31 January 2010
- The BBC reports on tomorrow’s announcements about the way forward for NASA.
- NASA’s latest press release on tomorrow’s “really big shoe”. To listen to the news conferences online, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio .
30 January 2010
- The Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) confirms that it can continue producing the External Tank for the Space Shuttle and Shuttle Derived Launch Vehicles (SDLV).
- All the pieces of the Falcon 9 have arrived at complex 40 at Cape Canaveral. Space X says that liftoff is currently set for around March 8 during a four-hour launch window that opens at 11 a.m. EST.
29 January 2010
- NASA / JPL released a new image of Prometheus, one of Saturn’s innermost moons. It orbits the gas-giant at a distance of 139,353 kilometers (85,590 miles) and is 86 kilometers (53 miles) across at its widest point.
- Russia launched a Proton / Breeze-M rocket carrying a modernized Raduga, or Globus, communications satellite designed to link Russian troops and senior military commanders. The satellite was successfully placed in a Geo Stationary Orbit.
28 January 2010
- Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Space Communication Ltd. (Spacecom) of Ramat-Gan Israel, operator of the AMOS satellite fleet, have signed an agreement for launch of a communication satellite aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 as early as December 2012. Falcon 9 will insert the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), adding to Spacecom’s existing satellite fleet. Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.
- Paris, 28 January 2010 – Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) confirms that a technical anomaly occurred in the evening of January 27 on the W2 satellite located at 16° East. This incident is under full investigation by Eutelsat in collaboration with the satellite’s manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space.
27 January 2010
- NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden, will address a National Press Club Newsmakers press conference at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 in the Zenger Room on the 13th floor, National Press Building, 529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC. This follows the release of NASA’s 2011 budget proposal the previous day.
- 669 Teams of Student Rocketeers Launching for Team America Rocketry Challenge Finals. “This year’s challenge is for each 3- to 10-member team to design and build a model rocket that carries a single raw egg payload to a precise altitude of 825 feet with a flight duration of between 40 and 45 seconds, returning the egg to the ground unbroken.”
26 January 2010
- NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is set to unveil NASA’s proposed 2011 budget at a press conference on Monday, 1 February 2010.
- NASA / JPL has now conceded that the Mars rover Spirit will not be able to free itself from the sand it is in. They will now focus on setting up Spirit to survive the upcoming Martian winter.
25 January 2010
- NASA’s WISE observatory has bagged its first small asteroid.
24 January 2010
- STS-130 appears to be on track for its launch on 7 February 2010. It appears that the ammonia line problems on the Tranquility module (Node 3) will be resolved by launch time.
23 January 2010
- Bob Werb of the Space Frontier Foundation, whacks Ares-I in the head in this article in today’s Orlando Sentinel. He labels the likely decision by the Obama administration “a small decision, big on political courage”, given the political pork behind this.
- NASASpaceFlight has a very good article on the latest thoughts coming out of NASA on the “Flexible Path” program. The intermediate goal is Phobos, and the long term is Mars itself. Intermediate stops at asteroids, space telescopes, propellant depots, and the Moon.
22 January 2010
- RIA Novosti reports on the movement of the Russian Soyuz TMA-16 from its usual docking port on the ISS to the new Poisk Module.
- The Solar Dynamics Observatory is being prepared for launch from the Cape’s Complex 41 on February 9 during a one-hour window opening at 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT).
21 January 2010
- The New Scientist discusses how close encounters between the Earth and asteroids may shake up their structure and shape, causing a change in color from red to pale gray. The original paper appears in Nature.
- Amateurs helping scientists is not new. Galaxy Zoo does it. Now the University of Arizona wants volunteers to suggest targets for the HiRISE camera aboard the The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. If you want to participate, go to http://www.uahirise.org/suggest.
20 January 2010
- >Efforts underway at JPL to see if Phoenix Mars Lander has survived the long Martian winter have come up empty so far. Several more days of listening are to come.
- Amy Klamper at Space News >reports that it appears unlikely that NASA will receive any increase in its budget. Many had expected (wanted?) a $ 1 Billion dollar increase.
- NASA has dropped its price for a retired Space Shuttle from $42 Million to $28.8 Million. Basically the cost of transportation.
19 January 2010
- The European Space Agency has an update on the Herschel Infrared Telescope. The article includes an interesting animation of Hereschel looking at the Orion Nebula.
- The University of Arizona reports on a “snowflake” shaped galaxy.
18 January 2010
- Jeff Foust has an interesting article on the future of science and human space flight.
- John K. Strickland, Jr. offers a rebuttal to Dwayne Day’s recent article about “space fetishism”.
17 January 2010
- Nasa and the European Space Agency scientists are studying a meteorite which hit North Yorkshire in 1881. The study, including a 3D scan of the surface of the 4,500 million-year-old Middlesbrough Meteorite, is part of a plan to send a probe to Mars.
- NASASpaceFlight.com reports on the first Chinese launch of the new Year. A Long March 3C lauedhed the BeiDou-2 (Compass-G1) into a Geo Stationary Orbit (GSO) as part of its GPS system.
16 January 2010
- Aviation Week reports of development of the new Ariane 6 by the European Space Agency (ESA)>. The new vehicle would replace the Ariane 5 around 2025.
- NASA has released this picture of a new Iceberg off Mertz Glacier Tongue. The Mertz Glacier flows off East Antarctica along the George V Coast.
15 January 2010
- NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden, will review NASA’s study of Heavy Lift vehicles today, Friday, 15 January 2010. Reports indicate the Sidemount option does not trade favorably against an in-line shuttle derived vehicle similar to the DIRECT Jupiter system.
