Friday links

Down to Earth

Check out this interview with Natalie Batalha, an astronomer with the Kepler mission.

NASA has a new promo video: We Are The Explorers

There’s a new company hoping to make money launching satellites from Soviet-era MIG fighter planes. Might work.

In Orbit

ISS had an orbit correction reboost this week.

Europe’s ISS resupply vessel, ATV3, has been delayed with no official new launch date yet announced. Launch had been scheduled for March 9. As the blog Hyperbola points out, a delay of ATV may be tricky given the high traffic planned for ISS over the rest of this year.

Universe Today has a gallery of photos of the ISS taken from all around the world.

Don Pettit took some long exposures from the ISS to get some great star trail photos. Awesome!

Starting in January the crew on ISS did some computer hardware upgrades to put faster processors in most of the avionics computers of the station. This week, the payload computers go their upgrades, completing the suite of improvements to the ISS computers. No fanfare from NASA about the activity being done, so here’s yesterday’s ISS on-orbit status, which mentions it in passing.

Around the Solar System

The Mars Science Laboratory is cruising on its way to Mars. During the solar storms of January, a special sensor in MSL’s belly was used to do radiation experiments to see what a cruise to Mars would be like for astronauts.

Mars opposition is Saturday, March 3. Opposition being the point in Earth’s orbit when Mars and the Sun are 180 degrees apart in the sky.

February 27, 2012 9:21 pm

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