I have had a busy week at work which included two days of simulations and now I am working the evening swing shift in the Mission Control Center over the weekend. Thus, my ‘Friday Links’ post is coming out decidedly late. Many apologies! The good news is that there was lots of stuff going on in space related news this week so hopefully you will forgive me after reading! Better late than never.
Around the solar system
Opportunity settles down for her “long winter’s nap” on Cape York
While Opportunity naps, read this in-progress series of posts by Matt Lenda at “On the Outside, Looking In”. He writes about the first 100 Sols (Martian Days) that Opportunity spent at the edge of Endeavour crater. the first 3 of 8 posts are up as of Saturday evening. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. The posts are long and detailed but Matt’s writing is very engaging. It’s worth a read even for the lay-person.
Down to Earth
Andrew Symes finally put up Part 3 of his MSL launch Tweetup story. It’s full of photos, videos, and raw emotion. A must read!
Paul Allen, Burt Rutan, and SpaceX announced their new venture Stratolaunch Systems to launch rockets from a huge airplane (newspacejournal.com provides an interesting technical and economic analysis of the proposal)
And this montage at APOD really shows the scale of Earth’s shadow compared to the Moon! Awesome!
Possible data confirming Higgs Boson starts coming from Geneva
Space Shuttle Discovery was powered down for the last time
ESA launched their second Soyuz rocket from French Guinea
Phobos-Grunt re-entry predictions start to become more firm, looks like mid-January
ISS Commander Dan Burbank sends his holiday greetings (there’s a link there to send Christmas cards to ISS). I love how natural and candid Commander Burbank seems when he’s in front of the camera.
SpaceX Dragon mission to ISS is set for February 7th
Just because it’s cool
Last F-22 rolls off the line
And lastly because I’m an unabashed geek…