- The largest single gathering of meteorites found in Arizona will be on display on Jan. 30 during the Arizona Meteorite Exhibition at the Lunar and Planatary Laboratory at University of Arizona in Tucson.
14 January 2010
- Wired Magazine has images from yesterday’s close pass of asteroid 2010 AL30 . JPL has a diagram of the path taken between the Earth and the Moon.
- Two Russian cosmonauts are conducting a space walk to activate the Poisk research module launched in November.
13 January 2010
- Get up early (5:45 AM Phoenix time) and watch the space junk whiz past the Earth.
- NASA is experiencing a shortage of Plutonium to power its spacecraft. “That puts a number of destinations off-limits”, says Jim Green, head of NASA’s planetary science division. “Without the plutonium, there’s just a huge dimension of science we’re going to be missing,” Green told New Scientist.
12 January 2010
- A NASA tiger team expects to solve the ammonia tubing failures plaguing the cooling system on the Tranquility (Node 3) module due to launch 7 February on the Endeavour Shuttle (STS-130) by welding together short tubing segments that have previously passed inspection and flight qualification.
- NPR reports on a mysterious object set to whiz past the Earth (80,000 miles) at 5:45 AM Phoenix time, well inside the Moon’s orbit. Space junk or a small asteroid (33-50 feet), who knows? See Wired’s article.
- Reuters reports on NASA’s continuing saga with the waste water recycling equipment on board the ISS. Current speculation surrounds a higher than expected calcium concentration in urine, possibly due to bone loss.
11 January 2010
- Marcel F. Williams published a good review of the problems confronting the American Human Space Flight program and rational methods of proceeding. Recommended.
- NASA research into the diversity of landforms on Mars is highlighted in a January special issue of Icarus. The research is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
- NASA has rescheduled its press briefing on the first Shuttle flight of the year to 29 January 2010.
10 January 2010
- NASA has published a preliminary roadmap covering the Augustine Commission’s now famous “Flexible Path” scenario for human space exploration. This is the third in a series on the NASA white paper. Previously, NASASpaceFlight published Part I and Part II.
- PISCES, a research facility at The University of Hawaii at Hilo, will sponsor NASA, Canadian and German scientists from 15 January through 11 February. They will use rovers to carry soil to a plant where they will generate electricity from oxygen and hydrogen in the soil and then liquefy the products. They will also test a new system of making oxygen directly from the moon-like soil.
9 January 2010
- India’s newspaper The Hindu discusses the upcoming annular eclipse of the Sun on 15 January 2010.
- NASA announced the successful testing of the 98 inch Sofia infrared telescope aboard a 747 aircraft. The telescope is expected to become operational in the Fall of 2010.
8 January 2010
- STS-130 mission is threatened by continuing ammonia coolant line failures on the Tranquility Node, Endeavour’s cargo for the ISS.
- Studies of two supernova remnants using the Japan-U.S. Suzaku observatory have revealed never-before-seen embers of the high-temperature fireballs that immediately followed the explosions.
7 January 2010
- NASA has released the “first light” image from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) observatory.
- Although the U.K.’s Telegraph published an article entitled, “Earth ‘to be wiped out’ by supernova explosion”, Discover.com notes that “Ray Villard who is currently attending the American Astronomical Society (AAS) conference in D.C. confirmed that the Telegraph article is 90 percent hype”.
- On another note from the AAS, the dark matter halo around the Milky Way galaxy is shaped like a squashed ball.
6 January 2010
- The Space Shuttle Endeavour was rolled out to pad 39 A today prior to a 7 February launch.
- New images from Hubble of ” target=”_out” >blobby blue galaxies” only 600 million years old were announced at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, D.C. And it appears the local Small Magellanic Cloud (a satellite of our Milky Way) has been around for 13 Billion years.
- NASA administrator Charles Bolden commented today that President Obama will not cut robotic exploration to pay for manned expllration, and that Obama is very supportive of space exploration.
5 January 2010
- The Arizona Republic in Tucson, home of the University of Arizona and the Phoenix Lander polar mission, reports that Peter Smith, the mission’s lead scientist and a University of Arizona professor would “…like to think there’s a high probability (of reviving the lander), but there isn’t”. Nevertheless, NASA will give it a try following the long Martian winter.
- NASA released a mosaic image of the past 12 Billion years. The images were taken by the newly installed Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).
- Ancient lakes on Mars suggested in new images.
4 January 2010
- The Kepler spacecraft has added five (5) lightweight planets to the list of extra solar planets.
- Following electrical malfunctions in August, the Herschel observatory’s Far Infrared instrument will resume observations this month.
3 January 2010
- NASA is offering interested parties a genuine Space Shuttle for $42 million.
- My latest issue of Aviation Week names The Space Entrepreneur as Person of the Year.
2 January 2010
- Mylswamy Annadurai, Project Director, Chandrayaan-I and II of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Bangalore, confirmed that Chandrayaan-II would be launched as scheduled during the first quarter of 2013. According to The Hindu, “the Chandrayaan-II has been planned to land on the moon and make in situ chemical and mineral analysis to confirm the discovery of Chandrayaan-I.”
- Although a rocket capable of putting 200mt into low Earth orbit (LEO) has been in the news, it remains to be seen whether development and launch costs could ever be afforded.
1 January 2010
- The Chandra X-ray Observatory will continue to operate through 2013 at least. Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass. has had its NASA contract extended and will provide science and operational support for Chandra.
- “Happy New Year” from Astronaut Noguchi on the International Space Station.