dawn Spacecraft Above the Asteroid Vesta
Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

The Dawn mission to Vesta has been so smooth and uneventful that the entire 40 day reserve at Vesta has been allocated to additional low level and high level scientific observations.

The low level (average altitude 130 miles or 210 kilometers) imaging, gamma ray and neutron detector observations, and gravity data gathering will continue until 1 May 2012.

After that, Dawn will spiral upward to a high altitude orbit for additional mapping. in July of 2011, much of the Northern Hemisphere was in shadow. Now, some of that region is in sunshine, and Dawn can gather details from there.

Dawn is now scheduled to depart for Ceres on 26 August, arriving as planned in February of 2015.